Francona’s Thoughts: June 28 vs. Rangers

On his recent illness:

“I’ve had test after test after test. I mean, the only thing that’s conclusive is that they think maybe there was a stress reaction to Andre’s tie that night. It was so bad I think it threw me in a tizzy. I’ve been tested like crazy, and they’ve ruled out some really serious things which makes you feel better. I’ve had some bouts of getting light-headed to the point where it feels like the lights are going to go out, which is not a good feeling. So I got a monitor on that they’re keeping an eye on me. Just kind of keep track of it. There’s no common denominator when it happens. So, the one good thing is there’s so many good medical people that care about doing a really good job, so that’s a good feeling. I don’t know, it may happen again. For all of you that bet on the under, you’re going to lose, because I’m not going to die, it’s just irritating, kind of embarrassing.”

On whether the symptoms were similar to his previous departure:

“Yeah. And I’ve had them on and off for a while. When they get to be a little bit too much, because for me to leave a game, it’s got to be pretty intense. Because I don’t like to do that.”

On Monday’s 15-9 comeback win:

“Unbelievable. I don’t know if I felt good or bad. When I left, things all of a sudden took a turn for the good. You can kind of take that a few different ways. But Jason Genin, one of our doctors, drove me to the hospital. So he had it on his phone. And it was what, 9-3. Park, 9-4. Got in, it was 9-5. They’re setting me up in there and Lonnie got a base hit and it was 10-9. We couldn’t get it on the TV. But we’re in the emergency room and you can hear nurses yelling. It was really cool. I had it on my phone and you could hear people I couldn’t see reacting, which I thought was really cool. That gave me a huge lift, just hearing people react to the game of baseball, our baseball, it made me feel good.”

On potentially stressing too much as a manager:

“That’s one thing that they’ve certainly talked about. I’ve tried to even think like if it could be. I honestly love what I do. I’ve never once ever thought, ‘Oh boy, I got to go to the ballpark.’ I feel like I’ve been in much worse places worrying-wise, stuff like that. So the doctors kind of explained to me that’s not just—your body can react differently to things. I think they want to eliminate other things first, because I’ve been through so much. I’ve been on medications for the past 15 years and just want to make sure that nothing has changed or altered because of that. So they’re really good, conscientious people. We’ll figure it out. It’s not a lot of fun at times, but that’s really what it is.”

On Chris Antonetti preventing him from managing on Tuesday:

“Wouldn’t let me. How about that? And if I could handle watching it on TV — it’s way worse. Because not that you can do anything in the dugout, but at home, you’re stuck. And you’re watching the guys that you live and die with every day and you’re not there, it’s not a good feeling. Other than that, I don’t know what to really say. It just has happened a few times and sometimes they’re more severe than others. There have been a lot of times where I’d just take a deep breath, reel it in, and I’m OK. But there have been a few times where I haven’t been able to.”

On getting some rest:

“I guess. Anybody that’s been to a hospital knows that’s not exactly the place where you [can relax].”

On having a monitor:

“I do. I do now. If I have another episode, they want to be able to know. Like, I have a button I push and it marks the time, just to see how it’s affecting me. Because when it happens, my heart rate really picks up fast, so they just want to be able to monitor it.”

On players’ response to him when he returned to the clubhouse:

“Yeah, because when people start to be kind, that makes you nervous. Like, [shoot], I’m dying. No, if it was anything else, I would get nervous. It’s nice to have your uniform on and be back, because what I love is the day to day stuff. I love it. This is the most comfortable place in my life, where I am. And I miss that when I’m gone. So, I’ll just try to continue to keep track of what’s going on, and the doctors are so good and conscientious that we’ll figure it out. It just might take a little while to get a handle on exactly what’s been going on.”

On managing the All-Star Game despite the health issues:

“I hadn’t even thought about that. That’s what I mean, I don’t know exactly. I can’t really tell you more. I would, if I could. And I’m OK. It’s a huge honor to go to that thing. I felt a little wiped out after the other night, but I don’t feel wiped out. I think anybody that stays up all night and gets poked and prodded, it’s not the funnest way. But, no, I think that’s a big honor and I look forward to that.”

