Friday, April 29, 2011

MEX PAC CONSIDERS, TABLE EXPANSION

The Mexican Pacific League held their monthly assembly April 28 in Mexicali, including league chairman Omar Canizales, league manager Oviel Dennis and directors of all eight Mex Pac teams. There were a number of topics for discussion, including possible future expansion of the circuit into Tijuana and Ensenada.

Tijuana is no stranger to the Mex Pac, having had teams in the league in the past. Though the city would be the LMP’s largest, it has also had a spotty history in baseball with teams coming and going at an alarming rate. A Tijuana entry in the independent Golden League had to move to Yuma, Arizona in the middle of last season due to problems. The Mex Pac has held preseason tournaments there with some success.

Ensenada does not have the population base Tijuana does, but its Marineros are one of the stronger franchises in the Class A Northern League (in which Tijuana also has an entry, the Potros) as well as funding for a new ballpark. The addition of either city would lessen the isolation of the Mexicali Aguilas, who are almost 500 miles away from Navojoa, the closest other LMP rival. Both Tijuana and Ensenada have applied for LMP franchises.

Expansion was ultimately tabled for later discussion but it’s not likely to go away soon in the Mex Pac, although attendance problems in Navojoa may have to be dealt with first.  While the other seven LMP teams drew 5,000 or more fans per game last winter, the Mayos averaged fewer than 2,000.

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