Tag Archive | "Mexico"

Teams Set for 2015 Caribbean Series in San Juan, Puerto Rico

The 2015 Caribbean Series will begin in just a few short days in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The series will be held at Hiram Bithorn Stadium which may be familiar to many of you since the Montreal Expos played part of their home games there in 2003 and 2004 before moving to Washington D.C. It has also hosted many other events including parts of the World Baseball Classic and a regular season series between the New York Mets and Florida Marlins in 2010.

The tournament will follow the format with two phases. The first phase will last from February 2-6 and consist of a single round-robin competition. The standings will then be decided after this round and the fifth placed team will be eliminated. The top four will continue on to play a semifinal and final round the following two days.

The field is set and ready to go. Here are the teams that will be participating in this years Caribbean Series.

Mexico – Tomateros de Culiacan – Culiacan has not been here for eleven years but they return after defeating the Charros de Jalisco in the championship. They are looking for their third Series championship having won in 2002 and 1996.

Dominican Republic – Gigantes del Cibao – This is their first Dominican championship having finished as runner-ups three separate times. They look to bring the title back to the Dominican after a two year absence.

Cuba – Vegueros de Pinar del Rio – The Vegueros won the Cuban National Series 53 last year. The league runs too long for the current champion to participate in the Caribbean Series, so last year’s winner competes. This was their fourth Cuban championship.

Puerto Rico – Cangrejeros de Santurce – The Cangrejeros will host the tournament in their home park after winning their thirteenth championship. They have won five Caribbean Series titles including the last for their country in 2000.

Venezuela – Caribes de Anzoategui – The Caribes swept through the LVBP winning every phase to earn a trip back to the Caribbean Series where they last competed in 2011. They are looking for their first Caribbean Series championship and the first for Venezuela since 2009.

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Cuba Wins 2014 Central American and Caribbean Games

VERACRUZ, Mexico – Cuba, No. 3 in the world, defeated No. 18 Nicaragua 9-3 in the championship of the Central American and Caribbean Games (CACG) to regain its title. It was Cuba’s 15th title in 18 attempts at the CACG.

New reforms in Cuba allowed several players return after playing professionally in Japan. Three national team players, Alfredo Despaigne, Frederich Cepeda and Yulieski Gourriel, returned after the end of the NPB season to play for Cuba and help lead them to the title. The players were given special permission to play in Japan if they returned to the national team after the end of the season in Japan.

Defending CACG champions the Dominican Republic finished off Puerto Rico 8-1 in the bronze medal game.

Mexico got a much needed 5th place which vaults them to 12th in the final international world rankings of the year. This allows them to play in the inaugural Premier 12 Pro Baseball World Championships in 2015. The new tournament will be hosted by Chinese Taipei next November.


1. Cuba
2. Nicaragua
3. Dominican Republic
4. Puerto Rico
5. Mexico
6. Venezuela
7. Panama
8. Guatemala

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Mexico: The Tomateros de Culiacan Release New Stadium Design

The Tomateros de Culiacan of the Mexican Pacific League have announced the design for their new stadium.

The new stadium, slated to open in August 2014, could possibly be used for the next Caribbean Series in Mexico. The rotation for Mexico will come around once again three years after the opening of the stadium.

The stadium will seat around 18,000 fans and during the unveiling of the stadium plans, a video was released showing what it would look like.

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International Players on the Baseball America Top 100 Prospects List – Numbers 71-80

Before the World Baseball Classic we took a look at some of the international players on Baseball America’s Top 100 Prospect List. If you missed those, you can find #’s 91-100 here and #’s 81-90 here. Today we pick up where we left off with #’s 71-80.

Didi Gregorius, ss, ARI – #80

Hailing from Amsterdam, Gregorius was signed out of the Netherlands in 2007 as a free agent by the Cincinnati Reds. At age 18 in the Gulf Coast League, he hit just .155 in 97 at bats, but he didn’t give up there and last season got a taste of the Major Leagues.

He is a defensive middle infielder who was ranked at the #5 prospect in the Diamondbacks organization after the 2012 season. He was a part of the three team deal that saw the Reds, Indians, and Diamondbacks swapping players in December 2012. He is considered one of the top shortstop prospects in the game. It looks as though he will start the year at Triple-A Reno, but look for him to make an impact very soon at the big league level.

Luis Heredia, rhp, PIT – #78

Heredia, who was born in Mexico, is only 18 years old. He pitched the 2012 season in short-season A ball in the New York-Penn League for State College. In 14 starts Heredia was 4-2 with a 2.71 ERA.

Heredia signed in 2006 as a non-drafted free agent receiving a huge $2.6 million bonus from the Pittsburgh Pirates. He has a huge frame at 6′ 6″ and 205 lbs, but he is still growing physically at only 18 years old.

He throws hard reaching 96 on the gun, but usually sits in the low 90s. He has good control so far, but he is still young and working on improving not only his fastball but his secondary pitches as well. He has huge upside, but only time will tell.

Look for him to start the year in Low-A ball with the possibility of moving up depending on his results.

Marcell Ozuna, of, MIA – #75

Ozuna, a power hitting outfielder from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, blasted 24 long balls in 2012 in High-A Jupiter in the Florida State League. He also exhibits another sought after trait for an outfielder, speed. He stole 17 bases in 2011 and covers a lot of ground in the outfield. Another tool he has is a strong arm. He has been rated with the best outfield arm in the Marlins system the past three seasons.

However, Ozuna will need to identify pitches better if he wants to continue up the ladder. He has strikeout totals of 116 and 121 the last two seasons, but he is still learning. One thing is for sure, when he hits the ball he hits it with authority.

Look for the 22-year old to spend most of the season in Double-A Jacksonville for the Marlins. He is the Marlins #5 prospect.

