Ten Hispanic managerial candidates ready for the big leagues

With the firing of Fredi González by the Atlanta Braves last month, there is not a single Hispanic manager at the helm of a Major League Baseball team.

González' firing has highlighted the issue of ethnic diversity in MLB at the managerial level.

The lack of Hispanic and African-American managers in MLB has been a growing concern in recent years. The 2016 season began with only three minority managers, one Latin and two African-American, seven fewer than the peak of 10 Latino and African-American managers, achieved in 2002 and 2009.

González maintained that there were quite a few candidates who should have had the opportunity to manage in Major League Baseball, beyond the single interview required to comply with the "Selig Rule," so called because it was established by former MLB commissioner Bud Selig.

The "Selig Rule" is similar to the NFL's "Rooney Rule:" a policy that requires teams to interview minority candidates for high-level management and operating positions. González did not believe in that rule, and was the first to speak up and say that every team should have complete freedom to hire whomever they considered to be the best candidate.

A lot has been written on the subject. Here is a list of the 10 best Latino candidates waiting in the wings to take on a managerial position in MLB. The list is in no particular order.


Sandy Alomar Jr. played for 20 years in MLB, 11 of them with the Cleveland Indians. Alomar, who was inducted into the Indian's Hall of Fame in 2009, was the starting catcher when Cleveland won its five Central Division pennants and two American League championships between 1995 and 1999.

Alomar was the Indians' starting catcher through 950 games, the third-highest number in the franchise's 109-year history.

In 1990, Alomar was named the American League Rookie of the Year, in addition to winning the Gold Glove Award that same season. He was named to the All-Star team six times, and was the Most Valuable Player in 1997.

After spending two years as the catching coach with the Mets, the Puerto Rico native has been on the Cleveland coaching staff for seven years.

He was the first-base coach during the 2009 season, assistant manager in 2012 and 2013, and returned to his first-base position in 2014. Alomar was the Indians' interim manager for the last six games of the 2012 season, after Manny Acta was fired.

His father, Sandy Alomar, played professional ball for 15 years and spent another 15 years as a minor- and major-league coach. His younger brother is the legendary second baseman and Hall of Famer, Roberto Alomar.


Rick Rentería had a limited career in the majors, having played only 184 games in five partial seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates, Seattle Mariners and San Diego Padres, compiling a .237 batting average with only 100 lifetime hits.

He played more than 857 games in the minor leagues, where he hit .287 with 937 hits. He also played in the Mexican League in 1985, 1991-92 and 1996, and was named player of the year with the Jalisco Charros in 1991, after leading the league with a .442 batting average.

Rentería started his coaching career in the minor leagues with the Marlin organization in 1998 to 2001, and with the Padres in 2004 to 2007. Rentería, a Mexican-American, spent six seasons on the coaching staff of the home club in San Diego as a first-base coach from 2008 to 2010, and as assistant manager from 2011 to 2013.

He also coached the Mexican national team in the 2013 World Baseball Classic.

This is Rentería's first season on the coaching staff of the Chicago White Sox. The 54-year-old was the manager of the Chicago Cubs for the 2014 season, ending with a 73-89 record.


Carlos Tosca was in his sixth season on the Atlanta Braves' coaching staff before he was fired along with manager Fredi González. Tosca has spent 18 seasons as a coach with MLB teams and has a total of 43 years of experience as a baseball coach.

After graduating in physical education from the University of South Florida, Cuban-born Tosca began his career in 1976 as a high school pitching coach.

From 1980 to 2001, Tosca was a manager for 17 seasons in the minor league organizations of the New York Yankees, Kansas City Royals and Florida Marlins, in addition to Atlanta, building up an overall record of 932-827.

In 1996, as manager of the then-Double-A Marlins' farm team, the Portland Sea Dogs, Tosca earned a record of 83-58, winning the Manager of the Year award in the Eastern League and being named by Baseball America as the minor league Manager of the Year.

In 1998, Tosca joined the original coaching staff of the Arizona Diamondbacks, where he was the assistant manager behind Buck Showalter for three seasons. His next coaching position in the majors was as third-base coach for the Toronto Blue Jays, where he took charge for the last two months of the season after manager Buck Martínez was fired.

In his only full year as head coach of the Blue Jays in 2003, Tosca had a record of 86-76 before being let go the next year, ending his career with the Canadian team with a record of 191-191.

Tosca returned to the Diamondbacks as the third-base coach under manager Bob Melvin from 2005 to 2007, and then took the job of assistant manager behind González with the Marlins from 2007 to 2010, following him later to the Atlanta Braves from 2011 to 2016.


