|Albert Belle from early in his Cleveland career. (AP)|
From the annals of lost causes comes this: Albert Belle, retired masher of both baseballs and Fernando Vina, wants to manage the Cleveland Indians. Read that again for proper absorption, and then we'll carry on. Got it? Good.
Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports:
Former Tribe slugger Albert Belle said he threw his hat into the ring with an email to President Mark Shapiro asking for a managerial interview.
Belle is currently rehabbing his left hip after having "resurfacing" surgery on it about 10 weeks ago.
During his playing career, Belle was almost as famous for his volatile personality as he was for his outstanding production at the plate (career OPS+ of 144, 381 homers). It's also worth noting that he recently returned to the Tribe's ballpark for the first time since his playing days. Needless to say, though, he's not a name that leaps eagerly to mind when you think of managers in-waiting.
Although there's obviously little chance that Belle ever becomes a major-league skipper, he's an intelligent individual (he would often take on beat writers in chess during his playing days and was a dedicated reader), and Belle's personality foibles certainly can't compare to those of many who have roamed the dugout (Billy Martin, for instance).
If nothing else, though, Belle's ejections could make for good entertainment.