LBPN: Playoffs Start Dec. 22; Marvin Benard Will Manage Nicaragua at Caribbean Series

By Julian Guilarte
World Baseball Network

The Liga de Beisbol Profesional Nacional regular season ended December 20.

Nicaragua’s top league, the LBPN, has five teams and was established in 1956. The LBPN consists of five teams: the Indios del Bóer, Tigres del Chinandega, Gigantes de Rivas, Leones de León, and Tren del Norte. 

The Indios de Boer finished in last place with a record of 11-21 and didn’t make the four-team round-robin stage of the playoffs. 

The Gigantes de Rivas and Tigres del Chinandega finished tied for first with a 19-13 record. The Gigantes won the tiebreaker, having scored more runs in their series against Tigres del Chinandega.

The four-team round-robin for the LBPN playoffs will begin on December 22, with the top two teams advancing to play a best-of-seven series for the LBPN championship. 

Nicaragua wanted to hire Former MLB pitcher Vincente Padilla to manage their Caribbean Series entry, but he declined the job and they ended up hiring Marvin Benard. 

“Padilla said he had a lot of work to do with Guerreros de Nueva Segovia. He wanted to fully honor his commitment to Guerreros de Nueva Segovia and not lose time by managing Nicaragua’s national team,” media technical director Carlos Alfaro of the Federacion Nicaraguense de Beisbol Asociado told World Baseball Network.   

“Marvin Benard has been a spectacular baseball man, and during the time that he has been a manager in past events, he has shown a lot of leadership in front of the players,” Alfaro said. “Technical Director Carlos He also can talk and reach the players. He has the ability to explain the game,” Alfaro said. 

Benard was born in Nicaragua and moved to the United States when he was 12, and played nine seasons with the San Francisco Giants from 1995-2003. He was an outfielder and has the highest lifetime batting average (.271) in MLB of any Nicaraguan player.

Benard was managing Nicaragua during the 2022 World Baseball Classic qualifiers, but he had to leave early due to attend to his wife’s health issues, according to LaPrensa.ni.com. Nicaragua went 0-4 in Pool D at the 2023 WBC and will have to qualify for the 2026 WBC. The 2023 WBC was the Nicaragua’s only appearance at at the event. 

The winner of the LBPN title will not represent Nicaragua in the Caribbean Series. Instead, Nicaragua’s team will be made up of players from all five teams in the LBPN. This will be the first time Nicaragua will send a team to the Caribbean Series. 

Tren del Norte will play Gigantes de Rivas at 5 p.m. EST on December 22 and Leones de Leon will also  play on December 22 against Tigres de Chinandega at 5 p.m. EST.

LBPN Final Standings
1. Gigantes de Rivas – 19-13
2. Tigres de Chinandega – 19-13
3. Leones de León – 17-15
4. Tren del Norte – 14-18
5. Indios del Boer – 11-21

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