Delgado joins Puerto Rico staff for Classic

Delgado joins Puerto Rico staff for Classic

Delgado joins Puerto Rico staff for Classic
Since retiring from Major League Baseball last year, Carlos Delgado has worked in the boardroom, on the ball field and now, he's successfully operating in between both worlds.

On Saturday, Puerto Rico's all-time home run leader announced on Twitter that he will be the hitting coach for team Puerto Rico in the 2013 World Baseball Classic that begins next March. For the last six months, Delgado has served as the CEO of Integrated Concierge Financial Services (ICFS), a company he created to guide Latino baseball players toward long-term financial security.

"To have an opportunity to be with team Puerto Rico and represent my country on the field now that my playing days are over is quite an honor," Delgado told MLB.com from his home in Puerto Rico. "I'm really looking forward to sharing some of my insight with the younger guys. It will be different seeing it from the other side of the fence, but I'm looking forward to it."

Delgado, who finished his career with 473 homers and 1,512 RBIs during his 17-year career with the Blue Jays, Marlins and Mets, said Puerto Rico manager Edwin Rodriguez, currently managing Cleveland's Class A team, called him Friday night to offer him the job and Delgado accepted immediately.

Delgado added that he doesn't know who is on the roster, the other members of the coaching staff or if Puerto Rico will host a round, but is certain that he is going to want hitters from team Puerto Rico "to get back to the basics."

"It's important that you get your work in, prepare and get your hacks in and do what you need to do, but once the game starts, you have look at the ball," Delgado said. "Sounds simple, but it seems that when hitters get in trouble, they are not watching the ball the whole time. Either they are moving too fast, moving their heads or thinking too much and not being able to clear their minds. I want to make sure I stress that, have fun and take pride in what you do."

With Delgado at first base in the inaugural World Baseball Classic in 2006, Puerto Rico advanced to the second round and finished with a 4-2 record. Delgado's team posted a 5-2 mark in 2009. Japan won the first two tournaments.

"It will be different," Delgado said. "I'm retired. Pudge [Ivan Rodriguez] has retired. Javier Vazquez has retired and I think Joel Pineiro is out of game, but there are some young players that have an opportunity to come in and play. The way I look at it, anything can happen in a short series. We will give it 100 percent and at the end of the day, that's all you can do."

The field could also have a different look.

Earlier this year, it was announced that Germany, Panama, Taiwan and Florida will host the preliminary round of the tournament, and the winner of each group will progress to the 2013 World Baseball Classic, joining Australia, China, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Kingdom of the Netherlands, Puerto Rico, United States and Venezuela, which have already qualified for the tournament.

Delgado is eager to face new competition and is proud of the way baseball has reached out to other countries. But in the meantime, he is focused on his financial services company. ICFS has partnered with the US-based accounting firm named BDO and is also creating a network of third-party providers to offer his clients.

"Our mission is to be a resource for younger Latin players and make them aware of the responsibility they have to take charge of their finances," Delgado said. "If you have an excellent career in baseball, you play 15 years and you retire at 36 or 37, but you still have 40 or 50 years in front of you. With all of the money these guys are making, there's no reason why these young men can't take care of themselves and their families in retirement. It's like everything else in life. You have to know what you are doing, create a plan and execute it."

Jesse Sanchez is a national reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.