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Sunday February 5th, 2023 9:05PM

Guardians manager Francona's scooter stolen in Cleveland

By The Associated Press
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CLEVELAND (AP) — Guardians manager Terry Francona's beloved ride has been stolen.

The scooter that Francona rides from his downtown Cleveland apartment to Progressive Field on game days was swiped over the weekend. Francona’s scooter was parked outside his residence.

A team spokesman said police were notified of the theft, which happened late Friday night or early Saturday.

Police spokeswoman Sgt. Jennifer Ciaccia said detectives are checking surveillance video in the area.

The 63-year-old Francona, who spends the offseason in Arizona, was in Cleveland over the weekend for Guards Fest, the team's annual winter fan festival. He noticed his scooter was missing before attending Saturday's event.

Francona has used a scooter for his short commute to the ballpark in recent years. It's common to see the popular Francona, known simply as “Tito,” waving to fans as he zips around the city. The team had a bobblehead giveaway a few years ago with Francona riding his scooter.

This isn't the first time a Francona scooter has made news.

At spring training in 2015, his ride sustained damage when a team employee crashed it during a promotional shoot in Arizona. At the time, Francona joked that his scooter was on the disabled list.

The theft is the second involving a prominent Cleveland sports figure in recent weeks.

A pickup truck owned by Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson was one of several vehicles stolen from an area car dealership. The truck, which was being serviced, was later recovered in a ditch.

A two-time World Series winner with Boston, Francona has spent 10 seasons with Cleveland. He was named AL Manager of the Year for the third time last season after leading the Guardians to 92 wins and an unexpected division title despite having the majors' youngest team.

Francona has been slowed by health problems the past few seasons.

On Saturday, he said he's feeling great and looking forward to the 2023 season. Francona has an open-ended contract with the organization, which intends to keep him as its manager as long as he wants.

___

AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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