- Enrique Rojas, ESPNdeportes
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Editor's note: This story can be found in Spanish here.
SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic -- He has status as a player and a general manager that approaches legendary in the Dominican Republic, and he is drawing attention from teams in the U.S. that are interested in his developing skills as an executive. Most baseball men in his position might be envisioning an opportunity with a front office in Major League Baseball right about now.
But Moises Alou isn't most baseball men. Right about now, in fact, Alou simply wants to enjoy the finer things in life -- the things he missed over the past 25 years of a career in the game.
Alou, who has won three national titles in the Dominican Republic and two Caribbean Series crowns in his first four seasons as the GM of winter ball team Leones del Escogido, just added another golden page to his short but brilliant résumé as an executive when he served as the general manager of the Dominican Republic team that won the World Baseball Classic in March. That's after a highly successful 17-year career as a player in the majors and a lifetime in one of the first families of baseball.
The logical next step, though -- back into MLB as a team exec -- is not in Alou's plans. At least, not now.
"I don't want to become a GM or work full time with a major league's team office," Alou said in an interview with ESPNdeportes.com. "I want to be relaxed at home, go fishing, hunting. Just enjoy. ... I played 18 years in the big leagues, plus four more in the minors. Then add another two in college; that's 24 years away from my country. I love my country, want to enjoy it. Love hunting, fishing, horse-track racing. And I haven't had the time to enjoy these activities.
"My aspirations are not to become a GM, because that would imply to leave the country to do something I no longer enjoy doing as much as I did when I was a player."
Omar Minaya, the man who signed Alou as a free agent to play with the Mets in 2007, is the only Dominican who has worked as a general manager in Major League Baseball. Pedro Martinez, Alou's former teammate in Montreal and New York, recently took on a role as a special assistant to the GM with the Boston Red Sox, a job similar to the one held by former infielder Jose Vizcaino with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Alou is the son of Felipe Alou, the former All-Star outfielder who became the first Dominican manager in the majors and who currently works as a consultant for the San Francisco Giants. Moises Alou had a career .303 batting average with 332 home runs and went to six All-Star Games in his 17 seasons with Pittsburgh, Montreal, Florida, Houston, the Cubs, San Francisco and the Mets.
He retired after an injury-plagued 2008 season in which he hit .347 in only 15 games with the Mets. Alou missed the entire 1991 and 1999 seasons, along with many other games along the way, due to physical ailments.
Although he received a couple of offers to keep playing after the 2008 season, he chose to stay home during the major league season for the first time since he moved to the U.S. in 1984 to pursue a college education at Cañada College in Redwood City, Calif. In 2009, Alou took a job as GM with Escogido, the team for whom both his father and uncles (Mateo and Jesus) played. Moises Alou played briefly for Escogido too, joining it from his regular winter ball team, the Aguilas, in 1990 just in time to help it win the Caribbean Series that year when it was managed by his father.
With Moises as the director of baseball operations, Leones del Escogido won the Dominican National Championship in the winter of 2009-10, ending a drought of 18 years that dated back to the last title won with Felipe as the manager, in 1992. Escogido won back-to-back crowns in 2011-12 and 2012-13 and the 2010 and 2012 Caribbean Series (in Venezuela and Santo Domingo).
This year's World Baseball Classic championship was the cherry on top of the cake, an impressive accomplishment in Alou's new career as a baseball executive.
"I've won the World Series and the Caribbean Series titles as a player and general manager," he said. "My first championship as Escogido's GM was very exciting. But winning the World Baseball Classic was a very different story.
"Even better than the World Series ring I won with the Marlins [in 1997], the World Baseball Classic is my biggest achievement in professional baseball."
After a disappointing performance in the 2009 WBC, when it was knocked out by the Netherlands in the first round at San Juan, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic rolled over its opponents in 2013, including Puerto Rico in the championship game. With an 8-0 record, the Dominican Republic became the first undefeated champion in the three times the international tournament has been played since 2006.
New York Yankees' second baseman Robinson Cano and Tampa Bay Rays' closer Fernando Rodney led the way for the Dominican team. Cano hit .469 in the team's eight tournament games; Rodney pitched in all eight and earned saves in seven of them, allowing zero earned runs and only one hit in seven-plus innings.
"The difference is that the players understood the commitment, and since we arrived to training camp in Tampa, the leadership shown by both Cano and our manager, Tony Peña, plus the effort given by all the players, paved the way," said Alou, who played for the Dominican Republic in the 2006 and 2009 World Baseball Classics. "From that point, I just played the tourist role at the WBC, as a fan, celebrating the wins."
Victory in the WBC raised Alou's already elevated status in the Dominican Republic. Politicians fight for his company -- he's had meetings with the Dominican president -- and he is in constant demand by the media, even those outlets that don't cover sports on a regular basis.
Since his retirement as a player, Alou said he has received a few job offers from MLB teams, but none of them have been for a suitable role in the front office. So right now he just wants to relax. He's announced that the next season of Dominican winter ball will be his last as Escogido's general manager, but he is leaving the door open for the future, just in case the right job offer does come along.
"I'm not interested in being full time in an office," Alou said. "My ideal job in the next two or three years would have to be as a special assistant, working and writing reports but not being full time in a city."
1dInterview by Buster Olney
1dDanny Knobler, Special to ESPN.com