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03/19/2006 Archived Entry: "VIVA BEISBOL News (Mexican Pro Baseball News)"

Archrivals meet in wake of Mexican WBC success

PUEBLA – While it’ll be hard to get back to normal so soon after the country’s surprising showing in the World Baseball Classic, the Mexican League will kick off its 2006 season just five days after Mexico shocked (and eliminated) the United States 2-1 Thursday night in WBC play at Angel Stadium in Anaheim. And although the Liga is tearing the cellophane off a new campaign, they’ll do it with a matchup involving one of the LMB’s oldest and most-storied rivalries.

The Mexico City Diablos Rojos and Angelopolis Tigres will square off Tuesday night in Puebla. Both sides are among the most revered teams in Mexico. The Diablos have won 14 LMB titles, most for any team since the Liga began play in 1925. The Tigres, who shared Mexico City with the Diablos for decades prior to moving to Puebla in recent seasons, are the defending Mexican League champs and have copped nine pennants themselves. The Diablos and Tigres were the only teams in the LMB not to employ any import players last season, a fact that made the Tigres’ first flag in their new home city that much sweeter, especially since the 2005 season was dedicated to the team’s founder, Alejo Peralta. Peralta was a firm believer in playing with native talent.

The rest of the Mexican League teams will swing into action Wednesday night, including the new Poza Rica Petroleros, who replace hurricane-ravaged Cancun on the league rostrum this season.

MEXICAN LEAGUE Schedule (March 21-26)
MARCH 21: Mexico City at Angelopolis.

MARCH 22: Campeche at Yucatan, Poza Rica at Oaxaca, Puebla at Tijuana, San Luis at Aguascalientes, Saltillo at Monterrey, Laguna at Monclova, Veracruz at Tabasco.

MARCH 23: Aguascalientes at San Luis, Monterrey at Saltillo, Monclova at Laguna, Oaxaca at Poza Rica, Tabasco at Veracruz, Angelopolis at Mexico City, Tijuana at Puebla, Yucatan at Campeche.

MARCH 24-26: Aguascalientes at Puebla, Monterrey at Laguna, Monclova at Saltillo, Oaxaca at Mexico City, San Luis at Tijuana, Tabasco at Yucatan, Angelopolis at Poza Rica, Veracruz at Campeche.

POOL A: South Korea 3-0, Japan 2-1, Taiwan 1-2, China 0-3.
POOL B: MEXICO 2-1, United States 2-1, Canada 2-1, South Africa 0-3.
POOL C: Puerto Rico 3-0, Cuba 2-1, Netherlands 1-2, Panama 0-3.
POOL D: Dominican Republic 3-0, Venezuela 2-1, Italy 1-2, Australia 0-3.

POOL 1: South Korea 3-0, Japan 2-1, United States 2-1, MEXICO 1-2
POOL 2: Dominican Republic 2-1, Cuba 2-1, Puerto Rico 1-2, Venezuela 1-2

SATURDAY, MARCH 18: Cuba 3, Dominican Republic 1; Japan 6, South Korea 0

MONDAY, MARCH 20 Japan vs. Cuba, PETCO Park, San Diego

1) SALTILLO SARAPEROS (63-47/.573/15.0)
Leading Batters: Jayson Bass (.370), Mario Valenzuela (.360/31/103), Jose Munoz (.337)
Leading Pitchers: Rigo Beltran (13-4/3.40), Steve Bourgeois (8-4/3.58)

2) TIJUANA POTROS (64-46/.582/14.0)
Leading Batters: Derrick White (.368/26/97), Julio Hernandez (.322), Carlos Valencia (32HR)
Leading Pitchers: Alonso Beltran (8-6/3.45), Hugo Castellanos (7-4/4.82)

3) MEXICO CITY DIABLOS ROJOS (56-51/.523/13.0)
Leading Batters: Robert Saucedo (.340/35/114), Roberto Mendez (.336), Ray Martinez (.325)
Leading Pitchers: Claudio Moreno (10-10/5.76), Roberto Ramirez (10-8/6.12)

4) MONTERREY SULTANES (56-50/.528/12.0)
Leading Batters: Demond Smith (.333), Edgar Quintero (.330/19/70), Bubba Smith (21HR)
Leading Pitchers: Pablo Ochoa (9-8/5.61), Maximo de la Rosa (2-5/2.41/25SV)

5) AGUASCALIENTES RIELEROS (55-53/.509/11.5)
Leading Batters: Rontrez Johnson (.363), Jose Nieves (.358), Eduardo Rios (.319/31/111)
Leading Pitchers: Ignacio Montano (8-3/4.76), Edgar Perez (7-6/5.28)

6) MONCLOVA ACEREROS (53-55/.491/10.0)
Leading Batters: Gonzalo Meza (.335), Ricardo Saenz (.319), Guillermo Garcia (.318/29/99)
Leading Pitchers: Bryan Ward (6-8/4.84), Bill Simas (4-6/2.82/21SV)

7) SAN LUIS TUNEROS (45-63/.417/9.5)
Leading Batters:Darryl Brinkley (.376), Sharnol Adriana (25HR/32SB), Carlos Villalobos (.355)
Leading Pitchers: Humberto Montemayor (7-7/5.65), Gabe Molina (7-9/5.86)

8) LAGUNA VAQUEROS (38-71/.379/8.5)
Leading Batters: Ramon Espinosa (.352), Cornelio Garcia (.348), Jose Amador (.307/14/68)
Leading Pitchers: Oswaldo Verdugo (5-2/4.28), Martin Gomez (4-8/7.67)

