Tigers interview fourth candidate for manager, Padres bench coach Rick Renteria
Rick Renteria became the fourth man to interview for the Detroit Tigers’ open managerial position the team confirmed Thursday night.
Currently the bench coach for the San Diego Padres, the 51-year-old Renteria has ties to both team general manager Dave Dombrowski and former manager Jim Leyland.
An infielder drafted by the Pirates, Renteria made his debut in 1986, in Leyland’s first year at the helm in Pittsburgh. After a brief, five-year MLB career, which concluded with the expansion Florida Marlins, Renteria began a coaching career in the Marlins’ minor league system, under then-GM Dombrowski.
Since 2003, Renteria has been in the Padres system, culminating in the last three seasons as bench coach for San Diego manager Bud Black.
“Ricky’s a guy that flies underneath the radar. He has a great rapport with the players, lot of experience as a minor-league manager. ... The guy’s kind of stayed out of the spotlight, but very solid credentials, very well thought-of by the players. He’s a hot candidate in a lot of different spots this fall,” Padres vice president of player development Randy Smith said in an interview on Detroit 105.1 (WMGC-FM) on Monday.
“I keep using the word temperament: it’s the right one. He knows when to pat a guy on the back and when to kick them in the butt. ... Good guy, even personality. Not a big ego at all. Just a real solid baseball guy.”
The interview took place in California, as Renteria has recently had hip surgery. The Cubs also made the trek out to interview Renteria at home.
Another San Diego employee, Brad Ausmus, the special assistant to the GM, interviewed with the Tigers on Monday. Ausmus’ only managerial experience was with Team Israel in the World Baseball Classic.
Renteria managed Team Mexico in the tournament, as well, and has managerial experience in the minors.
Before Renteria and Ausmus, the Tigers interviewed Dodgers third base coach Tim Wallach and their own hitting coach Lloyd McClendon.