Avisail Garcia, of, DET – #74

The 21-year old outfielder from Venezuela got a taste of the big leagues last season with Detroit making the jump from Double-A Erie. And when he got the call, he excelled. In 23 games, he hit .319 in 47 at bats.

He is a solid defensive outfielder with a good arm. Baseball America rated him as the best outfield arm in the Tigers farm system the past two seasons. He has some power and speed and could turn into quite a threat in the Tigers lineup.

Look for Garcia to start the year in Triple-A. A heel contusion put him on the DL a few days ago, so he is a long shot to make the Opening Day roster.

Next up we will take a look at the international players from #61-70.

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Brawl Breaks Out Between Canada and Mexico at the World Baseball Classic

The game turned ugly between Canada and Mexico on Saturday night in Phoenix.

Leading 9-3, catcher Chris Robinson bunted for a single to lead off the inning. Mexico didn’t seem to like that. The next batter was sent a message with a brush back pitch from Arnold Leon. After both teams were warned by the home plate umpire, the next pitch drilled Rene Tosoni in the back.

Robinson had been the center of several plays throughout the game including a collision at the plate with former Major League Karim Garcia. Garcia was out and there was really nothing Robinson could do on that play but hold his ground.

That’s when things got interesting. Several fights broke out after the main scuffle at home plate. Punches were thrown. Players wrestled, and then the dust settled. Or did it?

Even after the fighting was over on the field, some Mexico fans sitting behind the Canada dugout weren’t finished. They threw a water bottle hitting pitching coach Denis Boucher in the back. He had to be restrained from climbing over the dugout while a player fired the water bottle back into the stands.

It got even more dangerous with reports of fights in the stands. Then a baseball was thrown at, and nearly hit, Canada first base coach Larry Walker.

Who said nobody was taking these games seriously?

Below is a video from YouTube. Oh and Canada won 10-3.

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WBC: Canada vs Mexico Pitching Match Up

Italy has turned things upside down in Pool D with their two wins. Canada is coming off an embarrassing defeat at the hands of Italy, while Mexico rebounded from its loss to down the USA. With a win, Mexico could put itself in a good position to advance.

Both teams start pitchers who were with MLB clubs in 2012.


Chris Leroux will get the start for Canada on Saturday. Leroux split his time in 2012 between the minors and the Pittsburgh Pirates where he pitched in 10 games, all in relief. He did start eight games at the minor league level, mostly at Triple-A Indianapolis. He was 4-1 with a 3.10 ERA in that minors last season and needs to bring some of that success into today’s game.

Internationally Leroux was part of the Junior National Team from 2001-02 pitching in the 2002 IBAF 18U World Championship. He also appeared in the 2007 World Cup and in the 2009 WBC. He pitched in two games in 2009, pitching just 1.2 innings.


Marco Estrada gets the call for Mexico. Estrada spent the 2012 season with the Milwaukee Brewers pitching in 29 games, including 23 starts, going 5-7. He threw 138.1 innings posting a 3.64 ERA.

Estrada was drafted in 2005 by the Washington Nationals out of Long Beach State. He struggled at the Major League level for a few years pitching in only a handful of games before finding his way to Milwaukee where he spent most of 2011 out of the bullpen.

Estrada is making his National Team debut for Mexico in what could turn out to be a huge game for the club win or lose.

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WBC: Mexico vs USA Pitching Match Up

Mexico is coming off a heartbreaking loss to Italy yesterday, and today they will have to face one of the favorites in the 2013 World Baseball Classic, Team USA. This will be Team USA’s first game of the Classic. They have yet to win a title, so they will be looking to get off to a strong start. Here are the starting pitchers for each team.


Milwaukee Brewers 16-game winner Yovani Gallardo will get the start for Mexico. Gallardo went 16-9 in 2012 for the Brewers. He posted a 3.66 ERA in the process striking out 204 in 204 innings.

Gallardo is a strikeout pitcher. In his 4+ seasons at the MLB level, he has pitched 916.1 innings and collected 936 strikeouts. That is 9.2 per 9 innings over his career. Each of his four full seasons he has posted 200+ strikeouts.

Gallardo is a big time pitcher who will need to step up against Team USA. This is his first appearance in the WBC.


Team USA will start the reigning N.L. Cy Young Award winner, R.A. Dickey of the Toronto Blue Jays. Last season with the New York Mets, Dickey went 20-6 and posted an ERA of 2.73.

Dickey has spent parts of 10 seasons at the Major League level with the Rangers, Mariners, and Mets. As a college standout, from the University of Tennessee, Dickey pitched in the 1996 Olympics winning a bronze medal with Team USA. He started two games in the Olympics and won both. This is his first WBC.

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WBC: Italy Rallies Late; Stuns Mexico 6-5

SCOTTSDALE, Arizona – Pool D kicked off at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, spring training home of the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies, with a game between Italy and Mexico on Thursday afternoon. The game proved to be perhaps the most exciting so far in the 2013 World Baseball Classic.

Heading into Pool D, most thought that three teams would compete for the two spots into the next round. The one team that most figured wouldn’t be a part of that race was Italy. They proved everyone wrong on Thursday thrusting themselves in the mix with a 6-5 win over Mexico in front of almost 4,500 spectators.

The game was a seesaw affair with Italy striking first in the first.

In the first inning, Chris Denorfia (2-for-5) doubled to get the offense going after lead off hitter Nick Punto struck out. Anthony Rizzo (2-for-5) followed Denorfia with a soft single to center putting runners at the corners. Right-handed slugging third baseman Alex Liddi (2-for-3) got Italy on the board with a line drive single up the middle. Italy would pick up one more run on a Mike Costanzo (1-for-4) single.

Italy led 2-0 after a half inning, but it didn’t last.

