Einar Diaz led Panama in ’11 Baseball World Cup
Einar Diaz, Shorebirds field coach, spent much of the off season in Panama as the manager of the Panama National Team in the 2011 Baseball World Cup. It was the first time that Panama had ever hosted the event (39th World Cup).
The Panama National team did very well in round-robin play going 5-2 with wins over Greece (8-3), Chinese Taipei (14-8), Puerto Rico (4-2), Japan (6-2) and Canada (12-3). They won five straight games before losing to the Netherlands (the eventual winner of the entire event) and the United States.
Panama was one of eight teams that advanced past the first round. Panama opened the second round with a win over Venezuela, but a loss to South Korea ended their hopes of a gold medal run. Panama wound up finishing eighth.
Netherlands beat Cuba 2-1 to win the gold medal.
Panama placed three players on the All-Star Team: Damaso Espino, Concepcion Rodriguez and Fernando Seguignol.
Einar is part of a long and established list of former major league players from Panama. Some of the current players include: Carlos Ruiz, Mariano Rivera and Manny Acosta. Former players include: Rod Carew, Ruben Rivera and Ramon “Ray” Webster.
The Shorebirds have the benefit this year of a young, but really experienced coaching staff. Diaz, Ryan Minor and Troy Mattes are all under the age of 40 and have an encyclopedia’s worth of baseball knowledge.