Cleveland Guardians manager Terry Francona spoke to the media after Game 5, in which the New York Yankees moved on to the ALCS.
Game 5 was a rough go for Tito, starting with his choice to start Aaron Civale rather than turn to ace Shane Bieber on short rest. Civale lasted just one-third of an inning, giving up a three-run homer to Giancarlo Stanton to end his night.
Francona surely must have seen something in his ace in the days leading up to Game 5, or else there’s not much of an explanation as to why he started Civale instead.
In speaking with the media, Francona instead chose to focus on the positives of this season for the Guardians — a team very few thought would get to this point.
“This needs to be a starting place for us. This can’t just be a good story this year. We need to take this and go. I think we have a chance to have something really special,” Francona said.
Guardians manager Terry Francona is a man of few words
Terry Francona had little to say after his team was knocked out of the playoffs. He mentioned consoling many Guardians players, especially those on the younger side, who haven’t experienced this level of postseason heartbreak before.
“Probably further than anybody except the people in that room thought they would go…they’re hurting right now because they care and they worked unbelievably hard, but I hope as that wears off, they’ll realize how proud we are of them,” Francona said.
When posed with big-picture questions, such as why the Yankees won the series and not Cleveland, Francona kept his answers close to the vest.
“They won one more game than us,” Francona stated simply.
Tito wouldn’t get into the financial aspects of the conversation. The Yankees have among the highest payrolls in the sport, while the Guardians ownership has yet to fully invest in this team beyond Jose Ramirez and a few others. It represents a chasm in the sport, even though the Guardians have done an impressive amount despite the sum of its parts.
Cleveland is an intriguing team moving forward, and as one of the younger squads in the sport, I feel confident in suggesting they’ll be back in this position soon.