Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Sandy Alomar Could be the Next Manager for...

Well we are a little ways into the season and by the end of the year there should be some managerial openings.  Sandy Alomar's coaching contract is up with the Indians at the end of the year, so this would be a great time for him to find a managerial position.

Alomar brings a few strengths to the table as a potential manager.  Firstly, as a former catcher (and a well-regarded one at that), he has experience dealing with pitchers, so a young pitching staff would probably be an ideal fit for him as a manager.  Secondly, Alomar is bilingual, which is important with teams that have a young, Spanish-speaking core.  Third, Alomar has coached under a number of well-regarded managers, such as Manny Acta, Terry Francona, and Willie Randolph, so he has likely picked up a few things along the way, particularly in the last few years under Francona.      

Bleacher Report recently looked at five managers that could find themselves without a job by the end of the season.  That article can be found here: Link .

These are the five listed there:

The Mets are doing quite well early this season but Collins is in his last year as manager.  The Mets are an improving club with a potentially very strong pitching staff in the years to come with Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler, Jacob DeGrom, and Noah Syndergaard.  Their offense could use a little bit of work though.   The Mets also have some young Latin stars such as Juan Lagares, Jeurys Familia, Jennry Mejia, and Dilson Herrera.  Finally, Alomar has some connections to the Mets, having played his final season for the team and starting his coaching career as a catching instructor from 2008 to 2009.  There is no one left in the team's management from the time Alomar was there, other than owner Fred Wilpon.

The Mets are a rebuilding team and have some pieces in place to contend in the future.  Terry Collins is in his final season as the Mets manager and the team may be looking for someone younger  and more energetic to help guide the team into contention.  Alomar would be a very good fit for the Mets.

The Mariners are expected to contend this year for the first time since 2001.  They are in a difficult division with strong teams in Los Angeles and Oakland.  McClendon has not been a terribly successful manager over the years, mostly managing teams with little to no expectations.  He did have a successful season managing the Mariners in his first season, but if he stumbles this year with the Mariners expected to contend, you have to think he would have a short leash.  Like the Mets, the Mariners have a young pitching staff, though one with a certified veteran ace in Felix Hernandez.   The Mariners do not have a strong Latin core though.  Other than Hernandez, they have Robinson Cano, and a few role players.  Alomar also does not really have ties to the Mariners organization.

Seattle could probably use a young manager to help with the very young pitching staff.  However, the lack of ties to the organization and the fact that McClendon has been reasonably successful with the team make this a bit of a long shot.  McClendon has not been a great handler of pitching, but if he succeeds this season, he will likely be rewarded with a longer contract.

The Rockies perpetually have problems.  They are not expected to contend this season, particularly in a division with the Dodgers, Giants, and the surging Padres.  Unfortunately that has been the norm.  Other than a few seasons, the Rockies have typically not contended.  This is Weiss's third year as manager and if his record diminishes again this year, it is unlikely he will be brought back, despite being under contract for next season.  There is some hope though, the Rockies actually have some decent young pitchers coming up.  Alomar does have some ties to the Rockies organization as he once played for them, but there is no one left in the organization from his brief time there.

The Rockies remain a possibility for a managerial position for Alomar.  It is a younger team in the midst of a rebuild.  Alomar does not have strong ties to the organization, but with a bright young pitching staff and some young hitters, they could be looking to contend and need a young manager to grow with them.

It doesn't seem like the Dodgers should really be a team looking to change managers.  But the team has seemed unable to make the next step from contention to success in the postseason.  That and the fact that Mattingly has not always seen eye to eye with management means that a shakeup could be coming.  There have been moments in past years where it looked as if Mattingly could be headed out the door.  If the Dodgers don't take that next step soon, Mattingly would be the first to go.

Alomar also played briefly for the Dodgers, though that was under a completely different management and ownership group.  The Dodgers are a veteran team that should be contending and teams in that position would typically be looking for managers with experience.  But the Dodgers did once hire Mattingly with no managerial experience after the Yankees went for Joe Girardi.  So they could surprise. 

The Padres have not contended in years, but Bud Black has generally been well-regarded and popular with his team.  The Padres are a team in transition after putting together a more-powerful offense and developing some decent pitching.  Alomar, of course, began his career with the Padres, but it has been a very long time since he was in that organization.  The Padres have often highlighted their Latin stars in an effort to interest their fanbase.

I would be very surprised if the Padres were to dismiss Black.  This is the first year that the Padres have put together a decent team in several years.  If the team is at all successful, then Black will be rewarded.  If they stumble, there is a possibility that they could dismiss Black, however I suspect he will be given a longer leash than that.  

Other Possibilities:
Outside of the five teams mentioned in the Bleacher Report article, I have come up with a few other teams that may be possibilities for a new manager.

The Braves are expected to struggle this season.  Their offense is in particular trouble.  The Braves do have an exciting young pitching staff and a couple of impressive catchers.  They also have a young Latin core made up of Andrelton Simmons, Christian Bethancourt, and Julio Teheran.  What makes the Braves especially promising as a landing spot for Alomar as manager is the fact that President of Baseball Operations John Hart was the general manager of the Indians who orchestrated the trade for Sandy Alomar Jr.  He also brought Alomar to the Rangers in 2005.  That kind of connection seems very promising for Alomar as a possible manager.

Gibbons has had a tenuous hold on the Blue Jays managerial position for quite some time.  This is his second stint with the Blue Jays as manager.  The Blue Jays are perpetually disappointing.  They are frequently predicted to be contenders in the East and they always fall short.  The Blue Jays are another team with a young pitching staff coming up.  The team has also interviewed Alomar in the past for their manager position and nearly hired him before going with John Farrell.

The Brewers are another team that has disappointed recently.  Roenicke is in his last season as manager for the Brewers and if they continue to disappoint, he could be on the chopping block.  However, the Brewers are somewhat of a stagnant organization at this point.  That being said, a manager getting his first real work may be just what this type of team needs.

There are rumors that the Marlines may be headed for a managerial change sooner rather than later.  That being said, the Marlins owner has given Redmond a vote of confidence.  The Marlins are another team in an area with a large Latin fanbase.  And they also have a young, upcoming core.  Redmond's job is in jeopardy because the Marlins continue to struggle despite pumping some money into the team.

If I had to pick one team to put my money on, I would say that next year Sandy Alomar Jr. will be the manager of the Atlanta Braves.  

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