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Spring Training Speech Turns Terry Francona Into Mr. Bean

Terry Francona yells.
Ron Schwane/Getty Images

Cleveland Guardians manager Terry Francona is OK. Don't worry! He's fine. He missed all but 14 games of the 2020 season due to a serious gastrointestinal issue, and he missed the final 63 games of the 2021 season due to hip and foot surgeries, but that's all in the past. Sure, there's a metal rod implanted in his left foot that causes discomfort when he wears flip-flops. And, yes, his beloved scooter was stolen last month, although that is more of an emotional wound. The point is that he's fine. The scooter was returned, and Francona told ESPN Sunday that he's feeling ship-shape headed into his 11th season as Guardians manager.

But that doesn't mean that Francona should not be handled with extreme care. The Cleveland Guardians owe it to themselves to encase this man in bubble wrap and roll him to and fro on a heavy-duty hand truck. Clearly the man cannot be trusted to look at, read, or transport sheets of paper without slipping into infomercial mode:

It's a simple spring-training speech to a team Francona's been coaching for more than a decade, and our man sweat through his clothing, kerploded a tooth on undercooked pasta, and finally dumped hot coffee all over the place after turning up at the office five hours too early.

"If I wasn't in baseball, all I'd be doing was wishing I was in baseball," Francona said Sunday from Arizona, approximately 48 hours before going Nordberg on the annual speech. Thank God Francona's job mostly involves sitting on a dugout bench; if he weren't in baseball he'd be in a damn full body cast! Terry, watch out!

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