Big-league baseball is coming to northern Sonora early next year as the Caribbean World Series will be played in a brand new, 15,600-seat stadium.

The winter league championship, known in Spanish as the Serie del Caribe, will be held Feb. 1-7 in Hermosillo, the capital of Sonora, about a five-hour drive from Tucson. The annual tourney will feature teams from Mexico, Puerto Rico, Venezuela and the Dominican Republic, last year's winner.

"These four countries have produced more than 1,000 Major League Baseball players," said Francisco Javier Álvarez, head of the organizing committee for Hermosillo, which is hosting the event for the sixth time.

Four teams will earn a berth in the series after clinching their countries' championship. In Mexico, the Mexican Pacific League has eight teams vying for a berth.

The series will be played in Estadio Sonora, a stadium with MLB specifications that is set to be finished Dec. 24.

Series tickets are available now and single-game tickets go on sale in January at


Mets sign Wright to 8-year deal

Mets third baseman David Wright agreed to the richest contract in club history, and pitcher Tommy Hanson was traded from Atlanta to the Los Angeles Angels on Friday.

Wright, 30, signed a $138 million, eight-year deal. Houston got ex-White Sox pitcher Philip Humber, and closer Mariano Rivera returned for another year with the Yankees. Ex-Yankees catcher Russell Martin took a $17 million, two-year deal with Pittsburgh.

• Amid steroid scandals, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Sammy Sosa, don't have enough votes to get into Cooperstown, a survey by The Associated Press shows.


UA's Cordes, Grevers set records

AUSTIN, Texas - UA sophomore Kevin Cordes won the 100-yard breast stroke and Olympic backstroke champion Matt Grevers of Tucson Ford Aquatics won the 100-yard backstroke, both with American records in the Winter Nationals on Friday night.

Grevers touched first in 44.55 seconds, lowering Ryan Lochte's 2006 mark of 44.60. Cordes (51.10) beat his own mark of 51.32.

In the 4 x 200 medley relays, the UA women's team of Lauren Smart, Ellyn Baumgardner, Megan Lafferty and Margo Geer won in 1:36.46; and the UA men's squad of Mitchell Friedemann, Cordes, Giles Smith and Nicholas Popov won in 1:24.84. Both were meet records. Ford Aquatics' Christine Magnuson also won the 100 butterfly in 51.86.

• Jared Lowell had two goals as the host UA hockey team beat San Diego State 5-3.

• In women's soccer, Penn State beat Florida State 2-1 in OT and will face Stanford or North Carolina for the NCAA title.

Ernesto Portillo Jr. Includes material from news releases