Friday, February 25, 2011

LIGA NORTE TO OPEN SEASON ON APRIL 14

The Mexican Northern League is slated to open its 2011 season on Thursday, April 14 with a lineup of eight teams on the league rostrum. The defending champion Ensenada Marineros will host the Tijuana Truenos in the first of a 72-game regular season schedule that will last into mid-July, followed by a six-team playoff.

There had been concern in the offseason that both Ensenada and Tijuana might be forced to withdraw from the LNM because the two Baja California cities represented costly road trips that some of the remaining league teams in Sonora could not afford to make, but at a January meeting, it was determined that they would be back in the fold for 2011. However, Tecate has dropped out of the league and been replaced by the Magdalena Membrilleros this year. Groups from Mexicali and Puerto Penasco have applied for membership but the requests were tabled until a later date.

The LNM is considered a “Class A” league and affiliated with the AAA Mexican League. Liga Norte teams will be allowed to carry 28 players, including four imports, but only two players age 30 or more (one Mexican and one extranero). The circuit began in 2000 as the Liga Norte de Sonora, but changed its name after the later addition of teams in Baja California.