Wilfredo “Willie” Romero It is not to be trusted in the stability of his job as a leader in winter ball.
In Venezuela, for example, he guided the Navegantes del Magallanes to the championship of the 2021-22 season. Despite the success, the management of the ninth did not repeat Romero for the next tournament, hiring the former Puerto Rican Major League catcher for the position, Yadier Molina.
Additionally, in 2022-23 he put on the Aragua Tigers cap and led them to the postseason with a Manager of the Year award. The following campaign he did not repeat in the chair either.
So the extension of his pact with the Santurce Crab Eaters to return as a driver in the 2024-25 campaign before finishing this season, was a pleasant surprise.
“Thank God for the opportunity because that was what I was looking for as a manager, continuity. I know there was a lot of criticism at the beginning, but it’s part of that,” Romero reacted to El Nuevo Dia about its extension.
“I think it had been mentioned, especially knowing the experience I had in winter… I became champion and did not repeat in the team. I was ready for anything. Time to time. I didn’t want to get ahead of myself. Afterwards they talked to me and, of course, that is the idea, to be able to continue growing on the island and with the boys,” he added.
The Cangrejeros, under Romero’s mandate, finished first in the standings of the Roberto Clemente Professional Baseball League (LBPRC) with a record of 25-15.
In the semifinals, however, they are down 3-1 against the Criollos de Caguas and on Sunday they will try to avoid elimination in the fifth match to be held at the Hiram Bithorn Stadium.
In addition to becoming champion in his native country, Romero, 48, won two Manager of the Year awards in Mexico’s winter ball with the Leones de Yucatan in 2015 and 2016. He has also won the award twice in Venezuela.
And soon he could put another Manager of the Year trophy in his showcase, this time, from the Puerto Rican league.
“I have to give a lot of credit to the staff and the boys. I think it gives you more opportunity when things go well. The management of Santurce is one of the best things that has happened to me in my winter career. I’m learning a lot. It was what I wanted. We will continue working to leave a mark“Romero said.
Romero has Carlos Cardoza as a bench coach in Santurce; Jobel Jimenez as hitting instructor; and Jose “Cheo” Rosado as pitching coach.
Jose “Pito” Hernandez serves as third team coach and Hiram Bocachica as first team.
Romero’s first season in Puerto Rico did not go without setbacks. The mentor was suspended for seven games after pushing a referee while discussing a play. Romero later apologized in written statements.
To direct in Class A+
The renewal of the contract with Santurce was joined by other new news. Romero will be the leader of the Tri-City Dust Devils, in the organization the Los Angeles Angelsat the Class A (+) level in the Minors.
“What is happening here is helping me a little with what I have there. I was looking to direct. He passed the interview and they gave me the opportunity. Continue advancing and grow to reach the Major Leagues,” Romero said.