Sunday, August 30, 2015

Tribe Talk 8.30.15: Sandy Alomar Jr. Isn't The Best Choice #Indians

By @DaSportsGenius7

There's a controversy within the Cleveland Indians fanbase that has been brewing since the news of Mark Shapiro and the Toronto Blue Jays possibilities first surfaced.  As Indians fans know, Manager Terry Francona has an opt out clause that if Antonetti or Shapiro were to leave, he could seek another opportunity.  My belief is if Shapiro left, he's taking Francona with him to Toronto, a situation I'm sure Francona can thrive in.  But the controversy is with who would replace Francona.  A lot of Indians fans have been waiting for the opportunity to have fan favorite Sandy Alomar Jr finally get his shot as Manager of the Indians.  I know I'm in the minority about this, but I think the time for Sandy to be named the manager of the Indians has passed.  The opportunity was when Sandy took over as the interim manager and showed he could do the job.
Instead the Indians went out and got Terry Francona to manage and the Indians have been extremely fortunate that Sandy has stayed all this time.  While I firmly believe the reason Sandy has stayed is because he's been guaranteed the manager's job when Franonca leaves, I don't think the possibility of Shapiro and possibly Antonetti gone too was weighed in that scenario.  So now I'm going to explain to the Tribe fan base that as nice as it would be that Sandy could be named the manager, I'm going to argue that the best manager choice does lie elsewhere.  Before I get to my choice for manager, let me examine a few other names.

David Wallace (AA Akron Manager)- All I know about Wallace is that the Indians are extremely high on David Wallace and has experience working with guys like Jose Ramirez, Francisco Lindor, and Giovany Urshela that really could help in their continued progression at the Major league level.  He led the Rubberducks to a 73-69 record last year, and is on pace to again finish above .500 this year.  His only bad year as a manager was with High-A Carolina.  Look at that roster, outside of Lindor and Wendle, nobody was hitting down there.  Again I've only heard great things about him at Akron and I know the Indians are looking at him as a potential future manager.  He's only 35 right now so he's got time to still make his name known in the Minors.  I think though he's an up and coming name to watch out for.

Mike Sarbaugh (3rd Base Coach for Indians)- A few years ago when the Indians fired Manny Acta, I was clammoring for him to take over as the Indians manager.  The big plus for Sarbaugh is that he has very strong relations with the core of this team as he managed them as they were coming up.  As a manager in the minors, he was a standout coach and in 9 seasons was 697-511 (.577).  He has an outstanding knowledge of the game and great leadership ability.  Whether the Indians hire him or not as the manager, at some point he's going to get his shot.  I wouldn't be stunned in the slightest if he thrived in the bigs.  By the way with that record, in 9 years, he NEVER had one losing season.  That's impressive with how unpredictable the minors can be with call-ups and send downs.

Torey Lovullo (Interim Manager for Boston Red Sox)- I'm throwing Lovullo in here because he was another former candidate after Acta was fired.  In fact from my understanding, Lovullo was almost hired as the manager.  If I'm an Indians fan I'm closely monitoring how the Red Sox play under Lovullo.  The Red Sox season has been a disaster and I'd be very interested with a mediocre pitching staff and a potentially very good offense, can the Red Sox make some sort of run under him.  If they do that, I'd strongly consider him to replace Francona.

Jason Giambi (Retired MLB Player)- If Francona were to leave, I'm not ruling out the darkhorse here.  Giambi makes a lot of sense if you think about it.  OVer the past 2 years the one constant in the clubhouse was Giambi and his veteran presense.  The players respected him as he led by example.  He took the year off to focus on himself and family.  I truly believe after what he's meant to the team from a leadership standpoint, plus he's got a high Baseball IQ to do the job, I'd interview Giambi for the job.  Would I offer it?  He'd have to blow me away.

Mickey Callaway (Indians Pitching Coach)- Okay in response to a certain unnamed Twitter account, you think he's another Bryan Price?  I'm sorry did Cincinnati ever have one of the most potent rotations with up and coming plus rejuvinated career pitchers?  NO!  Mickey Callaway not only helped the development of Danny Salazar, Trevor Bauer, and Corey Kluber but he's rejuvinated the careers of Scott Kazmir and Ubaldo Jimenez.  He isn't a one dimensional pitching coach.  He develops and motivates his players.  Can anyone name me a pitching coach get so fired up he gets ejected?  Because that happened to Callaway this year.  The man has fire and isn't afraid to get in his players faces when needed.  Callaway comes across as the manager type.  The players already respect him and I believe will follow him.  I truly believe Mickey Callaway is the perfect replacement for Francona.

Now I'm not going to sit here and say hiring Sandy Alomar might be a disaster, but to the fans, your premise for hiring him makes ZERO SENSE.  Your argument for Sandy Alomar is as valid as Cardale Jones being the Browns savior at QB.  Sandy is 3-3 as a manager and has zero experience elsewhere as a manager.  When you make an argument, you must have concrete evidence to make a good argument.  The Indians fans argument is, "Well he's a 90s Indians fan favorite, so he can't fail!"  What happens in the scenario of one of your 90s heros fails?  Right now I can make a stronger argument for Mike Sarbaugh as manager than Sandy.  I think Sandy as all the qualities you want in a manager, but sadly Cleveland the opportunity to do it was 2012 and Cleveland hiring Terry Francona.  The ship has passed and I urge Cleveland Indians fans to not let fan favorite feelings cloud your judgement on who might make a great manager.  I know the 90s were great for the Tribe, but it doesn't mean you put them on a coaching staff, they're going to thrive.  How did Eddie Murray work out as hitting coach?  Trust me I want nothing but the best for my Indians, but at the end of the day, you look at the resumes and what the candidates have done, it's obvious that Mickey Callaway in my opinion is the best choice to replace Francona at this moment.  I'm sorry to the Sandy Alomar fans, but the harsh reality is that you're basing your argument as a fan and not as an educated fan.  This is living proof that fans should not run teams.  The Indians have 3 people on the Major League staff that could manage, its Cleveland's responsibility to evaluate who is the guy.  Sit on it and think about it for a while, Mickey Callaway is the way to go.

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