The Cleveland Indians are faced with a crucial decision now that the 2012 campaign has reached its close with the most unfortunate conclusion. Who will lead the team moving forward since former manager Manny Acta was given his walking papers with just six games remaining in the season? Former bench coach Sandy Alomar Jr. was given a trial run on an interim basis and interviews on Thursday while former Boston Red Sox skipper Terry Francona visits Cleveland to interview on Friday.
The decision for the Tribe is far from cut and dry. While it does not appear they will bring in a handful of candidates to interview for the job, they have two very solid choices in Francona and Alomar.
On one hand you have Alomar who is well respected in the clubhouse and the community but lacks experience leading the team. On the other you have a well-seasoned proven winner in Francona who led the Boston Red Sox to two World Series titles during his tenure. Francona is a likeable manager by both the players and the community. He, like Alomar, also has history with the organization.
Alomar, who knows he will not be handed the full time job had nothing but positive things to say about Francona.
"I don't have the resume that Terry has. Obviously, that's a slam-dunk. Geez, I wish I had that. As a player, maybe I did. But as a coach? He has an unbelievable resume. Obviously, anybody would want a Terry Francona. I'm just going to go out there and do what I have to do and let the rest take care of itself." Alomar stated.
"Who wouldn't want a guy like that? He has everything. He has championships. He's a great guy. He's a great communicator. He's the perfect guy to have; I'm not going to hide it. I'm not going to say I'm already a slam-dunk, because I'm not. Nobody owes me anything. That's always been the approach in my life." Alomar continued.
"I have a ton of respect for him. The organization has to make a huge decision. It's not about whom is the most popular guy or that I played here or did this in the playoffs. They've still got to make a decision for the organization. I feel like I'm prepared for it." Alomar concluded.
Cleveland finds itself in a situation where they can come out ahead no matter what decision they reach. Both men have a lot to offer an organization that is in dire need of changes. Alomar can breath new life into a young core, inspiring them to do their best. The team already knows Alomar and what his expectations are. In Francona they have experience, knowledge, and a guy they know will have their backs. He certainly has the ability to foster passion in the clubhouse.
A decision may come as soon as early next week if they deem it unnecessary to explore other options. No matter whom they choose, the team will be better from the decision.
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Paul Rados is an avid Cleveland Indians fan and a Featured Contributor for the Yahoo! Contributor Network. Follow him on Twitter @PSRados.