Monday, July 12, 2010

ACEREROS MAKE LATE LMB NORTH RUN AS REGULAR SEASON END LOOMS

The Monclova Acereros are making things interesting in the Mexican League’s Zona Madero as the final week of the regular season begins Tuesday. The Steelers have won four straight games to run their second-half record to 30-16, three games behind LMB North-leading Mexico City’s 33-13 mark. The Acereros and Diablos are the two remaining teams in the race for the eight points that come with finishing in first. At the other end of the spectrum, Nuevo Laredo was outscored 49-4 in their six road losses.

In the Zona Hidalgo, Campeche continues their remarkable rebound from a seventh-place first-half finish by leading the LMB South at 27-16, one game ahead of 28-19 Oaxaca. Puebla is finding the second half a harder road to travel after a dominant 37-14 showing in the first half, sitting in third place at 26-22, a half-game ahead of 25-22 Quintana Roo and two up on 23-23 Yucatan.

OLMECAS TO REMAIN IN TABASCO IN 2011

Despite taking their usual spot near the bottom of the Mexican League’s attendance derby in 2010, the Tabasco Olmecas will be back in Villahermosa’s 10,500-seat Estadio Centenario del 27 de Febrero next year. The Olmecas had drawn 94,364 fans for their first 47 home games this season for an average of 2,007 customers per opening, topping only Nuevo Laredo (1,763 average) and Minatitlan (1,391) among the LMB’s 16 teams.

A Lauro Jimenez story on the Puro Beisbol website reports than during an interview with Radio SuperDeporte, Olmecas council chair Roger Perez said the team’s board of directors has committed to another year in Tabasco (with government support), and that the board hopes to retain Enrique “Che” Reyes as manager for another year. In April, Reyes became the third man to manage the Olmecas this season, following Gustavo Llenas and Daniel Fernandez.

DIAZ BACK FOR ANOTHER YEAR AS YAQUIS SKIPPER

The Obregon Yaquis are bringing back Eddie Diaz as their manager next winter. Diaz, who is currently leading Oaxaca to a berth in the Mexican League playoffs after the Guerreros went 42-63 in 2009, managed Obregon to a 37-30 regular season mark and a first-round playoff win in 2009-10.


A 47-year-old Dominican, Diaz made his pro baseball debut in 1980 with the Yankees' Gulf Coast League team as a 16-year-old pitcher and catcher, turning in a 2-2 record on the mound while batting .200 for the rookie league team. Diaz converted to catcher fulltime in 1981 and spent another season in the GCL with the Braves' team. After not playing in organized baseball in 1982, he spent two more seasons in the Indians' system before wrapping up his North American playing career after the 1984 season. Diaz began managing in Mexico in 1999.

Diaz’ coaching staff in Obregon will include Salon de la Fama member Gerardo Sanchez.

THREE MEXICANS PICKED FOR MLB ALL-STAR GAME

Three Mexican players have been selected for Tuesday’s Major League Baseball All-Star Game in Anaheim but only two will be able to play. Kansas City closer Joakim Soria (pictured)was tabbed to pitch for the American League, while San Diego first baseman Adrian Gonzalez and Milwaukee starter Yovani Gallardo were named to the National League squad. Gallardo will suit up for introductions but kept off the mound after straining his left oblique muscle throwing a pitch in St. Louis last weekend.



A Monclova native, Soria entered the weekend with an American League-best 25 saves for the Royals to go with his 2.34 ERA. He has struck out 43 batters and walked only nine in 34 innings pitched.


Gonzalez, the son of a Mexican national who spent years growing up in Tijuana, is making his third All-Star appearance. He’s hitting .301 with 18 homers in 84 games for the Padres.



Gallardo, who was born in Michoacan, is 8-4 with a 2.58 ERA for the Brewers after going 13-12 in 2009.