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Hensley Meulens wants MLB managerial job after WBC showing

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Hensley Meulens has received positive reviews for his communication skills and upbeat approach while leading the Netherlands to two straight extended runs in the World Baseball Classic.

As the Dutch team prepares to play Puerto Rico in the WBC semifinals Monday night at Dodger Stadium, he's hoping that MLB front offices with managerial openings this winter will be taking notes.

Meulens, who has contributed to three World Series victories since taking over as San Francisco Giants hitting coach in 2010, is up-front about his desire to run a major league club someday. If his success with the Netherlands squad is a springboard to a more prominent role, it will be a welcome fringe benefit to the experience.

"I'm ready,'' Meulens said Saturday before a tuneup game between the Netherlands and the Arizona Diamondbacks. "Hopefully this can open some eyes and at least give me an interview so teams can see if I'm worth it or not.

"If I didn't want to manage, I would say, 'No big deal.' But it's a big deal. The best athletes in the sport are playing and competing for the same thing, and I get to manage our guys. If I didn't have a rapport with them, it would be hard to get them to play the way they're playing. They're playing all out. They all want to win this thing together -- not for me, but for us. For the country.''

Meulens, 49, played seven seasons in the big leagues as an outfielder with the New York Yankees, Montreal Expos and Arizona Diamondbacks from 1989 to '98. He was the first Curacao native to reach the majors and generated attention for his entertaining nickname, "Bam Bam.''

Meulens speaks five languages -- English, Spanish, Dutch, Papiamento and Japanese -- and received the Netherlands' equivalent of knighthood in 2012, when he was awarded the Order of Orange-Nassau by Queen Beatrix. A 2015 online profile referred to him as "the most interesting man in baseball.''

Along with his work for the Giants, Meulens has led the Netherlands to consecutive semifinal berths in the WBC in 2013 and this spring. He also spent three years managing in winter ball in Venezuela.

Former Atlanta Braves outfielder Andruw Jones, a member of the Netherlands' WBC coaching staff, said Meulens is both ready and capable of running a big league club and having success. A Dutch squad led by the offensive production of Wladimir Balentien, Jurickson Profar and Didi Gregorius has won four of six games to advance to the final four at Dodger Stadium.

"No doubt,'' Jones said. "He's just so positive. He basically takes all the blame when things go wrong, and that's what good managers do. He takes charge. He puts all the negative on himself and tries to put all the positive on the players.

"He's a winner. I hope one day he makes it. He has the desire and the fire in himself to do it. It's just about getting the opportunity to get that interview and get that chance.''

Meulens isn't the only member of manager Bruce Bochy's San Francisco staff who has attracted attention as a managerial prospect. Bochy and Brian Sabean, the Giants' executive vice president of baseball operations, have consistently touted bench coach Ron Wotus, pitching coach Dave Righetti and Meulens as candidates with the résumés and attributes to make the jump.

While Wotus has interviewed for managing jobs with the Pirates, Dodgers, Mariners, Rays and Nationals only to lose out to other candidates, Meulens is still waiting for his first interview.

"It's been known that a few of us want to manage,'' Meulens said. "[Bochy] has been putting it out there, too. In that sense, it's a little frustrating not getting interviews. But I've got to wait and be patient. You don't want to take [a job with] any team and be out after two years because you didn't have the personnel to have a good year.

"Hopefully this will trigger some interviews this offseason. If not, I have a great job. I'm working with some of best hitters in the game on a daily basis, and I love doing that too. It's been a great run in San Francisco. If things don't work out, I'm fine where I'm at.''
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