As promised, here is the follow up to my previous Mexican Baseball article. I’ve recently returned from a field trip in Cancun to check out the goings on of the Mexican League’s latest team, the Quintana Roo Tigers. Here are my findings:
The Tigers’ home ballpark, Parque Beto Avila, is still under serious construction so I was unable to catch the team working out as they were in nearby Playa Del Carmen stretching their hamstrings on the beach. I suppose I could have went if I really wanted to but I was in such a tequila induced haze it was a miracle I could navigate downtown Cancun with my broken Spanish and gringo-bad looks.
Anyway, with the recovery/renovation being as it was, I was unable to get inside the ballpark to check out the real deal. I couldn’t let my loyal MUD.com readers down though, and did some sleuthing around.
This is the infield and the luxury boxes behind home plate. Again, I apologize for the poor quality of the photos but this may or may not be the only site on the entire internet that has photos of a small time Mexican Ballpark so count yourself lucky. Or not.
From my weak and flustered conversations with the construction workers, I was able to discern that there are a bunch of armrests going in in this section which is quite a big deal. As well, there is going to be 6,000 (seis miles) new seats as well as a bunch more bathrooms (baños) (for those who speak spanish I hope I got it right and they are not putting just six new seats in and a banjo).
Here I am standing on the other side of the outfield fence, just beyond centre field. The left field stands (the blue ones) are going to have chairs painted orange, black and yellow to form either the Quintana Roo state logo or the team’s logo, I am not entirely sure.
Here’s the infield and the dugout. The goal is to have the infield to be the most impeccably manicured field in the league, but I think they have a long ways to go. The clubhouses are also going through serious upgrades.
Here are the stands on the first base side and fancy new light standards. There are eight light towers in total with 200 lights per tower (no I didn’t count them all, my boy Baltazar fed me the information). He says it will be the best lit park in the league. Whether this is true or just bravado I am not certain.
Translation: Mop Up Duty writers prohibited from entering the ballpark at all times.
This is myself and my boy Williams. He doesn’t speak english and I don’t speak very good spanish but we were able to communicate somehow. He is one of the few remaining people who know how to speak Mayan, true story. Anyway I quizzed him as best I could as to what is happening in the baseball scene in Cancun. He thinks the Tigers are going to go the way of the Lobstermen, which is down the drain. I am not surprised either. The stadium is really not in the best part of town and is not easily accessible. In fact it is in the middle of a ghetto pretty much with no road that leads up to it. I had to climb over a mountain of broken glass, garbage and hepatitis to get you all pictures so I hope you are appreciative. As well, the residents of Cancun are mostly employed by the tourist industry and let me tell you they do not do well for themselves. I think it is doubtful they have enough disposable income to blow it on a Tigers game, and the owner realizes this. However, like most baseball owners he is not in it to make money, it is a labour of love.
The buzz around the Quintana Roo team is that they have just signed washed up major leaguer Antonio Osuna (first picture at the top of this article where he is looking like a broken down old man). Hey, a little “star” power never hurt anyone. His nickname is “Tube” and I don’t exactly know why. Other recent signees include pitcher Pablo Ortega and infielder Carlos “The Spark” Gastelum. Just like in MLB, there is one player who has yet to report – jonronero (home run king) Jorge “Flat” Vazquez.
The Tigers have already begun their exhibition games and are playing them all on the road until their park is ready. Also there have been some rule changes to make the game more exciting this year. What they are though, I do not know. The Tigers first regular season game is against the defending league champions, the Yucatan Lions. The Tigers/Lions matchup is being billed as the “Duel of the Fierce!” (loose translation). The Tigers first home game is the 22nd of March and I’ll be honest, it will take some serious overtime to get that park in shape for the home opener. Oh and one more thing. I tried to tell Williams I was a sportswriter (yeah yeah I know – but the reality was far less exciting). Anyway I told him I would post his picture on the interneto.. so Williams if you are out there, thanks for the chat and your help.
Even in Cancun there are fans of Mop Up Duty… don’t forget to bookmark us!
Parque Beto Avila looking from the outfield fence.