Monday, April 19, 2010

MANAGERIAL CHANGES MADE IN MONCLOVA, TABASCO (AGAIN)

For some teams, it’s never too early to go into panic mode. That seems to be the case with the Monclova Acereros and especially the Tabasco Olmecas, who have changed managers less than 30 games into the 2010 season. For the Olmecas, it was the second such move in less than a month.

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.

THREE DIABLOS PLAYERS FEATURED ON NEW POSTAGE STAMPS

A trio of players with the Mexico City Diablos Rojos have been placed on a new Mexican postage stamp issue entitled “El Beisbol en Mexico.” Infielder Jose Luis Sandoval, catcher Miguel Ojeda and designated hitter Roberto Saucedo are each featured on seven-peso stamps commemorating the Diablos’ 70th anniversary season.

A ceremony announcing the release of the set was held last Friday night at Foro Sol in Mexico City before the Diablos’ game with Monterrey. The three stamps will be available as insets on 100,000 sheets selling for 21 pesos each, and are made possible with support from the Diablos and Oaxaca’s Philatelic Museum.

Similar stamp sets will be issued in the future.

MARLINS’ CANTU SETS MLB BATTING RECORD

Florida Marlins third baseman Jorge Cantu is off to a good start in 2010, setting a Major League Baseball batting record along the way.


Cantu, who had a .288 batting average with three homers and a National League-leading 16 RBIs through Sunday, began the season by collecting a hit and an RBI in the first ten games of the season, shattering Hall of Famer George Kelly’s record of collecting a hit and RBI in the first eight games of the 1921 season. Cantu’s streak ended last Friday when he was held without an RBI in a game against Philadelphia.


Cantu’s hits/RBIs streak actually ended at 14 games because he’d turned the trick in the final four games of 2009. His streak of 14 games with an RBI is tied with Tris Speaker (1928) for third on the all-time list, behind Ray Grimes at 17 (1922) and Mike Piazza’s 15 (2000).


Cantu went to high school in Reynosa and spent time in the batting cage with the Broncos in February before joining the Marlins for spring training.