In a move that can't be considered much of a surprise at this point, the Indians Sunday evening announced that manager Terry Francona will not return for the postseason in 2020.
Sandy Alomar Jr., who has been the team's acting manager for most of the season, will stay on and lead the team however far they go for the playoffs.
“Tito is continuing his recovery but is not yet physically able to manage the team,” Indians president of baseball operations Chris Antonetti said via Indians.com
“So again, I know I've said this multiple times, but we are incredibly grateful and thankful to have Sandy. He selflessly stepped into the role and has done an extraordinary job leading us this season, and we're looking forward to his leadership throughout the postseason."
Last week Francona entered the bubble which gave the Indians the option to bring him back, but with his ongoing health situation and the way the team has played with Alomar at the helm, they decided it was best to keep things the way they are for the playoffs.
2020 has been a tough year for Francona health wise, as his gastrointestinal issues began back in March in Goodyear, Arizona when the team was going through their first spring training.
Things continued to worsen and eventually he left the team for the first time while in Minnesota back on August 2nd.
He came back on August 11th, but left the team on August 16th and had a procedure done at the Cleveland Clinic to lessen blood clots which Francona was having.
Antonetti said that the procedure was successful, but that he's needed time to recover before coming back to the team.
The manager has been present at Progressive Field to watch the team a few times, and probably will be on hand for the Indians wild card round of games this week against the New York Yankees starting on Tuesday evening.
Antonetti did not mention anything about Francona coming back in 2021, but said that for now the best thing for the team moving forward is to keep Alomar and the coaching staff as it's made up at the moment in their current positions.
“I think the uniting factor is that everyone cares so deeply about each other, and all we care about as a group is trying to win,” Antonetti said.
“So, any way we can come together to do that, we'll try to make that happen. The collaboration continues between Sandy, the front office, the coaching staff, support staff and Tito. We'll continue that here as we go through the playoffs."
Alomar has managed the Tribe for 46 games in 2020, going 27-19, including guiding them back from their eight-game losing streak to end the season on a high note, winning 9 of their last 11 games to rally to capture the 4th seed in the AL and earn home field for the wild card round.