Wednesday, December 15, 2010

MINATITLAN HIRES CUBAN LEGEND MESA AS MANAGER FOR 2011

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.