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09/28/2006 Archived Entry: "VIVA BEISBOL: Mexican Pacific League Preview"

October 2006

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The Mexican Pacific League will open the 2006-07 season with a three-day, eight-game block of home-and-away openers in each LMP city. The MexPac starts the new campaign with three games on October 10, when Los Mochis visits Guasave, Navojoa hosts Obregon and Mexicali plays at Hermosillo; on October 11, itíll be Guasave at Los Mochis, Obregon at Navojoa and Mazatlan at Culiacan; and the October 12 schedule features Hermosillo at Mexicali and Culiacan at Mazatlan, MexPac teams will play 68 games this season.
The Mazatlan Venados are seeking their third consecutive LMP pennant this winter. The LMP champion will represent Mexico next February at the Caribbean Series in Carolina, Puerto Rico.

The following is a review of the MexPacís 2005-06 season:

Navojoa (39-29) was the best team in the MexPac regular season last winter. SS Luis Alfonso Cruz (.327/10/37) and OFs Douglas Clark (.324/11/42) and Norris Hopper (.320/1/21) all finished in the top four in the MexPacís batting race, and the Mayos pitching was top-rate, too, as Vinny Gonzales (7-4/3.90), Mario Mendoza Jr. (7-3/4.22) and Humberto Montemayor (6-4/3.52) were solid, as was closer Scott Chiasson (a MexPac-best 18 saves).

Guasave (36-32) didnít set the world on fire in the second half, but any team with Spike Lundberg would be a threat. The lefty Lundberg (9-3/2.23) was the best pitcher in the LMP last season, leading the MexPac in wins and ERA and tied for second in strikeouts. OF Mario Valenzuela (.310/16/48) led the league with 28 extra-base hits. Closer Dale Thayer tied Navojoaís Chiasson for the LMP lead in saves with 18.

Mazatlan (35-32) played indifferently early in the season before the defending Caribbean Series champs put it all together in the playoffs to win a second straight pennant. Starters Pablo Ortega (4-5/2.49), Francisco Campos (4-6/2.60) and Walter Silva (7-3/3.33) all finished in the top six for best ERA as Campos ran away with the strikeout crown with 78. Offensively, Mazatlan was ordinary. The Gonzales brothers, 1B Adrian (.306/10/42) and 3B Edgar (.326), both hit well.

Hermosillo (34-33) needed some pitching. Badly. The Naranjeros hit the ball just fine with a .276 team batting average (second in the MexPac to Navojoaís .286), but the hurlers were too generous, allowing an LMP-worst 4.72 runs per game. OF Luis Alfonso Garcia (.320/18/57) led the league in homers and RBIís in an MVP-like season, while venerable DH Juan Carlos Canizales (.337/12/50) led the circuit in batting, but it was not a season to remember for Hermosillo players or fans.

Los Mochis (34-34) were cellar-dwellars in the first half, but led the MexPac much of the second half before a tiebreaker placed them third after ending in a tie with Navojoa and Mazatlan. They had some hitting, with 3B Ramon Orantes (.312/9/46) and OF Christian Quintero (.306) leading the way. 1B Calvin Pickering (.288/14/34) supplied power, but was suspended towards the end of the season. The Caneros had a little pitching, too, but relied on rookie righty Francisco Rodriguez (7-5/3.92) to carry their postseason hopes. That was too much to ask.

Culiacan (31-36) looked a lot better on paper than they did in the standings, and it took a win on the last day of the season to reach the playoffs. OF Ruben Rivera (.308/16/44) had a great season and fellow OF Ben Francisco (.296/13/31) was the hottest hitter in the MexPac for a stretch. 2B Jorge Cantu (.203), SS Benji Gil (.221) and 1B Randall Simon (.242) had big league experience, but did not play to their abilities. Neither did P Oliver Perez (0-3/4.50), who pitches for Pittsburgh in the summer.

Obregon (33-35) suffered a turbulent winter in which the team settled on Homar Rojas as manager after much confusion and top pitcher Mark DeFelice (5-2/3.14) and hard-hitting OF Doug DeVore (.302/6/12) both bailed on the team late in the season. Still, the Yaquis nearly reached the playoffs before losing to Culiacan the last day of the season. C Chris Coste (.263/12/44) led the Yaquis in homers and RBIs, and closer Joakim Soria (1.45/10 saves) did well. This team deserved a better fate.

Mexicali (28-39) collapsed like a cheap card table down the stretch. The Aguilas were fine in the first half, going 17-17 to finish in a four-way tie for third place, but landed hard in the second half, winning 11 of 33 games. 2B Howie Clark had a great season (.333/9/30), and P Fernando Valenzuela (4-2/4.31) had a nice comeback, but thatís about it for a winter in which manager Tim Johnson and the team parted ways late in the season and veteran player George Arias was picked to replace Johnson.

MEXICAN PACIFIC LEAGUE
2006-07 Home Schedules

CULIACAN TOMATEROS
Oct 11 Mazatlan
Oct 17-18-19 Guasave
Oct 24-25-26 Mexicali
Oct 31-Nov 1-2 Los Mochis
Nov 3-4-5 Obregon
Nov 14-15-16 Navojoa
Nov 17-18-19 Hermosillo
Nov 25-26-26 Mazatlan
Dec 5-6-7 Obregon
Dec 8-9-10 Los Mochis
Dec 15-16-17 Mazatlan
Dec 22-23-26 Guasave

GUASAVE ALGODONEROS
Oct 10 Los Mochis
Oct 13-14-15 Obregon
Oct 20-21-22 Hermosillo
Oct 27-28-29 Mazatlan
Nov 3-4-5 Mexicali
Nov 11-12-12 Culiacan
Nov 21-22-23 Navojoa
Nov 24-25-26 Los Mochis
Dec 5-6-7 Mexicali
Dec 12-13-14 Mazatlan
Dec 19-20-21 Los Mochis
Dec 28-29-30 Hermosillo

