Monday, April 3, 2017

Leones de Yucatan Weekly Update - April 3rd 2017


Leones Started Off Strong
The Leones have started off the 2017 season of the Liga Mexicana de Beisbol in fine fashion. Having swept the Tigres de Quintana Roo in Merida, the Leones find themselves alone atop the Division Zona Sur with a 3-0 record.

With an offensive display that produced 29 runs and 45 hits in the 3 games, it’s hard to imagine the hitters continuing at such an explosive rate. The pitching staff was equally as impressive during the series with the Tigres, giving up 6 runs and 22 hits in the 3 game set. Are the Leones this good or are the Tigres that bad? Only time will tell.

The boys from Merida have a .398 team batting average (2nd in the league), led the LMB in hits but fall behind the Pericos de Puebla in most other categories. It should be noted that the Pericos played the Bravos de Leon, a reincarnation of the Broncos de Reynosa, who finished 24-88 in 2016...last in the Zona Norte while the Tigres finished 68-45 in Zona Sur.
2nd in the LMB in Batting Average

Our pitchers rank 3rd in the LMB in ERA, 4th in hits allowed, 4th on walks allowed and tied for 3rd in the WHIP category. For those of you not aware of the term WHIP, it is a statistic for
Walks+Hits per Inning Pitched. The Leones pitching staff, which includes starters and relievers allow 1.11 hits and walks per inning. A number this low bodes well for the season, if sustainable.

Aguilar's Gold Glove
On Sunday, the final game of the 3 game set with the Tigres, the Leones showed off their individual fielding prowess from the 2016 season as they presented league Gold Glove Awards to Kevin Flores, Jose Aguilar and Ricardo Serrano

Based on what I have seen so far, I will stand by my prediction of the Leones finishing with a 75-36 record, champions of the Zona Sur and a good chance to bring the Serie del Rey trophy home to Merida.  

Leones Sweep Series From Tigres With 13-1 Drubbing


Aguilar's Home Run Swing
The Leones hitters feasted once again on the pitching of the Tigres. The 3 game series saw Yucatan score 29 runs on 45 hits while holding the Tigres to 6 runs on 22 hits. With this balance of pitching and hitting, the Leones should advance nicely towards the Zona Sur division championship of the LMB.

10,400 loyal fans braved the 102 degree temperatures at game time and had plenty to cheer about. To put this number of fans in perspective, 3,800 fans watched the Diablos lose to Monclova, 3,700 saw the Pericos de Puebla defeat the Bravos de Leon and 2,700 die hard Piratas fans witnessed the heart breaking loss of the home team to the Olmecas de Tabasco.

The Leones led 4-0 before Ramon Ramirez hit a lead off home run for the Tigres in the top of the 3rd inning. That was the only bad pitch that Leones starter Juan Delgadillo (1-0) threw in his 5 innings on the mound as he held the Tigres to 3 hits. Three Yucatan relievers shutout the Tigres on 1 hit over the last 4 innings. Juan Arballo (0-1) gave up 7 runs on 10 hits over 3 innings to take the loss.
Delgadillo on the mound

In the bottom of the 4th inning, Jose Aguilar hit a lead off home run, the 1st HR of the year for the Leones.

Delgadillo pitched out of a jam in the 5th inning. He gave up singles to Iker Franco and Ramon Ramirez that put runners on the corners with no outs. Delgadillo then uncorked a wild pitch that put Ramirez on second but Jose Felix and then Mario Vega flew out to shallow center and Delgadillo struck out Greg Golson to end the threat and the inning.

Jordany Valdespin triple
Jordany Valdespin tripled and drove in 4 while going 2 for 5 and Leo Heras was 3 for 4 with an RBI and a run scored to lead the Leones offensive attack.

Can the Leones de Yucatan keep this up over the course of the season? Is the pitching staff of the Tigres this bad? We'll know more as the Leones travel to Tabasco to take on the 1-2 Olmecas and the Tigres return home to face the 2-1 Piratas de Campeche.

The Leones return to Parque Kukulcan on Friday, April 7th, to begin a 3 game series with Campeche.

Todos Somos Leones!


