Q's new path

Matt Quatraro didn't get the chance to play Major League Baseball. But with some success and a little luck, he might get the chance to coach in the big leagues.

The 1992 Bethlehem Central High School graduate is in his first season managing the Hudson Valley Renegades, a class A affiliate of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in the New York-Penn League.

I didn't even expect to be coaching two years ago, said Quatraro, who is called "Q" by his players. "It just kind of happened, but I'm happy to be doing what I'm doing."

Quatraro was originally on the road to the majors as a player. He was drafted out of Old Dominion University by the Devil Rays in 1996 and spent the next six years working his way up to the AAA-level Durham Bulls " one step below the major leagues. But he never got the call to Tampa Bay and was released following the 2002 season.

Quatraro gave it one more shot when he signed a deal with the New York Yankees in 2003, but he was released in spring training " ending his playing days at the age of 29. Still, he had no regrets.

"It was great. I was getting paid to do what I love," said Quatraro. "Minor league ball is a grind. There's long trips on the bus (between cities), and all the traveling can wear on you. But it's a great experience."

Quatraro's coaching career began the following year when Tampa Bay hired him to be the Renegades' hitting coach. Having settled down in Albany, Quatraro decided to commute between the Capital District and the Renegades' home in Beacon (outside Newburgh) " something he still does today.

"I come home as much as I can," he said. "I come home two or three nights a week, depending on the schedule."

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