HERMOSILLO NARANJEROS
Oct 10 Mexicali
Oct 17-18-19 Navojoa
Oct 27-28-29 Culiacan
Nov 3-4-5 Los Mochis
Nov 7-8-9 Mazatlan
Nov 14-15-16 Guasave
Nov 20-21-22 Obregon
Nov 24-25-26 Mexicali
Dec 5-6-7 Los Mochis
Dec 12-13-14 Culiacan
Dec 15-16-17 Mexicali
Dec 22-23-26 Navojoa

MAZATLAN VENADOS
Oct 12-13-14-15 Culiacan
Oct 20-21-22 Obregon
Oct 24-25-26 Hermosillo
Oct 31-Nov 1-2 Mexicali
Nov 10-11-12 Los Mochis
Nov 17-18-19 Guasave
Nov 28-29-30 Navojoa
Dec 1-2-3 Hermosillo
Dec 8-9-10 Mexicali
Dec 19-20-21 Culiacan
Dec 28-29-30 Obregon

MEXICALI AGUILAS
Oct 12-13-14-15 Hermosillo
Oct 21-22-22 Los Mochis
Oct 28-29-29 Navojoa
Nov 7-8-9 Culiacan
Nov 11-12-12 Obregon
Nov 21-22-23 Mazatlan
Nov 28-29-30 Guasave
Dec 2-3-3 Culiacan
Dec 12-13-14 Navojoa
Dec 19-20-21 Obregon
Dec 28-29-30 Los Mochis

LOS MOCHIS CANEROS
Oct 11 Guasave
Oct 17-18-19 Mazatlan
Oct 24-25-26 Guasave
Oct 27-28-29 Obregon
Nov 7-8-9 Navojoa
Nov 14-15-16 Mexicali
Nov 21-22-23 Culiacan
Nov 28-29-30 Hermosillo
Dec 1-2-3 Navojoa
Dec 12-13-14 Obregon
Dec 15-16-17 Guasave
Dec 22-23-26 Mazatlan

NAVOJOA MAYOS
Oct 10 Obregon
Oct 13-14-15 Los Mochis
Oct 20-21-22 Culiacan
O 31-O 31-N 2 Guasave
Nov 3-4-5 Mazatlan
Nov 10-11-12 Hermosillo
Nov 17-18-19 Mexicali
Nov 24-25-26 Obregon
Dec 5-6-7 Mazatlan
Dec 8-9-10 Guasave
Dec 19-20-21 Hermosillo
Dec 28-29-30 Culiacan

OBREGON YAQUIS
Oct 11 Navojoa
Oct 17-18-19 Mexicali
Oct 24-25-26 Navojoa
Oct 31-Nov 1-2 Hermosillo
Nov 7-8-9 Guasave
Nov 14-15-16 Mazatlan
Nov 17-18-19 Los Mochis
Nov 28-29-30 Culiacan
Dec 2-3-3 Guasave
Dec 8-9-10 Hermosillo
Dec 15-16-17 Navojoa
Dec 23-25-26 Mexicali


Past MEXICAN PACIFIC LEAGUE Champions

SEASON CHAMPION
1945-46 Mazatlan Venados
1946-47 Hermosillo Naranjeros
1947-48 Guaymas Oistoneros
1948-49 Culiacan Tomateros
1949-50 Culiacan Tomateros
1950-51 Guaymas Oistoneros
1951-52 Culiacan Tomateros
1952-53 Mazatlan Venados
1953-54 Mazatlan Venados
1954-55 Mazatlan Venados
1955-56 Culiacan Tomateros
1956-57 Hermosillo Naranjeros
1957-58 Mazatlan Venados
1958-59 Guaymas Oistoneros
1959-60 Guaymas Oistoneros
1960-61 Hermosillo Naranjeros
1961-62 Hermosillo Naranjeros
1962-63 Guaymas Oistoneros
1963-64 Hermosillo Naranjeros
1964-65 Guaymas Oistoneros
1965-66 Obregon Yaquis
1966-67 Culiacan Tomateros
1967-68 Guaymas Oistoneros
1968-69 Los Mochis Caneros
1969-70 Culiacan Tomateros
1970-71 Hermosillo Naranjeros
1971-72 Guasave Algodoneros
1972-73 Obregon Yaquis
1973-74 Mazatlan Venados
1974-75 Hermosillo Naranjeros
1975-76 Hermosillo Naranjeros
1976-77 Mazatlan Venados
1977-78 Culiacan Tomateros
1978-79 Navojoa Mayos
1979-80 Hermosillo Naranjeros
1980-81 Obregon Yaquis
1981-82 Hermosillo Naranjeros
1982-83 Culiacan Tomateros
1983-84 Los Mochis Caneros
1984-85 Culiacan Tomateros
1985-86 Mexicali Aguilas
1986-87 Mazatlan Venados
1987-88 Tijuana Potros
1988-89 Mexicali Aguilas
1989-90 Hermosillo Naranjeros
1990-91 Tijuana Potros
1991-92 Hermosillo Naranjeros
1992-93 Mazatlan Venados
1993-94 Hermosillo Naranjeros
1994-95 Hermosillo Naranjeros
1995-96 Culiacan Tomateros
1996-97 Culiacan Tomateros
1997-98 Mazatlan Venados
1998-99 Mexicali Aguilas
1999-00 Navojoa Mayos
2000-01 Hermosillo Naranjeros
2001-02 Culiacan Tomateros
2002-03 Los Mochis Caneros
2003-04 Culiacan Tomateros
2004-05 Mazatlan Venados
2005-06 Mazatlan Venados


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