BOSTON — Mike Hargrove, fired as manager of the Cleveland Indians on Friday, said he would be "very interested" in the Angel job, and the team is expected to contact Hargrove about the possibility of replacing Terry Collins.
"I think it's a very interesting opportunity given the level of talent they have--there's certainly a nucleus that has a lot of potential," Hargrove said Saturday. "I don't have a job and I'm available. I don't want to sound like I'm campaigning, but I am interested."
Hargrove guided the Indians to a 721-591 record in 8 1/2 seasons, and the team won five consecutive American League Central Division championships, but just about every one of Hargrove's critical moves in a division series loss to the Red Sox backfired.
The Indians, citing a "need for a change" and a desire to "get to the next level," dismissed Hargrove. Yankee Manager Joe Torre took exception to the team's decision.
"The thing that bothered me is when you fire somebody, and I'm speaking from experience, I wish the people would just say we are going to make a change and try something different," Torre said. "Don't say that we're trying to get to the next level, or we want to get these players to play harder. . . .
"You're telling me that somebody getting a base hit with the bases loaded or getting a hitter to strike out would have been enough to get him to the next level, that it would have been enough. It's a little insulting. . . . I mean, if you are going to make a move, I mean, eight or nine years is a long time to wait and then use that reasoning.
"Mike keeps going to the playoffs, and sometimes you get a little spoiled by that and a little impatient with not going as far as you'd like. We all know 162 games is the tough part. When you get into that best-of-five or best-of-seven, anything can happen."
The Angels want to hire a general manager--former Yankee and Astro GM Bob Watson appears to be the front-runner--before a manager. Phil Garner and Don Baylor were their top two managerial candidates, but Garner took the Detroit job, and Baylor is the front-runner for the Chicago Cubs' job.
"I feel very good about the job I did here, going from where we started to where we are now," Hargrove said. "I feel good that I had a hand in that, and I'm looking forward to doing the same thing somewhere else."