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VENADOS-UTILITY DISPUTE: EMPTY STANDS FOR GAMES
A disagreement between the Mexican Pacific League Mazatlan Venados and a government utility led to drinking water and drainage being shut off to Estadio Teodoro Mariscal and fans being denied entry to multiple games. Two Venados home games ended up being played in an empty ballpark, causing the team to lose revenue at the gate, concessions stands and merchandise shops at the newly-renovated facility, which now holds 16,000 patrons (an expansion of two thousand seats).
As mentioned last week, the first non-public game was played Friday, November 30 when visiting Mexicali topped the Venados, 7-5. According to Mazatlan's Debate', city staffers were placing closure seals on box office windows at the conclusion of the previous Sunday's series-ending game against Los Mochis. The City reportedly discovered three clandestine water outlets on the outskirts of the stadium while Debate' scribe Luis Motta said the team owed the state-owned Jumapam utility 12.9 million pesos, which translates to about 636 thousand U.S. dollars. Water service to and from Teodoro Mariscal was subsequently turned off.
The impasse carried into the first weekend of December, when fans were turned away at the gate for Friday's first game of the Mexicali series. It appeared the dispute had been settle when water service was restored and the stands reopened for the final two contests of the three-game set (which drew crowds of 7,764 and 8,923). However, things apparently weren't settled after all and the first game of a midweek home series with Jalisco last Tuesday was played with no water, closed gates and empty stands. Things were back to normal one night later as 4,926 people cautiously came to that night's game and the following Thursday there were 8,029 aficionados on hand.
The Venados were in Los Mochis over the past weekend and will be on the road in Navojoa Tuesday through Thursday before opening a home series with Hermosillo on Friday. BBM is not aware if the dispute has been resolved, but it is never wise to play chicken with people wearing government badges and holding clipboards.
BOJORQUEZ REPLACES ORANTES AT HELM IN LOS MOCHIS
Former Mexico City Diablos Rojos star outfielder Victor Bojorquez is the new manager in Los Mochis after the Caneros fired Ramon Orantes last week. A Caneros legend as a player whose number 24 was retired two years ago, Orantes becomes the fifth of eight Mexican Pacific League managers to either be fired or quit less than two months into the current 11-week season.
Los Mochis went 15-20 in the first half to come in tied for seventh with Jalisco and picked up 3.5 playoff point, then started the second half 3-6 when Orantes was dismissed December 3 following a three-game sweep at the hand of the Hermosillo Naranjeros. Although he was a beloved Caneros player, the former corner infielder will probably best be remember as a Los Mochis skipper by losing a combined 18 consecutive regular games between the end of last winter's schedule and the opening of the current campaign. Appointed dugout boss on November 17 last year after Luis Sojo was fired, the 45-year-old Orantes (who was canned two days before his birthday) went 25-58 during his tenure with the team.
The Baja California Sur native has also been looking for a summer job since the Mexican League announced the Union Laguna team he'd been managing would suspend play in 2019. One potential LMB landing spot is Villahermosa, where Tabasco Hoy says Orantes is a prime candidate to manage the Tabasco Olmecas next year. New team president Juan Carlos Manzur is seeking a replacement for Eddie Castro, who led the Olmecas to a 20-35 Fall record that was the second-worst in the Liga. The worst? Orantes' Algodoneros went 18-39.
Like the man he replaced, Victor Bojorquez had a long playing career with the Caneros, roaming the outfield for 13 winters in Los Mochis. Known as "El Flamingo" during his active days, the 43-year-old Bojorquez spent 16 of his 17 Mexican League summers with Mexico City before retiring after the 2012 season. He then went into coaching and managing, leading the Diablos' Ensenada affiliate to the AA Liga Norte championship before being named Mexico City manager this year. Bojorquez led the big team to a 67-43 overall record in 2018, with two second-place finishes and one semifinal berth in the LMB South.
The Caneros won their first four games under Bojorquez, including a weekend sweep of Mazatlan at home.
