When former Tribe catcher and current first base coach Sandy Alomar Jr. was promoted to bench coach after last season, everyone in Cleveland was excited. Shortly after that announcement was made, Sandy became a candidate for the Chicago White Sox managerial opening. When out of nowhere, Robin Ventura was hired with zero coaching experience, it seemed like a headscratching hire. But hey, Sandy wasn’t going anywhere and he could learn from a seat right next to the head man himself, Manny Acta.
But as more time has elapsed, Sandy’s name continued to pop up for just about every open manager’s job available. Its flattering to him, but not so great for Tribe fans who view Sandy the same way they do Mike Hargrove – an Indian to the core. Always remember though Tribe fans, Grover went on to manage elsewhere after he was let go here.
According to the PD’s Paul Hoynes, Alomar Jr. will be interviewing with the Boston Red Sox today and with the Chicago Cubs tomorrow for their current managerial vacancies. Current Texas Pitching Coach Mike Maddux will also be interviewing with the Cubs this week.
While it’s far from certain that the Sandy will get one of these two jobs, there is little doubt he will become a manager at some point soon. He is well respected throughout baseball and has received praise for his work with the Tribe catchers last year. Having him on the staff also gives Tribe fans feelings of nostalgia for the good old days. Between Sandy, Kenny Lofton’s return in 2007, and Jim Thome’s return last summer, Tribe fans continue to shower love for anyone associated with the halcyon days of 1994-2001.
So what if Sandy gets the Boston or Chicago jobs? Where do the Indians go from their with their bench coach vacancy?
The one obvious answer would be to promote AAA skipper Mike Sarbaugh to the big league staff. The guy has won at every single level and will some day be an major league manager. He has put in his time through the ranks and deserves his shot. Ask any of his former players – they swear by Sarbaugh, who has won back to back title with the Indians AAA affiliate in Columbus.
Interestingly, despite having their best season in four years, Manager Manny Acta has seen quite a bit of turnover on his staff.
Pitching coach Tim Belcher resigned at the end of the season to spend more time with his family. He will stay within the organization in the role he carried previous to getting back on the field. Bench coach Tim Tolman was forced into retirement to deal with Parkinson’s Disease. Scott Radinsky, the bullpen coach, was promoted to pitching coach to replace Belcher. Dave Miller, the Tribe’s minor league pitching coordinator, takes Radinsky’s spot. Tom Widenbauer, the Indians minor league field coordinator, takes Alomar Jr’s first base coaching job.
OK, everyone get that?
Hopefully, all of the promoting from within will keep the Indians on the same page to build off of the 2011 season.
photo via Getty Images