Monclova 4, Mexico 3

The Acereros scored twice in the 8th inning to tie the game and broke a 3-3 tie with a run in the 9th to beat the Diablos 4-3. Rodolfo Amador hit a sac fly to center that scored Josh Vargas with the go ahead run. Benny Suarez (1-0) pitched a scoreless to pick up the win and Chad Gaudin worked the 9th to earn his 1st save for Monclova. Nathanael Santiago (0-1) gave up the winning run in the 9th to take the loss. Ivan Terrazas was 3 for 4 with 2 RBIs in the losing effort for the Diablos.

Puebla 16, Leon 6

The Pericos scored 9 times in the bottom of the 8th inning to break open a close game. Puebla scored 16 runs on 16 hits in the win over the Bravos. Daniel Sanchez clubbed a pinch hit home run while going 2 for 2 with 3 RBIs, Cole Gillespie was 3 for 5 with 7 RBIs and Ceasr Tapia went 3 for 5 with 3 RBIs and 3 runs scored for Puebla. Niko Vasquez was 1 for 3 with a home run, 3 RBIs and 2 runs scored for Leon.

Monterrey 9, Saltillo 5

Walter Ibarra was 2 for 4 with a home run a double and 3 RBIs in the Sultanes 9-5 win over the Saraperos. Heber Gomez went 3 for 4 with an RBI and a run scored for Saltillo. Marco Carrillo (1-0) got the win in relief while Saltillo's starter,Carlos Pimentel (0-1), gave up 7 runs on 5 hits in 2 1/3 innings to take the loss. 16,200 hometown fans, the largest LMB crowd on Sunday, watched the Sultanes take the rubber match from Saltillo and improve to 2-1 on the young season.

Aguasclientes 9, Durango 4

The Rieleros scored 5 runs in the 1st to innings and coasted to the 9-4 win over the Generales. Guillermo Trujillo (1-0) allowed 3 runs on 5 hits in 5 innings of work to get the win. Jon Sintes (0-1) was roughed up for 7 runs on 9 hits, including 2 home runs, in taking the loss. Saul Soto was 3 for 5 with a home run and 3 RBIs and Ricky Pedroza added a home run and 2 RBIs for the Rieleros. Henry Alejandro Rodriguez was 2 for 5 with an RBI and Daniel Nunez 2 for 4 with a triple for Durango.

Oaxaca 7, Veracruz 6

Guerreros Celebrate Walk Off Win
The Guerreros got a walk off single from Alejandro Gonzalez with 1 out in the bottom of the 9th to top Veracruz 7-6. Lauro Ramirez (1-0) worked 1/3 of an inning to get the win in relief. Joan Montero (0-1) gave up 2 runs on 3 hits in 1 inning of relief and was charged with the loss. Gonzalez was 3 for 5 with the big RBI and Jose Martinez 2 for 4 with a home run and 2 RBIs for Oaxaca. Ivan Jimenez went  2 for 5 with 2 runs scored, Carlos Lopez 2 for 5 and Luis Suarez 2 for 3 for Veracruz.

Tabasco 2, Campeche 1

Both starting pitchers looked very good, with Angel Ariaza going 5 1/3 innings and allowing a run for the Olmecas while Francisco Campos was shutting out Tabasco for 5 innings but neither pitcher figured in the final decision. Heriberto Ruelas (1-1) got the win in relief with Ramon Troncoso earning the save. Derrick Loop (0-1) worked the 9th for the Piratas and took the loss. Loop's throwing error on a pick off attempt allowed Alex Romero to score from third with the go head run. Romero, Sandy Madera and Pedro Diaz were all 2 for 4 for the Olmecas.

Tijuana 6, Laguna 1

Alex Liddi homered in his 3rd consecutive game and Dustin Martin added his 2nd home run of the year in the Toro's 6-1 win over the Vaqueros. Liddi was 2 for 3 with 3 RBIs and Martin 2 for 3. Jaime Pedroza went 2 for 3 at the plate for Laguna. Miguel Pena (1-0) went 6 innings allowing 3 hits in getting the win while Marco Quevedo (0-1) struck out 7 but was touched for 3 runs in 5 innings in the loss

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Leones Double Up the Tigres 8-4


Jonathan Castellanos
The Leones offense continues to excel in the young season with 27 hits and 16 runs in their first two games of the year. The starting pitching has been outstanding allowing just 2 earned runs in 10 1/3 innings.

