Joey Cora, the bench coach for Ozzie Guillen during the White Sox’ World Series run in 2005, says Major League Baseball’s system for hiring managers is unfair to Hispanics.
During an interview Friday with ESPN’s Max y Marly, Cora suggested qualified Hispanic candidates don’t get a fair look when teams are filling vacancies.
“When you have a … Sandy Alomar, Alex Cora, Eduardo Perez, Dave Martinez, a bunch of guys — and I’m going to include myself — I have been in the big leagues,” Joey Cora said on the show. “I coached in the big leagues, I’ve managed in the big leagues a few games because someone got thrown out. I’ve been a bench coach, too.
“Some of the guys tell us we have to go through the minor-league system to get experience. I don’t think that is fair. All they have to do is give us a chance — the same chance you’d give anybody else. It is not because we are Latinos. Our resumes speak for itself.”
Cora, 50, is in his first season managing Class AA Altoona, a minor-league team in the Pittsburgh Pirates’ system. He served as Guillen’s bench coach with the White Sox for five seasons, before moving to the Miami Marlins with Guillen — and serving in the same role — in 2012.
The Atlanta Braves fired Fredi Gonzalez on Tuesday, leaving the majors without a single Hispanic manager.
But Cora wonders whether Hispanics should also strive for front-office positions rather than solely focus on managerial openings.
“Maybe us as Latinos are going at it the wrong way,” Cora said. “We are looking at being a manager as the thing. But it shouldn’t be that way. I think we’ve got to go higher than that. We have got to get into positions of power — [general manager], director of minor league systems, assistant GMs.
“Our aim has to be higher than only being manager. If we get to be GMs, assistant GMs or directors of minor league systems, then we can make the hires. We can make the decisions. We have to be in the decision-making positions to make hires. It might be our fault that we only aim to be managers and that shouldn’t be it. It should be higher than that.”