Wednesday, December 15, 2010


The Minatitlan Petroleros of the Mexican League have brought in Cuban manager Victor Mesa to lead the Oilers in 2011. Mesa replaces Salon de la Fama member Jesus Sommers at the helm. Sommers became the Petroleros skipper on May 1, replacing Manuel Cazarin.

Mesa takes over a Minatitlan team that has had its problems on the field and at the box office. The Petroleros finished the 2010 season with a 44-60 record, well out of the playoff picture. Despite coming in 16 games under .500, those 44 wins are the most ever for the Oilers since the team came to Minatitlan in 2007. The Petroleros also entertained just 74,529 fans at Parque 18 de Marzo de 1939, outdrawing only Nuevo Laredo among the 16 Liga teams.

In Mesa, the Petroleros have a manager who was a player and manager in Cuba’s highly-successful amateur baseball league. He led the league in stolen bases 14 times during his 15-year playing career, and was a mainstay on the Cuban National Team between 1981 and 1995. After retiring, he led Santa Clara to a record eight consecutive 50+ win seasons before moving to Mexico. Mesa, known as “El Loco” for his temper and flamboyance, managed Veracruz to a 27-35 record in 2010 before being fired.


Anonymous said...

If the Cubans don't want this guy managing in Cuba, why do Mexican teams keep hiring him? Very strange.

Baseball Mexico said...

One reason on the part of the Cubans might be that he's a little volatile. There's a reason his nicknames are "El Loco" and "La Explosion Naranja" ("The Orange Explosion"). They could possibly be a little less tolerant of Ozzie Guillen types in Cuba than in Chicago.

And a reason on the part of Victor Mesa might simply be money: You can only make so much of it in Cuban baseball, and not nearly as much as is possible in Mexico.

Anonymous said...

Right. It seems like Cuba is dumping an unwanted guy on Mexico while making some money in the process.

Baseball Mexico said...

I'm not sure what Cuba gets from Mesa being in Mexico, if anything. When Mesa managed Veracruz last year they trained in Cuba so there was little doubt some money changed hands there, but that may be it. I think he's probably a manager who is in another country to keep working and make more money for himself...again, like Ozzie Guillen, who's likely earning more managing in Chicago than he would in Zulia or La Guaira.