Wednesday, December 8, 2010

CHICO RODRIGUEZ BECOMES THIRD MEXICALI MANAGER OF SEASON

Maybe Dave Machemer wasn’t the problem in Mexicali in the first place. The longtime manager in the San Francisco Giants minor league system was fired after he led the Aguilas to an 18-17 record in the first half to finish in a four-way tie for fourth place, one game out of a three-way logjam for first.

Enter Marco Antonio Guzman, a catcher for 19 Mexican League seasons (mostly with Campeche) in the 1980’s and 1990’s. The Tijuana native lasted all of 12 games with the Aguilas, turning in a 4-8 record before being relieved of his duties on December 6 and returned to his previous job as the team’s third base coach. Now it’s Francisco “Chico” Rodriguez’ turn to try living up to managerial expectations.

Rodriguez (pictured managing Monclova) certainly has the pedigree. As a player, the brother of former major league star Aurelio Rodriguez parlayed a 20-year Mexican League career at shortstop into 2,186 lifetime hits, a lifetime .270 batting average and election to the Salon de la Fama in 2004. He also spent 20 seasons in the Mex Pac, hitting .235. As a manager, Rodriguez took over a moribund Chihuahua team and managed the Dorados to a 59-48 record and a playoff berth last summer after the team went 40-67 in the Liga’s Northern Zone for 2009. He also led Los Mochis to their last Mex Pac pennant in 2002-03.