Q&A with Former MLB Manager, Fredi González • Latino Sports


Q&A with Former MLB Manager, Fredi González


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Flushing, NY – With the 2017 Opening Day 25-man roster consisting of 227 players that were born in the Caribbean and Latin American countries, I’m still baffled that we still can’t seem to find any qualified, Latino candidates to fill those managerial jobs that were available during the off-season.

My initial thoughts are the following:

Do MLB owners honestly feel since their managers will officially be the ‘voice’ of a ballclub would these potential candidates be able to speak English fluently or does the old line “his accent” come into play considering they will communicate with the media and the general public on a day-to-day basis.

Secondly, how have Latino candidates interviewed throughout the arduous search for the right person to be at the helm of a team? Exactly, what are the owners looking for considering many have already managed in the minors or coached on the MLB level?

Some of these Latino candidates have been in that stagnant role as a coach for many years and still haven’t been given the opportunity to manage (e.g. Sandy Alomar Jr.).

Lastly, considering there are currently 48 Latino assistant coaches in the big leagues do the owners simply look at the potential pool exclusively as field/bullpen coaches or someone who can also be the team translator in the dugout/bullpen?

My thoughts are simple arithmetic. If I’m a baseball owner and a number of my employees are Spanish-speaking, it’s quite logical and honestly helpful that a manager have some basic proficiency in Spanish in order to communicate with the players. Therefore, the players would feel a bit more comfortable in their surroundings, be focused and not have to worry about any mental lapses that would hinder his performance on the field.

Prior to Saturday’s game at Citi Field, former Marlins/Braves manager and now current coach Fredi González, who was drafted by the New York Yankees, shared his thoughts on his remarkable journey in the minors, managing in the big leagues and his insights on the “Selig Rule” and on the troubling lack of Latino managers in MLB.

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About Danny Torres

Bronx native, Danny Torres is a high school teacher, an avid baseball fan and freelance sports journalist. Besides his work with Latinosports.com, he has written for MLB.com, the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y, the N.Y. Mets, the Puerto Rico Daily Sun and Manhattan Times. He was a frequent guest on 'Solamente Pelota', a now-defunct sports program on XM/Sirius satellite radio. In 2010, he contributed to an updated prologue for the re-released book, 'Clemente, the Enduring Legacy' by Kal Wagenheim. In 2011, as part of a series commemorating Hispanic Heritage Month on MLB.com, he contributed to a five-part series saluting the greatest Latino pitchers in baseball. Finally, in December, 2011, he participated in a panel discussion connected with the Smithsonian exhibition, 'Beyond Baseball, The Life of Roberto Clemente' in Baltimore, Maryland. In December, 2012, he appeared on the front page of 'El Diario/La Prensa', a NY Spanish daily newspaper and was featured in a five-part series dedicated to the legendary Puerto Rican baseball player, Roberto Clemente who tragically died 40 years ago.

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  • Julio Pabon

    Excellent and insightful interview. Congratulations.