Monday, January 28, 2019


After a week of speculation concerning whether the Caribbean Series would be played in Barquisimeto, Venezuela as planned, the Caribbean Professional Baseball Confederation (CBPC) announced Monday that the annual tournament has been moved from the strife-ridden nation to Panama City, where it will be held between February 4-10 at Rod Carew National Stadium, a 27,000-seat ballpark completed in 1999.  The event is being pushed back two days from its original February 2 start to allow organizers more time to put things together while completing the tournament in enough time for Major League Baseball minor leaguers to report on time to spring training camps in Arizona or Florida.

For the first time, six national champions will be represented at the Serie del Caribe, including the new host Herrera Toros, who are presently playing in Veracruz at the Latin American Series as titlists from the Panamanian Professional Baseball League, aka Probeis.  Other teams set to converge next week in Panama are the Santurce Cangrejeros (Puerto Rico), Orientales Estrellas (Dominican Republic), Lara Cardinales (Venezuela), Las Tunas Lenadores (Cuba) and either the Jalisco Charros or Obregon Yaquis, who are in the middle of the Mexican Pacific League championship series.

Rod Carew National Baseball Stadium, Panama
Although Panama is a last-minute Caribbean Series entry, the country is no stranger to the crown jewel of Latin baseball.  The Central American nation was one of four charter participants in the 1949 Serie del Caribe along with Cuba, Venezuela and Puerto Rico.  The Carta Vieja Yankees won the 1950 CS under manager Wayne Blackburn as Panama took part in the first twelve tournaments and hosted it three times before new dictator (and former pitcher) Fidel Castro pulled Cuba out after the 1960 event, which was ironically held in Panama City.  That move led to the CS shutting down for nine winters before starting back up in 1970 with Mexico and the Dominican Republic replacing Cuba and Panama in the four-team lineup.  Cuba returned to the fold on a temporary basis in 2014 while Panama is one of the countries in the mix for future Caribbean Series when the six-nation Latin American Series becomes a qualifying tournament for the CS next year.

Puro Beisbol editor Fernando Ballesteros cited sources as saying both Guadalajara and Santo Domingo also expressed interest in filling in as host.


Anonymous said...

Hi. I'm glad that the Caribbean Series will not be cancelled altogether. Thanks to Panama!

By the way, I'm afraid that the photo in the article is actually a stadium in Taiwan which was used in the WBC qualfiers in 2012 or 2013.

As for the entry of Monterrey into LMP, it will be interesting what they do with the current Sultanes players now playing for existing LMP teams (e.g. Augustin Murillo).

Bruce Baskin said...

Thanks. I made the correction. Getting VERY tired of having to make a change every week. I'm ready for a break after the Caribbean Series is over.

That's a very good question about Monterrey players during the winter. Since LMB teams ultimately hold the rights to Mexican players, I'm guessing the Sultanes will want to maintain continuity (and control) of their players all year and may lobby the LMP to keep their roster intact.

Anonymous said...

Thank you. I'm sorry if my correction requests made you tired.

Game 6 between Jalisco and Obregon will begin shortly and I am rooting for the Charros!! I hope they win the championship and keep the roster intact for the Caribbean Series! Like I said before, I don't like the infusion of too many reinforcement players.

Bruce Baskin said...

No, I'm glad you caught my mistake...I'm just tired of making them.

Jalisco did win Game Six for their first pennant, so it's on to Panama for the Charros!

I agree about reinforcements and would much prefer teams remain intact throughout the playoffs. I feel bad for players who are left behind after working hard for a team all season.

Anonymous said...

Hi. I'm very happy right now as the Charros won the championship.
Hopefully they will leave the roster as it is now for the Caribbean Series.

Anonymous said...

Hi. I saw the Charros (or Team Mexico) roster for the CS.
Not surprisingly, most of the reserve guys are gone, but what surprises me is the selection of reinforcement players. No offense to the selected players, but some of them did not put up great numbers in LMP season. I don't understand how those players are selected.