Former MVP Tejada enjoys managing debut
MIAMI -- Miguel Tejada, a former American League MVP and a 16-year MLB veteran, is taking a liking to managing. The 41-year-old made his debut as a manager this weekend, and he directed Aguilas Cibaenas to the first Serie de las Americas championship on Sunday at Marlins Park.
Tejada, a longtime winter ball player for Aguilas in the Dominican Republic, said he hopes to someday coach or manage in the big leagues.
"For me to work in baseball is my life," Tejada said in Spanish to reporters. "I will continue in baseball even if it is teaching kids how to play."
Aguilas responded with Tejada in the dugout in the two-day Serie de las Americas on Saturday and Sunday in Miami. In Sunday's title game, Cibaenas defeated the Cardenales de Lara from Venezuela, 4-3. Tejada's team advanced to the championship game after defeating Dominican rival Licey, 4-2, on Saturday.
Tejada is gaining experience managing winter ball in his home country. But if the opportunity presented itself, he would welcome the chance to coach or manage in either the big leagues or Minor Leagues.
"I would have full interest working in Major or Minor League Baseball in a manager or coaching position," Tejada said.
Advancing the sport internationally remains a high priority for MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred. The industry is seeking more minority coaching and managing candidates.
Tejada says he is willing to do what it takes to remain in the sport.
Tejada, the AL MVP in 2002 while with the A's, played for six teams during his 16-year big league career. In 2013, however, while with the Royals, he received a 105-game suspension for being in violation of the MLB drug program.
In 2015, he played for a team in Mexico.
Tejada said he has had discussions with Manfred about doing some television work, as well as instructing young Latino players.
"I'm so thankful for the honor of having played this great game and achieved so many great things," Tejada said. "Now it's time for me to pass my knowledge to the upcoming talent. I've always tried to do my best in all fields of life to serve as a good example to others."