Monday, June 14, 2010

MEXICO CITY TO GET NEW BALLPARK

The Mexico City Diablos Rojos will be getting a new stadium to call home. An agreement was announced last week between the Diablos and the Distrito Federal government in which a new ballpark will be built on an undetermined site in Mexico’s capital city.

The team presently plays at the Foro Sol, which originally opened in 1993 as the Autodromo concert venue in 1993. Groups such as Rush, AC/DC, Pink Floyd and the Rolling Stones have performed there. The stadium has also been used as for baseball since 2000, when the long-standing Parque Segura Social was demolished to make way for a shopping mall. Foro Sol seats 26,000 for baseball games, but is often unavailable to the Diablos because it is booked for other events. The Diablos have had to move a number of home games to the former Mexican League city of Aguascalientes this season due to scheduling conflicts.

Once a site for the new ballpark is selected, work is expected to begin September 14.

YUCATAN TRADES ROMERO TO SALTILLO FOR MADERA

Just two days after serving a two-game suspension for shoving an umpire, outfielder Willie Romero was traded by the Yucatan Leones to Saltillo for first baseman Sandy Madera (pictured) in the Mexican League’s first high-profile player swap of the 2010 season.

In twelve Mexican League seasons, the 35-year-old Romero has hit .320 with 130 homers and 264 stolen bases while becoming an All-Star Game fixture. This will be the Venezuelan’s second go-round in Saltillo, where he played from 1999 to 2003. At the time of the trade, Romero was hitting .301.

The 29-year-old Madera was second among LMB batters with a .391 average in 67 games for Saltillo when he was swapped to Yucatan. The Dominican has played in the A’s, Yankees, Red Sox and Orioles organizations. Last winter, Madera led the Mexican Pacific League with a .413 batting average while playing for Los Mochis.

TOMATEROS BRING IN JIMENEZ AS SKIPPER

The Culiacan Tomateros have hired Puebla manager Alfonso “Houston” Jimenez to pilot their Mexican Pacific League team next winter. Jimenez, a member of the Salon de la Fama and the Liga’s 2009 Manager of the Year, led the Pericos to the first-half Zona Hidalgo title.

According to Culiacan general manager Jaime Pimentel, Jimenez will replace another Salon member, Francisco “Paquin” Estrada, at the helm of the Tomateros. Estrada took over the team from Nick Leyva last winter when Culiacan had a 6-13 record en route to a last place finish in the first half standings. The Tomateros rebounded to turn in a 19-13 mark and tied with Obregon for second place in the second half before reaching the playoff semifinals. Jimenez was third base coach under Estrada.

Jimenez played shortstop for Minnesota, Pittsburgh and Cleveland in the 1980’s, batting .185 over 158 major league games. After debuting with Puebla as a 16-year-old in 1974, Jimenez went on to play 14 seasons in the Mexican League, batting .282 for his career while topping the .300 mark four times. He also played in the Mex Pac between 1975 and 2000, racking up 1,339 career hits and scoring 754 runs in winter ball.


Jimenez was enshrined in Monterrey in 2007.

MEX PAC PLAYER DRAFT TO BE HELD JUNE 30

The Mexican Pacific League will hold its annual draft of non-reserved players June 30 when LMP team representatives gather in Culiacan. Mex Pac president Omar Canizales oversaw the draw to establish the order teams will be able to select the league rights to domestic and import players for the 2010-11 season.

The order of picks for Mexican players is: 1) Obregon, 2) Hermosillo, 3) Guasave, 4) Los Mochis, 5) Navojoa, 6) Mexicali, 7) Mazatlan and 8) Culiacan.


The draft order for import players will be: 1) Mazatlan, 2) Mexicali, 3) Navojoa, 4) Guasave, 5) Obregon, 6) Hermosillo, 7) Culiacan and 8) Los Mochis.