Papo Davila resigned as manager of the Mid-Missouri Mavericks on Sunday afternoon before the team’s game against River City.
Davila said he is leaving the team because of his health but would not detail a specific illness.
Davila is the second manager to leave the Mavericks this season. Davila has coached the Mavericks since July 7 when he replaced Tony Torchia, who was fired. Davila leaves with 14 games left on the Mavericks’ schedule.
“I believe that it would be better if I resigned in case something happened to me,” Davila said. “I’ve been helping the kids improve themselves in baseball, and now it’s time to move on. It’s for my own benefit and for the benefit of the club. They’ve got to continue forward and so do I.”
Pat Daly, Mavericks general manager, said Mark Schlosser, who had been the Mavericks’ hitting coach, will step in for Davila.
“Obviously it would have been better if we have finished the season with Papo,” Daly said. “Sometimes these things happen. Things come up for people. Life is a lot more important than baseball.”
After Sunday night’s loss to the River City Rascals, the Mavericks have lost eight of their past 10 games and are last in the Frontier League’s West division, 14 games out with a 29-47 record. Torchia’s firing had been attributed to team performance, but Jeff Johnson, the Mavericks’ media relations director, said Davila’s departure was not connected to the Mavericks’ struggles.
“There was no pressure from the front-office,” Johnson said. “It was totally unexpected.”
Davila had posted a 12-23 record since taking over the Mavericks. When asked if the players and other coaches were frustrated and unhappy with Davila, Daly said there had been some infighting, but that is expected.
“Anybody who doesn’t think during the course of a professional season that there isn’t some pushing and some shoving between players and managers in naïve,” Daly said. “What goes on in the clubhouse stays in the clubhouse.”
Schlosser, 29, who became a coach for the Mavericks when Torchia was fired, played in the Northern Independent League and was a member of the Canadian national team. He played in college at Tennessee and New Mexico State.
“I signed up just looking to help the hitters,” Schlosser said. “I never thought about this at all. Any time you take over for someone during the year it’s a tough situation, but it’s a good opportunity to get across to the team some things I would like to do possibly next year, if I’m back.”
Center fielder Jake Whitesides said he thought the Mavericks would do fine under Schlosser.
“Hopefully everything’s alright with Davila,” Whitesides said. “Schlosser’s a good manager. He’s a guy that’s helped us all the past month.”
Whitesides said the changes are not something he is used to.
“It’s kind of been a different year to have two different managers, and now my third one all in one year,” he said. “In baseball you learn something every day, on and off the field, about how baseball works.”
Originally from Puerto Rico, Davila came to the organization from Marshall, where he was the assistant baseball coach at Missouri Valley College.