Thursday, November 10, 2011
Alomar Jr. next up for Cubs interview
By Bruce Levine
The Chicago Cubs and Wrigley Field are no strangers to Cleveland Indians bench coach Sandy Alomar Jr., who will be the fourth candidate interviewed for the Cubs manager job on Friday.
Alomar began his long major league career as the 1990 American League Rookie of the Year with the Indians. He made his first of six All-Star Games that season, playing the 1990 game at Wrigley Field. He had two hits, helping the AL to a rain-shortened 2-1 victory in the last All-Star Game played at Wrigley.
Alomar interviewed with the Red Sox on Wednesday in Boston and is one of five candidates Boston has contacted.
Alomar, 45, was a .272 lifetime hitter with 112 home runs. He was originally signed by the San Diego Padres before being traded with second baseman Carlos Baerga to Cleveland for Joe Carter. Alomar played for the Padres, White Sox, Rockies, Rangers, Dodgers and Indians before retiring after the 2007 season.
The Alomar family name has been a trusted brand in baseball for the past 45 years. Father Sandy played 15 seasons in the majors and then coached for another 25. His brother Roberto was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2011 after completing an remarkable career as one of the top second baseman in the game.
Alomar Jr.'s coaching career began with the New York Mets in 2008 as a catching instructor before he moved back to the Indians as their first base coach in 2010 and 2011. Cleveland manager Manny Acta named Alomar his bench coach for 2012.
Most baseball people who know Alomar believed he was a managerial candidate early in his career due to his great instincts for the game and tremendous communication skills. Wherever Alomar played he seemed to bring teammates together. Being fluent in Spanish and English also gives him a leg up as a possible manager in the future considering 30 percent of players are of Latin descent.
The White Sox and GM Kenny Williams thought so much of Alomar that they obtained his services three different times in a six-year span. Alomar played for nine different managers in his career, and all of them reached the postseason at least once during their careers as manager.
Alomar lives in Chicago on the near North Side. He was a finalist for the Toronto Blue Jays job in 2010 before they hired John Farrell.