Italy starter John Mariotti couldn’t hold the lead. He immediately walked the lead off hitter, then gave up a double to Ramiro Pena (2-for-4) to put runners on second and third with no outs. Mariotti then got an out and loaded the bases walking slugger Adrian Gonzalez for former MLBer Jorge Cantu.

Cantu cleared the bases with a three-run double giving Mexico the lead 3-2.

Mexico would add another run in the bottom of the second. With two outs, Eduardo Arredondo singled and advanced to second on an error by center fielder Denorfia. Ramiro Pena made them pay with a RBI double off newly inserted pitcher Tiago De Silva.

Mexico led 4-2, and that is where we would stay until the fourth.

After a Mario Chiarini single, Minnesota Twins catcher Drew Butera blasted a two-run home run onto the grass berm beyond the left field wall tying the game at four.

It didn’t stay tied for long.

Mexico center fielder Arredondo (2-for-3 / 3 runs) was at it again. He singled to center and was sacrificed to second by Pena. Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Luis Cruz then doubled home Arrendondo to give Mexico the lead once again at 5-4.

The bullpen for both teams settled in at this point and the game remained at 5-4 until the ninth inning.

That’s when things go very interesting.

The San Francisco Giants Sergio Romo came on to close out the game for Mexico. After getting one quick out, Nick Punto doubled to left field on what looked like a ball misplayed by Edgar Gonzalez. Next up was Chris Denorfia.

Denorfia had what had to be the best at bat of the game. After falling down 0-2 in the count, Denorfia laid off three close sliders by Romo to run the count full. He then fouled off four straight pitches spoiling some good sliders from Romo until he got one he could handle singling to left field.

Pinch runner Stefano Desimoni didn’t score on the play, but runners were at the corners with one out for Italy.

Next up was the Chicago Cubs Anthony Rizzo who doubled on a fly ball to left field that could have and maybe should have been caught once again by Edgar Gonzalez. Desimoni scored easily from third tying the game, and heads up running by Denorfia allowed him to score the go ahead run all the way from first.

Midway through the ninth, Italy led 6-5, but the excitement still wasn’t over.

Italy brought in the Pittsburgh Pirates Jason Grilli to close out the game. Grilli would face pinch-hitter Efren Navarro to start the inning. Navarro would single. After a sacrifice bunt moved pinch-runner Walter Ibarra to second base, Pena popped out. So with two outs and the tying run at second, the game got even more exciting.

Grilli proceeded to walk the next hitter, Cruz. That brought up the dangerous Adrian Gonzalez, whom Grilli hit with a pitch loading the bases.

So now the bases were loaded with two outs and up to bat is Jorge Cantu who already hit a bases clearing double in the first inning.  Grilli decided to make it even more interesting running the count full before getting Cantu to ground out to second base to end the inning.

Nick Pugliese picked up the win pitching 1.1 innings of hitless relief. Grilli got the save.

Sergio Romo took the loss giving up two runs on three hits in a single inning.

Italy will turn around and play Canada Friday at 2:30 pm EST, while Mexico will face USA at 9:00 pm EST Friday night.


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Eight Great Latin American Ballplayers

By Ismael Nunez

This month of February is African-American History Month. It’s also Dominican History Month, and in the first week of February every year:  Dominican Republic, Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Venezuela participated in the Caribbean World Series!

Yet the games are not shown on prime-time and at the same time there are several Latin American ballplayers many USA citizens don’t know much about.  Here are the Magnificent Eight!


Martin Dihigo stood 6’3 and was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1977. He was the first Latin American Ballplayer who played in the Negro Leagues elected into the Hall. The only ballplayer elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in four countries (Mexico, Cuba, Venezuela, United States).  In Cuba he was called “The Immortal” in other Latin American countries he was called “El Maestro” (The Master). As a pitcher he won over 25o games had a winning percentage over .650. As a hitter he had a batting average of over .300 and won batting  and home-run titles.  Too many, including former Negro League Hall of Famers, consider him the greatest player ever!

Jose Mendez stood only 5’8. In Cuba he was called “El Diamante Negro” (The Black Diamond) yet he had a winning percentage of .747.  When Major League Teams traveled to the island in exhibition games Mendez won most of the time! In one game he defeated Hall of Fame Pitcher Christy Mathewson in 1911.

Cristobal Torriente stood between 5’9 and 5’10 yet weighed 190 pounds. He was called “The Cuban Babe Ruth”, played baseball year-round, and was a star player both in the Negro and Cuban Leagues from 1913 to 1922. His lifetime batting average was .352.

All Three of these Cubans are in Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY

Dominican Republic

Tetelo Vargas has been called “The Father of Dominican Baseball and The Dominican Deer” who was excellent both on defense and offense! Long before there was Manny Ramirez, and Vladimir Guerrero there was Vargas. Playing in the Negro Leagues, Puerto Rican, Dominican, and Mexican Leagues he put together a lifetime batting average of .300.  He also had good speed, and was notable base stealer.

Horacio “Rabbit” Martinez was an outstanding shortstop, and a clutch hitter.

To many he was the greatest shortstop ever to play in the Dominican Republic and one of the top shortstops in the Negro Leagues from the 1930’s and 1940’s. In an article for SABR (Society for American Baseball Research) many would say long before Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith there was Martinez making those plays. He had a rifle of an arm and brilliant speed.

In his Biographical Encyclopedia of the Negro Baseball Leagues, James A. Riley wrote that Martinez was “a good bunter, fast on the bases, and good on either end of the hit-and-run play! Always a hustler!”

Dominican baseball player Manny Mota had this to say about Martinez “Mr. Horacio Martínez was without a doubt one of the greatest players in the history of the Dominican Republic. Besides being a great player, he was like a father to me. I’ve got a great deal of respect and admiration for him.”