LMP Second Half Standings
Hermosillo 10-4, Obregon 8-5, Jalisco 8-6, Los Mochis 7-6, Culiacan 7-7, Mexicali 5-8, Mazatlan 5-8, Navojoa 4-10
LMP Hitting Leaders
BATTING: Jasson Atondo, Hermosillo (.376)
ON-BASE PERCENTAGE: Ramon Urias, Los Mochis (.435)
SLUGGING PERCENTAGE: Jovan Rosa, Navojoa (.612)
HOMERS: Jovan Rosa, Navojoa (12)
RUNS BATTED IN: Manny Rodriguez, Jalisco (41)
STOLEN BASES: Alonzo Harris, Navojoa (22)
LMP Pitching Leaders
WINS: Jose Samayoa, Hermosillo; Konner Wade, Mazatlan (5)
STRIKEOUTS: Javier Solano, Mexicali (50)
SAVES: Casey Coleman, Culiacan (17)
HOLDS: Jose Isidro Marquez, Navojoa (11)
EARNED RUN AVERAGE: Elian Leyva, Jalisco (1.94)
WALKS+HITS PER INNING: Jaime Lugo, Navojoa; Javier Solano, Mexicali (1.18)
LLWS CHAMPION, EX-MLBer BOBBY TREVINO DEAD AT 70
A member of Monterrey's 1958 Little League World Series champions who went on to play Major League Baseball eleven years later has died at his home in Monterrey on December 5. Carlos "Bobby" Trevino was 73.
Along with another future big leaguer, shortstop Hector Torres, Trevino was a catcher for the Monterrey team that outscored opponents by a 32-5 margin over three games to bring Mexico its second straight LLWS title in a tournament that featured another pair of MLBers-to-be, pitcher Rick Wise and outfielder Keith Lampard, who both played for Portland, Oregon. Trevino made his professional debut six years later in 1964, when the 18-year-old (by then an outfielder) spent most of the season with San Luis Potosi of the Class A Mexican Center League and played three games with the Mexico City Diablos Rojos. Trevino then hit .301 and .336 for the Diablos before his contract was sold to the California Angels following a 1966 Mexican League season during which he stole home in the All-Star Game.
Assigned by the Angels to Seattle of the AAA Pacific Coast League, the 6'2" Trevino struggled to an .077 average over 13 games before the Angels dropped him to El Paso of the AA Texas League. He righted himself to bat .268 in 100 games for the Suns in 1967. The following year saw Trevino again overmatched by PCL pitching with Seattle, batting .199 with two homers in 55 contests before another demotion to El Paso (.311/3/23 in 34 games). Still, when California centerfielder Jay Johnstone was hurt early that season, Trevino was called up to the Angels and on May 22, 1968, he became the 17th Mexican-born player to debut in MLB by grounding out against Boston's Gary Bell when manager Bill Rigney sent his in as a pinch-hitter in the sixth inning. He went on to hit .225 in 17 games for the Halos in what would be his lone appearance in the bigs before being sent down to the minors in early July.
After spending all of 1969 in El Paso (.314/6/92), starting the season with a record-tying 37-game hitting streak and winning the Texas League MVP award, the Angels sold Trevino back to the Diablos prior to the 1970 season and he would never play north of the border again. Trevino played for Mexico City through 1972 and spent three more years with Union Laguna before bouncing around a bit, playing for six teams (Nuevo Laredo twice) over his final four years before retiring at age 33. He hit .283 in 13 LMB seasons between 1964 and 1979 with 70 homers and 608 RBIs. Trevino's best year was 1972, when he hit .299 with 17 homers and 86 RBIs for Mexico City.
He spent 14 winters in the Mexican Pacific League between 1964 and 1978, batting .269 with 63 homers for four teams, mostly Navojoa and Los Mochis. He became the first LMP player to hit three homers in one game for Los Mochis on December 31, 1968.
Trevino also had managerial stints with three teams between 1977 and 1980, going a combined 154-226 as helmsman in Tabasco, Tampico and Toluca. His younger brother Alex played 939 games over 13 MLB seasons as a backup catcher with six teams. Following his retirement, Trevino played recreational baseball and softball and worked as a driver for 28 years in Monterrey. He battled lupus for a year until he died.
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