Something mentioned numerous times in Baseball Mexico dating back to our Viva Beisbol days is that there's nothing casual about winter baseball. While gringo players often learn the hard way that the Mexican Pacific League isn’t winter training en espanol, nobody has to remind longtime Mexican baseball people like Jose Luis Sandoval or Lorenzo Bundy (right) that the LMP isn't about "working on your game"...it's about winning.
Solo Beisbol writer Dr. Tomas Lopez says Sandoval, who managed Hermosillo to a last-place finish in the MexPac’s first half, received the dreaded “vote of confidence” from the Naranjeros front office on November 19, in which he was called part of a long-term building process. Hermosillo had an 11-24 first-half record (8-15 after Sandoval had replaced Delino DeShields just four weeks earlier). The reprieve lasted all of two days before Sandoval was sacked, a move that should’ve been unsurprising to Sandoval, who was released by Hermosillo during the 2010-11 season, his 21st and last as a minor league shortstop (spending all but one summer with the Mexico City Diablos Rojos between 1990 and 2011).
This is Mexican baseball, however, which means the change wasn’t seamless. After the axe fell on Sandoval in Hermosillo, Bundy had to cool his heels two days waiting for the Navojoa Mayos to accept his resignation as their manager. In Bundy’s case, a first-half record of 17-18 was likely enough to keep the executioner at bay, but the former Dodgers third base coach must prefer living dangerously. He now becomes Hermosillo’s sixth manager since the beginning of last season after finally being introduced as the Naranjeros’ newest pilot last Tuesday. He's been replaced in Navojoa by another veteran Mexican manager, Enrique “Che” Reyes.