Manager Benji Gil of Team Mexico looks on during the playing of the national anthems prior to Game 1 of Pool C between Team Colombia and Team Mexico at Chase Field on Saturday, March 11, 2023 in Phoenix, Arizona. Gil managed Mexico to a third-place finish at the WBC, and will take over the Charros de Jalisco in the LAMP this week. (Photo by Daniel Shirey/WBCI/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
By Matthew Tallarini
World Baseball Network
Benji Gil, who managed Mexico at the 2023 World Baseball Classic, will manage the Charros de Jalisco for the remainder of the 2023-24 Liga ARCO Mexicana del Pacifico regular season, the organization announced on Monday.
In March, Gil helped Mexico reach the semifinals of the 2023 World Baseball Classic in Miami at loanDepot Park, where they lost to eventual champion Japan 6-5 on a game-winning double in the bottom of the ninth inning by Munetaka Murakami.
Gil started his managerial career with the Tomateros de Culiacán of Liga ARCO Mexicana del Pacifico during the 2014-15 regular season and helped the organization win the league in his first year. Gil helped the organization reach its eighth Caribbean Series in 2015 in San Juan, Puerto Rico, where they lost to the 2014-15 Cuban Serie Nacional champion, the Vegueros de Pinar del Rio, in the championship game 3-2. He led Culiacán to four Caribbean Series, reaching winter ball’s biggest event following the 2017-18, 2019-20, and 2020-21 regular seasons, and managed the Tomateros for six seasons, from 2014-16, 2017-18, and 2019-22.
Gil played a total of eight seasons in Major League Baseball after being selected with the 19th overall pick in the 1991 MLB Draft out of Castle Park High School in Chula Vista, California, by the Texas Rangers at 18 years old. He made his MLB debut on April 5, 1993, with the Rangers and spent four seasons with the organization, until he was traded to the Chicago White Sox the end of the 1997 regular season for pitchers Al Levine and Larry Thomas.
Gil was signed by the Los Angeles Angels as a free agent prior to the 2000 regular season and remained with the franchise until after the 2003 season, winning the World Series in 2002 when the Angels beat the San Francisco Giants in seven games.
He managed the Liga Mexicana de Beisbol’s Mariachis de Guadalajara during its first year in 2021 and helped the franchise go 46-17, finishing the regular season in first place in the LMB’s Zona del Norte and reaching the LMB Zona del Norte championship series. The Mariachias lost to the 2021 Serie del Rey champion Toros de Tijuana in six games, and Gil was named manager of the year during the 2021 LMB season.
Gil managed Mexico in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo at Yokohama Stadium, replacing Juan Castro in the role after he helped the nation qualify for their first Olympics after beating the United States in the WBSC Premier 12 in the bronze medal game in the Tokyo Dome 3-2 on a game-winning single from Efren Navarro in the bottom of the 10th inning. Mexico went 0-3 at the 2020 Olympics.
Gil has spent the past two seasons with the Angels as their infield coach. On November 7, Mexico president Andrés Manuel López Obrador spoke to the media, endorsing Gil being the next manager for the San Diego Padres, but the club hired Mike Shildt on November 20.
The Charros de Jalisco, at 13-25, are in last place in the 2023-24 LAMP season and are 12 games back of the first-place Algodoneros de Guasave at 25-13. The Charros de Jalisco will play at home against Mayos de Navojoa at Estadio Panamericano at 8:30 p.m EST on Tuesday.