(Chicago) An outbreak of COVID-19 at the Cleveland Guardians, including manager Terry Francona, forced MLB to postpone Wednesday’s game against the Chicago White Sox for additional testing and a contact tracing operation.
This is the first time this season that a game has been postponed due to COVID-19.
The Major Leagues released a statement in which they said “several positive COVID-19 diagnoses” had been reported at the Guardians.
Francona tested positive for COVID-19 hours before the game on Wednesday, and as a result he will be sidelined indefinitely.
The 63-year-old man is said to be asymptomatic. Francona has missed most of the last two seasons due to various health issues.
Guardians bench coach DeMarlo Hale, who replaced Francona when he was absent last season, will lead the team for the final game of the series against the Chicago White Sox. Hale will act as manager until Francona returns.
The Guardians will have the day off Thursday before starting a three-game series against the Minnesota Twins on Friday.
Francona was healthy this season, after two tougher campaigns. In 2020, he had managed only 14 meetings during a season cut short by the coronavirus pandemic, in particular due to hospitalization resulting from complications attributable to gastroenteritis.
Last year, Francona suffered health problems after having foot surgery during the offseason, and he left the team in July.
Francona is entering his 10th season with the Guardians. He won two World Series titles with the Boston Red Sox.