By now, Tribe fans are likely aware that former All-Star catcher Sandy Alomar Jr. has been named to the Indians coaching staff as a first base coach. It was only a few months ago when Alomar was inducted into the Indians Hall of Fame. It was at this time that the ex-catcher was spending time with the New York Mets.
In fact, up until this past week, it was widely thought that Mets general manager Omar Minaya would not be letting Sandy look for a position elsewhere in the bigs as he had spent two years in New York.
In today’s conference call, Alomar stated that he was a bit surprised as to how quickly things unfolded and he became a member of the Tribe’s staff in about a weeks time.
When discussing the opportunity with Minaya, Alomar stated that he focused much of his side on the fact that he would love to go back to a team which he played for in the past while getting to work with young catchers. With Victor Martinez being traded to Boston this past season, the Indians are looking at the possibility of starting the recently acquired Lou Marson behind the plate. The other catcher that Alomar could be referring to is the organization’s top prospect, Carlos Santana.
Asked about his influences when he was coming through the bigs, Alomar referenced former bullpen coach Luis Isaac as well as Joel Skinner and Pat Borders. Fans will recall that Isaac was relieved of his duties one year ago after spending 13 seasons with the team. Some attribute his firing to the poor relief performance of 2009 as well as the perceived disconnect between then manager Eric Wedge and some of the hispanic players.
Given the Tribe’s struggles over the last year-plus, Alomar was asked if he would consider suiting up behind the plate if needed. After a laugh, Alomar claimed that he would do whatever the team asked of him.
“I lost a lot of weight,” claimed Alomar when asked if his old jersey still fits.
There is no denying that this Indians team as currently constructed has very little that resonates with the fan base as it did in the 1990s or even the recent seasons with CC Sabathia, Cliff Lee and Victor Martinez. Many continue to cling to the glory days of sold out crowds and 100-win seasons, so Alomar returning to the Indians in some form is undoubtedly received with open arms.