Jordany Valdespin tripled to lead of the bottom of the 2nd for the Leones and scored on an Humberto Sosa double to center. Ricardo Serrano singled on a ball hit to deep short. Hector Paez singled to right to load the bases with no outs. One out later, Leo Heras hit a fly ball to center that was dropped for an error as Sosa and Serrano scored. Jose Aguilar singled to drive in Paez. Heras scored on a double play that took too long to develop and the Leones had a 5-0 lead after 2 innings.

The Tigres got 2 runs back in the top of the 3rd on a single by Greg Golson and a home run by Eugenio Velez cut the lead to 5-2.

Cacao Scores
Cacao Valdez got things going for the Leones in the bottom of the 5th with a lead off single. Valdespin walked. With one out Serrano singled to left to load the bases. Paez was hit by a pitch to force in Valdez. Kevin Flores followed with a single to drive in Valdespin and Serrano. Three more runs and an 8-2 lead.

A walk and two singles loaded the bases with no outs for the Tigres in the top of the 7th inning. After a pop up to the infield for the 1st out, Christian Marrero hit a sac fly to left to plate Jose Felix. Brian Hernandez singled to drive in Greg Golson but that would be all the runs the Tigres could score and after Jairo Asencio set the Tigres down in order in the 9th the Leones had the 8-4 win and a 2-0 record on the year.
Jario Ascencio

Jonathan Castellanos (1-0) went 5 innings, giving up 6 hits and 2 runs. He walked 2 and struck out 2 in garnering the win. Tyler Herron (0-1) was touched for 7 runs on 8 hits in 4 1/3 innings in the loss.

Ricardo Serrano was 3 for 4 with 2 runs scored, Cacao Valdez 2 for 5 and Leo Heras 2 for 4 with an RBI and a run scored for Yucatan.

Greg Golson went 4 for 5 with 2 runs scored for the Tigres while Eugenio Velez was 1 for 5 with the home run and 2 RBIs.

Game 3 of the series is on Sunday. Monday is an off day with the Leones traveling to Villahermosa to take on the Olmecas de Tabasco for 3 games beginning on Tuesday the 4th of April.


Mexico 17, Monclova 10

These two teams combined for 30 hits and 27 runs in a game that saw 6 home runs, 4 by the Acereros and 2 by the Diablos in a game that was all offense and ineffective pitching. Jorge Vasquez was 4 for 4 with 2 HRs and 4 RBIs and Ivan Terrzas 4 for 6 with 5 RBIs for Mexico. Manny Rodriguez was 1 for 3 with a 3 run home run and Matt Clark went 2 for 4 with 2 home runs and 4 RBIs for Monclova. Daric Barton also homered for the Acereros.

Leon 10, Puebla 7

The Bravos de Leon won their 1st game as the reincarnated Broncos de Reynosa by defeating the defending champion Pericos de Puebla 10-7. Leon scored 6 runs in the 5th inning and outlasted the Pericos. Mitch Lively (1-0) threw 6 innings, scattering 6 hits to get the win. Karl Gelinas (0-1) was roughed up for 4 runs on 4 hits and 3 walks in his 4 innings of work. Miguel Torrero went 3 for 5 with a double and 2 RBIs for the Bravos while Endy Chavez was 2 for 5 with 2 RBIs for Puebla.

Oaxaca 9, Veracruz 0

Guerreros starter, Daniel Guerrero (1-0), held the Aguilas scoreless through 5 1/3 innings on 4 hits and 5 relievers limited Veracruz to 3 hits in 3 1/3 innings while striking out 4 to complete the shutout. Alex Maestri (0-1) gave up 4 runs on 6 hits and 3 walks in the loss. Ismael Martinez went 2 for 2 with 2 walks, a home run, 2 RBIs and 3 runs scored with Yancarlo Angulo going 2 for 3 with 3 RBIs for Oaxaca.

Campeche 8, Tabasco 2

Maxwell Leon was 2 for 4 with 4 RBIs and Paul Leon 1 foe 2 with 2 walks, a home run and 2 runs scored as the Piratas improved to 2-0 on the season. Dave Sappelt and Rolando Acosta each homered for the Olmecas in the loss. Jorge Castillo (1-0) gave up a run on 4 hits while striking out 4 in the win while Alejandro Astorga (0-1) gave surrendered 4 runs on 7 hits in taking the loss.

Aguascalientes 8, Durango 1

6 Rieleros pitchers held the Generales to 1 run on 8 hits with Carlos Chavez (1-0) picking up the win. Durango used 8 hurlers to no avail as Gaudencio Aguirre (0-1) took the loss. Cristhian Presici was 4 for 4 with 4 singles, a walk and 2 RBIs for the Rieleros. Adan Velazquez went 1 for 2 with a home run for Durango.

