CLEVELAND (CBS/AP) – Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona said his longtime bench coach Brad Mills has left the club to be with his family. Mills’ 18-month-old grandson, Beau, drowned during spring training.
Mills was Francona’s bench coach with the Red Sox from 2004-2009.
“I think it was agonizing for him to leave home,” Francona said. “I think it was agonizing for him to leave here. But I know in my heart he made the right decision. If there’s ever a bittersweet moment, it was staying goodbye to him yesterday because I care about him enough that I know where he needs to be. He’s been, I don’t know if it’s my left or right hand, whichever one is better, that’s the one he’s been.”
Francona said his coaching staff will “divvy up” Mills’ duties, but many of them will fall to assistant Mike Barnett. Mills was in charge of organizing the re-start of training camp, which was halted in March because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“No one person will replace what MIllsy does and we know that,” Francona said. “And he knows that. I think it was a difficult decision for him. I almost wish it hadn’t been so difficult because I think I know in my heart where he needs to be and that’s home right now.”
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)