Aw, this is kind of cute. Tucked into a notes column led by a hopeful Sandy Alomar Jr. talking about his own chances, another candidate for Cleveland Indians manager has emerged. It's the great murderer of baseballs (but no people — that we know of) Albert Belle.
As one of the greatest sluggers in Tribe history who is also known for some completely irrational behavior off the field, Belle requested an interview by sending an email to team president Mark Shapiro. If the Indians take Belle up on his pipe dream, he would join former teammate Sandy Alomar Jr. and two-time World Series-winning manager Terry Francona as candidates with interviews scheduled.
Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer has the details on Belle's wish:
"I'm just like Robin Ventura and Mike Matheny were last year," said Belle with a laugh, referring to the White Sox and Cardinals bosses. "I'm sitting on my couch waiting for my phone to ring."
Yeah, Albert. I'm not sure about your viability here. It's good that he has reunited with the Indians, at least socially. He hung out in spring training with Alomar, Kenny Lofton, Carlos Baerga and Mike Hargrove — core of the bunch that revitalized baseball in Cleveland. But in the recent past, Belle has listed his post-playing career activities as being a stay-at-home dad, and playing golf. He hasn't coached or managed anywhere since he retired in 2000 because of a bad hip.
That's not to say he couldn't manage. He has the brains for it. The life experience. A certain ... uh, intimidation factor. But, as Hoynes detailed in an earlier post, Bell doesn't exactly have a stable track record of good behavior:
(Belle) hit a taunting fan with ball during a game, turned Brewers second baseman Fernando Vina into road kill in a collision between first and second base and hit photographer Tony Tomsic with a ball because he had the nerve to take his picture.
Off the field, Belle was fined $50,000 for giving TV reporter Hannah Storm a hard time before a World Series game. In the Flats one night, he hit a guy in the nose with a Ping Pong paddle. He also chased a bunch of Trick or Treaters in his SUV after they egged his house and smashed the clubhouse thermostat to bits because it was too warm.
After that, his nickname was Mr. Freeze.
Maybe the death of his twin brother, Terry, sparked some kind of growth or maturity in Albert. Maybe he's a different guy now. Maybe the Indians should find out. Let him flex his managerial muscles, and point to them. White Sox and Tigers fans probably would love to see it happen.
Big BLS H/N: Let's Go Tribe