Hargrove says he 'misspoke' about passion, wants to manage again

Updated: August 15, 2008, 9:32 PM ET
Associated Press

CLEVELAND -- Mike Hargrove wants another shot at managing in the major leagues.

A little over a year ago, Hargrove shocked baseball by walking away from the Seattle Mariners, becoming the first manager since 1900 to resign as his team was on an eight-game winning streak.

[+] EnlargeMike Hargrove
AP Photo/Orlin Wagner Mike Hargrove guided the Liberal Bee Jays to fourth place among 49 teams this week at the National Baseball Congress World Series.
A day before being inducted into the Cleveland Indians Hall of Fame, Hargrove said he'd like to give it another go.

"I'd like to have one more chance, without a doubt," the 58-year-old said Friday night at Progressive Field before the Indians played the Los Angeles Angels.

"It really would have to be the right place -- and the team that did it would have to believe I wouldn't walk away."

Hargrove said he has no regrets about his decision to leave, other than missing some close relationships he had established in the game.

"I really misspoke when I said I had lost my passion for the game," Hargrove said. "I think my competitive edge was dulled. Now, it's back."

Hargrove said he did it the past couple months by coaching the Liberal (Kans.) Bee Jays, a summer team for collegiate players.

"I told them I'd do it for a dollar," Hargrove said. "Then I said, make it a dollar and a nickel so [his wife] Sharon can get her cut.

"Seeing these college kids love the game as much as major leaguers got me going. I had a blast."

Hargrove guided Liberal to fourth place among 49 teams in the National Baseball Congress World Series earlier this week.

On Saturday, Hargrove and the late Joe Gordon will bring to 33 the number of former Indians in the team's Hall of Fame. Both played and managed the club. Gordon was the team's second baseman the last time Cleveland won the World Series in 1948 and served as manager in 1958-60. Hargrove played first base for the Indians in 1979-85 and was manager from 1991-99.

"I loved playing, but got more satisfaction out of managing," said Hargrove, who also managed the Baltimore Orioles in 2000-03 before taking the Seattle job in 2005.

"We had good players in Cleveland and somebody had to drive the bus," Hargrove joked of guiding a club that included talents such as Albert Belle, Jim Thome, Manny Ramirez and others to five consecutive AL Central titles and World Series appearances in 1995 and '97.

Not winning a World Series haunts him, particularly losing in 1997 in extra innings of Game 7 to the Florida Marlins.

"I get asked all the time when was it I got over that loss," Hargrove said. "I always give the same answer: As soon as it happens, I'll let you know."

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press