Cleveland Indians legend Sandy Alomar wasn’t interested in the team’s bench coach job.
Sandy Alomar Jr. seemed like a lock to become Terry Francona’s bench coach, so it was surprising when Tito gave the job to DeMarlo Hale.
Hale and Francona go way back, as the veteran baseman man replaced Brad Mills when Mills left his post with the Red Sox. Now, with Mills stepping away from the game for family reasons, Hale will succeed him again.
So, why wasn’t Alomar selected for gig? After all, this position is usually the one given to “managers in waiting,” and Sandy more than made his case to be a big-lease manager in the pandemic shortened season, going a 28-18.
Cleveland.com’s Terry Pluto has the explanation.
“I’m told Alomar wasn’t very interested in the bench coach job,” wrote Pluto. “He prefers working with the players.”
Pluto elaborated on the role Hale will have with Francona, who missed most of the season with health issues. Besides being Francona’s right-hand man for advice in the dugout, Pluto wrote that Hale also has a role in making sure Tito “doesn’t wear himself down” physically.
Pluto’s insight on Alomar is believable. I’ve heard Alomar likes coaching first base because he believes he can make a difference in the running game. Francona said he has more responsibility than any first-base coach in the game. He also works with catchers, and as Pluto noted, Roberto Perez credited Alomar in helping him became a Gold Glove caliber backstop.
Really, I’m not sure how much of a benefit there is to be Tito’s bench coach, anyway. Alomar is a baseball lifer. His dad was a 15-year vet who went on to coach for many years after he retired. His brother is arguably the greatest second baseman of all time. Alomar is a multi-time All-Star who gave Cleveland baseball fans some of the biggest baseball thrills they’ll ever know.
Alomar has a royal baseball blood line who’s been around the game forever. Being a bench coach probably offers nothing more than a decorative title.
As far as Alomar not getting a sniff for any one of the four managerial jobs that opened up…well, that’s their loss. He’s clearly the manager in waiting and with Francona having health concerns, having Alomar gives security to the organization.