Monterrey 11, Saltillo 7

The Sultanes scored 5 times in the top of the 9th inning to break a 6-6 tie ballgame and went on to win 11-7. The Saraperos closer, Tony Pena Jr., (0-1) gave up all 5 runs in taking the loss. Oscar Villarreal (1-0) was the beneficiary of the offensive outburst to get the win. Luis Juarez was 2 for 6 with a home run and 3 RBIs, Said Gutierrez 2 for 3 with a home run and Leonardo German 3 for 4 with an RBI for Monterrey. Rainel Rosario was 3 for 5 and Luis Borges 2 for 2 with 2 RBIs for the saraperos.

Tijuana 5, Laguna 0

Watch Alex Liddi's HR here.

Horacio Ramirez (1-0) and 3 relievers shut out the Vaqueros on 3 hits with 7 strike outs. Jeremy Kehrt (0-1) gave up all 5 Toros runs on 6 hits in the loss. Alex Liddi went 1 for 3 with his 2nd home run of the year and Cyle Hankerd was 2 for 4 on the night for the Toros. Ethan Chapman, Anderson Hernandez and Ricky Alvarez had the hits for the Vaqueros Union Laguna.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Leones Beat Tigres 8-1 in Season Opener


Yoanner Negrin
The Leones de Yucatan began to 2017 Liga Mexicana de Beisbol season in good form with the 8-1 win over the Tigres de Quintana Roo in Merida on Friday. Negrin gave up 4 hits, walked 2 and struckout 1 while holding the Tigres scoreless with 6 excellent innings of work on the mound. Jose Aguilar went 4 for 5 at the plate as the Leones pounded out 14 hits (13 singles).

Aguilar got the ball rolling with a 1 out single in the bottom of the 1st. Esteban Quiroz singled and both runners advanced on a slow roller to third by Jesus Valdez. Jordany Valdespin walked to load the bases. Humberto Sosa came through with a single left that drove in Aguilar and Quiroz. Ricardo Serrano followed with a single to plate Valdespin and the Leones were on top 3-0 after 1 inning.

Yucatan added a run in the bottom of the 2nd, 2 more in the 5th and scored their final 2 runs in the 6th to take an 8-0 lead.

The Tigres got on the board in the top of the 7th inning. Jesus Barraza, on in relief of Negrin struck out Iker Franco but walked Alfredo Amezaga. Mario Vega struck out swinging and things looked good for the Leones. Greg Golson singled next as Amezaga took third on a fielding error by Cacao Valdez in left. Carlos Gastelum drove in Amezaga with a single to center for the lone Tigres run and the final 8-1 margin of victory for the Leones.

Negrin (1-0) picked up the win while Kameron Loe (0-1) gave up 6 runs on 9 hits in 4 1/3 innings of work to take the loss.

The 2, 3 and 4 hitters in the lineup for the Leones, Aguilar, Quiroz and Valdez, went 8 for 15 with an RBI and 4 runs scored. Every batter, except Leo Heras, had a hit for Yucatan.

The Tigres managed 7 hits with Brian Hernandez going 2 for 3 on the night. Carlos Gastelum was 1 for 4 with an RBI.

12,000 vociferous hometown fans at Parque Kukulcan Alamo witnessed an all round good game from the Leones, good pitching and timely hitting. Yucatan had 13 singles among their 14 hits (Cacao Valdez had a double for the only extra base hit). 5 Leones pitchers scattered 7 Tigres hits, walked 2 and struck out 6 in the game.

These 2 teams continue the series in Merida on Saturday with the get away game on Sunday the 2nd of April. If you live in Merida, come out and watch some really great baseball. Todos Somos Leones!


Monclova 12, Mexico 7

Manny Rodriguez was 1 for 2 with a grand slam and 3 walks as the Acereros de Monclova topped the Diablos Rojos del Mexico 12-7, spoiling the season opener for Mexico. Alejandro Ortiz went 4 for 5 with 2 RBIs and 3 runs scored in the loss for the Diablos. Josh Lowey (1-0) allowed 3 runs on 7 hits in 6 innings on the hill to get the win while Efren Delgado (0-1) gave up 6 runs on 4 hits, including the grand slam, in the loss.

