Hargrove may have plenty of options this offseason

BY foxsports • September 27, 2009

Ten years ago, Mike Hargrove won his fifth straight division title as manager of the Cleveland Indians.

Now, he's simply looking for a chance to manage in the majors again.

"I'd like to get back in," he said Thursday in a telephone interview. "My preference is I'd like to manage one more time. I really would.

"If I'm not managing, I don't know the extent that I would want to get back in it. But at some level, I want to get back in."

The Astros fired manager Cecil Cooper last week, marking an early start to what could be an offseason of change for some clubs.

The Nationals have yet to remove the interim tag of their manager, Jim Riggleman. Two of Hargrove's former employers — the Indians and Orioles — might also switch managers after the season.

Cito Gaston's future in Toronto will be unclear until the Blue Jays name their permanent club president. And as long as Tony La Russa doesn't have a contract for 2010, there is certain to be intrigue for him and the Cardinals.

It's hard to tell what any of that might mean for Hargrove, who turns 60 next month. He hasn't had a winning record over a full season since that last campaign in Cleveland. He left his job with the Seattle Mariners after 78 games in the 2007 season, saying his passion for the game had begun to fade. He had some disagreements with superstar outfielder Ichiro Suzuki during his time in Seattle.

However, he has proven he can win in the majors. He reached the World Series with the Indians twice in the 1990s. And the Mariners did show signs of progress before his resignation two seasons ago.

Hargrove's enthusiasm for baseball seems to have been revived through managing the Liberal (Kan.) Bee Jays, a collegiate summer team, in 2008 and 2009.

"It was really a lot of fun — and a lot of work," said Hargrove, who is from Texas but resides in Richfield, Ohio. "We had a good bunch of kids. And the biggest satisfaction is that the kids were better when they left than when they came to us."