Cleveland Indians hitting coach Charlie Manuel is announced as the club’s new manager, replacing Mike Hargrove, who was let go after leading the club for parts of nine seasons.
Hargrove posted a 721-591 record during his Indians tenure, leading the team to five consecutive division titles and postseason berths and two American League pennants. The 97-65 Indians team of 1999 was eliminated by the wild card Boston Red Sox in the American League Division Series after Cleveland jumped out to a 2-0 series lead.
Hargrove’s win total remains second best in club history, trailing only the 728 wins of Lou Boudreau.
Manuel was the team’s hitting instructor and a key contributor to the club scoring more runs than any other in more than a half of a century. He was a part of Hargrove’s staff for six seasons after time in the minors coaching with both the Minnesota and Cleveland organizations. He was a hitting coach for the Indians in 1988 and 1989 before managing at Triple-A for four seasons (the first three in Colorado Springs with the Sky Sox and the final in 1993 with the Charlotte Knights). He led Charlotte to an International League title in his final season there before returning to Cleveland as its hitting coach in 1994.
General Manager John Hart’s managerial search had led him outside of the organization first before returning to the internal option of Manuel. Don Baylor, who would sign on to coach the Chicago Cubs, was one reported interest for the Tribe.