Guardians set their sights on Yankees’ Carlos Mendoza to succeed Francona

Cleveland shortlists Yankees Carlos Mendoza for its managerial job.
Michael Bennington
Wednesday October 4, 2023

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The Cleveland Guardians eye Yankees bench coach Carlos Mendoza to become their next skipper. He is one of the candidates the team has already reached out to for an interview for the job, according to the New York Post.

Cleveland’s manager for the 2023 season Terry Francona officially declared his departure on Tuesday. The 64-year-old had been signaling his departure for several weeks due to health-related concerns, potentially marking the conclusion of one of the most illustrious managerial careers in the history of MLB.

Over a span of 23 years, Francona managed to secure two World Series championships with the Red Sox and achieved the status of the winningest manager in Guardians’ history throughout his impressive 11-year stint. His tenure reached its pinnacle with an AL title in 2016, and he currently ranks as the 13th-winningest manager in the annals of the sport.

Francona had become a part of the Guardians’ organization after the culmination of the 2012 season, marking an enduring stint. The Guardians are in search of a new manager to replace the longest-tenured active manager with their current team.

Guardians want Mendoza

Carlos Mendoza, aged 43, has been associated with the Yankees‘ organization since 2009, notably serving as Aaron Boone’s bench coach for the past four seasons. His managerial potential has been recognized, as he has previously interviewed for various managerial positions, including those with the Red Sox and Tigers after the 2020 season, as well as the White Sox following the conclusion of the last season.

Carlos Mendoza dedicated over a decade to honing his craft in the minor leagues before joining the coaching ranks. After playing 13 seasons of Minor League Baseball primarily as an outfielder, he entered the Yankees organization in 2009 as a coach for their Staten Island affiliate. He worked his way up through the Yankees’ farm system, managing different minor league teams and serving as a roving infield instructor.

Despite never playing infield himself professionally, Carlos Mendoza earned a role as the Yankees’ major league infield coach in 2017 due to his leadership and teaching abilities. Known for his elaborate pre-game rituals at Yankee Stadium, he would methodically toss exactly 40 sunflower seeds behind home plate to honor the 40-man roster before reciting a private prayer.

In 2019, the Yankees promoted Carlos Mendoza again, naming him their new bench coach. During a contentious game in 2021, he was ejected for the first time in his MLB coaching career, an inning after fellow Yankees coach Phil Nevin was also thrown out. Carlos Mendoza continues to be a respected presence for the Yankees both on and off the field.

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