Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 10/17/13
Rick Renteria and Dave Martinez both have at least one thing in common: the ability to relate and teach the game to Latin-American players according to those who have worked with the Chicago Cubs managerial candidates. It's a theme that keeps coming up in the Cubs' search for a new manager. With several key prospects of Latin-American descent in the organization including some who don't speak English sources say the the ability to work well with Latin-American players is one of the qualities the Cubs are looking for in their next manager. "Communication is key with [Renteria] as he has an open dialogue with the players" former Cubs broadcaster and current Padres announcer Andy Masur said via e-mail. "He has helped bridge the communications gap with some of the young Latin players as well. That could be a key ingredient for the Cubs with Starlin Castro and Junior Lake etc." Masur gives credit to bench coach Renteria for the progress made by young Padres players such as outfielder Will Venable and shortstop Everth Cabrera. "He's a teacher and has a ton of baseball knowledge" Masur said. That's probably not unlike a lot of candidates but if teaching young players -- with an emphasis on Latin-Amercians -- is a strength then Renteria certainly checks a couple of the boxes in terms of what the Cubs are looking for. But he's not an ex-Cub like Martinez. Team president Theo Epstein made it clear when he fired Dale Sveum that having an ex-Cub at the helm wouldn't be a bad thing and it could be a plus. Of course it's not No. 1 on the list of attributes needed to be hired but as Martinez interviews with the Cubs on Thursday it's something to keep in mind. "He played a lot of baseball games" former Cub David DeJesus said on Wednesday. "He was in the major leagues for a while. He has a ton of experience." DeJesus started the season with the Cubs and joined the Rays for their playoff run late this season and says he liked what he saw in Martinez especially in dealing with Latin-American players. Martinez had a hand in Rays shortstop Yunel Escobar's career. And Martinez is sabermetrics believer. "He does all the numbers work for [Rays manager] Joe [Maddon]" DeJesus said. The manager and the front office have to be on the same page in an era of baseball where numbers dictate many decisions. Martinez has certainly been in a position to see some of the best in the game work as Maddon's bench coach since 2007. "(Martinez) has one of the best role models right next to him" DeJesus said. "That's a manager that if he was a free agent he would be highly coveted."
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