Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Return of Sandy Alomar Jr.

Is it sad that the biggest cheer on opening day of the 2010 Cleveland Indians' season is going to be reserved for the Tribe's new first base coach?

Yesterday, manager Manny Acta announced in a surprise move that former Indians backstop Sandy Alomar Jr. would be taking over the duties as first base coach and catching instructor for the Tribe. It's a move that more than likely will be the most exciting addition to the Indians roster or staff all offseason.

Omar Minaya had stated last week at the GM meetings that Alomar would not only be staying in New York, but that he would be joining the big league staff in some capacity. Alomar had previously been the catching instructor for the Mets organization, and was likely going to coach first or third base for the Mets in the meantime, although no decisions had been made as of yet.

Something changed between then and now, and the likely culprit was Alomar Jr. himself.

Regardless, Alomar Jr. should prove to be a good hire outside of his past ties to the team, although that is an added bonus. Alomar's first order of business will be to work with the Tribe's several catching prospects, including top prospect Carlos Santana. Recently acquired Lou Marson and Wyatt Toregas should also benefit from Alomar's instruction.

The Mets were high on Alomar Jr. as a coach and many within the ranks of major league baseball see the former Tribe all-star as a future manager. Alomar Jr. has made no bones about his future. He wants to be a manager in the future, and the fact that the former catcher has made it this far in the bigs without working in the minors says a lot about his aptitude.

Personally, I'm glad to see Alomar Jr. back in any capacity. There is no doubt that they need him to be good at what he does at first base and with the players behind the plate. There is where his value is greatest. Don't take away the value of Alomar Jr. outside the lines. No, he may not put fannies in the seats, but he is just the type of goodwill that the front office needs to bank.

Welcome back Sandy, it's good to have you home.

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