CLEVELAND -- The Indians will waste no time in the process of finding a new fulltime manager.
Both candidates who have already been publicly announced -- interim manager Sandy Alomar Jr. and former Red Sox manager Terry Francona -- are expected to interview for the job before the end of the week.
The regular season ends Wednesday, with the possibility of Alomar Jr. interviewing Thursday and Francona following on Friday. More candidates are expected to be added once the regular season and playoffs are complete.
“When that day comes, I’ll be fine,” said Alomar Jr. of his impending interview. “I’ve done interviews before. I’m not anxious at all. I feel good about myself and how I’ve handled interviews in the past. I feel confident. I’m not the one that’s going to make the choice.”
Alomar Jr. has enjoyed his time as interim manager in place of Manny Acta, who was fired Thursday. He won two of his first three games in charge.
“It’s been a lot of fun,” he said. “It’s been a little hectic ... lack of sleep, but it’s been fun.”
Though he said his focus is on the final three games of the season, Alomar Jr. has allowed himself to think what it would mean to him if he should land the managerial job on a fulltime basis.
“It would be awesome,” Alomar Jr. said. “I played here many years. I’m very proud of this organization. They have treated me great. If this is the time, it’s the time. If not, then it will be some other time. Time will tell.”
As one of the most popular players in franchise history, Alomar Jr. is clearly the fan’s choice.
“It’s not about that,” he said. “They don’t make the calls, either. Whatever is best for the team. I’m humble about that. I don’t say, ‘I’m supposed to be the guy or I have to be the guy.’ I’m not that kind of guy. I’ve never been that kind of guy in my career. I’m not selfish about that. Whatever is best for the organization.”
Carlos Santana has been one of Cleveland’s few productive hitters in the second half, entering Monday batting .287 with 13 home runs and 46 RBIs in 72 games.
“I think he got a little smaller (with his swing) in the second half,” Alomar Jr. said. “I think Carlos is so proud of his offense that he tried to prove to everybody his worth. I think he can give us more. I think he’s much better offensively than he’s shown.”
Alomar Jr. thinks Santana has the ability to become an elite run producer.
“Carlos has huge potential with his bat,” Alomar Jr. said. “He could be a 100-RBI guy. He can put some Victor Martinez numbers out there when he matures completely.”
Russ Bus II
The Indians are analyzing their young players, none more than first baseman/outfielder Russ Canzler, who entered Monday hitting .303 with three homers and 11 RBIs in 23 games since being promoted from Triple-A Columbus.
“There’s promise in his bat,” Alomar Jr. said. “He’s got good hands. We’re taking a good hard look at him and making a determination whether this guy can help us or not. He’s got some strength in his swing and it’s effortless. So far he’s done a pretty good job.”
Shin-Soo Choo is just the third player in Indians history to accumulate at least 40 doubles, 15 homers, 60 RBIs and 20 stolen bases in a single season, joining Roberto Alomar (1999, 2000) and Grady Sizemore (2006). ... Tonight, 7:05, STO/WTAM 1100-AM. Masterson (11-15, 5.03) vs. Peavy (11-12, 3.37).
Contact Chris Assenheimer at 329-7136 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Fan him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter.