Wednesday night’s win over the Reds was the Guardians’ final home game of the season. As such, it was the last time Terry Francona will manage the team at Progressive Field in front of the home crowd.
After picking up a win in his final home game as the skipper, Francona received a standing ovation on the field from fans in Cleveland. The postgame celebrations were elongated when star third baseman José Ramírez blocked the entrance to the dugout and forced the 64-year-old to soak in the moment a while longer.
Francona could be seen taking his hat off and waving toward the crowd. He then attempted to enter the dugout, before Ramirez and company blocked his path. Second baseman Andrés Giménez then put his arm around Francona and began jumping around in celebration.
What a moment. José Ramírez blocked the top of the steps to the dugout after the handshake line so Tito had to stay on the field and receive a longer ovation from the crowd. Then the rest of the team circled him and kept him out in front of a roaring crowd even longer. pic.twitter.com/vI1etqTkae— Mandy Bell (@MandyBell02) September 28, 2023
The Guardians end their season with a three-game set on the road in Detroit. Having already been eliminated from playoff contention, those three games will be Francona’s last before he’s expected to retire.
Francona has not made an official announcement about his retirement, but it’s been reported that he’s expected to do so next week.
Francona managed in Cleveland from 2013 to ’23. Across 11 seasons with the organization, Francona has overseen 1,674 games and has a winning percentage of .549.
Prior to the Guardians, the 64-year-old was the manager of the Phillies and Red Sox.