Former A’s catcher Vogt cherishes new job as Guardians manager originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Cleveland Guardians are getting everything right lately.
Last month, they hired former Athletics and Giants fan favorite Stephen Vogt as manager. Then, on Tuesday night, they secured the No. 1 overall pick in the 2024 MLB Draft.
“It really is a great organization, and they’re in a really good place,” Vogt said at the MLB Winter Meetings.
Vogt is stepping into huge shoes, after Terry Francona’s health issues forced his departure after 11 successful seasons as Guardians manager in October.
“Tito didn’t leave, he had to step away,” Vogt said. “I feel like I’m inheriting a really good team and position. It’s not starting over, just picking up where things left off and trying to get better.”
While many could see Vogt one day becoming an MLB manager during his playing days, nobody could have predicted it would be only one full season after the former catcher’s retirement from a 10-year career.
So, when does being an MLB manager actually sink in?
“I think it might be spring training or Opening Day, and I have to make a decision for the first time … and I’m shaking,” Vogt jokingly said.
“It creates an opportunity from them, to talk to other guys in the clubhouse and let them know that you can come to me with anything,” Vogt said. “My biggest thing that I want is not to change who I am. The position is different, and there’s responsibilities that come along with that. But I’m still going to be me.”
“It’s really weird for me because I’ve looked up to Bob so much and continue to,” Vogt said. “That’s never going to change. There’s a lot of managerial styles that I’ll have that will mimic his.”
So, wait, two friends essentially competed for the same job?
“When our names were mentioned for the same job, it was really surreal for me, and then soon as Bob’s name came up for the Giants, I was like, ‘Well, that was fun!’ “ Vogt jokingly said. “He’s such a special person for me, he’s going to crush it against everybody except the Guardians. I can’t…