This is what AN is all about - some really great posts in other diaries, including the scouting report from an AN reader in the Dominican Republic, to the guy making the observation that, had he not broken HIS finger, Antonio Perez would be in the line-up tomorrow - so there's really just one tragegy here. As for Crosby walking around the mall, I guess you can overlook it, maybe, but even my back starts to hurt when I walk around the mall. That's just what happens when you stand on the hard floor for too long. Great point, too, about asking Byrnes for advice on how to run the bases.
Two questions stand out in my mind: what are these "personal" problems of Jimenez apparently well-known to the people of the Dominican Republic?
And, more importantly, what happened to Jimenez after the 2004 season?
In 2004, Jimenez batted .270 with 12 HRs, 67 RBIs and a very impressive 82 walks. The next year he ... lost his job on a really horrible Cincinnati club. In fact, he didn't just lose his job; he went from being the starter to being off the team.
Here's a wire story from May 20, 2005:
"CINCINNATI -- The Cincinnati Reds designated second baseman D'Angelo Jimenez for assignment on Friday, the latest move to shake up the struggling team.
Jimenez agreed to a one-year, $2.87 million contract in the offseason, but lost his starting job by hitting .229 with five RBI in 35 games. He made two of the Reds' four errors in Cincinnati's last game, a 10-6 loss to the New York Mets on Wednesday."
Getting cut by the Reds one month after ESPN predicted a break-out season for him:
"Second base: D'Angelo Jimenez, Cincinnati Reds
Jimenez, now 27, has matured as a player and as a person and has become a solid big leaguer. He has a great sense of the strike zone; this will be the year he learns what to do with the 2-0 and 3-1 pitches with which he can do damage because he works the count so well.
Look for a huge jump in his offensive production as he plays a Gold Glove-caliber second base and establishes himself as one of the best all-around second baseman in the game. Expect him to bat in the neighborhood of .300, hit 20 homers, steal 20 bases, score 100 runs and drive in 90."
"Matured as a person?" Uh oh. I'm just totally guessing here, but I'm beginning to smell a guy with drug/alcohol problems.
When Jimenez was cut in 2005, it was the second time he had been released. The White Sox released him in 2003.
Here's the career arch:
August 1, 1994: Signed by the New York Yankees as an amateur free agent.
June 23, 2001: Traded by the New York Yankees to the San Diego Padres for Jay Witasick.
July 12, 2002: Traded by the San Diego Padres to the Chicago White Sox for Humberto Quintero and Alex Fernandez (minors).
July 6, 2003: Traded by the Chicago White Sox to the Cincinnati Reds for Scott Dunn.
October 5, 2005: Granted Free Agency.
December 16, 2005: Signed as a Free Agent with the Texas Rangers.
June 14, 2006: Released by the Texas Rangers.
Makes you wonder...