Rob Ruck, author, The Tropic of Baseball: Baseball in the Dominican Republic, and co-writer/producer of the film Republic of Baseball stated this, “I think that both Tetelo Vargas and Horacio Martínez merit consideration for the Hall of Fame. Now that the Hall has opened its “Viva Baseball” exhibit about Latinos in baseball, I hope that they might establish a special committee to consider such candidacies, as they did once before, in 2006!

Puerto Rico

Pancho Coimbre & Perucho Cepeda

Long before Puerto Rican great like Roberto Clemente, Orlando Cepeda, Roberto Alomar arrived in the Hall of Fame, you had these two individuals.  Coimbre and Cepeda both stood 5’11 and both were Afro-Puerto Rican as well as outstanding hitters/fielders. Cepeda’s single season batting average of .464 is the highest in Puerto Rican Baseball History. Coimbre’s lifetime batting average of .337 is the second best in Puerto Rican Baseball History.  Both are in the Puerto Rican Baseball Hall of Fame.


The country has had baseball fever long before Fernandomania in 1981, Bobby Avila winning the A.L. batting title in 1954, or the country winning the 2013 Caribbean World Series. Before all of this there was Hector Espino!

He was called the “Babe Ruth of Mexico”  and his  achievements have been compared favorably with many baseball legends who have received baseball’s highest honor.

He won a staggering 18 batting titles(winter/summer leagues) which is six more than the 12 batting crowns Hall of Famer Ty Cobb captured. He also spent 24 years with the Orange Men from 1960-84. Hall of Famers Brooks Robinson (Orioles) and Carl Yastrzemski (Red Sox) are tied with 23 years of service in one uniform.

He became the oldest man to win a batting title in 1983 when he was 43 years-old and hit .316. Ted Williams was 40 when he hit .328 in 1958.

He led Mexico to its first Caribbean World Series win in 1976, and in 1988 was elected to the Mexican Baseball Hall of Fame (Salón de la Fama del Beisbol Profesional de México).

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Caribbean Series Eyes Possible Return to Miami

HERMOSILLO, Mexico – The Caribbean Series could possibly return to Miami in the near future. Caribbean Baseball Confederation president Juan Francisco Puello Herrera has been in talks with the Miami Marlins about the possibility of using their new stadium in Little Havana.

The talks are still early, and the Series might not return to Miami for another four years or so.

The tournament was held at the Orange Bowl, site of the current Miami Marlins Park, in 1990. It was also held at Bobby Maduro Miami Stadium in 1991. The Series was going through hard times during their trips to Miami, and Puello would like to reestablish the events image in the heavily Latin populated area.

Another factor is the possible return of Cuba to the Series. Cuba hasn’t played since 1961, but its return is still a long shot. Puello has stated that Cuba would have to commit to the Series to return. It would not be allowed for just one series. It would have to be on a permanent basis.

The 2014 Caribbean Series will return to Venezuela. The tournament rotates between the four countries participating (Mexico, Venezuala, Puerto Rico, and Dominican Republic).

Next year it will take place in Margarita which is a large island on the northeast coast of the country. It will be played at Estadio Guatamare where the Series debuted in 2010 when the Leones del Escogido of the Dominican Republic took home the title.

The Series will rotate to Puerto Rico in 2015 and the Dominican Republic in 2016.

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Caribbean Series: Luis Mendoza Named MVP of Series

HERMOSILLO, Mexico – The All-Stars of the 2013 Caribbean Series were named prior to Thursday’s Championship Game.

Luis Mendoza, a Kansas City Royals pitcher, was named the Most Valuable Player of the round robin portion of the tournament. Mendoza was part of Mexico’s Yaquis de Obregon team that went on to win the title.

Mendoza made two starts in the tournament pitching 13.1 scoreless innings. He flirted with a no-hitter on Wednesday taking one into the eighth inning when he would pitch 7.1 innings giving up just two hits to earn the win. That win against Puerto Rico put Mexico into the Championship Game against the Leones del Escogido of the Dominican Republic.

The rest of the All-Stars were:

• Manager: Audo Vicente (DR)
• Catcher: Francisco Pena (DR)
• Pitcher: Mendoza
• First base: Donell Linares (DR)
• Second base: Jose Ramirez (DR)
• Third base: Mario Lisson (Venezuela)
• Shortstop: Miguel Tejada (DR)
• Outfielder: Marlon Byrd (Mexico)
• Outfielder: Ricardo Nanita (DR)
• Outfielder: Doug Clark (Mexico)
• Designated hitter: Barbaro Canizares (Puerto Rico)
• Right-handed pitcher: Mendoza
• Left-handed pitcher: Efraim Nieves (Puerto Rico)
• Relief pitcher: David Reyes (Mexico)
• Closer: Saul Rivera (Puerto Rico)

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Caribbean Series: Doug Clark Ends Championship with Home Run in the 18th Inning

HERMOSILLO, Mexico – It took 18 innings and just about eight hours of play before the Yaquis de Obregon of Mexico could hold on to pick up the win over the Leones del Escogido of the Dominican Republic. The 4-3 victory in the first Championship Game gave Mexico the 2013 Caribbean Series title. It was their second title in three years, both by Obregon.

Mexico led 2-1 heading into the bottom of the ninth inning but couldn’t hang on. Ricardo Nanita (1-for-8) homered to tie the game and send it into extra innings.

From there it was a battle of bullpens for another nine innings. It looked again like Mexico might pull out the win in the 14th inning, but once again they couldn’t hold on. Karim Garcia (1-for-5) led off the inning with a home run to give Mexico a 3-2 lead. But with a one-run lead in the 14th Mexico’s pitching staff couldn’t find the strike zone. Edgar Gonzalez walked the first two batters. After a couple of ground outs, the face of the Caribbean Series came to the plate with a chance to tie or win it, Miguel Tejada (2-for-8). Tejada preceeded to single to right field driving in the tying run.

