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B a s e b a l l   M e x i c o

October 17, 2 0 1 6


As is often said here, there is no such thing as an offseason in Mexican baseball and Exhibit A will be on display Tuesday night in Mazatlan.


Less than four weeks after the Puebla Pericos ended the summer season with a pennant-clinching Game Six win at Tijuana in the Mexican League Championship Series, winterball gets underway in the Pearl of the Pacific when the Venados host the Mexicali Aguilas at Estadio Teodoro Mariscal Tuesday in the Mexican Pacific League season opener.  The two teams met in the LMP title series last January, with Mazatlan winning the MexPac pennant en route to their second Caribbean Series crown.


Juan Jose Pacho, who had managed Mazatlan to both their Serie del Caribe crowns, is back for another year with the Venados.  Gil Velazquez will be starting his first winter as Mexicali's helmsman.  Velazquez, a former MLB outfielder who managed the Dodgers' Class A Great Lakes team of the Midwest League over the summer, replaces ex-Padres second baseman Edgar Gonzalez, who will manage the Mexican National Team in next March's World Baseball Classic.


The same eight teams return for another 68-game MexPac season, the loop's 72nd since beginning as the Pacific Coast League in 1945-46.  Last winter, the LMP averaged nearly 10,000 fans per opening, more than any summer minor league in North America, although Indiana Jones had an easier time finding the Holy Grail than he would searching for team-by-team attendance.  The Culiacan Tomateros, who will host the Caribbean Series next February, drew more than 16,000 a game at their brand new ballpark, the 20,000-seat Estadio BBVA Bancomer, which features Latin American baseball's largest video display board at 36 feet high by 108 feet wide.


One more new ballpark will make its debut Wednesday when the Obregon Yaquis welcome Hermosillo at the creatively-named Nuevo Estadio de Yaquis, a 15,900-seater that replaces Estadio Tomas Oroz Gaytan (which the Yaquis had called "home" since its 1971 opening).  Other openers on Wednesday include Navojoa at Los Mochis and Culiacan at Jalisco.  The Charros will host first round games for next March's World Baseball Classic at Guadalajara's Estadio Charros.




Omar Canizales, president



City: Culiacan, Sinaloa

Team colors: Red, Maroon

First year: 1965

Pennants: 14

2015-16 record: 28-40 (7th place, missed playoffs)

Manager: Lino Rivera

Stadium (capacity):  Estadio BBVA Bancomer (20,000)



City: Hermosillo, Sonora

Team colors: Orange, Black

First year: 1945

Pennants: 18

2015-16 record: 27-40-1 (8th place, missed playoffs)

Manager: Lorenzo Bundy

Stadium (capacity): Estadio Sonora (16,400)



City: Guadalajara, Jalisco

Team colors: Blue, Gold

First year: 2014

Pennants: None

2015-16 record: 30-38 (6th place, lost in first round of playoffs)

Manager: Homar Rojas

Stadium (capacity): Estadio Charros (13,000)



City: Los Mochis, Sonora

Team colors: Green, Yellow

First Year: 1947

Total pennants: 3

2015-16 record: 35-33 (5th place, lost in first round of playoffs)

Manager: Luis Sojo

Stadium (capacity): Estadio Emilio Ibarra Almada (11,000)



City: Mazatlan, Sinaloa

Team colors: Red, White

First Year: 1945

Total pennants: 14

2015-16 record: 38-30 (3rd place, won League Championship, Caribbean Series)

Manager: Juan Jose Pacho

Stadium (capacity): Estadio Teodoro Mariscal (14,000)



City: Mexicali, Baja California Norte

Team colors: Red, White, Blue

First year: 1948

Pennants: 3

2015-16 record: 38-29-1 (1st place, lost League Championship Series)

Manager: Gil Velazquez

Stadium (capacity):  Estadio B'Air (17,000)



City:  Navojoa, Sonora

Team colors:  Red, Yellow

First year: 1950

Pennants: 2

2015-16 record: 36-32 (4th place, lost in semifinals)

Manager: Matias Carrillo

Stadium (capacity): Estadio Manuel "Ciclon" Echeverria (11,500)



City: Obregon, Sonora

Team colors: Blue, Orange

First year: 1947

Pennants: 7

2015-16 record: 39-29 (2nd place, lost in semifinals)

Manager: Eddie Diaz

Stadium (capacity): Nuevo Estadio de Yaquis (15,900)




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