It’s difficult for one to look back at the 2020 Cleveland Indians’ season and exclaim, “Wow, what a season it was!” First off, no. COVID. No fans. Canned cheers. Cardboard attendees. It was not fulfilling to watch. Secondly, despite the rock star performance of Shane ‘not Justin’ Bieber during the summer, the team’s performance as a whole against the Yankees in the playoffs was disappointing, to be sure. Third, what in the world happened to Francisco Lindor’s effort this year? At times it looked as if he had checked out. Lastly, we as fans leave 2020 behind (not quickly enough in some respects) knowing full well of the changes coming next season.

For starters, there is the glaring acknowledgment that they may no longer be the Cleveland Indians. Chief Wahoo has been absent for a few seasons now and the name could very well follow this winter. Could they be the Guardians as many a Facebook discussion has mentioned, making reference to the statues on the Hope Memorial Bridge? Could the team return to its 1887 roots and become the Spiders once again? Time will certainly tell. Arguably the biggest question mark, however, is who will lead this team from the dugout in 2021?

Current Tribe skipper Terry Francona has been beloved by both fans and his players during his tenure here, though it has been speckled with well-documented health issues. Francona underwent a heart procedure in 2017 and then missed time this year due to a blood clot issue ( Considering the massive amounts of stress that the duties of an MLB manager can bring, we very well may have seen the last of Terry Francona as the Cleveland manager. That brings us to our next question. Who would replace him? This would be an appropriate time to present a list of candidates, but rather than do that, let’s just cut to the chase.

Sandy Alomar Jr.

Now is an appropriate time to back up why Alomar fits the bill as the next potential manager of the team. To begin with, Alomar has learned the game from one of the most advantageous perspectives on the field at home plate. His scope of vision from playing catcher gave him an absolute view of everything, from the incoming pitch to the outgoing hit, the fielded grounders, the attempted steals and beyond.

In addition, Alomar was successful as a player, and while that doesn’t always translate to a great coach, it can’t hurt. He finished with a career .273 average, 112 home runs and 588 RBI. Normally, one may say that’s not bad for a catcher, but really those aren’t bad numbers for anyone’s MLB career. His retirement as a player has not been the end of baseball for him as he is currently the Indians’ first-base coach. Not only does he serve as a mentor the young players of today, but this position gave him time to continue learning the game, and this time, from a new perspective.

Should Terry Francona be unfortunately forced to vacate his position as leader of this Cleveland baseball team, there is a likely suitor in Sandy Alomar Jr. His background as a former player, his big-game experience and his recent knowledge gained as a coach has, if nothing else, groomed him for this next step in his career.

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