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11/27/2006 Archived Entry: "VIVA BEISBOL: Mexican baseball gets a new commissioner"

by Bruce Baskin, Editor

MEXICO CITY – The directors of Mexico’s National System of Sports (or SINADE) have named Jose Maiz the new High Commissioner of Professional Baseball in the country. Maiz, who owns the Monterrey Sultanes of the Mexican League, assumed the job last weekend. He is one of two High Commissioners in Mexican sports, joining basketball’s Lorenzo Thomas.

The High Commissioner position in baseball was created last winter after members of the Mexican Pacific League refused to send some players to the Pre-Olympic Tournament in Arizona, at which the Mexican National Team went winless in six games.

New Mexican League president Pliny Escalante, who recently replaced Alejandro Hutt, told Puro Beisbol, “We must learn what his (Maiz’) functions will be. I suppose he will have some say in the leagues, but that’s a pure supposition.” Maiz will now have to do a balancing act between owning a highly-successful member team of a league he is now charged by the federal government with overseeing.

NOTES: After weeks of speculation as to where he’d go, ex-MLB infielder Benji Gil has signed with Mexicali. Now the question is where do the Aguilas play him? Another MLB vet, Junior Spivey, is at second, Javier Robles is considered by many as one of the better shortstops in Mexico and Jesse Castillo is having a great season at third. Designated hitter? Nope, Carlos Sievers is having a better season than Castillo. First base? Fernando Valenzuela, Jr. is already there, and he’s hitting .283. The best bet for Gil may be at short, where Robles is batting only .219…Vet OF Darrell Sherman has been let go by Guasave. Sherman has been a solid player for many seasons south of the border, but the 39-year-old was batting .181 over 24 games with two stolen bases. He joins Jayson Bass and Donzell McDonald as longtime productive imports in Mexico who couldn’t get it done with the Algodoneros this winter. Newcomer Morgan Burkhart hopes to break the spell…Last season, Spike Lundberg left Guasave to sign a contract with the Dodgers, but returned to lead the Cottoneers to the LMP finals. Lundberg is again leaving the team this season to sign a contract of another sort. He’s getting married. This time, Spike won’t return…The ongoing soap opera of Randall Simon continues. The well-travelled first baseman is presently embroiled in a contract dispute involving two teams in two countries. The Cibao Aguilas of the Dominican League have filed an appeal to the Caribbean Baseball Federation over Simon, claiming he agreed to play for the Aguilas starting November 1. Problem: Simon is presently playing for Zulia. In Venezuela…But wait, there’s more. According to Puro Beisbol, Simon had also agreed to join Guasave at the same time he was supposed to report to Cibao. This after Mazatlan, who holds his rights in the LMP, first talked to him. Then, Guasave (whose owner has ties to Simon’s LMB team in Tijuana), negotiated with him and hammered out an agreement, which was then disputed by Mexicali, who claimed THEY had Simon’s rights. Got all that? …Finally, 6’9” pitcher Andy Sisco is already conspicuous enough, but he really stood out earlier this month when the Director of his Mazatlan team saw him munching a couple of tacos in the stadium concourse. While the game was going on. Sisco eventually ambled down to the dugout and joined his teammates, but his fate with the team was sealed. After allowing one run on two hits with eight strikeouts over six innings to win the next day’s game, Sisco was released. No word on whether he got the tacos to go.

RESULTS of games from NOVEMBER 20 through NOVEMBER 26

Hermosillo 3, Obregon 1 (HMO-Geronimo Gil hit a 2-run homer for Naranjeros)

Obregon 3, Hermosillo 0 (OBR-Joakin Soria tossed 7 shutout inning to go to 6-0)
Navojoa 10, Guasave 4 (NAV-Oscar Robles belted 3-run homer for Mayos)
Mazatlan 9, Mexicali 6 (MAZ-Ryan Doumit went 3-for-5 with 3 RBIs)
Los Mochis 5, Culiacan 4 (MOC-Hector Guaranzuay’s 2-run pinch homer in 10th won game)

Obregon 11, Hermosillo 6 (HMO-Luis Alfonso Garcia had 2 homers and 6 RBIs in loss)
Guasave 13, Navojoa 10 (GSV-Fernando Rios hit a 3-run homer for Cottoneers)
Mazatlan 10, Mexicali 1 (MAZ-Daniel Fornes went 3-for-5 with double and home run)
Culiacan 6, Los Mochis 5 (CUL-Ruben Rivera had 2 doubles and a single)

Navojoa 7, Guasave 0 (NAV-Oscar Rivera blanked Guasave over 7 innings for 5th win)
Mazatlan 6, Mexicali 4 (MAZ-Daniel Fornes hit grand slam in 8th to key Venados comeback win)
Culiacan 6, Los Mochis 3 (CUL-Tomateros hit 3 homers off Caneros’ Travis Driskill in 2.1 innings)

Los Mochis 7, Guasave 3 (MOC-Caneros roughed up Spike Lundberg for 7 runs in 4 frames)
Hermosillo 5, Mexicali 3 (HMO-Jesus Cota had two singles and a homer for Orangemen)
Navojoa 4, Obregon 3 (NAV-Matt Kata’s 2-run homer in 8th inning broke 2-2 tie)

Guasave 12, Los Mochis 3 (GSV-Armando Rios was 4-for-4 as all Guasave batters got hits)
Hermosillo 8, Mexicali 7 (HMO-Geronimo Gil socked a pair of homers for Naranjeros)
Obregon 15, Navojoa 10 (OBR-Albino Contreras went 5-for-6, teams combined for 33 hits)
Culiacan 2, Mazatlan 1 (CUL-Ben Francisco swatted a 2-run roundtripper in the 5th inning)

Guasave 9, Los Mochis 7 (GSV-Mario Valenzuela’s homer in bottom of 16th won game)
Mexicali 13, Hermosillo 7 (MXI-Fernando Valenzuela now 4-1 despite allowing 7 runs in 5IP)
Navojoa 3, Obregon 1 (NAV-Reliever Mario Gonzalez threw 2.2 scoreless innings for win)
Culiacan 4, Mazatlan 3 (CUL-Jaime Trejo scored on Ramiro Pena single in bottom of 17th)
Culiacan 7, Mazatlan 0 (CUL-Steve Smyth tossed 2-hit complete game shutout)

Navojoa at Mazatlan, Guasave at Mexicali, Hermosillo at Los Mochis, Culiacan at Obregon

Hermosillo at Mazatlan, Culiacan at Mexicali, Navojoa at Los Mochis, Guasave at Obregon

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