Alomar Jr. a popular managerial candidate
Indians bench coach may get first opportunity in Boston, Chicago
Sandy Alomar Sr. never got his shot to manage in the big leagues. His son soon might.
At the very least, Sandy Alomar Jr. is a coach in demand. The recently-promoted Indians bench coach is set to interview with the Red Sox about their managerial opening in the near future, and is reportedly a candidate for the Cubs' opening.
The Red Sox parted ways with Terry Francona last month, creating a chance for someone to manage a veteran-laden team that seemed headed for the postseason before a September collapse. It's a prime opportunity, and new Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington is interviewing highly-regarded, experienced coaches to fill it.
The Cubs, meanwhile, have a new opening after deciding to replace Mike Quade after one year. Recently-hired president Theo Epstein said he'll look for candidates with either previous managerial experience or at least coaching experience at the big league level.
In both cases, Alomar fits the role. The six-time All-Star catcher and respected player returned to Cleveland for his first shot at coaching in the big leagues, spending the last two seasons as the Indians' first-base coach under manager Manny Acta. He was promoted to bench coach at season's end to replace Tim Tolman, who resigned to deal with health issues.
Alomar already knew the rigors of the coaching profession from his father, who coached Sandy Jr. and Roberto in San Diego when they came up. He also coached with the Cubs and Rockies. He coached three different spots over five years on the Mets staff before he was let go.
Thus, when Sandy Jr. got into coaching, he knew the requirements.
"Sandy, even when he played, he showed that he had leadership skills," Acta told reporters near season's end. "He's a guy who prepares himself very well and he's one of those guys that, not only was a very good player, but has shown a passion to coach. A lot of those guys just disappear into the sunset and go home.
"He has shown the passion of staying in the game. He's a good teacher and has a good personality. Some guys have been able to make the transition without managing in the Minor Leagues. It's not easy to do, but hey, you can't get experience until you get the job."
He already had such high regard a year ago that the Blue Jays interviewed him for their managerial vacancy before hiring John Farrell. When the White Sox and Ozzie Guillen split toward the end of this season, Alomar was mentioned as a candidate but reportedly never interviewed before Chicago turned to Robin Ventura.
As a catcher, Alomar is well-versed in all aspects of the game. If he doesn't get promoted now, the experience as bench coach might be the finishing touch on a resume that should earn him an opportunity sooner rather than later. At age 45, he has time, but it might be now.