Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Edgar Gonzalez named Jalisco manager

Houston Jimenez must feel like a serial bridesmaid who never catches the wedding bouquet.  The former big league shortstop and veteran Mexican baseball manager has taken the reins of the Jalisco Charros twice in the past month after owner Armando Navarro let go one manager, only to have to hand the reins to a new manager following brief stints as dugout boss.  Last month, Jimenez filled in for two games after Homar Rojas was fired before Felix Fermin was brought in to manage the team.  Now, after leading the Charros for two games when Fermin stepped down for "health reasons," less than one month into the job, Jimenez once again is stepping aside for a new skipper.  This time it's Edgar Gonzalez.

Gonzalez (pictured between Sergio Romo and Navarro), you'll recall, was named the Mexican Pacific League Manager of the Year last winter after leading the Mexicali Aguilas to a 38-29 record during the regular season before piloting the Eagles to the LMP championship series against Mazatlan.  It was his first year as a manager and he was rewarded by being named manager of Mexico's national team in early 2016.  Gonzalez stepped down as the Aguilas helmsman before leading Mexico to a sweep of a World Baseball Classic qualifier against Nicaragua, Germany and the Czech Republic in Mexicali last March to qualify for next March's 16-team main event.

The older brother of Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez (who'll play for Mexico in the WBC), Edgar was born June 14, 1978 in San Diego, California to Mexican parents.  Father David, an Obregon native, has been deeply involved in baseball on both sides of the border for decades and will serve as a coach under his son when the Verde Grande open their WBC pool schedule in three months in Guadalajara.  Edgar completed his college career at San Diego State in 2000, after which he was selected in the 30th round of the June draft by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.  That began a minor league odyssey that included nine seasons with six organizations before he made his major league debut at age 29 on May 12, 2008 when he played second base for the San Diego Padres alongside brother Adrian after being called up from AAA Portland.

Gonzalez spent two seasons with the Padres, batting .255 with 11 homers in 193 games between 2008 and 2009 before crossing the Pacific to spend a year in Tokyo with the storied Yomiuri Giants.  He batted .263 with 12 homers over 100 games at second base for the Kyojin in 2010 before returning to North America to spend a year with the SF Giants' AAA Fresno affiliate.  Then he went back to Japan for one more season with Yomiuri (.236 and 4 HRs in 57 games) in 2012 prior to wrapping up his playing career with AAA Iowa in the Cubs organization in 2013 and 2014.  He also spent parts of five winterball seasons playing alongside Adrian in the Mazatlan Venados infield between 2005 and 2009.  In all, Gonzalez played 1,526 games at all levels of his 15-year pro career, batting .288 with 119 homers and stealing 115 bases.

The Charros held a press conference Tuesday to present Gonzalez as their latest manager while also introducing MLB reliever Sergio Romo to the Guadalajara media after he'd joined the team on the road last week. Jalisco dropped their first game under Gonzalez Tuesday night with a 9-4 loss in 12 innings to Obregon in front of 9,129 fans at Estadio Charros.  The defeat dropped the seventh-place Charros to a 6-13 record in the MexPac's second half after they came in seventh with a 15-19 mark in the first half.