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Where is Angel?

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Reid Nichols reported on Talkin' Brewers this spring that Salome will start the season in extended spring training. He didn't say when or where he would start the season once his ankle is fully healed, but he did make it sound as though the organization was extremely pleased with his progress. The man is a workout warrior, so you know he busted his butt in rehab.


He broke his ankle in August IIRC last summer running the bases (I believe in a bang-bang play at second base), not an easy injury for any player to come back from, much less a catcher.

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All reports, most importantly and significantly from his high school coach (on this very forum) coincide with colbyjack's mention of him being a workout warrior. Think of a 5'8" Herschel Walker behind the plate. He's on a mission.
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Yes Angel is fine and dandy. and you are correct, he worked his tail off this of season. He couldnt do much since he had a cast, then a soft cast and boot and finally on crutches, but he worked hard and is looking great, better if that's possible. Angel was in Spring training and played one game and hit wel, was supposed to break camp and got to Brevard but he felt his timing just wasnt right so he is in Arizona and you will see him mashing balls real soon in Florida. He worked extremly hard on his defense and you will see a Gold Glove catcher by the time he gets to the Show shortly (no pun intended)

He takes pride in what he does and it shows in his work ethic.

Angel by the way has a brand new, spanking, georgeous new daughter, just a few months old, so being home for a short while allowed him to be a proud father.

While in NY Angel always found the time to come by and work with the team, especially with Jean Carlos Rodriguez, our Junior first team All-American Catcher. Angel is a treat to be associated with and a class act, I hope you al enjoy having him as one of your top prospects, and once we work on his intensity level which some times gets the best of him since he is so fierce and a perfectionist, you will see the second coming of Pudge.

Expect big thing from Angel this year, he will be back soon and I sure hope he sees some AA, but with Palmisano there it will cause a back log at the same level.

Again Angel is fine and almost ready, soon, real soon, crack, boom, bang!!




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Does anyone else get really fired up reading coach's posts? Not necessarily about Angel but just in general? I know I do. You could be a motivational speaker, man!
"Dustin Pedroia doesn't have the strength or bat speed to hit major-league pitching consistently, and he has no power......He probably has a future as a backup infielder if he can stop rolling over to third base and shortstop." Keith Law, 2006
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Our visiting "coach" is a legend in his own right, and I've had the pleasure of hearing him speak on occasion. It's always wonderful to have you visit with us, sir.


Link for additional slideshow, audio --




At George Washington High School, Beisbol is a Hit

By Tripp Mickle, nyc24.org


Fernando Frias is baseball crazy. The sophomore at George Washington High School spends close to 20 hours a week playing baseball games and practicing with the Trojans, then adds an additional five hours of specialized training with a private coach.


So when the 6-foot-1-inch, 192-pound slugger walked off the diamond with a .700 batting average after a week long high school tournament in late April, it came as no surprise. Nor did it come as any surprise that George Washington won the tournament.


Frias is just one of more than 25 equally dedicated and enthuasitic Dominican baseball players who have helped turn the high school baseball program into one of the best in the city. While coach Steve Mandl has guided the team?s rise, the Dominican ballplayers from Washington Heights and the Bronx have carried the team to prominence.


?They bring a talent and a passion for the game you don?t see anywhere else,? said Arnaldo Cubero, a citywide umpire, who?s been calling games for 25 years. ?They want to play more than anyone else.?


The Dominican Republic accounts for the largest source of immigrants to New York City with more than 369,000 people arriving since 1990. That same influx can be seen in Major League Baseball, as the Dominican Republic supplies more players for the league than any other nation outside the U.S.


For Dominican immigrants and their children who hope to play professional baseball, George Washington High has become the place to foster that dream. Since the mid-1980s, the school has produced two World Series winners in the Major Leagues: Manny Ramirez of the Boston Red Sox and former Florida Marlins shortstop Alex Arias. Both Dominican, their success has given other young ballplayers hope.


?That?s the only reason I came here,? Juan Brito, a 17-year old junior said. ?Our coach is like a hall of famer. I knew I?d come out of here a good player.?


All but two players on the George Washington team are Dominican. Many are the children of immigrants or immigrants themselves. Most believe baseball offers the best way to obtain a better life for themselves and their families.


?Baseball was what we were born to do,? said Chris Jones, a 17-year old junior and son of a Dominican. ?We just want to get drafted.?


During the course of the spring break baseball tournament at George Washington, both the rise of Dominicans in New York and in baseball was on display. Schools like Walton, Norman Thomas and Kennedy high schools featured rosters filled with Spanish names ? more than 80 percent of which were Dominican. But none of those teams could rival George Washington?s appeal, history and dedication among Dominican ballplayers.


?In the Dominican tradition, if you play at George Washington, it?s like playing at Yankee Stadium,? said Youman Wilder, a private baseball instructor who works with players citywide. ?For some insane reason, it?s known in the Dominican Republic.?


George Washington, a collegiate four-story brick building, sits on the crest of a small hill near the northeastern tip of Manhattan. The school technically encompasses four different ones: the High School for Media and Communications; the High School for International Business and Finance; the High School for Health Careers and Sciences; and the High School for Law and Public Service. Just below the school lies one of only two high school baseball fields on the island.


While most of George Washington?s players come from the surrounding Washington Heights neighborhood, others travel from outlying boroughs. Angel Nunez, a senior second baseman on the team, comes to the school from Brooklyn in order to play baseball. Though he has left his home in Brooklyn for school before 6 a.m. many mornings, he has said it?s worth the trek to play ball at George Washington.


Part of the reason players like Nunez and others travel so far is the school?s rich history. Not only has it produced players like Ramirez and Arias, it has also won more than 298 league games since coach Steve Mandl took over the program in 1983. Since 2001, the team has gone 77-4. The only other Public Schools Athletic League team to come close to that record is Staten Island?s Tottenville, which is 65-2.


Mandl?s leadership has been central to the team?s success. Since taking over, he?s built an overall record of 696 wins and 92 losses. Opposing coaches, players and umpires admire him for his work ethic and his team?s discipline.


Mandl arrives at school at 5:15 every morning to run a one-hour daily camp for junior high students. While the camp gives him a chance to evaluate young talent, he does it to give the players instruction, assistant coach Ronny de la Rosa said. His high school team warms itself up before games, forming an organized row for coordinated stretches and jumping jacks.


?He?s not a loud mouth coach,? said Arnaldo Cubero, an umpire, who?s been working city high school games for 25 years. ?He?s a the-way-it?s-supposed-to-be coach with signs and discipline.?


For the Dominican ballplayers who form the backbone of the team, it?s hard to imagine playing for anyone else.


?It?s a big honor just to have George Washington on your shirts,? Rodriguez said, as he sat in the concrete stands above the field and watched as two other baseball teams played.


?It?s not just a name,? Brito added. ?It has meaning to it.?


Coach Mandl gets it big time. He was a Jewish kid from Brooklyn who worshipped one of his own -- Sandy Koufax.


"...when I was growing up he was my idol," says Mandl. "When you have some one from your family, your country, your background, you want him to do well."

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