The Indians' managerial search continues and Buffalo Baseball Hall of Famer Torey Lovullo, left, has his interview Friday. The Tribe has already talked to ex-Washington skipper Manny Acta and former Mets manager Bobby Valentine was in Cleveland Thursday. Dodgers hitting coach Don Mattingly is still on the docket.
No secret to longtime readers that I'm a huge Lovullo booster. But the fact is I can't see how the Indians could possibly hire him at this time. It seems more like a token interview for Lovullo's eight years of service as a Tribe minor-league manager. He was terrific in Class A and Double-A and pretty mediocre in Triple-A with four straight non-playoff seasons (three in Buffalo, one in Columbus). Eric Wedge, meanwhile, got the top job in 2003 coming off two bangup seasons in Buffalo, including a 91-win campaign in 2001. Don't think Indians fans want to go the minor-league route again.
But the big-name route can be rife with potholes too. Mattingly would sell tickets but he's never managed. Valentine would sell tickets but his interview Thursday sounds downright bizarre. He admitted to not knowing a lot about stats such as OPS, which are bible to the folks running the Tribe. And admitted to other sins as well.
"I don't know as much about Cleveland as someone interviewing for their manager's job probably should," said Valentine. "I could have crammed for the last six days, read every article and called every friend to get every bit of information just in case one of guys asked me who the starting third baseman is going to be next year. I didn't do it.
"I can tell you that I don't know about the American League. I don't know about the Central. I don't know about the Indians. But I sure as hell am willing to learn, and spend 28 hours a day if necessary, to know everything that I could possibly know."
Game over if I'm running the Tribe. At least come prepared, dude.
There's talk of maybe the Tribe reaching out to Clint Hurdle. Acta would be a popular choice with the team's Latin players but good luck selling his dreary tenure with the Nationals. All this with the backdrop of Cliff Lee vs. CC Sabathia in the World Series Wednesday night. Tough times in Cleveland
And putting it even more in perspective: Thursday was the 12th anniversary of the Tribe's last World Series home win, the 10-3 victory over the Marlins in Game Four of the '97 Series that evened things at two wins apiece. The gametime temperature was 38 degrees (coldest ever in Series play) and there were snow flurries. Jerry Sullivan and I were sitting in the auxiliary press box in right field. By the second inning, we were inside watching it on TV. Brutal conditions but a neat memory of a completely different time for the Tribe.
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