While We’re Waiting… Rebuilding Cleveland.

While We’re Waiting serves as the early morning gathering of WFNY-esque information for your viewing pleasure. Have something you think we should see? Send it to our tips email at tips@waitingfornextyear.com.

“Naturally, like most things related to Cleveland sports, the path will not be an easy one. Being in the lottery is by no means a guarantee for a rebound. It is near consensus opinion that a Durant-type player is not for the having in the 2011 NBA Draft, one where the Cavaliers have four selections. Also in Oklahoma City’s corner, Durant was added to the team the summer before the team would win 20 games, allowing them to add Westbrook the very next season and essentially expediting the turnaround. And having a future Hall of Famer fall into your lap is only half of the battle; the Thunder had to hit on subsequent selections as well as trades.” [Scott/Still WFNY]

Speculating on the next Hard Knocks team- “The Cleveland Browns may be an interesting story. Former Browns coach Eric Mangini said he would never do it, but the new regime of president Mike Holmgren, general manager Tom Heckert and rookie coach Pat Shurmur may be more forthcoming. But the Browns don’t have a lot of star power and HBO already did the “struggling Ohio football team” story two years ago in Cincinnati. So there’s probably not much interest in Cleveland.” [Walker/AFC North Blog]

“Let’s look at the five most important Cleveland Browns for 2011, as of today. This isn’t intended to be a list of the best players or the guys facing make-or-break situations, but the most important players before any trades, signings, cuts or surprise depth-chart changes are made.

With the uncertainty surrounding the NFL’s labor issues, players must be under contract for 2011 to be eligible for this list. Whenever a new collective bargaining agreement is reached, some players might be restricted free agents and are likely to return and others could achieve unrestricted status depending on the terms of the new agreement. That means players including (but not limited to) Lawrence Vickers, Matt Roth and Eric Wright are not eligible for this list.” [Jackson/FSO]

“Most experts say the longer the lockout is extended, the more teams like the Browns with a new coach and a new system is harmed with little or no OTAs and minicamps. However, Shurmur disagrees. “I don’t (see a disadvantage),” he said. “What I see is 32 teams playing on a level playing field. Every year is new. Even established teams must re-create themselves each season.” Shurmur has said before he thinks the ability for his staff to teach the players will be a big help when the players return.” [Greetham/The OBR]

“We are, after all, closing in on that Sparky Anderson-prescribed 40-game mark that will supposedly dictate whether this team is for real, and here the Indians are, still comfortably atop the standings in a weak AL Central. It has been pointed out elsewhere, but it bears repeating that the Tribe can go .500 the rest of the way and still finish with a respectable (and perhaps division winnable) 87 victories.

None of us saw this strong of a start coming (though, of course, some will try to claim they did). But I thought it would be interesting to take a look back at some points in the not-too-distant past that were particularly impactful in paving the way to what has already been an entertaining 2011 season.” [Castroturf]

Great stuff from Jordan, check out the piece to see how he got here- “So what does it all mean? Well, the Indians are peppering the strike zone early and often, drawing swings, inducing contact and minimizing the self-created damage. With one of the league’s top-rated defenses playing behind them, the pitchers are enticing hitters to swing and trusting the plays will be made. That’s a big reason for the Indians’ strong start.” [Major League Bastian]

  • Believelander


    All we can say this morning is “go Tribe”

  • Roosevelt

    Before the next article goes up, I want to call out Ned Yost. All the articles today are about his poor young pitcher. But as Posnanski points out, there have been 148 pitchers who gave up 10 runs in an inning, bo almost no one who gave up 14 over 2 1/3. How many of the 148 were sent out to pitch the next inning? What in the world could the rationale have been? If it’s because the game was already lost, send out your second lefty specialist from the end of the bench to pitch a few innings. As I saw in a comment somewhere else, Mazzaro shouldn’t have been sent down, Yost should have been.

  • C-Bus Kevin

    @ Roosevelt…

    I think the Royals were just ready to give up on the game. Once you’re down by that many runs, you don’t want to get into the bullpen that early, even if you want to give guys work. This is mostly because you could end up sending 4 to 5 relievers out to the mound in a game you will almost certainly lose.

    I actually think these games are pretty entertaining. You can see it on the manager’s face. It’s almost like he wants to go out to the mound himself and just lob batting practice pitches until the Indians get themselves out so that he doesn’t waste any arms on the game. Once he gave up the 10 runs, I’m pretty sure wrote the game off as “failure to launch.”

  • B-bo

    Once again, I would ask David Stern if we can just roll over this years picks to next year. Thoroughly disappointing to not have even one “franchise” guy in the draft. Best case we get Irving and, what, Williams? Can’t say either inspires a whole lot of confidence for me. Than again, we tried the “franchise” player approach before…

    No “Hard Knocks” for the Browns, please. Maybe in a few years when we have our systems in place, but right now there are enough distractions out there to worry about.

    I certainly hope Coach Shurmer is just “saying the right things”, because if he actually believes that we aren’t at a significantly greater disadvantage thanks to the lockout, then he’s just a fool. Trying to install a whole new offense AND defense with greatly reduced time and contact? Sorry, coach, but that’s more to deal with than what teams like Pittsburgh, Indy, and New England face.

  • humboldt

    Scott, nice Dumb and Dumber allusion – that quote is protean

  • stin4u

    @2 – Pretty sure he was just hoping to get whatever serviceable pitching was left out of him. Like Kevin said, anything you can do to save innings on your bullpen in a worthless game (at that point) is worth doing.

    I’m just hoping they didn’t use up all their bats in one game. Nice win though!

  • Boomhauertjs

    @B-bo – The NBA draft picks will roll over to next season if the lockout cancels the 2011-2012 season.

  • Mark

    @B-bo – I really believe Williams will be a star. I think in a few years everyone will wonder how we all didn’t see it coming.

    @Boomhauertjs – No way there will be a whole season lost. The player union is too weak and will fold well before it gets to that point.

  • B-bo

    @boomhauertjs: if any sport needs a good year-long lockout, it’s professional basketball.

    @Mark: that’s fine by me, assuming he ends up in wine & gold. I just don’t have much confidence in that outcome.

  • 5KMD

    “So there’s probably not much interest in Cleveland.”

    Isn’t that ESPN’s motto.

  • http://serandez.blogspot.com Ezzie

    I think Yost felt he needed to save some bullpen arms, and Mazzarro was apparently originally supposed to start the game. Even after the next inning he only threw 77 pitches. Honestly, if he’d have gone back out and gotten a couple decent innings it’d look brilliant. That he just couldn’t get any Indian out no matter what just makes it look bad, but I don’t think it was the wrong call once the game is “over” like that.