Michel Enriquez: “I would one day like to manage in Cuba.”

Michel Enríquez has been nicknamed “The Super 12” by the island’s fans due to his innate ability to get key hits and make plays at the most opportune times during his career. Aside from Omar Linares no third baseman is more revered by the Cuban fateful.

During his 22 year career he amassed more than 2,000 hits, swatted 163 round-trippers and drove in 906 runs. All this while posting a slash line of .356/.456/.525/.981. He also holds the single season records for hits in the Serie Nacional.

In 2005-06 he won a batting title in Cuba and hit a robust .447 earning him a spot on Cuba’s 2006 World Baseball Classic squad that finished runner-up in the tournament against top MLB talent. Enríquez in part was a fixture in Cuba’s international “Big Red Machine” that won countless amount of international tournaments including a gold medal at the 2004 Olympics in Athens.

You are the hitting coach of the Algodoneros de Unión Laguna one of the best hitting teams in the Liga Mexicana de Béisbol. How has the team accomplished these results under your tutelage?

The main thing is the trust that they place in you, and through the years I have acquired different experiences and I have been trying to transmit these experiences to the player and mix the with current batting mechanics. I have been reading and watching videos, those things are what nourishes one’s brain and helps you transmit your experience with new training methods. But the most important thing is that they be confident in themselves first and in you as a coach.

You have had players under your tutelage this year who have seen action in the Major Leagues. Do you think there is a difference between them and the players who have not played at that level?

I think that the most important thing of all is the daily work, I have had the opportunity and the privilege of having players who have participated in the Major Leagues and the main thing that is seen in them is they have a daily routine and they stick to it. I think that is fundamental to them and even though they are not longer at that level it does not mean they have seized to train hard. I think physically they continue to prepare and continue to get themselves in game shape. The most important thing with these athletes is that they help the rest of the other players who haven’t played in the big leagues prepare properly.

Now that you are on the management side of a team of a team, have you thought about or are you interested in managing at some point in your career?

That is not in my hands, that is in God’s hand and also in the hands of an organization that has the confidence in me to offer me a managerial position. Would I like to manage in México , obviously I would love to manage a team out here, that is no secret. One future job I would love is that of being able to manage my ex-Serie Nacional team from the Isle of Youth. For now that is my dream job. The powers that be and I have talked about it and I wouldn’t doubt that one day I will manage the Pirates.

You participated in the 1st World Classic where the Cuba team was the runnerup, being the best result up to now. How did you feel about Cuba’s fourth place finish in this last classic?

I relished the experience like most Cubans, that were very happy with what the team accomplished and always supported the team throughout the tournament. The only thing is from my point of view is that I would never criticize those who participated as well as those who decided not to participate in the tournament. I respect everyone’s point of view because at the end of the day we are all Cubans. I enjoyed on how the team battled back from a slow start in Asia and then made there way all the way to loanDepot Park knocking off Australia along the way. Obviously the American team was more talented man for man, but we can still see that Cuba has a strong talent base and the future is bright, that’s something to build on for the future.

Is there anything that you failed to accomplish during your playing days?

I practically achieved everything I set out to do in life. We all talked about how we would have wanted to play in the Major Leagues, I once said that, as long as I could have returned to be with my family in Cuba I would have loved to play in the majors. I think that was the only thing that was left for me to do in my career. If I didn’t play in MLB it is because I am proud of Cuba, my family and the Isle of Youth. Mexico has given me the opportunity to work as a coach, to meet many people, and make many friends. I would lastly like to thank all the Cubans who have supported me worldwide.

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