This is Eddie Pérez' (not to be confused with Puerto Rican Eduardo Pérez, ESPN MLB analyst) 10th year as the bullpen coach for the Atlanta Braves.

Pérez played for 11 years as a catcher in MLB, nine of them with the Braves, where he earned a reputation as the favorite catcher of Hall of Fame pitcher Greg Maddux. The Venezuelan had a lifetime batting average of .253, with 386 hits in 564 games with the Braves, the Cleveland Indians and the Milwaukee Brewers.

Pérez played in 11 postseason series with Atlanta, including the National League Championship Series in 1999, where he hit .500 and was named the Most Valuable Player.

During the last few years of his career with the Braves, between 2005 and 2006, Pérez was hobbled by injuries and started to work with the organization's minor league coaches; he began his new phase as a coach with the organization the following year.

Pérez debuted in the Venezuelan Professional Baseball League with the Aragua Tigers, where he was named Most Valuable Player for the 1994-95 season. Just as he did in MLB, he played 11 seasons of Winter ball in Venezuela, where he made his debut as a manger in 2008 with the Águilas del Zulia.

Pérez was at the helm of his first team, the Tigres, during the 2015-16 campaign, when they were crowned champions of Venezuela and qualified for the Caribbean Series. The manager of the Venezuelan national team, Omar Vizquel, named Pérez as his assistant manager for the next World Baseball Classic in 2017.


Now 58 years old, Tony Peña is in his 11th season on the coaching staff of the New York Yankees and his fifth as first-base coach, after having held that position from 2006 to 2008.

The Dominican was the team's catching coach from 2006 to 2013, and assistant manager from 2009 to 2014.

He had an outstanding 18-year career in MLB, where he had a cumulative batting average of .260 in 1,988 games with the Pittsburgh Pirates, St. Louis Cardinals, Boston Red Sox, Cleveland Indians, Chicago White Sox and Houston Astros.

The four-time Gold Glove Award winner played in 1,950 games as a catcher, a figure surpassed by only five catchers in history: Iván Rodríguez (2,427), Carlton Fisk (2,226), Bob Boone (2,225), Gary Carter (2,056) and Jason Kendall (2,025).

One year after retiring, in 1998 Peña took the position of operations coordinator for the White Sox in the Dominican Republic, before moving on to become the coach of the Triple-A New Orleans Zephyrs from 1999 to 2011, where he took them to first place in the Eastern Division.

From 1997 to 2000 he also led the Águilas Cibaeñas, a Dominican winter league team, where he won two national championships and had his number 14 retired.

Peña spent part of four seasons as the manager of the Kansas City Royals, between 2002 and 2005. In 2003, his first complete season as manager, he lead the Royals to a record of 83-79, one of their best records in history after a season in which they lost more than 100 games. That year the Royals ended with a record above .500 for the first time since 1993 and Peña was chosen manager of the year by the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

Peña was the manager of the Dominican Republic's national team that won the most recent World Baseball Classic in 2013, being the first manager in the history of the tournament to take his team to an undefeated record (8-0).


Manny Acta, the third-base coach for the Seattle Mariners, has more than 15 years of experience as a manager, trainer, general manager, executive and baseball analyst. Acta played for seven years in the Houston Astros' minor league system, where he became a coach in 1991.

The Dominican spent 10 years as a coach or team manager in the Astros organization's minor leagues until 2001, when he was given his first opportunity in MLB.

Acta was the third-base coach of the Montreal Expos from 2002 to 2004 under manager Frank Robinson, and then held the same position with the New York Mets from 2005 to 2006, after interviewing for several open manager positions. Acta started to gain fame for his skills in technical analysis and his knowledge of "sabermetrics."

In 2007, Acta was given his first opportunity to manage in MLB, being named as the second manager in the history of the Washington Nationals (formerly the Expos) after Robinson. He was only 37 years old, then the youngest manager in MLB, when he took the position.

In his first season the Nationals finished with a record of 73-89, much better than expected, and Acta even received votes for manager of the year.

But after a good start, Washington ended the 2008 season with a 59-102 record. Acta was fired by the Nationals in 2009 after starting out with a record of 26-61, the worst in the Big Leagues. He ended his two and a half seasons as a manager with a record of 158-252, a result that had a lot to do with the scarcity of talent on his team.

Acta got a second chance as a manager in 2010, when he chose the Cleveland Indians over the Houston Astros. After winning 69 games in his first season, the Indians won 80 in 2011, finishing in second place in the Central Division. In 2012, the Indians suffered a historic collapse as they struggled to a record of 5-24 in August, the worst month in the history of the franchise, and Acta was fired.

In the Dominican Republic, Acta managed the Estrellas Orientales and the Tigres del Licey. He won the 2004 Caribbean Series with the Tigres, where he was also the general manager. Acta was the manager of the Dominican national team at the World Baseball Classic in 2006.