On the supportive text messages he received:

“Oh my goodness sakes. You hate to… people are so kind, but after 180 or 200, it’s like you’re getting stressed out doing that. Chris actually took down names. He’s unbelievable. He’s like Mother Teresa. I felt bad, because he’s working, taking care of me. I feel guilty. And it’s all real. It’s not just me. It’s everybody he comes into contact with.”

On listening to fans’ reaction to the game away from the ballpark:

“I probably don’t stop to think about it very often, because you get so immersed in what we’re doing. You almost get like tunnel vision. I know a lot of days, we laugh about it, like Sunday mornings when we’re on the road, and we’ll be driving to the ballpark and you’ll see people heading out on like picnics and you’re like, ‘What is that?’ Because we’ve never done it. But, I don’t know. I don’t want to get too deep, but it was a good feeling. I was sitting in there — me and a couple of the docs and everything — you could hear some of the people. Yeah, it did feel good. Those people seemed to really care. A nurse would come in and say something and they’d be like, ‘Hey, it’s 12-9.’ Heck yeah. What we do is so important to us, but it’s not life or death. But, it’s so amazing the impact it can have on people for something that isn’t. It’s like when your team is playing good, people seem to walk around with their chest out a little bit more. And you get so immersed in caring about your team — that’s part of what’s so good about it.”

On his blood pressure:

“It goes down — that’s what the problem is. It’s been going down, and that makes my heart rate go too fast.”

On his relationship with bench coach Brad Mills:

“That’s one of the things I’ve said for a long time, and I guess it proves it out. If I leave a field during Spring Training, I know the drill is going to be done just like it’s supposed to. The lineup was just like I would’ve written it out. I say it, because I mean it. Over the year, I think I’ve learned more from Millsy about baseball than he’s ever learned from me. I’ll always feel that way. And he may do some things different, if he was a manager. That’s just probably common sense. But, he does things how I want to do it, because he knows that that’s the way it’s supposed to be. It’s hard to find a guy that brings so many qualities that he does. I mess with him all the time, but I know how fortunate I am to have him. These types of things don’t just grow on trees, where you’re with somebody for 40 years and you about know him better than you know yourself. That’s pretty special.”

On the team playing each game with a sense of urgency:

“You kind of walk a fine line. It’s almost like when you’re using the bullpen. You want to use them a lot, but not too much. You want there to be an urgency within the game, but you don’t want it to be them trying to do too much, because it’s not helpful. That’s that fine line that every manager, every team is trying to find the right way to go about it. On the road trip, I was asked and I mean it when I say I don’t look back. That doesn’t help. Same thing when we played Minnesota. I know what happened during that series. But if you come in dragging, it doesn’t help, so you move on and always try to learn from whatever happened before and play the game that night. That’s just the best way to do it. If it helped to look back, I’d do it. But all it does is weigh on your energy. That doesn’t help anybody. “

On Trevor Bauer’s numbers this season:

“I don’t know about numbers lying, because I firmly believe that what your numbers are, that’s what you are. Our record — it’s not the last 10; our record is what it is. The same thing with ERAs and things. In Trevor’s case, it seems like he’s gotten to it in a peculiar way. They don’t all match up. He’s held his stuff really well from the first start to now and even gotten stronger and you’ve also seen him command his fastball and work ahead much better. If you ask Trevor, he’d probably give you a different answer because that’s what he does. That’s OK. I think those are really more in line with what’s happened.”

On the inconsistent offense:

“It’s not just us. It happens around the league. You look at Texas right now. They’re .500 or a couple games over and I’m sure they would rather be 20 games over also. It happens everywhere. I think we’re in the middle of the league as far as offense. How many times do we sit here and say, ‘Man, we have to do this better.’ We’re in the middle. Think of the teams that are in last. You always see your own warts and what you’re not doing because you get fixated on us, which you should, but I think sometimes you need to step back and look around. You can get so fixated on what we’re doing or not doing that it’s not helpful.”

On Cody Anderson returning to the clubhouse:

“I think it’s really valuable. Just three days to check in with his buddies, get to see everybody that’s so fond of him. I know he can’t throw for a while yet, but as you can see, he’s in great shape. He’ll turn this into a positive. It’ll take a while, because it’s a pretty significant injury. But he’ll eventually turn this into a positive. At some point, you’ll see him come back and probably be better than he was before.”

John Alfes has covered the Indians for IBI since August of 2016. Follow him on Twitter @JohnAlfes for breaking news and in-depth coverage all season long. 

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