The Guardian who’s also a grandpa

24 minutes ago

This story was excerpted from Mandy Bell’s Guardians Beat newsletter. To read the full newsletter, click here. And subscribe to get it regularly in your inbox.

You always hear people say that days like Father’s Day become even more special when you become a grandfather. Is it true? Or is it just the right thing to say? I had to find out, so I went to the best source I knew.

Guardians manager Terry Francona talked about what life has been like since grandkids came into the picture:

“Boy, I was always told when you become a grandparent what happens to you. Whatever. I have four kids, man, [so I didn’t think that would happen to me]. I turned into the biggest puddle! I mean, I spoil them rotten. I can’t get enough of them. I get it. I turned into that guy. I show everyone pictures. They don’t want to see pictures of my grandkids, but I can’t help it. It’s like I can’t get enough. Yeah, it’s wonderful. And then when they misbehave, you send them home with mom and dad.”

What was it like going through that transition?

“The one this spring — this is my youngest — so I knew it was coming. I was like, ‘Hey, I want to come back [and be there for the birth].’ I don’t know if I would’ve said that 20 years ago, but I feel differently. And then [my daughter] was having a little bit of problems. She was in the hospital and it was like three days before we were supposed to come up to Goodyear. Her husband called and said, ‘Jamie’s in the hospital.’ So I’m thinking, ‘OK, I can drive up to Phoenix, drop my stuff off, take a redeye back to Virginia Beach and be there.’ She called me back an hour later and she goes, ‘Dad, don’t do that. I’m fine.’ She had the baby like an hour later. So, I didn’t get there for it. But they’re good. I FaceTime with them because they’re old enough — a couple of them — that I can FaceTime with them. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t talk to them.”

How enjoyable is it for you when you can see them on a road series or even at home during the season?

“You ask about how they impact you, I probably went eight years in Boston or Philly, if the phone rang or if somebody bothered me during the game, it better be a national incident. Now, it’s the ninth inning, we’re up 2-1 and I hear her [his granddaughter, Olivia] yelling behind me, I can’t help but turn around and laugh. It changes you.”

Last one, what’s the funniest gift they’ve ever given you?

“Well. They painted pictures of me for my last birthday. And I know I’m no oil painting to begin with, but it wasn’t very good.”