Mexico pitching walked 10 batters, but eight of those were in the last 6.1 innings including six in a 2.1 inning streak. Starter Rodrigo Lopez pitched brilliantly tossing 7.2 innings of one run ball (unearned). Marco Carrillo (W, 1-0) picked up the win pitching four innings of scoreless relief.

The Dominican Republic starter Angel Castro pitched just as well as Lopez. He tossed 7.2 innings giving up just two runs (1 earned) on two hits. He was on the hook for the loss until Nanita homered in the ninth inning. The pitching staff struck out 21 Mexico hitters and gave up only six hits over 18 innings. Edward Valdez (L, 0-1) took the loss giving up a run in the 18th inning.

That lone run in the 18th inning came off the bat of longtime journeyman Doug Clark (2-for-7). With one out, Clark sent the first pitch he saw just over the right field fence giving Mexico the lead and eventually the win.

Clark bounced around in the minor leagues from 1998 to 2007. He got a “cup of coffee” in the Major Leagues in 2005 and 2006 getting into the action in fourteen games for San Francisco and Oakland. After that he took off for the foreign leagues starting first in South Korea with the Hanwha Eagles and then onto the Nexen Heroes between 2008-2010. Ever since leaving Korea, Clark has been playing in the Mexican League for Quintana Roo.

The game tied the record for most innings (18) with a game that came in 2007. It also set the record for the longest game at seven hours and 28 minutes).

Doug Clark was named MVP of the championship.

It was Mexico’s seventh Caribbean Series title tying them with Venezuela and Cuba. It was the second title won by the Yaquis de Obregon.

Photos courtesy Yaquis de Obregon

Clark HR

Doug Clark rounds the bases after his 18th inning home run

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Caribbean Series: Dominican Republic Eliminates Venezuela; Awaits Mexico – Puerto Rico Winner

HERMOSILLO, Mexico – The Dominican Republic earned a spot in the new Championship Game of the 2013 Caribbean Series with a win over Mexico on Tuesday. On Wednesday they eliminated Venezuela with a 4-2 win.

Both team got good starts from their starting pitcher. The Dominican’s Carlos Pimentel pitched four innings giving up only one unearned run on two hits. The bullpen did just as well giving up only one run on three hits the rest of the way. Pimentel didn’t factor in the decision, but Armando Rodriguez (W, 1-0) picked up the win pitching a scoreless eighth inning. Jailen Peguero (S, 1) got the save with a scoreless ninth.

On the other side of the field, Sergio Perez started and pitched well for Venezuela going five innings giving up just one run on five hits.

The game was a pitching duel between the two bullpens, until the ninth inning.

Victor Moreno (L, 0-1) came in to start the ninth for Venezuela. He got the inning started off right with a strikeout. Then he walked a batter and struck out another. So with two outs and a runner at second, after a stolen base, he was lifted for reliever Marcos Tabata.

The Dominican Republic quickly took advantage.

The first hitter Tabata saw, Francisco Pena (2-for-4), hit a two-run home run to put the Dominican in the lead for good.

Venezuela couldn’t come back in the ninth against Peguero and that was it. Their 2013 Caribbean Series ended in disappointment after starting off well. After starting off 2-1, Venezuela dropped the last three games to finish 2-4 and out of the new championship game.

The last game of the round robin features Mexico against Puerto Rico. The winner will advance to face the Dominican Republic in the championship game. In their first meeting, Mexico shutout Puerto Rico 3-0, but Puerto Rico has been hot lately winning their last 2 games.

Full Box Score

2013 Caribbean Series Standings:

1. Dominican Republic 5-1

2. Mexico 2-3

3. Puerto Rico 2-3

4. Venezuela 2-4

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Caribbean Series: Mexico Defeats Venezuela to Even Record at 2-2

HERMOSILLO, Mexico – Some games go down to the last batter to find a winner. On Monday, Mexico defeated Venezuela at the 2013 Caribbean Series 2-0 scoring the only runs in the game after two batters.

In the bottom of the first inning, Mexico center fielder Chris Roberson (0-for-3) reached on an error by Venezuela first baseman Jose Castillo. The next batter accounted for all of the runs when Alfredo Amezaga (1-for-3) hit a two run home run.

Venezuela starter Austin Bibens-Dirkx (L, 0-1) pitched great allowing only three hits over seven innings. However, one of the three hits was Amezaga’s home run in the first inning.

Rolando Valdez (W, 1-0) pitched well to get the win going seven shutout innings allowing only five hits while striking out six and walking none. Oscar Villarreal (S, 1) picked up the save striking out two in the ninth.

Neither team did anything offensively after the first inning. Mexico collected only three hits and Venezuela seven.

The win evens the standings between the two teams at 2-2 a game behind the leader Dominican Republic.

2013 Caribbean Series Standings:

1. Dominican Republic 3-1
2. Venezuela 2-2
3. Mexico 2-2
4. Puerto Rico 1-3

2013 Caribbean Series Schedule:

Tuesday February 5th
Puerto Rico vs Venezuela 6:00 pm
Dominican Republic vs Mexico 9:30 pm

Wednesday February 6th
Dominican Republic vs Venezuela 6:00 pm
Mexico vs Puerto Rico 9:30 pm

Thursday February 7th
Championship 9:00 pm

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LMP: Yaquis de Obregon Win Third Straight Mexican Pacific League Title

The Yaquis de Obregon completed its three-peat winning the Mexican Pacific League title once again with a four game sweep of the Aguilas de Mexicali. Obregon completed the sweep with a 16-3 win on Saturday night.

Kansas City pitcher Roman Colon got the start for Obregon but lasted only three innings. He gave up three runs on five hits before handing the ball over to the bullpen. David Reyes (W, 1-1) picked up the win pitching four innings of scoreless relief.

Marco Duarte (L, 1-1) got pounded taking the loss. Duarte lasted just 1.2 innings giving up seven runs.

