The Red Sox' managerial search will continue this week with Sandy Alomar Jr. - a man with quite the baseball pedigree.
The name needs no introduction. A six-time All-Star in his own right, Sandy Alomar Jr. is the son of a 14-season veteran and the brother of a Hall of Famer. He played in parts of 20 seasons for teams all over the country, and was named the Rookie of the Year in 1990.
Unfortunately, none of that is really terribly relevant when it comes to managing. In his 10 seasons, Terry Francona received not a single award, and played in not a single All-Star game. What he did do was come to Boston with a history of managerial experience-however poor the results-and a familiarity with the pressures of a big baseball market.
Since his retirement in 2007, Sandy Alomar Jr. has acted as the catching instructor for the Mets, and the first base and bench coach for the Indians. It's not the sort of resume that inspires confidence. For his part, Alomar is adamant that he can make his way straight into a Major League managing role without any time in the minors.
To his credit, those who work with Alomar give very positive reviews regarding his ability to lead and teach. His love for the game is evident as well. But that's going to be true for just about every candidate who gets their foot in the door. The fact of the matter is that there are a great many strong candidates for this position, including those who have managed before, and those who have felt the scrutiny of a major media market like Boston before.
When it comes to baseball managers, there are three types. The disaster is the one who seems to make all the wrong calls, dragging his team down below their true talent level be it with poor bullpen management or a failure to keep the clubhouse in line. The standard-and this encompasses nearly every manager who aren't fired after one or two seasons-simply plugs away, putting out the common sense lineup and making the obvious strategic moves.
The difference maker is what the Red Sox have to be looking for. The kind of guy who utilizes all the tools available to him to get that extra push that might win another game or two. He'll know where to position his players for every batter, how to make the best use of his bullpen when it's most needed. Things will seem to flow smoother, and if all is done properly, it'll be hard to really say for sure whether or not it's the manager who is to credit.
Sandy Alomar Jr. will have a chance to prove he's that guy come his interview. A few exceptional answers to difficult questions can make all the difference in the world, to be sure. But for lack of being a fly on the wall during said interview, Red Sox fans have to look at Alomar as something of a long-shot candidate. He just doesn't bring enough experience to the table to inspire confidence-at least not yet.