Veracruz 11, Oaxaca 4

Jose Pina (1-0) threw 5 innings giving up 2 runs on 8 hits to get the win for Veracruz. Irwin Delgado ((0-1) pitched well for 5 innings but allowed 3 runs on 5 hits while striking out 8 in the loss. Juan Martinez was 3 for 4 with a home run and a triple with 4 RBIs for Veracruz. Jaime Brenna went 3 for 3 and Victor Santos 2 for 2 with 2 doubles for the Guerreros.

Puebla 10, Leon 4

The defending LMB Champion Pericos out gunned the Bravos de Leon with a 10-4 win. The game was played in Puebla, with Leon designated the "home team" because the home field for the Bravos is not ready for competition. Ricky Rodriguez went 2 for 4 with a grand slam for the Pericos. JP Ramirez had a 4 for 4 night at the plate and Cesar Tapia went 2 for 5 with a home run for Puebla. Eduardo "ElMosco" Aredondo had a home run and scored 2 runs on a 2 for 4 night while Donald Lutz went 3 for 4 with 2 runs scored for Leon. Manuel Baez (1-0) picked up the win in relief while Jose Sanchez (0-1) took the loss.

Durango 2, Aguascalientes 1

Durango Pitching was Excellent
The Generales de Durango beat the Rieleros de Aguascalientes 2-1 on Friday in the season opener for both clubs. Antonio Garzon (1-0) got the win in relief of Mario Gonzalez and Tiago Da Silva picked up the save. Yohan Flande pitched well for 5 innings but allowed both Durango runs while giving up just 2 hits. Henry Alejandro Rodriguez was 2 for 4 with a run scored and Yadir Drake 2 for 4 with an RBI for the Generales. Julian Castro went 3 for 4 for the Rieleros.

Campeche 5, Tabasco 4

Frankie Diaz went 2 for 4 with a home run and 3 RBIs and Engel Beltre 3 for 5 with a run scored for the Piratas. Sergio Burruel was 2 for 3 with a home run and Abel Martinez 1 for 4 with a home run and 2 RBIs for the Olmecas. Jose Marquez Jr. (1-0) got the win in relief and Jose De La Torre picked up his 1st save of the year. Heriberto Ruelas (0-1) was saddled with the loss.

Saltillo 7, Monterrey 3

Frankie De La Cruz (1-0) scattered 6 hits over 6 1/3 innings, struck out 3 and walked 2 while allowing 2 runs to get the win. Javiar Solana (0-1) gave up 4 runs on 4 hits while striking out 6 in taking the loss.Jose Ruiz, Christian Zazueta and Jonathan Aceves were all 2 for 4 on the night for the Saraperos. Chris Roberson went 3 for 4 for the Sultanes.

Tijuana 16, Laguna 5

The Toros exploded for 16 runs on 14 hits to thrill 18,000 hometown fans in the season opening win over the Vaqueros. Dustin Martin was 2 for 5 with a home run and 3 RBIs, Alex Liddi 1 for 2 with a home run, 4 RBIs and 2 walks and Jorge Cantu went 2 for 3 with a home run and 3 RBIs for Tijuana. Jaime Pedroza went 1 for 4 with 2 RBIs for Laguna, Dustin Crenshaw (0-1) took the loss while Alex Sanabia (1-0) worked 5 innings for the win.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Follow my Posts on the Yucatan Living Website

Yoanner Negrin

Jesus "Cacao" Valdez

Here is a link to my article in theYucatan Living on line Merida newspaper. Follow the Leones on my blog and my weekly updates of the Leones de Yucatan and the Liga Mexicana de Beisbol throughout the season.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Leones' Season to Begin Despite Financial Questions

Juan Jose and Erick Arellano Hernandez

The financial troubles of brothers Juan Jose and Erick Arellano Hernandez do not appear to have had an impact on either the Leones de Yucatan or the Vaqueros Union Laguna as the two teams owned by the brothers prepare for the 2017 season of the Liga Mexicana de Beisbol.

Grupo ArHe, owned and operated by the brothers purchased the Leones in 2014 and a controlling interest in the Vaqueros following the 2016 season.

Grupo ArHe had their assets frozen in 2015 and then again in March of 2016 by the Commission National Banking and Securities (CNBV) at the request of the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) of the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit (SHCP) on suspicion of money laundering.

