The Aguilas began the last campaign with high hopes centered on the return of manager Dave Machemer, a former major league infielder and longtime skipper in the San Francisco Giants minor league system who led Mexicali to a Mex Pac pennant in 1988-89.
Instead, Machemer was fired after the first half of the season despite finishing one game out of first place with an 18-17 record. Replacement Marco Antonio Guzman then won just four of 12 games before being replaced by Rodriguez, a Salon de la Fama member and brother of the late ex-MLB infielder Aurelio Rodriguez, who brought the team home with a 9-11 record last December in a month in which Mexicali batted just .236 as a team while Aguilas pitchers combined to record a 4.86 ERA. Even so, the Aguilas saw enough to bring the former shortstop back.
“Chico did a great job despite having arrived at a difficult time for everyone,” said Mexicali GM David Cardenas. “He‘s the type of manager that the team needs and more for all the young players we have.”
Rodriguez also led the now-dormant Chihuahua Dorados to a 59-48 record in the Mexican League last year.