Sandy Alomar Jr. interviews with Cubs
Sandy Alomar Jr. became the fourth candidate to interview for
the Chicago Cubs’ managerial vacancy and the team’s general manager
said Friday the field may be complete.
”Quite probably, yes,” new Cubs GM Jed Hoyer said Friday. ”I
wouldn’t guarantee it is. But we feel really good about the four
guys we brought in. I wouldn’t rule out an additional candidate,
but it’s not a certainty, either.”
The Cubs had already interviewed Phillies bench coach Pete
Mackanin, Brewers hitting coach Dale Sveum and Rangers pitching
coach Mike Maddux as possible replacements for the fired Mike
”All four guys were impressive and well-prepared,” Hoyer
Hoyer said now there would be internal discussions among the
front office members who participated in the interview process,
headed by president of baseball operations Theo Epstein, who didn’t
comment Friday. And then there would be follow-up questions for
some or all of the candidates.
He said there was no timetable. General managers meet next week
”We want to make the right decision, not the quick decision,”
One person who didn’t interview but would seem a top candidate
is Terry Francona, who was Red Sox manager under then-GM Epstein
when Boston won the World Series in 2004 and 2007.
Francona has already interviewed for the St. Louis Cardinals’
post, but a Chicago Tribune story on Friday reported he was
interested in managing the Cubs.
Francona left the Red Sox after Boston’s September collapse that
cost it a playoff spot. There were also reports that some Red Sox
players were drinking beer and eating chicken in the clubhouse
Hoyer said Epstein and Francona have talked.
”Certainly there are conversations that have gone on between
Theo and Tito (Francona) who’ve had a great relationship for a long
time,” Hoyer said, referring specifics on those conversations to
Alomar, who spent parts of 20 seasons catching in the majors –
most notably as the 1990 AL Rookie of the Year and a six-time
All-Star for the Indians – has been the first base coach in
Cleveland for the past two seasons before being promoted to bench
coach. He has no managerial experience.
Like Mackanin and Sveum, he also interviewed with the Red Sox.
He called his interview with the Cubs interesting and challenging,
where he had to make quick decisions on the fly for hypothetical
”I think I bring a lot of things to the table that maybe some
other guys don’t bring,” Alomar said.
He comes from a strong baseball family. As a catcher he was able
to see the game and defense in front of him and make split-second
decisions. He has the respect of many who watched him play and he’s
been thinking about managing for the last 10 years, even before his
career ended. He played for numerous winning managers and was with
the Indians when they made two trips to the World Series.
He said he also understands to a degree the emotional side of
players like temperamental Cubs right-hander Carlos Zambrano and
would work to try and understand his thought process, should he get
the job and Chicago brings Zambrano back.
But Alomar didn’t sound completely sold on the new baseball math
used to rate players and determine their potential for success.
Epstein and Hoyer are big proponents of statistical analysis –
coupled with scouting.
”That helps but doesn’t tell the whole story of the game,”
”There is a lot of gut feeling you got to make. If you have a
stat and see a flashing number and you see that this guy is doing
very good against this other guy, you can use that in a game during
a key situation. Yes. But we cannot just depend on stats alone. You
got to depend on many other things. … I don’t like to become a
fantasy manager. The goal for a good manager is to have players who
are able to manage themselves on the field.”
The 45-year-old Alomar also played for the Padres, White Sox,
Rockies, Rangers, Dodgers and Mets. He had a lifetime average of
.273 with 112 homers and 588 RBIs.
His father, Sandy Alomar Sr., spent 15 seasons in the majors as
a second baseman, and his brother, Roberto, is in the Hall of Fame.
Sandy Alomar Sr. was once a coach with the Cubs, among other
Alomar Jr. still has a home in Chicago and his wife is from the
Notes: Hoyer said he expects discussions in Milwaukee next week
between the Red Sox and Cubs over the still lingering compensation
issue for Epstein coming to Chicago. Commissioner Bud Selig has
said he would mediate if the issue can’t be resolved … Without
being specific or mentioning any players, Hoyer said the Cubs have
formulated a plan of attack for next season: They must add depth to
their pitching staff, improve their defense and be more athletic on
the bases. He said because of Wrigley Field’s changing wind
conditions from early in the season to later on, the Cubs would
need to have a team that can score in several different ways.