Although the FIU has reportedly not discovered any link to money laundering by the Hernandez brothers or Grupo ArHe, there has been no indication that funds have been in frozen.

Grupo ArHe is a very large entity, based in Mazatlán and run by the Hernandez brothers, has a wide range of business divisions. Their consulting division, UPC has 6 offices in Mexico and an office in San Diego, California. The financial sector is home to CL Capital. In sports, The Grupo owns the Leones and the Vaqueros of the LMB.

The group's automotive branch owns Alamo Car Rental in Mexico (thus the Parque Kukulcan - Alamo). Another Grupo ArHe is Grupo Immobiliario Arellano the real estate and construction arm of the company. They also own 5 Pemex gas stations with the "Hit" brand of convenience stores.

In other news related to the LMB, the league has announced that drug testing of ball players before, during and after the 2017 season will be  conducted by the Havana Anti Doping Laboratory in Havana, Cuba.

Havana Anti Doping Laboraty
Previously, testing was conducted by CONADE, the Comision Nacional de Cultura Fisica y Deporte here in Mexico. The World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) suspended the laboratory in November of 2016 for its mishandling and false positive reading on a sample by Olympian Paola Pliego that caused him to miss the 2016 Olympics in Rio.

The LMB had this to say about the new facility in Cuba. "The Havana Anti Doping Laboratory has high resolution, double quadruple equipment as well as isotope ratios (IRMS) for sample testing" They further stated "We have the utmost confidence in our new testing agency"

5 LMP players were given suspensions following the 2106 season for drug use including Albino Contreras of the Leones who was given a 100 game suspension for a second violation of the rules.

Friday, March 24, 2017

6 "Extranjeros" Hope to Bring the LMB Championship to Merida


Willie Romero

The Leones de Yucatan, under the 2016 Liga Mexicana de Beisbol (LMB) Manager of the Year Willie Romero’s leadership, hope to make 2017 the year the Serie del Rey returns to Merida.

Romero led the Leones to a 77-33 record in 2016. The team beat the Piratas de Campeche in the 1st round of the Zona Sur Playoffs but lost 4 games to 2 to the eventual league champion Pericos de Puebla in the division finals.

Yoanner Negrin
Leading the push for the championship this LMB season will be 6 “extranjeros” or foreign born players. Headlining this list is Yoanner Negrin, last year’s LMB Pitcher of the Year. Born in Havana Cuba, Negrin went 18-1 a year ago with 4 complete games and 3 shutouts. Negrin set a Leones record with a 38 ⅓ inning scoreless streak. Yoanner struck out 92 batters while walking just 37. A return to this form will go a long way towards the Leones’ championship hopes.

Jairo Asencio
33 year old pitcher Jairo Asencio, from the Dominican Republic, adds depth to the Leones starting rotation. Asencio has played in the “Liga Grande” (Major League Baseball) for the Atlanta Braves, Cleveland Indians, Chicago Cubs and the Baltimore Orioles.

Ronald Belisario
Ronald Belisario, the 34 year old from Maracay Venezuela compiled a 3.85 Earned Run Average (ERA) in 341 games in the big leagues for the LA Dodgers, Chicago White Sox and the Tampa Bay Rays. He also tallied 12 saves and struckout 273 batters in his career.

Jordany Valdespin
Outfielder Jordany Valdespin, hailing from San Pedro de Macoris in the Dominican republic, has played for the NY Mets and the Miami Marlins in his big league career. In 10 years as a pro, Valdespin amassed 950 hits, 79 home runs, 505 runs scored and 416 RBIs.

Yuniesky Betancourt
Yuniesky Betancourt, from Villa Clara Cuba played for the Seattle Mariners from 2006-2009, hitting .289 with 9 HRs and 67 RBIs in 2007. Traded to the KC Royals in 2009, Betancourt hit .269 with 16 home runs and 74 RBIs. Yuniesky finished his major league career in “the bigs” with 1057 hits in 1156 games with 80 HRs while driving in 457 runs. Betancourt ended his MLB career with the Milwaukee Brewers in 2013. Betancourt helped the Aguilas de Mexicali of the Liga Mexicana del Pacifico (LMP) to the league crown and a spot in the Serie Caribe where Mexico finished 2nd to a strong Puerto Rican team.

