The Mets may still interview Indians bench coach Sandy Alomar Jr., as the team continues its search for a new manager, Mike Puma of the NY Post tweeted Thursday afternoon.
Alomar, 51, began his coaching career as a catching instructor for the Mets in 2008. He joined Cleveland's coaching staff in 2009 and was reportedly a finalist to manage the Blue Jays in 2011.
He was interim manager of the Indians for six games in 2012 after the team fired Manny Acta, who the Mets reportedly interviewed earlier this week.
I'm glad to hear Alomar may still get a legit shot to manage the Mets. He's paid his coaching dues, which started here in Queens. In the 10 years since he retired as a player, Sandy has been a catching instructor (Mets), first base coach, third base coach, interim manager, and a bench coach (Indians), plus he's interviewed (and been passed over) for the top job with five organizations (Blue Jays, Twins, Cubs, Indians, and Red Sox).
Oh, by the way, in 20 years as a big-league catcher, he spent time in both leagues on seven teams, he's a lifetime .273 hitter, he has nearly 200 postseason at bats, he won a Gold Glove, Rookie of the Year, and made six All Star teams. Also, he, his brother (Roberto Alomar) and dad (Sandy Alomar Sr.) are all super nice, smart and essentially baseball royalty in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.
May 15, 2009; Sandy Alomar Jr. and Sandy Alomar Sr. with the Mets at AT&T Park. Credit: Terada-US PRESSWIRE
He's a strong candidate and could be a really good fit here. And, if he isn't hired to lead the team, I hope he's at least offered a chance to be the new guy's bench coach. He initially held that position with Terry Francona and the Indians. However, when Tito's old friend, Brad Mills, joined the squad, Alomar was bumped back to an infield coach.
In listening to friends in Cleveland, I'm told Alomar is brilliant when it comes to getting the infield, catcher, and pitcher on the same page. Also, he has as good of a read on the state of each reliever (and who they match up against best) as anyone on Cleveland's coaching staff, including Francona. He was also repeatedly described as prepared, disciplined, personable, and laser-focused on winning.
The thing is, he's interviewed and been considered by several teams, yet he's never been hired. My hunch is that he gets himself to the finish line, but -- because he doesn't rely heavily enough on statistical and evidence-based analysis -- he gets put back in an advisory role on the bench.
"He's of the mindset that says, 'Numbers only tell part of the story,'" a friend with the Indians told me. "He looks at the data. But, he's got a catcher's mind, he's brilliant and has terrific instincts. His read on the game is second to none. So, I think he tends to trust his gut and put trust in players more than what a modern front office is wanting to do."
If this is accurate, it'll likely be an issue for Alderson, as well.
That said, like they did for his dad and brother, everyone raves about Alomar. The Indians do not want to lose him, despite not hiring him to be their manager.
Maybe Alomar's time is now? Maybe he's the right in-dugout balance for Alderson? Or, maybe he's destined to be the greatest bench coach of all time. In either case, given Alomar's track record, legacy, and knowledge of the game, I'm glad he may still get a shot to talk with Alderson, because I'd like to see him again have a role at Citi Field...