The Baltimore Orioles may have fired him as their manager at the
end of last season, but Mike Hargrove still doesn't think that city
is for the birds. Heck, he liked the people, his rented condo on
the Inner Harbor, even the surrounding countryside.
But the former Indians player and manager didn't cry into his
black baseball jersey when he moved back here late last year to
take a job as senior adviser with the Tribe. Instead, he was
looking forward to once again enjoying he things he missed most
1. Reading Bill Livingston's columns in The Plain Dealer instead
of having them read to him over the phone. "Every now and then, I
would get a call from a friend in Cleveland saying, 'You're not
going to believe what Bill wrote about you this time,' " explains
Hargrove, who describes the sports columnist's criticisms of him as
"a dig here and there."
2. Pestering longtime Indians employee Barb Lessman, now Larry
Dolan's secretary. "I try to embarrass her as much as I possibly
can, any way I can think of. She blushes real easily."
3. Working on that first heart attack at Schoop's, a hamburger
joint in Winter Haven, Fla., during spring training. "They make the
biggest, greasiest burgers around."
4. Continuing the effort in town by ordering veal scallopini at
at at Johnny's Downtown. "I've known the owners, Joe Santosuosso
and Paul Anthony, for a long, long time, and it's a great
restaurant -- the food, the ambiance, the service, the whole 9
5. Driving on Interstate 77, believe it or not. "If it's the
wrong time of day, you're in trouble," he admits. "But the
Baltimore-Washington Parkway is the worst. I don't know that I've
ever seen traffic consistently congested the way it is on
6. Restocking the humidor with Hoyo de Monterrey cigars (the
ones with a Maduro wrap) at the Cousin's Cigar location in downtown
7. The chance to play an occasional round of golf with Tribe
bench coach Buddy Bell without having to fly to Bell's Chandler,
Ariz., home during the off-season to do it. "A lot of people have
the misconception that we play golf all the time. But we
8.Teeing it up at Westfield Country Club. "It's nice and quiet,
a beautiful complex," Hargrove enthuses. "My favorite hole is No.
10 on the South Course. It's a pretty view off the tee, and it's
challenging. If you hit a good tee shot, you're rewarded for it,
and if you don't, you're in trouble."
9. His own back yard. "The only thing I didn't like about the
condo was that I couldn't cook out." Now, he can fire up the grill
and burn the supermarket catch or kill of the day without
generating an ominous cloud of smoke on his 23rd-floor balcony or
incurring the condominium association's wrath.
10. His first grandchild. "When she's not crying, I hold her and
I feed her some," Hargrove says of 5 1/2-month-old Madison Marie,
who lives in Akron with daughter Melissa and her husband, Mike
Dies. That, however, is the extent of Grandpa Hargrove's child-care
contribution. "I changed my first diaper in 14 years last week, and
I hope it's another 14 years before I change another one. That's
why she's got a grandmother."