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CLEVELAND -- About four months before the 2011 draft, over a hundred scouts descended upon the baseball complex at a private academy west of Orlando. Amile Jefferson Jersey . They were there to eye a couple of teenagers born in Puerto Rico who would become the drafts most coveted shortstops.At 12 years old and with minimal knowledge of English, Javier Baez and Francisco Lindor left the island and moved to Florida. They excelled with sparkling play, Baez for Arlington Country Day School in Jacksonville and Lindor for Montverde Academy, which hosted that hyped high school game.That was like a mini World Series, said Baez on Monday, reminiscing about the game his team won in their senior years. That was a special evening. So many scouts, so much attention.Five years later, Baez and Lindor will face each other again as rivals in the World Series, starting Tuesday.Baez is a slick second baseman with the Chicago Cubs. Lindor is a smooth shortstop for the Cleveland Indians.Breakout stars of the postseason with their exceptional play and poise, Baez and Lindor also epitomize a talented crop of players from Puerto Rico.In the 2011 draft, the Indians drafted Lindor with the eight overall pick, and the Cubs picked Baez with the next one. Theres also Carlos Correa, the Houston Astros shortstop who in 2012 became the first Puerto Rican drafted first overall and who won the AL Rookie of the Year in 2015.We spent a ton of time with both of them, said Indians scouting director Brad Grant. Javy was a really good player, too. We went back and forth with those two. And our scouts did a really a good job of getting to know them. In the end, what separated it for us, it was Franciscos ability to play short, which is very hard to come by. And a switch-hitter on top of it, with offensive abilities as well.The 22-year-old Lindor marveled Monday about the similar path he shares with Baez ever since they were kids in Puerto Rico.We follow the same route to the majors. He left to help his family, and I did the same for mine, looking for a better future, Lindor said. We are two shortstops from Puerto Rico, drafted eight and nine, now playing each other in the World Series, still growing. This is insane. Its a blessing. I feel so proud for Puerto Rico.Both their families moved to the United States so they could polish their talents, enduring hardships along the way.In Baezs case, they also wanted his sister, Noely, to get better health care for spina bifida, a disabling birth defect. Noely died at 21 years old in April of 2015. Baez was 12 when his father, Angel Luis, died after suffering a head wound in a fall in the bathroom at home.Its just unreal that I will be playing against him, said the 23-year-old Baez. Our families are very close. His family spent Thanksgiving with us two years ago. And as players, its like were the same. We play to have fun, and do crazy things on the field.Baez won co-MVP honors in the NL Championship Series. On Saturday night, soon after he helped the Cubs beat the Los Angeles Dodgers to advance to their first World Series since 1945, Baez was texting with Lindor.`Is this a dream? Lindor recalled texting when speaking with reporters. I said, `I think so. I havent woken up yet and I dont want to wake up. Im living my dream, let*s keep doing the same. Scott Skiles Jersey .4 million title. Ryan Riess emerged with the title after a session in which he started behind, but used expert skill to gather the chips to his side amid the unpredictability of no-limit Texas Hold em. Riess put his final opponent Jay Farber all-in with an Ace-King. Magic Jerseys China . LeBron James and Chris Bosh didnt need any more. Williams scored 11 points in 10 minutes, Alan Anderson scored 17 points, and the Brooklyn Nets finished the exhibition season with a 108-87 win over the Miami Heat on Friday night. https:///...on-jersey-magic.html . LUCIE, Fla. COLUMBIA, Mo. -- Missouri hosts Middle Tennessee State in the schools 105th homecoming game and the Tigers would dearly like it to be a celebration.Missouri (2-4, 0-3 Southeastern Conference) is coming off consecutive road losses to LSU and Florida. The Tigers allowed a combined 705 rushing yards in those games as well as seven rushing touchdowns.The Blue Raiders (4-2, 2-1 Conference USA) are a pass-heavy offense, led by quarterback Brent Stockstill, who is 179 of 276 for 2,091 yards, 18 touchdowns and just five interceptions.Missouri linebacker Michael Scherer said this weeks preparation was completely different from the last few weeks.Theyre going to be spread out the whole game, Scherer said. They really like to throw screen passes. Quick stuff like that. Misdirection stuff to kind of throw you off. They have a few really talented athletes, too. If they get the ball in space, they can be dangerous.The Tigers have 10 interceptions this season, which ties Florida for the most in the SEC. Defensive coordinator DeMontie Cross believes the secondary is the strength of Missouris defense.Its hard to deny, Cross said. When those guys have been challenged down the field, theyve done a phenomenal job. Not only breaking up the ball, but coming down with quite a few of the pass attempts. Ive been really proud of those guys.Offensively, one of Missouris strengths has been its offensive line, which has given up only three sacks all season, leading the conference.Middle Tennessee State coach Rick Stockstill stressed the importance of penetration at the line of scrimmage for his team.Theyre really big, Stockstill said of Missouris offensive line. The big thing is, when you play guys that are a little bit bigger than you, is youve got to do a great job of getting off blocks. Youve got to be acctive. Melvin Frazier Jersey. You cant be stagnant. Youve got to move. Hopefully our athleticism will enable us to get off their blocks, but theyre huge.Here are some things to watch on Saturday when the programs meet for the second time (Missouri beat the Blue Raiders 41-40 in overtime in 2003, when Tigers coach Barry Odom was a graduate assistant on Gary Pinkels coaching staff):DEFENSIVE DEFEICIECYMissouris defense was elite in 2015. Led by one of the nations top tacklers in Kentrell Brothers, the Tigers compiled 27 sacks and 106 tackles for loss, tied for sixth in the nation. This season, defensive production has been down, as the Tigers have 27 tackles for loss and 10 sacks.WHEN IT MATHERSRunning back ITavius Mathers is the Blue Raiders go-to scoring option. He has 10 of the teams last 16 touchdowns, and ranks third nationally in scoring. He leads the team in rushing with 114 carries for 725 yards and 10 touchdowns, and also has 27 catches for 302 yards and two touchdowns.SPREADING THE LOVEBoth offenses like to spread the ball around. Middle Tennessee State has targeted 20 pass catchers this season, eight of whom have scored, while Missouri has had 18 players catch passes, with half of them finding the end zone.EARLY CONTRIBUTIONSFreshmen Cale Garrett and Ronell Perkins both made their first career starts for Missouri in a 40-14 loss to No. 18 Florida last week. Garrett started at middle linebacker and recorded eight tackles. Perkins started at strong safety, tallying four tackles and a quarterback hurry.The kid works hard, Scherer said of Garrett. He puts the time and effort into it necessary to really learn and to be able to do the right things on Saturday. ' ' '
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