The Yaquis pounded out 17 hits including two home runs and five doubles against the Mexicali pitching. Every Yaquis starter picked up at least one hit on the night led by Alfredo Amezago (3-for-5) who double and drove in a run. Jesse Gutierrez (2-for-4) drove in four runs including three on a home run in the 3rd inning.

Barbaro Canizares (3-for-4) drove in a pair including one on a solo home run in the 3rd inning as Obregon put the game away. They started strong scoring five runs in the bottom of the 1st inning, added two more in the 2nd, and another five in the 3rd.

Wes Bankston (1-for-3) homered in the losing effort for Mexicali.

The win puts Obregon back into the Caribbean Series for the 3rd year in a row. In last years Caribbean Series, Obregon finished a disappointing 2-4 after winning the title in 2011.

The Caribbean Series starts February 1st in Hermosillo, Mexico.

LMP Championship Schedule:

Game 1: Obregon 5, Mexicali 3
Game 2: Obregon 4, Mexicali 2
Game 3: Mexicali 5, Obregon 6
Game 4: Mexicali 3, Obregon 16
Yaquis de Obregon wins series 4-0

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LMP: Obregon Takes Two Game Lead in Mexican Pacific League Finals

Obregon took a 2-0 lead in the Mexican Pacific League Finals over Mexicali on a Juan Miranda solo home run in the top of the 7th inning.

With the game tied at 2, Miranda led off the 7th inning with a home run off of Mexicali starter Sergio Valenzuela (L, 0-2). The Yaquis got another run in the top of the 8th on a Adan Munoz (1-for-1) pinch hit single driving in Doug Clark (1-for-3) who had walked to start the inning.

Both Alfredo Amezaga (2-for-4) and Sergio Contreras (2-for-3) both picked up 2 hits in the win for Obregon.

Rolando Valdez (W, 2-0) pitched 6 strong innings giving up just 2 runs (1 earned) on 5 hits to earn the win. Luis Ayala (S, 5) pitched a perfect 9th to earn the save. Valenzuela went 6.1 innings giving up 3 runs on 8 hits taking the loss.

LMP Championship Schedule:

Game 1: Obregon 5, Mexicali 3
Game 2: Obregon 4, Mexicali 2
Game 3: 01/25 7:30 pm
Game 4: 01/26 6:00 pm
Game 5: 01/27 7:30 pm
Game 6: 01/29 7:30 pm
Game 7: 01/30 7:30 pm

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LMP: Obregon Wins Game 1 of Mexican Pacific League Finals

Obregon got a strong start from Kansas City Royals pitcher Luis Mendoza (W, 3-0) to take Game 1 of the Mexican Pacific League (Liga Mexicana del Pacífico or LMP) Finals 5-3 over Mexicali.

Mendoza tossed 6 innings allowing just 2 runs on 5 hits while striking out 11 en route to the victory. Luis Ayala (S, 4) tossed 1.2 innings of scoreless ball to pick up the save.

Obregon jumped out to a 3-0 lead after the top of the first. They used a single, a hit batter, and a walk to load the bases. Barbaro Canizares drove in the first run with a sacrifice fly putting runners at the corners. With Carlos Valencia at the plate, Jesse Gutierrez stole second to set up Valencia’s 2-run single.

Obregon left fielder Doug Clark (2-for-3) scored 3 runs, while Carlos Valencia (2-for-4) and Agustin Murillo (2-for-4) both picked up a pair of hits. Valencia drove in 3 runs.

Mexicali starter Jorge Campillo (L, 1-2) didn’t last long going only 2.2 innings allowing 4 runs on 4 hits. Oscar Robles (3-for-5) doubled and scored a run, while Yuniesky Betancourt (2-for-5) tripled, homered, and drove in 2 runs in the loss.

LMP Championship Schedule:

Game 1: Obregon 5, Mexicali 3
Game 2: 01/23 7:30 pm
Game 3: 01/25 7:30 pm
Game 4: 01/26 6:00 pm
Game 5: 01/27 7:30 pm
Game 6: 01/29 7:30 pm
Game 7: 01/30 7:30 pm

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LMP: Obregon Faces Mexicali in the Championship Series

The Mexican Pacific League (Liga Mexicana del Pacífico or LMP) Championship teams are now set.

The Yaquis de Obregon were patiently waiting to see who would be there opponent in the finals after defeating the Tomateros de Culiacan 4-1 in their semifinal match up. Obregon limped into the playoffs going 3-4 in January.

Their opponent, Culiacan, headed into the playoffs on a 7 game winning streak and the best record in the league. They had blasted 97 home runs in 66 games to lead the league.

In the other semifinal match up, Mexicali needed 7 games to put away Guasave to advance. In the series, Mexicali took a 3-1 lead in the series needing just one more win to finish it off. That’s when Guasave fought back to win games 5 and 6 to force a final game.

It wouldn’t be for Guasave though as Mexicali jumped on them for a 12-4 win in Game 7 to set up the match up with Mexicali.

Both teams finished with similar records as Obregon finished 37-30 and Mexicali was 36-31. Their pitching stats are just as similar with ERAs of 4.08 (Mexicali) and 4.17 (Obregon).

The similarities don’t stop there.

Mexicali hit .268 over the course of the season with Obregon hitting .267. Home runs are close as well, 76 for Obregon and 72 for Mexicali.

Mexicali is led by outfielder Jon Weber (.325/5/35), Ricky Alvarez (.268/5/20), and Chris Roberson (.301/5/20/30 SBs). The pitching staff is led by Jorge Campillo (4-2/3.68) and Marco Duarte (5-4/4.28).

Obregon is led by Alfredo Amezaga (.344/5/26), Doug Clark (.281/12/27), and Barbaro Canizares (.324/17/66). Marco Carrillo (6-5/3.13) and David Reyes (4-1/2.49) lead the pitching staff.

