Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Where Do I Sign?

When the latest managerial heresy leaked like Yankee tears when Cliff Lee takes the mound that the Jays interviewed Sandy Alomar Jr. not once, not twice, but thrice (later confirmed by the deposed king of Bremner Boulevard), my first thought was "wow, that is a great idea." Seriously!

The performances of the competing managers — other than Bruce Bochy, a fact very difficult to think let alone type &mdash, during this playoff season should go to great lengths to prove the relative worth of a manager.

That said, Sandy Alomar Jr. hits most of the (baseless) criteria I want in the Jays next manager1. Young, Spanish-speaking...and that's about it. That he Played In The Big Leagues surely helps in certain corners of the clubhouse but other than that, I just want him to stay out of his own way.

One concern for any prospect porn aficionado with a guy like Sandy Alomar is the Former Catcher Factor. Nothing frustrates more than seeing stud catcher of the future sit while gritty replacement-level "catch and throw guy" coaches up the young pitching staff. Is there value in that type of catcher? Of course, but young players can't learn those skills flicking sunflower seeds and blowing bubbles.

Giving somebody their first managerial job at the big league level is risky but hiring an iconoclastic name manager isn't without its pitfalls. Many of the names continue to surface like former catcher Tony Pena, owner of a giant face Clint Hurdle, and Timbit drunk Rob Thomson. None of them really hold my interest too tightly. I'm excited for a fresh start and I don't think I'm the only one.

1 - I shouldn't have to say this is my back-up choice. See photo.


  1. AA stressed in a interview the importance of having a commanding presence in a locker room. Well Sandy Alomar Jr. certainly fills that criteria. Other huge pluses include:
    - the general lovefest that everyone has always had for Alomar
    - the tie in with Roberto Alomar (maybe he comes along for the ride as a coach?)
    - His baseball savy
    - The other things you've already mention (MLB experience, spanish speaking, etc.)

    However, in spite of all these things it is a complete unknown how he will be as a manager. Therefore a huge risk in my opinion. Somewhere in between the hiring of Buck Martinez (who Jeff Blair says was the worst manager in the history of managers) and Don Mattingly (who already has Tim Wallach lined up to replace him).

    But what the hell, it's a more appealing hire than any of the other names (from a fans perspective).

  2. Agreed!

    When out of nowhere, I saw that Sandy Alomar had been interviewed three times, I got excited. No doubt caught up in all the things & reasons you mention.

    I'm interested in a younger, player development type of guy. An Ideas guy, not afraid to try different things & not at all tied to the: 'You Are My Guy For This Role' line of thinking. And that Alomar is Spanish speaking - while certainly not crucial is a pretty nice plus in my books.

    Now, I have no real clue if Alomar would bring these things to the table...but from what AA's mantra seems to be - I would think he would value new ideas & development in a manager. Annndnd I'm just encouraged by his interviewing three times.

  3. Same thought I had. Let's face it, baseball managers are boring and don't really do that much. Might as well pick a badass like Sandy Alomar Jr.

  4. Oh, and there's this:


    You can read some of what Alomar had to say about returning to Cleveland & there's an audio conference call to listen to if so inclined.

  5. Here's a direct quote (via Wilner's blog) from AA's interview on the FAN the other night:

    “Some may not be ready for the opportunity, and we may have to say ‘This guy has a chance to be a star’. Maybe we would hire him on even if he needs a little bit more time.”

    Alomar has never managed (at any level, I'm pretty sure) and he's only been a major-league coach for a year -- it wouldn't be a huge stretch to think that he's the guy AA was referring to.

  6. i've begun to think less in terms of "what do i want out of the new manager" and more in terms of "what can go seriously wrong if we hire the wrong guy".

    my biggest concern is that the Jays end up with a "my way or the highway" kind of person who destroys the good atmosphere around this group, especially the starting pitching staff. So, i am not really hung up on big league experience if other aspects of the profile look good.

    one thing i would love to see is someone come in from a culture of winning. this has been missing for a while and most of the young guys have been brought up under Cito's faded glory. i think a manager who can bring a winning attitude from one of the Jays' current competitors would be an asset. I'm not sure where that leaves Alomar in relation to Hale or Thomson or the guy from TB whose name i'm blanking on.

  7. Oops, just saw that DJF already said basically the same thing I said, but a day earlier. It does make a lot of sense though.

  8. that said, JP came in from a culture of winning from Oakland so maybe that's not all it's cracked up to be.

  9. I dunno, I don't feel any more strongly about Alomar Jr. than I do about Dave Martinez, or Hale from the Sox, or even this Thompson dude from the Yankees for that matter.

    I know nothing about any of them so how can I put myself in Camp ____ ?

    Suppose I'll just trust The Process.

    (though, I seem to be fervently anti-Baylor/Hurdle/Samuel/etc)

  10. Just so we're all clear, I am firmly in the Butter camp. Just want to make sure it is out there.

  11. I just assumed you were a big fan of organic soy spreads.

  12. I get the feeling AA is overthinking the hell out of this and will end up hiring a middling guy.

  13. Ye of little faith.

    I have a hard time reconciling your position that managers are boring and do very little with your new though that it will end up being a middling man.

  14. How are they mutually exclusive? I was just saying that his process could lead to a safe choice. That said, Shi Davidi just tweeted that Alomar Jr is a finalist so I'm probably wrong.

  15. If Butters gets the job I hereby vote that the 7th inning stretch song is changed to this:


  16. So far AA has been right with everything he has done, (Even Dana Eveland won a few games before he was tossed). I will leave this one up to him and hope for the best.

  17. Anyone else having problems when they try to go to the Drunk Jays Fan site?

  18. @ PeterD

    Yeah since about noon.

  19. Jeff Blair already told you all that Butter is going to Baltymore. Why won't you listen to him?

  20. Ever since Blair has been forced to watch Leafs and Raptors games, his objectivity has gone downhill. He seems like a bitter 80 year-old.


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