The Acereros replaced first-year skipper Mario Mendoza with Gerardo “Polvorita” Sanchez (pictured) yesterday after Monclova got off to a 10-19 start in the Mexican League’s first half schedule. Sanchez was an outfielder for Nuevo Laredo between 1983 and 2001, and set the Liga record for consecutive games played with 1,415 straight appearances in the Tecos’ lineup. His streak ended in bizarre fashion when Sanchez and four teammates chose to fly from Villahermosa to Mexico City for a series while the rest of the Tecos took a ten-hour bus trip. However, because of smoke from a forest fire in Tabasco, Sanchez’ flight was cancelled and he missed the series opener in Mexico City. Sanchez, who was Quintana Roo’s third base coach prior to his hiring in Monclova, will enter the Salon de la Fama this summer.
The Steelers are currently in last place in the eight-team Zona Madero, eight games behind division leaders Mexico City and Monterrey (who are both 18-11) and one game out of sixth place, where Laguna and Nuevo Laredo are tied with 11-18 records.
Meanwhile, Tabasco cut manager Daniel Fernandez loose on Friday after he was only able to win five of 16 games after replacing Gustavo Llenas, who went 0-5 to start the season. The Olmecas have tabbed longtime Mexican manager Enrique “Che” Reyes to replace Fernandez.
Reyes was a light-hitting catcher for ten seasons between 1983 and 1992, and was a teammate of Sanchez in Nuevo Laredo for seven campaigns. Reyes since has become one of Mexico’s most-respected managers, winning LMB Manager of the Year honors with Puebla in 2003 and leading the Mexican National Team in both the 2007 Baseball World Cup and 2009 World Baseball Classic.