Friday, June 9, 2023

Baseball will seek a place for the Pan American Games in Santiago

In the qualifying round to be held next June in Argentina, Panamanian baseball will attempt to clinch one of the four spots still in contention for the Pan American Games in Santiago de Chile.

The tournament will be held from May 16 to 21, with participation from Canada, Peru, Argentina, Aruba and Honduras, in addition. These last two with a second chance, after failing in their regional qualifiers.

Buenos Aires will award one spot, while San Salvador will award Central American and Caribbean teams the other three in a competition in which Chile, Colombia and Brazil have already qualified.

Panama has not been present in a Pan-American competition since it was held in Guadalajara 2011 – where it failed to win in four matches – qualifying tournaments for Toronto 2015 and Lima 2019.

For the Toronto tournament, they participated in the qualifying rounds held in Brazil, while for Lima the Central American and Caribbean Baseball Tournament in Barranquilla took place in 2018.

Previous Pan American champions have been Canada (2015) and Puerto Rico (2019), the latter also champion at the Central American Games in Barranquilla.

Tough tournament

This would be the second major baseball participation in a year, after doing so in the first leg of the World Classic, which took place in Taiwan and where they had a 2–2 record.

Panama did not participate in the Central American regional tournament held in February in Managua, citing economic reasons and not having enough players, as it would face the World Classic.

In the Nicaraguan tournament, only one spot was disputed going into the Central American and Caribbean Games in San Salvador, where there would be three spots for Santiago de Chile.

Honduras participated in that competition, which disputed the gold medal against hosts Nicaragua, and which would take place in Buenos Aires, as well as Aruba, which was in the Caribbean qualifiers.

For some journalists specializing in baseball, both the playoffs in Buenos Aires and those held within the framework of the Central American and Caribbean Games in San Salvador would be difficult because of their circumstances.

Bias in the Argentine tournament will focus on the representation of Canada and Panama, but may not lose sight of Aruba, which has had players of Venezuelan origin for some years.

Journalist Carlos Castillo said, “For me it’s like playing the final of a match and playing Canada in that final.”

Journalist Aurelio Ortiz agrees with Castillo that the representatives of Panama and Canada are the favorites, but the chances of our team to be the winner will depend on which team of North Americans.

For his part, commentator Carlos Ortiz said that, although the tie would be difficult, it was solvable, as no one would be able to count on players affiliated with organized baseball.

“I like this experience. It is an opportunity for players who have participated in the national team to be in the national team, something that has not been seen for a long time.”

The tournament in San Salvador would be more controversial, as the cream of Latin American baseball would be present with the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Mexico and Nicaragua.

While none will have players who were present in the Caribbean Series, much less the World Classic in terms of the first five, there is no doubt that it will be very competitive.

Primary election

The baseball federation called up 34 players, eight of whom represented the ninth champion from Colon in the last major national championship, and five from Bocas del Toro and Chiriqui.

Los Santos, Panama Metro and Coquele have three represented, while Darien and Occident have two each, and Veraguas, Herrera and Panama Estes have one player each.

Receivers: Carlos Sanchez (BT), Erasmo Caballero (CH), Jean Carrillo (Darren) and Adolfo Reina (Los Santos).

Infield: Jhadil Santamaria (Colón), Edgar Munoz (Colón), Enoch Watts (Colón), George Bishop (Colón) and Jason Patterson (Colón).

Gertrudis Tello (Herrera), Felix Arosemena (Los Santos), Eduardo Thomas (Metro), Julio Gonzalez (Coakley).

Goalkeepers: Isaiah Velasquez (Columbus), Iraj Serrano (Chiriqui), Jose Mordock (Veraguas), Johnny Santos (West), Luis Castillo (Coakley) and Abraham Rodriguez (Metro).

Pitchers: Julio Denis (Bocas), Luis Machuca (Bocas), Severino Gonzalez (Bocas), Davis Romero (Coakley), Carlos Rodriguez (Colon), Abdel Saldana (Chiriqui) and Luis Ramos (Darren).

Steven Fuentes (Chiriqui), Manuel Campos (Los Santos), Antonio Frias (Metro), Harold Arauz (Chiriqui), Jonathan Amaya (West), Jose Regalado (West), Alexander Ayala (East) and Gilberto Chiu (Bocas).

The team will be led by Hipólito Ortiz, from Colón, with Carlos Muñoz, Manuel Rodríguez, Cristóbal López, Alberto Macrae and Alexis Fossati as physical trainers.

The only players selected in the Clásico are Carlos Sánchez, Erasmo Caballero, Edgar Muñoz, Luis Castillo, Jhadil Santamaria, Johnny Santos, Harold Arauz and Severino González.

Nation World News Desk
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