Fernandez was a longtime star outfielder in Mexico City before retiring and becoming the Diablos Rojos manager in 2008, leading them to their most recent Mexican League pennant that year. He then drove the team to the best record in the Liga one year later, but was fired after the Diablos were upset in the first round of the playoffs by a Laguna team making its first postseason appearance in five seasons. Fernandez spent time managing the Tabasco Olmecas last spring after replacing fired skipper Gustavo Llenas, but was let go himself after winning five of 16 games.
The appointment to pilot the Aguilas is a return home of sorts for Fernandez, who was a fan of the team while growing up in Veracruz. Team president Jean Paul Mansur said at a press conference that proceeds from the sale of rights for pitching prospect Luis Heredia to Pittsburgh paid off some bills and will allow the team to acquire players. Veracruz finished 39-66 and missed the playoffs in 2010.