Originally written on Waiting For Next Year  |  Last updated 8/17/12
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It’s a great story. He still stinks. “Jimenez’s humble beginnings helped shape who he is today: A lanky pitcher who mostly keeps to himself and rarely shows emotion on the field, even though he has experienced the highest peaks and most cavernous valleys that a baseball career can offer.

Despite the abundant love for the game in the Dominican, kids without a future in baseball instead turned to gangs. Jimenez said those who didn’t make it on the diamond “went the easy way: to drugs, kidnapping people and stealing.”

It was imperative to his parents, Ubaldo Sr. and Ramona, that Jimenez not follow other troubled teens into that hole, and they weren’t shy about telling him so. He noted how they “worked hard every day so we could have food on the table and get an education,” even though they also showed him tough love, which he now laughs at.” [Meisel/MLB.com]

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Awful. Just awful. [Dr. Saturday]

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“The production level Shazier exhibited last season, and especially in November, caught everyone’s eye, Shazier included, but after watching film in the offseason, he tended to key in on the errors he made. “Even when I was watching the Florida and the Penn State games, I see a lot of gaps I should have filled and a lot of tackles I missed,” Shazier said.

Learning from those mistakes will be key for not only Shazier but also his running mates. Behind them is a who’s who of unproven players. Storm Klein’s dismissal in July left the Buckeyes with no experienced backups at the linebacker position.” [Rowland/Eleven Warriors]

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“It led to Manager Manny Acta on Wednesday making perhaps his most extraordinary statement since becoming manager of the team 2½ years ago. He basically called out the front office, or made a pre-emptive PR strike against speculation, if not outright fact, that his job is hanging in the balance of what happens the rest of this inglorious Indians season. Maybe that wasn’t his intent, but it was such an out-of-character comment by Acta, that it almost begs some dot connecting.” [Ingraham/News Herald]

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“Cleveland’s Samardo Samuels has pulled off a most improbable double, ranking as the least efficient post-up player in the sample in back-to-back seasons. Samuels shot 29 percent from the post in 2010-11 and 31 percent last season, and his turnover rate was sky high in both campaigns. Samuels, a bulky sort during those two years, looks the part of a low-to-the-ground force with a soft touch, but the numbers don’t bear it out. The 23-year-old showed up at summer league in Las Vegas looking at least 25 pounds lighter, so it will be interesting to see what happens with him next season.” [Lowe/Point Forward]

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