Just weeks after his last MLB appearance, former Phillie Raúl Ibañez was named a finalist for the Tampa Bay Rays managerial vacancy. Ibañez took his name out of the running due to family concerns. Six years later, Ibañez echoed the same sentiment in an interview with The Athletic’s Meghan Montemurro.
“My ongoing commitment right now has been to my family and being the best dad and husband that I can be and then trying to help the Dodgers as much as I can and make an impact any way that I can in [the Dodgers] organization,” Ibañez said. “So, I think in the future, that’s something that I’m definitely interested in at some point. The time has not been right yet. But I think one day that day will come, and hopefully that opportunity is there.”
Ibañez’s name came up for the San Francisco Giants and Chicago Cubs vacancies this past offseason but he told Bill Shaikin of The Los Angeles Times, “It’s not the right time for me.” He currently serves as a special assistant Andrew Friedman, the President of Baseball Operations for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The 2009 National League All-Star was known as a prominent leader in the clubhouse and a mentor to young players. After he was released by the Los Angeles Angles in 2014, the Kansas City Royals signed him days later to serve in that capacity, receiving high praise from his coaches for his work behind the scenes in shaping a World Series team. At the end of his career, Ibañez proved he had what it takes to be a big-league manager in the future, so naturally, he’s drawn much interest over the years.
In the interview with Montemurro, Ibañez also spoke on his love for Philadelphia fans. Ibañez only spent three seasons in Philadelphia but he remembers them fondly.
“I remember the intensity of the fans,” Ibañez said. “I remember the electricity of the fans. I’m getting goosebumps right now. I remember running onto the field in the postseason and the roar of that crowd. Every time, you felt it in your soul, you felt it internally, like all through your body. And you know, I remember the intensity. I remember the people.
“And I’ll tell you what I loved about the Philadelphia fan and the people of Philadelphia: honesty. That’s what I loved and appreciated more than anything. Honesty — you know where you stand; there’s no sugarcoating.”
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