Kind of a heavy topic for me, I know. I don't generally like to discuss negative things on this blog. It should be a more positive thing because it is about a baseball card collection, but this is something that I have been thinking about a lot lately.
Alomar is currently under contract to remain with the Cleveland Indians as their first base coach. There were a number of managerial changes this offseason, but Alomar was not even interviewed for any of them. The only time I heard his name come up at all was for the Padres position, but again, he was not even interviewed.
Baseball has a rule in place, known as the Selig rule, that requires teams to interview one minority individual for any managerial or general managerial position. Unfortunately, teams seem to be skirting that rule with some creative methods such as appointing an in-house individual as a interim manager and then quickly removing the interim tag, such as what the Brewers did with Craig Counsell and the Marlins did with Dan Jennings. It is interesting to note that neither of those two had any managerial experience prior to being appointed in their positions. Jennings's lack of experience showed and he was ousted by the end of the year. The other problem with the rule is that a lot of teams simply play lip service to it and interview token minority candidates that they have no intention of actually hiring. Currently, the only racial minority managers are Fredi Gonzalez in Atlanta, Dave Roberts in Los Angeles, and Dusty Baker in Washington.
Alomar is one of several Latin American players that seemingly has a bright future as a Major League manager but can not seem to get the opportunity, along with Omar Vizquel, Alex Cora, Ivan Rodriguez, and Jose Oquendo, among others. Alomar has been interviewed for positions with Cleveland, Toronto, Boston, Arizona, Minnesota, and both Chicago teams and has been a finalist for many of those teams. But time and time again, he eventually gets passed over. Cleveland was particularly surprising as he had just finished a stint as interim manager for the Indians at the end of the 2012 season and was 6-6. But Terry Francona was available and the Indians ended up hiring him and keeping Alomar as a first base coach, something of a demotion after he had been the bench coach under Manny Acta.
Teams have recently started hiring individuals with no prior managerial experience, or much experience of any kind as their managers. Scott Servais, Robin Ventura, Brad Ausmus, Paul Molitor, Kevin Cash, Matt Williams, and others have all been hired, despite having no Major League managing experience, or even much coaching experience. Many of these managers also seem to struggle early on, with some already being dismissed and others on the chopping block.
Alomar should be a candidate for any team's opening. He was a catcher for 20 years, learning pitching staffs and played for a number of quality managers. After that, he spent two seasons as a catching instructor for the Mets before going back to Cleveland to be their bench coach. He was the interim manager of the Indians for 12 games in 2012 and has been the team's bench coach or first base coach since 2010. Next season, he will once again be the first base coach. He had a rumored opportunity with the White Sox to be their bench coach, but out of respect for Ventura, he declined to be interviewed. He is truly a selfless individual. He should be some team's manager soon.
I do not know if Alomar is a victim of any racial discrimination. I do not work for any team and I do not claim to know what is happening in those offices. I only know what I see and read. Alomar seems to me to be a good candidate. It annoys me that he has not been given the opportunity.