1) ANGELOPOLIS TIGRES (66-41/.617/15.0)
Leading Batters: Javier Robles (.392/28/101), Jorge Vazquez (.380), Carlos Gastelum (.375)
Leading Pitchers: Alejandro Armenta (13-3/5.50), Pablo Ortega (8-5/4.45)

2) CAMPECHE PIRATAS (62-43/.590/13.0)
Leading Batters: Roberto Vizcarra (.347), Ruben Rivera (.342/21/71), Bill Selby (.318/25/93)
Leading Pitchers: Francisco Campos (11-4/2.84/170K), Isidro Marquez (3-2/1.85/25SV)

3) OAXACA GUERREROS (57-50/.533/12.5)
Leading Batters: Felix Jose (.375/30/113), Christian Quintero (.359), Angel Pena (.333/25/97)
Leading Pitchers: Carlos Pulido (7-7/4.72), Eleazar Mora (73/5.83)

4) YUCATAN LEONES (57-50/.533/12.5)
Leading Batters: Willie Romero (.366/19/89), Pedro Castellano (.332), Scott Bullett (25HR)
Leading Pitchers: Juan Palafox (10-5/4.30), Alfredo Aceves (9-8/4.32)

5) TABASCO OLMECAS (53-55/.491/11.0)
Leading Batters: Carlos Sievers (.357/17/96), Mario Santana (.307), Donzell McDonald (53SB)
Leading Pitchers: Joel Vargas (9-5/3.81), Juan Delgadillo (9-5/4.09)

Leading Batters: Willis Otanez (.376/30/123), Luis Garcia (.353), Omar Ramirez (.305/20/66)
Leading Pitchers: Aaron Acosta (9-9/3.72), Emigdio Lopez (8-3/3.78)

7) PUEBLA PERICOS (51-58/.468/10.5)
Leading Batters:Darrell Sherman (.337), Lorenzo Buelna (.332), Manny Martinez (.329/22/83)
Leading Pitchers: Eric Knott (14-4/3.25), Jason Jacome (6-6/5.31)

8) CANCUN LANGOSTEROS (37-73/.336/8.0)
Leading Batters: Jose Amado (.340), Rudy Pemberton (.337), Liu Rodriguez (.331/11/63)
Leading Pitchers: Eduardo Salgado (6-11/5.48), Lino Urdaneta (4-3/3.49/13SV)

League Championship Series: ANGELOPOLIS defeated SALTILLO, 4 games to 2.

MAESTROS of MEXICO: Salome Barojas, pitcher (1976-96)
Born June 16, 1957 in Cordoba, Veracruz, Salome Barojas was a 25-year-old veteran with the Mexico City Diablos Rojos when White Sox manager Tony LaRussa discovered him during the 1981 major league players’ strike. A middleman prior to that season, Barojas became the Diablos’ closer and went 12-3 with 13 saves in 50 appearances.

In his first big league season, Barojas won six games for Chicago and saved 21 more in 1982. He lowered his ERA from 3.54 to 2.47 the next season, but only went 3-3 with 12 saves in 1983 for the Chisox. Traded to Seattle in mid-1984, he finished 9-7 that year, but started out 0-5 with a 5.98 ERA in 1985 before the Mariners let him go. Barojas was 18-21 as a major leaguer with a 3.95 ERA.

Barojas returned to Mexico in 1986 and, except for a brief stint with the Phillies in 1988, spent the remainder of his career with the Diablos. He was 38-17 for three seasons between 1986 and 1988, topping the Liga in saves with 15 in 1987 and 17 the following campaign. The 5’9” 188-pound righty effectively finished his LMB career after going 0-0 with a 2.25 ERA in 13 appearances in 1993, although he tossed one scoreless inning in 1994 and pitched three times in 1996. In all, Barojas played in 17 Mexican League seasons with a 115-58 mark and a 2.89 ERA.

He was also an effective winter league pitcher in the Mexican Pacific League, where he was 51-39 out of the bullpen. Pitching for Mazatlan in 1989-90, Barojas led the MexPac with 17 saves. Overall, his 53 saves are fourth on the LMP’s all-time leaderboard while his 2.68 ERA places him 14th on the all-time list.

While Baltimore Orioles broadcaster (and all-time baseball great) Brooks Robinson could only remember him as “Salami Barrelhouse,” Salome Barojas is better remembered in his native Mexico as one of the best relievers that country has ever produced. He was selected to the Salon de la Fama in 2002.

NEXT MAESTRO: Teddy Higuera, pitcher (1979-99)

VIVA BEISBOL continues as the only English-language source of information on professional baseball in Mexico. VIVA BEISBOL News is a Sunday-only newsletter devoted to providing up-to-date coverage of Mexico’s two leagues and 24 teams. Free subscriptions are available at

The website at VivaBeisbol.Net has evolved into a source of reference information on Mexican baseball. We have now added a listing of websites and email addresses for all 24 clubs in both the Liga and MexPac on our revised “Directory” page, plus full write-ups for each of Mexico’s six games in the World Baseball Classic are now available to read on the new “WBC Mexico” page.


Replies: 1 Comment

Talk about a class act. Still the best pitching coach I have ever been around. Salome is a big reason why I had the sucess I had in Liga Mexicana. I use much of what he taught me as I try to teach pitchers what the game is about. Just being around him makes you realize there is more to pitching than being 6'5" and throwing 95

Posted by will flynt @ 03/20/2006 01:08 AM EST

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