Jesus "Cacao" Valdez
This brings us to Jesus “Cacao” Valdez, possibly the most popular of the Leones extranjeros. The Dominican from San Cristobal turns 32 this year. In his 1st season in Merida, Valdez won the LMB batting title with a .353 average. He also won the winter league Liga Mexicana del Pacifico’s batting crown in 2015-16 with a .347 average. Cacao began his MLB career in 2003 with the Chicago Cubs. He was in the Cub’s organization until 2007. In 2012 Valdez played in for the Washington Nationals where he hit .263 with 6 home runs and 31 RBIs for the Nationals Triple A affiliate. Cacao took his game worldwide when he played for the Shinano Grandseros of the Japanese major league.

The Leones said goodbye to a very popular extranjero from the 2016 tem...Corey “The Flow” Wimberly.

In 139 games over two years, Wimberly had 174 hits, 40 for extra bases, 129 runs scored and 44 stolen bases. Corey was exciting to watch and contributed mightily to the success of the 2016 season.

If one is interested in the mundane aspect of baseball, such as salaries, the LMB rules for player salaries states that non-US extranjeros be payed a maximum of 150,000 pesos, paid in moneda nacional per month.

The outlook for a repeat of the 2016 season for the Leones is very good. The defending champion Pericos de Puebla should be strong although their manager from a year ago, Cory Snyder, has departed to manage in the Taiwanese Professional League. His replacement, Von Hayes, fired after 25 games from the Pericos in 2015, will have a solid core of players. The Piratas de Campeche are still a couple of players away from the top although they will contend throughout the year and, as always, the Tigres de Quintana Roo will pose a threat to the Leones’ aspirations.

My prediction is that the Leones will finish 75-36, advance to the LMB finals and bring the league trophy back to Merida.       

Friday, February 24, 2017

La Asamblea de Presidentes de LMB en la Reunión Final


La Asamblea de Presidentes
La Asamblea de Presidentes del 16 equipo Liga Mexicana de Beisbol (LMB) se reunió el 24 de febrero para ocuparse de los temas finales de la agenda para la temporada 2017.

La aprobación de la venta de los Tigres de Quintana Roo fue el primer y más anticipado tema de la agenda. La liga aprobó la venta de los Tigres al icono de béisbol mexicano Fernando Valenzuela. Valenzuela será el Presidente del Consejo de Administración, el Presidente Ejecutivo, el Presidente Ejecutivo Adjunto y el Director General del equipo. No hubo mención del precio de venta en el anuncio, pero el costo se ha estimado en 50 millones de pesos.
Nuevo propietario de la Tigres

La asamblea también aprobó la venta de los Broncos de Reynosa a Arturo Blanco quien será el Presidente del Consejo de Administración de los Bravos de León. El Sr. Mauricio Martínez fue nombrado Presidente Ejecutivo de los Bravos.

También se aprobó la venta del 50% de los Sultanes de Monterrey al Grupo Multimedia. Como no había una lista de propietarios del otro 50% de los Sultanes, sólo se puede suponer que al menos un 1% de los socios restantes votaría con Grupo Multimedia para evitar conflictos en las decisiones de gestión. Adicionalmente, la asamblea aprobó la venta de los Acereros de Monclova a LIC. Gerardo Benavides Pape.

Pilino Escalante
De acuerdo con los deseos de Minor League Baseball (MiLB), la organización que sanciona al LMB, los presidentes de la liga aprobaron por unanimidad el regreso de Pilino Escalante al cargo de Presidente del LMB. Escalante había sido destituido por la mayoría de los dueños del equipo en diciembre.

La asamblea también estuvo de acuerdo con la decisión de Pat O. Connor, Presidente de la MiLB, de que no habría límites en el número de jugadores de doble nacionalidad en cualquier equipo. Esos jugadores de doble nacionalidad son mexicanos nacidos en el extranjero.

El uso de la repetición se aprobó para la temporada 2017 si los equipos cumplen con las reglas de la liga en la transmisión de televisión para los partidos de la liga.

Los últimos temas de la agenda a ratificar tenían que ver con la programación. La liga comenzará, con una pizarra completa de juegos, el 31 de marzo. Tres juegos se jugarán en esa primera serie con un día fuera el lunes el 4 de abril.

El Juego de Estrellas, originalmente programado para el 16 de junio se trasladó a la 18 ª. La liga abandonó la regla que tenía el ganador del Juego de Estrellas que determinaba la ventaja del campo casero en la ronda del campeonato. Ahora el campo de casa se basará en el récord de victorias / pérdidas solo. Liga Mayor de Béisbol (MLB) debe tomar nota de esto y hacer lo mismo en la Liga Grande.

