Eddie Rodriguez in global spotlight with Team USA

Good to see a good guy, Eddie Rodriguez, get the managerial job for the USA in next month’s World Cup competition.

He’s the Royals’ special assignments coach, his first year at the job but he’s been a Major League coach for a long time, including three years as Frank Robinson’s bench coach with the Montreal Expos. He’s played, coached and instructed in the Minor Leagues so he’s well qualified for the job given him by USA Baseball.

“I got a call in Boston and they wanted to know if I was interested, I was one of the finalists to be the manager,” he said.

Rodriguez was interested and USA Baseball got permission from the Royals to give him leave during September for the international competition. His team starts play on Sept. 10, playing Venezuela at Regensburg, Germany.

“It always looks good on the resume but, to me, it’s the honor. The same it was in Sydney, representing our country and representing it well and having players from different organizations and bringing them together in a short time – and bring back the medal,” he said.

Rodriguez was a coach on the 2000 U.S. Olympic team that won the gold medal at Sydney.

He’ll have ex-Royals player and coach Jamie Quirk as his bench and third-base coach. Only players not on active Major League rosters can play in the World Cup competition. The one player from the Royals’ organization who is on the preliminary 60-man roster is infielder Tug Hulett, now with Triple-A Omaha.

— Dick Kaegel

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