LMP Championship Schedule:

Game 1: 01/22 7:30 pm
Game 2: 01/23 7:30 pm
Game 3: 01/25 7:30 pm
Game 4: 01/26 6:00 pm
Game 5: 01/27 7:30 pm
Game 6: 01/29 7:30 pm
Game 7: 01/30 7:30 pm

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By Bruce Baskin

When the Obregon Yaquis dispatched the Guasave Algodoneros Wednesday night to wrap up the Mexican Pacific League finals in four straight games, they didn’t use a broom. A shop vacuum is more like it.

The Yaquis blasted the Cottoneers, 19-0, by pounding out 25 hits in front of a stunned crowd of 7,824 at Guasave’s Estadio Francisco Carranza Limon. Sergio Contreras had four hits and five RBIs for Obregon, Carlos Valencia’s four-hit night included a solo homer, Iker Franco and Alfredo Amezaga combined for six hits, two homers, five runs and five RBIs…you get the idea.

Obregon opened the contest with five first-inning runs off Algos starter Francisco Cordoba, including a solo homer by Amezaga and a three-run round-tripper from Franco, both to right field. The score remained at 5-0 until the Yaquis tacked on two more in the sixth on a Valencia homer and a Karim Garcia RBI single, but the real fireworks came one inning later.

In the seventh, Obregon sent 15 players to the plate and scored 11 runs as Valencia, Contreras and Amezaga each turned in two hits to bring the score to 18-0. It’s safe to say the only seventh-inning stretching last night was done by the Yaquis’ third base coach, who was probably waving more than the queen at a homecoming parade.

Not that it was needed, but the Yaquis received a standout start from Marco Carrillo, who won his second playoff game by tossing six innings of three-hit shutout ball, striking out six Algodoneros and walking one. The only Yaqui who conceivably could have been disappointed was closer Luis Ayala, whose only chance of earning a fourth consecutive save in the LMP finals would have been to pitch batting practice to the Cottoneers.

With the Mex Pac competition vanquished for a second straight year, the next conquest for the Yaquis will be the Caribbean Series, which begins Thursday, February 2 in the Dominican Republic. Joining Obregon in Santo Domingo will be Puerto Rican champion Mayaguez after the Indios topped Caguas, 5 games to 3, in that league’s title series. The Venezuelan League championships between Aragua and LaGuaira are tied at a game apiece while the Escogido Leones lead Cibaenas in the Domincan Series, 3 games to 1.

Bruce Baskin is the Editor/Producer at the BASEBALL MEXICO website.

Follow Baseball de World on Twitter or Facebook and don’t forget to join our Newsletter.

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By Bruce Baskin

One night after stroking a single to keep a game-winning rally going in Obregon’s 3-2 win over Guasave in Game One of the Mexican Pacific League championship series, Agustin Murillo swatted a two-out, two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth inning Sunday night to lead the Yaquis past the Algodoneros in a 6-5 thriller Sunday before another sellout crowd of 13,984 at Obregon’s Estadio Tomas Oroz Gaytan.

The Algodoneros had built a 5-1 lead after Jose Rodriguez sliced a two-run single in the third and run-plating singles by Jesus Lopez and Jose Felix in the sixth. Obregon got two back in the sixth by scoring on a groundout by Doug Clark and a Carlos Valencia single, then came to within a run in the seventh on Barbaro Canizares’ RBI groundout.

Valencia was standing on first with two out when Murillo strode to the plate in the eighth and blasted a homer over the centerfield wall off Cottoneers closer Alan Guerrero to give the Yaquis their first lead since the top of the third. Luis Ayala then came out of the bullpen to replace Rafael Rodriguez on the mound in the top of the ninth and retired Guasave 1-2-3 on seven pitches for his sixth playoff save this winter (and second in both title series tilts).

Valencia went 3-for-4 for the Yaquis while Saturday hero Karim Garcia had two doubles as Obregon outhit the Algodoneros by an 8-to-4 margin. Yaquis starter Randy Keisler gave up just two hits in five innings, but struggled with five walks to the 22 batters he faced and ended up allowing four runs before Hugo Castellano replaced him in the sixth. Rodriguez benefitted from Murillo’s homer with the win despite only facing two batsmen. Guerrero took the loss with his second blown save of the postseason on a clear 75-degree Obregon night.

The two sides will travel to Guasave for Game Three on Tuesday night. Obregon now has a 2-0 series lead.

Bruce Baskin is the Editor/Producer at the BASEBALL MEXICO website.

Follow Baseball de World on Twitter or Facebook and don’t forget to join our Newsletter.

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By Bruce Baskin

The defending Caribbean Series champion Obregon Yaquis continued their march toward a second straight CS crown with a 3-2 win over the Guasave Algodoneros in the opening game of the Mexican Pacific League title series Saturday night in front of 13,976 fans at a jam-packed Estadio Tomas Oroz Gaytan.

Karim Garcia (pictured) crashed a two-out solo homer to center field off Cottoneers starter James Avery in the bottom of the first to draw first blood in the series, and a leadoff solo blast by Sergio Contreras off Avery in the third gave the Yaquis a 2-0 lead. Guasave fought back in the top of the fourth when Daryle Ward singled up the middle off Obregon opener Luis Mendoza to bring in Leo Heras from third and make it a one-run contest. After two scoreless innings, Algodoneros slugger Japhet Amador bashed a Mendoza delivery for a solo bomb over the center field wall to knot the game up at 2-2.

The Yaquis got the one more run they’d eventually need for the win in the bottom of the seventh. Adrian C. Ramirez, who pitched for the Yaquis in the CS last year, came on in relief for Guasave and gave up a leadoff single to Carlos Valencia. After inducing Conteras to bunt a pop-up to Cottoneers catcher Jose Felix, Ramirez let up an Agustin Murillo single before giving way to Mauricio Lara. Lara got Corey Wimberley to fly out to right to make it two gone, but then he walked Alfredo Amezaga, bringing up Garcia with the bases loaded.

