Baseball Scandal Sours Championship

February 4, 2005

GRANADA – The first season ofNicaragua’s new Professional BaseballLeague ended in scandal last week asreports surfaced that the championshipteam from León bought its way into theplayoffs.The scandal occurred with one weekleft in the season, when León was battlingMasaya for a spot in the finalsagainst Chinandega. To qualify, Leónneeded to beat last-place Managua intheir last match-up of the season.After dropping behind 6-1 in the fifthinning, León’s coach apparently struck adeal with several of the indifferentManagua players to throw the game.León ended up winning 10-6 in 12innings, and went on to defeatChinandega in the seven-game finalseries.The celebration was short lived forLeón coach Hubert Silva, who last Fridaywas slapped with a lifetime ban from professionalbaseball in Nicaragua by leaguepresident Enrique Gasteazoro.Managua’s backup catcher, MartínAlemán, received the same disciplinarymeasure.Silva and Alemán both claim theyhave been unjustly punished and insistthere is no evidence of any wrongdoing. They said they would appealthe ban.

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