DAYTON (WDTN) – Luis Bolivar says his 2019 squad is young but very talented. Bolivar is beginning his third season as Dragons manager. The 37 year-old Bolivar played for Dayton in 2003 and 2004 and was the hitting coach for the club from 2014-16.
“I feel blessed. Just coming here, a guy from Venezuela, I never expected to be here, now living here with family, being part of the Dragons organization for almost eight years. I’m just happy about it. Time just flies by,” Bolivar says.
Managing a team in the minor leagues is often a balancing act. There’s a responsibility to develop players’ talents individually, while at the same time, working toward a Championship.
“I like to win and that’s one thing I preach to the guys,” says Bolivar. “We’re going to work. We’re going to get better, the guys are going to develop. But when we play, we’re going to play as a team to try and win. So with that mentality, the guys are going to develop all their tools and get better and when they get to the big leagues they know how the games as well so our mentality is still, I want to play to win.”
When asked about this season’s team, he says, “It’s going to be interesting group. They’re very young. I think it’s one of the youngest teams we’ve had. We only have a couple of guys repeating from the pitching staff. Everybody else is a new year with the team, so first time here with us. We’ve got a lot of talent. It’s a young talented group and a lot of people are going to be surprised by this group.”
But at the end of the day, Bolivar has one central philosophy: Don’t fight the fun.
“It’s a game,” he said. “We come here and do our work and we’ve got to enjoy our game. It’s a game, it’s a baseball game and we don’t fight it. Just go out there and do our thing, try to win the game and have fun with it.”