Sandy Alomar guided the Indians to a 28-18 record and a playoff berth as acting manager this season, but it’s unclear if the 54-year-old will ever get a chance to be hired to manage a team on a full-time basis.
Either way, Alomar made it clear he has no interest in being interviewed just so a team can check a box, something he feels has happened to him previously.
“I’ve had interviews in the past, three or four, and some of them were last-minute interviews when I didn’t feel like I was ever given a chance to go to a second interview,’’ Alomar said before the Indians’ season-ending 10-9 loss to the Yankees.
“Some interviews, to me, were token interviews,’’ said Alomar, who is filling in for Terry Francona, who missed much of the abbreviated regular season with health issues.
He didn’t specify which jobs those were for, but Alomar interviewed for managerial openings with the Cubs, Blue Jays and Red Sox nearly a decade ago before taking over for Manny Acta as interim manager in Cleveland to finish the 2012 season before Francona was hired and Alomar returned as bench coach.
Alomar, who played and coached for the Mets, was also in the mix for their managerial job in 2017, but the job went to Mickey Callaway.
“I feel like I’m ready enough to manage,” Alomar said. “I’ve never agreed with the interview process. [Being called] at the last minute, I never feel comfortable with that.”
Alomar scoffed at the idea that a lack of experience in the dugout might have hurt him in some of his early interviews.
“I felt like I had a lot of experience before,’’ Alomar said. “I played 20 years in the big leagues. I wasn’t in the NFL. I do sabermetrics and all that stuff. I’m on top of all that, too.”
He’s not holding his breath for another shot.
“I understand you’ve got to go through the process, I get it. Right now, my daughter is in high school.I don’t need the job,” Alomar said. “If someone is interested and calls, we’ll talk. I’m not promoting myself. In other words, I don’t have a hidden agenda.”
The Yankees got their wish not to have to pitch J.A. Happ on Thursday night in a wild-card Game 3. The Yankees planned to fly to San Diego on Thursday morning after winning two straight from the Indians and advancing to the ALDS.
The best-of-five ALDS opens Monday at Petco Park and if Aaron Boone sticks with the same plan he had against the Indians, Happ likely would start Game 3 on Wednesday. Gerrit Cole and Masahiro Tanaka would work the first two games.
Happ had a vesting option for $17 million for 2021 based on making 25 starts or pitching 165 innings this season. Because the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a 60-game schedule, that was prorated to 10 starts, or 61¹/₃ innings. The veteran lefty started nine regular-season games and threw 49¹/₃ innings.
Despite being healthy, Happ made just three starts from Aug. 5 to Aug. 29.
Asked on Aug. 25 if he thought the lack of activity might be related to the vesting option, Happ said: “You guys [in the media] are pretty smart. It doesn’t take too much to figure out, sort of, what could be going on.”
Happ has opted not to discuss the situation lately.
In a three-start stretch from July 30 to Aug. 16 Happ went 1-1 with a 6.39 ERA and allowed 10 walks and struck out six in 12 ²/₃ innings. Puzzling was the fact hitters batted .217 against him during that stretch.
Provided more regular work in Boone’s rotation down the stretch, Happ went 1-1 with a 2.22 ERA, struck out 27 and issued four walks in four starts to close out the regular season.
With the vesting option not kicking in, Happ will join James Paxton and Tanaka as free agents following the World Series.
Yankees pitching coach Matt Blake worked for the Indians from 2016-19, holding a number of jobs, the last as director of pitching development.
So, did Boone go to Blake for information about the Indians’ pitchers heading into the wild-card series?
“Certainly leaned on him for some information and some things, kind of giving me some context of their starting pitchers he has been around and some of their relievers,’’ Boone said of his rookie pitching coach. “But along with our scouts who have been watching these guys for a couple of weeks now and coupled with the analytical information we get you add all that up and you feel like you have a pretty good idea of an opponent.’’