Like everyone else in Progressive Field on Tuesday night, Indians manager Terry Francona was rattled when fireworks erupted following a Kansas City home run.
In the fifth inning, Royals outielder Alex Rios homered to left field, and as he was rounding the bases, a technician sitting atop a parking garage beyond the center-field wall, mistakenly touched off a fireworks display normally reserved for home runs hit by Indians players.
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”It shocked the hell out of me,” Francona said with a laugh Wednesday. ”It actually made me jump. I hope that guy’s not in charge of the Fourth of July fireworks. It might be in August.”
TV cameras caught the distraught technician clutching his head in dismay after his misfire. As Rios continued his home-run trot, Cleveland fans booed the technician’s mishap that triggered plenty of commentary on social media and made the expected rounds of late-night highlight shows.
Francona joked that his initial reaction to the explosion was to duck behind bench coach Brad Mills.
”In a moment where you probably weren’t real happy it was a little levity,” Francona said.
Actually, Francona said he wasn’t aware the Indians are treated to a light show every time they homer.
”This is the damnedest thing, but I didn’t know they shot off fireworks when we hit a home run,” Francona said. ”That’s unbelievable. I asked Millsy, `Do they do it when we hit a homer?’ I don’t remember ever seeing it or hearing it. Learn something new every day.”