Sarbaugh Balances Baseball, Offseason Duties





CLEVELAND—Mike Sarbaugh didn't have much time to celebrate the Columbus Clippers' second consecutive Triple-A championship when his offseason job came calling.

The middle school that he teaches at back home in Pennsylvania between baseball seasons needed a substitute later in the week.

Usually when the school calls, Sarbaugh is happy to oblige, glad to be able "to use my degree a little bit."

"I really enjoy teaching in the winter," said Sarbaugh, who owns a kinesiology degree from Lamar. "It kind of helps breaks up the offseason a bit."

There was one minor problem this time, however. Sarbaugh's baseball gig hadn't come to an end just yet. After winning another Triple-A title, before Sarbaugh headed home to reunite with his wife and three young children, he was to spend the remaining week and a half of the major league season helping out on the major league coaching staff.

So he told the school he'd call them back as soon as got home. Sarbaugh's schedule doesn't leave much time for family vacations. And with each season being stretched out further, Sarbaugh's work never seems to end.

Sarbaugh joined the Indians as a minor league infielder in 1990, with 2011 marking his 22nd year with the organization in 23 years overall in baseball. After six seasons in the minors as a player, Sarbaugh parlayed his talents into coaching. He spent nine years as a hitting coach before managing, beginning in 2004 at short-season Mahoning Valley.

In the eight seasons that Sarbaugh has managed, his teams have made the playoffs every year except for one—2005 at low class A Lake County—and five won league titles.

Although the organization has already picked up second-year manager Manny Acta's contract option, there are now openings on his staff for next season. Ask anyone in the organization, and you'd be hard-pressed to find one who doesn't believe Sarbaugh has earned his way to the majors.

SMOKE SIGNALS

• First baseman Jesus Aguilar started the Arizona Fall League 8-for-19 (.421) with two home runs, three doubles and three walks in his first five games.

• Indians pitching coach Tim Belcher stepped down after two seasons and will assume a position similar to the special assistant role he served in from 2002-09.