The Chicago Cubs may have interviewed their final managerial candidate, Indians’ bench coach Sandy Alomar, Jr., who met with the Cubs yesterday. As per the protocol, Alomar met with the media after the interview…
- On what sets him apart from the other candidates: “I think I bring a lot of things to the table that maybe some of the other [candidates] don’t bring in regards to being a player, going through injuries in their past, spending a lot of time in the Minor Leagues as a player. I’ve played in the postseason, gone to a World Series, played for 10 different managers and they all participated in the postseason. Seven of them went to the World Series and three of them won the World Series. I’ve played for winning people all my career, and that gave me the opportunity to learn their values and how to take abilities from other people and incorporate that to myself.”
- On handling a player like Carlos Zambrano: “One of the things Zambrano has is he carries a lot of emotion on his sleeve. A lot of people from Latin American countries, those emotions come from way back when you’re a kid. The style of baseball that we play when we’re a kid in Puerto Rico, the Dominican, Venezuela and maybe Mexico, is when you’re a kid there, you have to win, you have to perform. I think as you grow, you think you have to bring that with you. When you become professional, sometimes you treat the game like you’re still a kid. You want to have fun but there’s other things that have to be addressed.I think he’s an emotional guy. I would have to have conversations with him, try to get in his mind and see what’s going on and hopefully figure it out — otherwise bring a stun gun myself.”
- On why being a catcher helps his candidacy: “You have to make moves on the fly, you call games on the fly. You don’t have time to make decisions. You have to react and make decisions according to the plan you put in before the game. You visualize the whole field. Sometimes you even manage guys on the field. Having the ability to be in that position to see many players — you’re the only guy facing the other players and you’re the only guy who can see what the defensive positioning is. Having that in play, I think it helps a catcher make a lot of decisions and it happens fast. I think that’s why a lot of catchers hae the ability to manage.”
- On his use of statistics in managerial decisions: “I don’t want to become a ‘fantasy manager.’ The goal for a good manager is to have players who can manage themselves on the field and be team baseball players, not fantasy baseball players.” Not a lot of insight there. He’s, of course, right, but the numbers do matter.
- On the respect between players and a manager: “I take a lot of pride [in how I treat people], because I treated people the way I want to be treated. I give respect to people so they can give it back to me. I never disrespected a player. There were times I’d get angry about players for certain things, but it was just a matter for the team, nothing personal. And I don’t think there’s one manager who can say I disrespected any particular manager any time.”
- On the interview process with the Cubs: “[The Cubs] go through every situation in a game, very professional about it, very bright about what they do. I had an opportunity to have an interview with Toronto last year, and it was pretty good, but [the Cubs] took it here to a different level.”
- On the fans and the organization – in other words, telling us what we want to hear: “The fans here deserve a good show because they’ve been very supportive. This is a very traditional organization, and very respected among baseball players, and it’s beautiful here. I think they deserve better.”
Cubs’ GM Jed Hoyer also spoke to the media yesterday about the managerial search, indicating that the field was “probably” set…
- On the candidate pool and the decision: “We may make some phone calls. I wouldn’t guarantee that it is [set], but we feel really good about the four guys we brought in. We had four very good interviews. I wouldn’t rule out an additional candidate, but it’s not a certainty …. All four guys have been very impressive, very well prepared. Theo said [Thursday] we’re in the sixth inning. Maybe now we’re in the seventh inning, but we still have some work to do, a lot of phone calls to make. We need to sit down now that these four are through, kind of go through our thoughts and figure out exactly what questions we need to ask next.”
- On the timing of a decision: “We want to make the right decision, not the quick decision. We’ll be in Milwaukee next week [at the general manager meetings]. We’ll have a lot of meetings, a lot of conversations with other GMs and agents, but Theo and I will spend a lot of time on this process as well.”
- On whether there’s a favorite: “Totally open for debate. We’re going to get back and have those discussions, and probably have some followup conversations. We’ve spent a lot of time with these candidates, but now we can think about followup conversations, and was there a hole in the process we want to cover up, and we can do that. We need to have those conversations before we can move forward.”
- On the possibility of Terry Francona: “Certainly there are conversations that have gone on between Theo and Tito. They’ve had a great relationship for a long time. I’d let Theo expand on those conversations. He’s the one who’s had them. He’s the one who had the GM-manager relationship with him for a long time.” Unless Theo is looking to cut Jed out of the managerial process – and Jed has said he looks forward to having a close relationship with the next manager – that strongly suggests that Francona isn’t going to be the guy.