El Día de Apertura, los Acereros de Monclova tocarán los Diablos Rojos del México en la Ciudad de México. Los Saraperos de Saltillo comenzarán la temporada en el camino contra los Toros de Tijuana. Los Generales de Durango (antes Delfines de Ciudad del Carmen) visitarán los Rieleros de Aguascalientes. Los Sultanes de Monterrey estarán en casa contra los Vaqueros de Laguna, al igual que los Guerreros de Oaxaca cuando acojan a las Aguilas Rojas de Veracruz a la ciudad. El campeón 2016 LMB Pericos de Puebla se enfrentan a los Bravos de León (antiguamente los Broncos de Reynosa) en Puebla. Los Olmecas de Tabasco visitan Campeche para tomar las Piratas y los Tigres de Quintana Roo viajan a Mérida para luchar contra los Leones de Yucatan.

La liga ha determinado que los Bravos de León y los Generales de Durango deben jugar las dos primeras series del año como equipo visitante para permitir más tiempo para que se realicen mejoras en sus campos de origen.

The LMB Assembly of Presidents in Final Meeting Prior to the 2017 Season


LMB Assembly of Presidents
The Assembly of Presidents of the 16 team Liga Mexicana de Beisbol (LMB) met on the 24th of February to take care of the final items on the agenda for the 2017 season.

Approval of the sale of the Tigres de Quintana Roo was the first and most anticipated item on the agenda. The league approved the sale of the Tigres to Mexican baseball icon Fernando Valenzuela. Valenzuela will be the Chairman of the Board of Directors, the Executive President, the Deputy Executive Chairman and the General Manager of the team. There was no mention of the sale price in the announcement but the cost has been estimated at 50 Million Pesos.
Fernando Approved as Owner of Tigres

The assembly also approved the sale of the Broncos de Reynosa to Arturo Blanco who will be the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Bravos de Leon. Mr. Mauricio Martinez was named as the Executive President of the Bravos.

Also approved was the sale of 50% of the Sultanes de Monterrey to the Grupo Multimedia. As there was not a list of owners of the other 50% of the Sultanes, one can only assume that at least 1 % of the remaining partners would vote with Grupo Multimedia to avoid conflicts in management decisions. Additionally, the assembly approved the sale of the Acereros de Monclova to LIC. Gerardo Benavides Pape.

Pilino Escalante
In accordance with the wishes of Minor League Baseball (MiLB), the organization that sanctions the LMB, the league presidents unanimously approved the return of Pilino Escalante to the position as President of the LMB. Escalante had been ousted by a majority of the team owners in December.

The assembly also concurred with the decision of Pat O;Connor, President of the MiLB, that there would be no limits on the number of dual nationality players on any team. Those dual nationality players are Mexican players born abroad.

The use of replay was approved for the 2017 season if the teams comply with the league rules on television transmission for league games.

The last items on the agenda to ratify had to do with scheduling. The league will begin, with a full slate of games, on the 31st of March. Three games will be played in that first series with an off day on Monday the3rd on April.

The All Star game, originally scheduled for the 16th of June was moved to the 18th. The league abandoned the rule that had the winner of the All Star game determining home field advantage in the Championship round. Home field will now be based on won/loss record alone. Major League Baseball (MLB) should take note of this and do the same in the Liga Grande.

On Opening Day, the Acereros de Monclova will play the Diablos Rojos del Mexico in Mexico City. The Saraperos de Saltillo will begin the season on the road against the Toros de Tijuana. The Generales de Durango (formerly the Delfines de Ciudad del Carmen) will visit the Rieleros de Aguascalientes. The Sultanes de Monterrey will be at home against the Vaqueros de Laguna as will the Guerreros de Oaxaca when they welcome the Aguilas Rojas de Veracruz to town. The 2016 LMB Champion Pericos de Puebla face the Bravos de Leon (formerly the Broncos de Reynosa) in Puebla. The Olmecas de Tabasco visit Campeche to take on the Piratas and the Tigres de Quintana Roo travel to Merida to battle the Leones de Yucatan.

The league has determined that the Bravos de Leon and the Generales de Durango must play the first two series of the year as the away team to allow more time for improvements to be completed on their home fields.