The Ex-Major Leaguer
Sandy Alomar Jr., First Base Coach, Cleveland Indians
There were quite a few guys considered for this category ranging from nine-time Gold Glove winner Torii Hunter to former Oakland A’s third baseman Eric Chavez to former Royals Carlos Beltran, Tom Goodwin and Brian Bannister, among others.
But I’m going with Sandy Alomar Jr. for a few reasons. First, the 20-year backstop is extremely familiar with the American League Central having spent the bulk of his playing career with the Cleveland Indians, from 1990-2000, a tenure that included three trips to the American League Championship series and two appearances in the World Series. Plus, Alomar played parts of another five seasons with the Chicago White Sox.
Then there’s the fact that Alomar’s been coaching for a while, and even managed the Tribe for a short six-game stint at the tail end of 2012. He started coaching for the Indians back in 2010 after a two-year period as catching instructor for the Mets.
Since returning to Cleveland, he’s acted as both the team’s first base coach and bench coach. For his first three seasons as a coach, he worked under Manny Acta, and yet Terry Francona retained Alomar when he took over at the start of 2013.
Alomar’s years as a coach are invaluable. I keep coming back to Alex Cora, manager of the Red Sox and a 14-year veteran. Cora led the Red Sox to a 108-54 regular season record last year, his first as manager, before guiding them to a World Series title.
And Cora completed that task after spending one season as the Houston Astros bench coach and managing Caguas for five seasons in the Puerto Rican Winter League. He was not an inexperienced coach
While Major League managerial experience isn’t needed to be successful (we’ll get to a retread in a couple of sections), coaching experience is. Alomar has that coaching experience, has familiarity with the division, and is possibly itching for the opportunity to call the shots for his own club.
That club could very well be the Kansas City Royals.