Francona gets lost on way to Progressive Field

CLEVELAND — Terry Francona candidly admits he is directionally challenged.

He proved that before the Cleveland Indians home opener Monday.

Francona lives two blocks from Progressive Field and walks to games. He had his first experience on the streets of Cleveland when he headed to the game at about 8:15 a.m.

“I got lost three times,” Francona said.

Francona’s walk involves two long blocks and, depending on his route, maybe a left and a right turn.

“I’m bad,” he said. “Guys that know me, know. Even when I got to the garage, two people that work here said, ‘Hey do you know where you’re going?’ I was like … ‘nope.’

“Finally somebody was nice enough to drive me on a golf cart down here. I’ve just been blessed with horrible directional (ability),” he said.

Francona still enjoyed his walk.

“I think Cleveland has officially the nicest people I’ve ever met,” he said. “Everybody I went by said hello. That was a little different than I’m used to.”

He is the first Indians manager anyone can remember living downtown, and he said he thinks he’ll “love it.”

“I like being close to the ballpark,” he said. “I always have. If I’m on the road, if I had my druthers, which I don’t, I’d rather stay at a Motel 6 that’s next to the ballpark than have to drive a half hour.

“I hate having to make an appointment to go to the ballpark.

“I’m showing my age, but you used to be able to sit at the ballpark and you could drink a few beers and play cards and walk to the hotel. You can’t really do that anymore.

“And I understand it.

“But I miss that too.”