Currently, Acta is director of operations for the Águilas Cibaeñas, oddly enough Licey's archrival, and he has been a baseball analyst for the ESPN and Fox networks.


Panama's Roberto Kelly is currently in his ninth season as a member of the coaching staff of the San Francisco Giants. After seven years as the second-base coach, Kelly has been coaching third base for the past two seasons.

Kelly had a solid 14-year career in MLB, having donned the uniform of eight different teams, including a seven-year stint with the New York Yankees. In 1991 he became the fifth player in the history of the Yankees' franchise to record 20 home runs and 20 stolen bases in a single season.

A speedy center fielder in his youth, Kelly had a lifetime batting average of .290, with 241 doubles, 124 home runs, 585 runs batted in and 235 stolen bases in a career of 1,337 games. He was twice named to the All-Star Game and was inducted into the Latino Baseball Hall of Fame in the Dominican Republic in 2014.

His first experience as a minor league coach was with the Giants' Class A farm team in the South Atlantic League, the Augusta GreenJackets. Kelly compiled a record of 285-187 as a minor league manager from 2005 to 2007, finishing his last two seasons in first place in the team's division.

In 2006, Kelly was the manager of the year with the GreenJackets after finishing the season with a record of 92-47, the best of any minor league team.

Kelly was manager of the Panamanian national team for the World Baseball Classic in 2006, but resigned his post when he decided that the teams were not letting their best ballplayers participate in the tournament. He returned to the position in 2013 but with little success, as Panama lost to Brazil in the elimination rounds.


Since his retirement as a player after the 2011 season, Alex Cora was added to the short list of Latino prospects to be an MLB manager.

Cora, 40, batted .243 in 3,408 at-bats for six teams, and four of them reached the postseason. He was a member of the Boston Red Sox team that won the 2007 World Series against the Colorado Rockies.

In the five years since his retirement as a player, Cora has been a general manager and manager of the Criollos de Caguas of the Puerto Rican winter league and is currently an ESPN Baseball Tonight analyst. He is also general manager of Puerto Rico for the next World Baseball Classic in 2017.

Cora was interviewed by the Texas Rangers and the San Diego Padres for the position of manager in the past two winters and probably will appear on the lists of other clubs in the near future. With him, the question is not how or with whom, but when he will receive the opportunity.


The elder Cora has been ready to be a manager in the majors for more than a decade.

Joey played 11 seasons, mostly as a second baseman with the San Diego Padres, Chicago White Sox, Seattle Mariners and Cleveland Indians between 1987 and 1998. In 1997, he was an American League All-Star.

Cora was one of the main assistant coaches for manager Ozzie Guillén in the White Sox organization (2003 to 2011) and followed Guillén to the Miami Marlins (2012). Several times he managed those teams on an interim basis.

In 2010, the Milwaukee Brewers interviewed Cora, but the job was awarded to Ron Roenicke. When the Marlins suspended Guillén for his comments on Fidel Castro in April 2012, Cora took charge of the team, but was not taken into account for the position when Guillén was ultimately fired.

Cora, 50, was working as a commentator for MLB Network before accepting a contract this year to be manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates' Double-A branch in Altoona, Pennsylvania.


Oquendo, 52, is the most experienced coach in the Cardinals' organization, having been with the team since 1999.

Before taking a medical absence this season to undergo knee surgery, Oquendo had been third-base coach and infield coach for 15 consecutive years in St. Louis, winning World Series rings in 2006 and 2011.

Oquendo had a 17-year career as a player between minor league and MLB. His MLB debut was with the New York Mets in 1983. After one more year in New York, Oquendo moved to St. Louis to play the last decade of his career. He compiled a .256 batting average with 821 hits, 104 doubles and 254 RBIs in 1,190 career games.

His nickname in the Cardinals was "the secret weapon," having established historical records for single-season in fielding percentage (.996) and fewest errors for a second baseman (three) in 1989. He finished his career with an excellent .992 fielding average at second base.

In 1988, Oquendo became the first player in the National League since 1918 to play all nine positions on the field in a single season.

Upon retiring as a player in 1997, Oquendo moved into a position as instructor at the farm team of the Cardinals.

In 1998 he was appointed manager of the Class A New Jersey Cardinals, and fielded a record of 34-41. A year later he took over as bench coach of the MLB team before moving to third base in 2000, where he has remained since.

Oquendo was manager of the Puerto Rico national team for the World Baseball Classic in 2006 and 2009. In addition he managed the "World Team" in the Futures Game MLB, which was held as part of All-Star weekend 2009 in St. Louis.