Karim, who’s only been hitting .182 in the postseason for the Yaquis, watched one strike and swung for another to dig himself an 0-2 hole in the count, but Lara then threw four straight balls to walk Valencia in from third for the game-winner.

Mendoza got the win for Obregon after tossing seven innings of two-run ball while Luis Ayala earned his fifth playoff save with 1.1 frames of scoreless pitching. Ramirez absorbed the loss for Guasave.

The two teams play again Sunday night before the series shifts to Guasave for Game Three Tuesday.

Bruce Baskin is the Editor/Producer at the BASEBALL MEXICO website.

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By Bruce Baskin

The Mexican League has named its 2011 award winners and, as expected, Mexico City outfielder Luis Terrero has been tabbed as Most Valuable Player. The former MLBer dominated the offensive ranks among Liga batters, leading the circuit in five individual categories and finishing second in three more as he turned in a .390 batting average with 38 homers and 110 RBIs in 97 games for the Diablos.

Other players awarded were Reynosa’s Marco Tovar as Pitcher of the Year after registering a 12-4 record and leading the LMB with a 3.11 ERA; Sandy Nin of Quintana Roo as Reliever of the Year following an 8-4 season with a 2.80 ERA and a league-leading 24 saves; Rookie of the Year Alejandro Martinez, who went 7-2 with a 2.90 ERA in 13 starts for a sixth-place Minatitlan team; and Comeback of the Year winner Pablo Ortega, who went from a 2-6 record and an 8.24 ERA for Quintana Roo in 2010 to a 10-3 season with a 3.29 ERA and three more playoff wins for the Tigres this summer.

Quintana Roo skipper Matias Carrillo was named Manager of the Year after leading the Tigres to a Southern Zone regular season crown and the franchise’s tenth Liga pennant in 2011.

It’s hard to argue against any of these choices: The Mexican League pretty much got it right.

Bruce Baskin is the Editor/Producer at the BASEBALL MEXICO website.

Follow Baseball de World on Twitter or Facebook and don’t forget to join our Newsletter.

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By Bruce Baskin

An unlikely hero emerged from the bullpen and Carlos Gastelum’s grand slam in the seventh inning busted open a tied game as the Quintana Roo Tigres polished off the Mexico City Diablos, 13-9, Friday at Foro Sol to complete a four-game sweep of their rivals and win the franchise’s tenth Mexican League pennant since 1955.

Both teams were putting runs on the board in the early going as Gastelum homered in the first inning and Doug Clark went deep in the third and the two most storied teams in Mexican baseball battled to a 5-5 tie heading into the fourth inning. Enter Jorge Campillo in relief of Tigres starter Enrique Lechuga.

Campillo, a former MLB pitcher with Seattle and Atlanta who has fought with injuries over the years, turned in four superlative relief innings for manager Matias Carrillo’s side, blanking the potent Diablos on one hit in four innings of work, just long enough for Gastelum to swat his second homer of the night in Quintana Roo’s five-run seventh, breaking the tie and sending the Tigres to a win and a pennant. Mexico City’s Luis Terrero scored on a Ivan Terrazas double off Eder Llamas to close the gap to 8-6 in the eighth, but Albino Contreras bashed a three-run homer in the top of the ninth to stretch the Tigres’ lead to 11-6. The Red Devils put another three scores on the board in the bottom of the ninth, but they went for naught.

Gastelum ended up with five RBIs and Sergio Contreras batted 5-for-5 for Quintana Roo. Alexis Gomez and Leo Heras both had three hits for Mexico City with Gomez driving in three runs. Campillo won his first playoff game while Salvador Robles took the loss for the Diablos. The pennant is the first for the Tigres in Cancun and for Carrillo as a skipper.

Bruce Baskin is the Editor/Producer at the BASEBALL MEXICO website.

Follow Baseball de World on Twitter or Facebook and don’t forget to join our Newsletter.

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By Bruce Baskin

Hector Paez drove in Victor Diaz from first with a two-out, pinch-hit double to right field in the top of the ninth inning to give the Veracruz Aguilas a 7-6 lead over Quintana Roo that reliever Jailen Peguero preserved in the bottom of the frame to even the Mexican League Southern Zone Final series at a game apiece Friday night in Cancun.

The Aguilas had a 6-3 lead over the Tigres until Quintana Roo tied the game up in the bottom of the seventh on consecutive RBI hits from Doug Clark, Willie Romero and Albino Contreras. Peguero, who came in after Clark’s double, then retired Kevin Flores and Jaime Trejo to end the seventh and struggled through a scoreless eighth before Paez’ heroics in the ninth stanza. Game 3 of the series is set for Sunday in Veracruz.

A crowd of 23,537 attended Friday’s LMB North Final Game 3 in Monterrey as the Sultanes defeated Mexico City, 7-4, as Edgar Quintero went 3-for-4 with a homer and three RBIs for the winning team. Sergio Perez, who hit just three regular season homers, went yard twice for Monterrey to back pitchers Dan Serafini and Juan Delgadillo.

The Diablos came back one night later and outlasted the Sultanes, 5-4, as Mexico City starter Marco Quevedo gave up just one hit in 5.2 shutout innings and Mario Valenzuela doubled in two runs in the fifth. The Diablos were up 5-1 in the ninth before Monterrey scored three runs off Mexico City closer Jean Machi to make it a one-run contest, but Machi got Sandy Madera to hit into a fielder’s choice to end the contest. The Diablos now lead the series, 3 games to 1.

Bruce Baskin is the Editor/Producer at the BASEBALL MEXICO website.

Follow Baseball de World on Twitter or Facebook and don’t forget to join our Newsletter.

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