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09/07/2004 Archived Entry: "Mexican Pacific League News : Teams getting prepared for the coming season"
By Carlos Fragoso
Training will start in September 13th.
The 2004-2005 season of the Mexican Pacific League, is coming on October 13th,when all 8 teams participating in the league will begin their training, in order to get prepared in chase of the championship and therefore the honor of representing Mexico, into the Caribbean series, that Mazatlan, Mexico, will be the host city, in February 2005.
Current Champions, the Culiacan Tomatoe Growers, will try to defend their title, led by sure shot Manager Francisco "Paquin" Estrada, who made them champions last season, he also led the Campeche Pirates, to a Mexican League Championship.
The team will include, local players with big league experience such as, Rodrigo Lopez (Orioles), Ricardo Rincon (A´s), Esteban Loaiza (Yankees), Benji Gil ( Toledo), Karim Garcia, Mario Valdez, Ismael Valdez (Marlins), Jorge Cantu ( Tampa Bay) and foreign players like, Kit Pellow ( Rockies), Ruben Rivera (Campeche), Darrel Sherman, among others.
Mazatlan Deers, did their best in signing a group of foreign players trying to get ths title kept at home, such as Joe Borchard ( ChiSox), Jason Dubois (Iowa), Chris Clapinski, Larry Sutton, coming back and the current batting leader in the Pacific Coast League, who along with native players like, Francisco Campos, Migue Ojeda ( Padres), and some more players , lend by the hand of manager Dan Firova, and debuting coach Pat Listach, will try to do the job.
Obregon Yaquis who lost he championship series last year against Culiacan, has strenghten their line up, with Andy Tracy, a Rockies Prospect, and having a terrific summer with Colorado Springs, under manager Marv Foley, who will skip the Yaquis as well, Allan Simpson a relief pitcher, and Chris Gisell (recently called up from Colorado), a starter from same team will add, power to the pitching staff. Veteran Ariel Prieto, is returning after a good season last year.
Chris Coste, returning for third year, now playing with Indianapolis, will play at first base, and Donzell Mc Donald, after having a good season in Mexican League with Tabasco, and now currently with Columbus will make his debut in this league, playing, center field.
Hometown player, Alfredo Amezaga (Anaheim), is also entitled to play SS.
Hermosillo Orange Growers, are also prepared to fight for the title, and have signed, pitcher Chuck Smith (Richmond), and returnees, Dave Doster, Chad Meyers, who along with native players, like Vinny Castilla, Edgar Gonzalez (Arizona), Erubiel Durazo (Oakland), Luis Alfonso Garcia ( Las Vegas, 32 HR, as of now), will try to help them get to the finish.Tom Gamboa will manage this team.
Mexicali Eagles, are unburying veteran LHP Fernando Valenzuela, to pitch, and Guasave Cotton Pickers, Los Mochis Sugar Cane Growers, led by Calvin Pickering,as well as Navojoa Mayos will also try to do their best to contest for this coming season.