Mexico eyes Padres coach Renteria for Classic

Mexico eyes Padres coach Renteria for Classic

SAN DIEGO -- It's going to be a busy spring for Rick Renteria, who will not only handle his duties as the bench coach of the Padres but will manage Team Mexico in the World Baseball Classic.

No official announcement has been made yet, though it appears Renteria will manage the team when the World Baseball Classic begins in March.

Renteria had a conversation recently with former Padres first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, who will be a captain on the team. Gonzalez, who is now with the Dodgers, asked Renteria if he would be interested in managing the team in the Classic.

"Anyone would be extremely flattered to be asked, and I am," Renteria said Tuesday.

Renteria was born in California though his parents and his brother were born in Mexico. He played in the Major Leagues from 1986-94 and also spent four seasons playing in the Mexican League.

"I'm proud for all the opportunities that have been extended to us," Renteria said. "It will be an honor to represent your heritage and culture."

This is Renteria's second season as bench coach for the Padres. He was previously the Padres' first-base coach from 2008-10.

He has been a part of the organization since 2003 and is highly regarded in his current role, so much so that he had a phone interview with the Blue Jays for their manager opening before the 2011 season.

"I think it's great, I think it's an honor to manage a country as opposed to a team," Padres manager Bud Black said. "He'll do great."

Team Mexico will be a part of Pool D, which will run from March 7-10 at Chase Field in Phoenix and Salt River Fields at Talking Stick in Scottsdale. Other teams in the pool are the United States, Italy as well as a qualifier that hasn't been determined.

The top two teams from Pool D advance to second-round play, March 12-16 at Marlins Park in Miami.

Team Mexico is 5-7 overall in World Baseball Classic play. Its best finish came in 2006, when it finished sixth.