April 23, 2014

Lonnie Chisenhall Reportedly Called Up to Indians

Jordan Bastian had the scoop first today.  He is reporting that the Lonnie Chisenhall era of Cleveland Indians baseball is about to begin.  Obviously I think that wording is a bit tongue in cheek.  The move, reportedly comes at the expense of veteran Adam Everett who has been designated for assignment if the rumors turn out to be factual.  Our own TD was calling for drastic moves today in the weekend wrap after a horrid series against San Francisco.  While not enough to be considered drastic yet, the Everett for Chisenhall swap is at least a step beyond the acknowledgement that the Indians indeed have a problem.

Before we all get too excited, I figure I’ll just toss a big, heavy wet blanket on everyone.  Lonnie Chisenhall is the hottest player in AAA Columbus right now, but our own DP, who covers the Clippers, was the first to point out that The Chiz Kid might not have been the next in line.  Chisenhall came off the DL hotter than anything.  Prior to that though, Chisenhall has been streaky and much closer to 0.250 as a hitter.  So, while it is certainly possible that a hot Chisenhall can come in and wake up the slumbering Tribe offense, he is still just a rookie AAA player who has only been really hot as of late. [Read more...]

Indians Double Affiliate in Akron Ready to Re-Brand?

We told you a few weeks back that the Akron Aeros were considering changing the name of the team. They ran a contest over at the Akron Beacon Journal asking fans to vote on keeping ‘Aeros’ or suggesting a new monicker.

The results of the original poll are being kept confidential, but the club has released a new contest page with 15 names, including Aeros, for fans to vote on. Names will be eliminated in fives throughout the season until the final five are voted on and a winning name announced after the season has concluded.

Dan Foust said that the team was “Gauging the interest and affinity for the Aeros brand.”

Before the Aeros played in Akron, they were of course the Canton-Akron Indians. The team moved to Akron in 1997, and adopted the name Aeros after fans voted for that name over the ‘Quest’ and the ‘Spirit’. The vote only came to pass because the team’s original name, the ‘Blast’ was deemed inappropriate.

So the name of the franchise is again in the hands of the fans. Here are your choices- [Read more...]

NBA Free Agency: Cavs Plans Hinge on Labor Discussions

The Cleveland Cavaliers could be well on their way to one of the more paradoxical offseasons in recent team history.

It is widely considered that the Wine and Gold selected Tristan Thompson fourth overall in the most recent NBA Draft due to the fact that the team knew exactly what they were getting – a hard-working, long and explosive and agressive athlete who will help improve the team’s currently putrid defense.

Allowing an eighth-worst 104.5 points per game during the 2010-11 season and getting destroyed night after night by pick-and-roll situations, Thompson will be able to immediately help one facet of the Cavaliers’ game that was in dire need of improvement.  The other facet – scoring the basketball – is said to be up for improvement as well.  The only issue at hand is the protocol through which the team plans on addressing said weakness; where the team went with a sure thing in Thompson (instead of banking on the long-term upside of a player like Jonas Valanciunas or Jan Vesely), it is taking a giant risk by turning to free agency.  [Read more...]

Cavaliers Still Blessed With Plenty of Options for the Future

Now that the dust has settled from the whirlwind draft night, in which fans of the Cleveland Cavaliers had emotions that were flying all over the place, we can start to consider what the 2011-12 roster might look like and what the Cavaliers’ free agency options are.

When the Cavaliers selected Justin Harper in the 2nd round of the draft, there was a lot of confusion as to why the Cavaliers drafted another PF. When the Cavs subsequently traded him to Orlando for two future 2nd round draft picks, the confusion reached a fever pitch. The anger over a 2nd round pick in the NBA draft was a little bit much, but the confusion was certainly understandable. [Read more...]

Save Me NFL – You’re My Only Hope

I am a big sports fan.  We all are big sports fans, for the most part.  Ask my wife though.  I am extended well beyond the simple bounds of what Cleveland sports teams have to offer.  This weekend I watched the Tribe drop three in San Francisco.  I watched the U.S. Men’s National Team blow a 2-0 lead in the Gold Cup, losing to Mexico 4-2.  Even the entertaining UFC event that I watched last night had a pall cast over it as Nate Marquardt “failed his medical” and couldn’t fight in the main event.  Point being, I need the NFL to go ahead and use that positive progress, sign their deal and start free agency.

Regardless of what the Browns do in season, they have largely been entertaining to follow in the draft and free agency.  The Browns can’t lose any games during free agency.  We just get to plug holes in the roster in our minds as our total win predictions climb in our dreams every night.  Last year when the Browns brought in guys like Sheldon Brown, Scott Fujita, Chris Gocong and even Tony Pashos, the roster never looked better than it did before a game was played.  Nobody ever imagines for a second that the player that was just signed to an NFL contract will be unable to play at his highest level during the year.  When NFL free agency is taking place, they aren’t real people.  They’re more like the Madden version of themselves with injuries turned off. [Read more...]

Changes Needed: Actaball Looks Dead

Watching Manny Acta’s Cleveland Indians over the weekend was nothing like watching Manny Acta’s Cleveland Indians from April and May.

Gone is the solid defense, smart base-running, and timely hitting. It has been replaced by daily atrocities in the field, bone-headed plays on the base-paths, and a complete lack of hitting in the clutch.

They were once 30-15. Now they are 40-36. On May 23rd, the Indians the top team in the major with runners in scoring position. Since then, they are dead last. The base-running and defensive mistakes are happening at an alarming rate. Worst of all, the injuries have piled up. [Read more...]

While We’re Waiting… OF Platoon, Carmona’s Mechanics and Hillis is Tough

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

“Of course, the very real possibility that Buck may crash-and-burn as an everyday player exists, but it’s a near-certainty that fostering a platoon with Kearns and Buck will surely end poorly, with the Indians’ manager essentially coming out and saying as much – that both players have struggled because of sporadic playing time. So let’s solve it by giving them sporadic playing time?

However this “platoon” idea plays out (and it won’t be good if they actually do employ it…trust me), the manner in which the Indians approach the loss of Choo in the coming weeks and months is going to be more than a little telling in terms of how they perceive this created opportunity in the AL Central race. Certainly they can rely on these internal options (and again, if we’re going that route, I’d like to see Buck playing everyday to see if he can get into a rhythm) for a time, but the sense of urgency surrounding the loss of Choo and attempting to replace his production (albeit diminished) is going to be the canary in the coal mine when looking at what moves the Indians are/aren’t going to make to augment this team going forward.” [Cousineau/The DiaTribe] [Read more...]

Kyrie Irving: Where do we go from here?

Los Angeles Lakers center.  Green Bay Packers quarterback.  New York Yankees center fielder.  Cleveland Cavaliers point guard.

These are all positions that carry with them the weight of decades of legendary figures.  Kyrie Irving was taken with the first pick overall this week by the Cleveland Cavaliers.  He was instantly compared to recent first pick point guards John Wall and Derrick Rose.  He’s apparently not as quick or athletic as those two but a better shooter.  Many don’t expect him to as good as those two – Rose is, after all, the MVP.

But let’s slow down for a minute.  How will Kyrie stack up against the point guards of Cavalier past?

[Read more...]

Tribe Bats Blanked By the Bay

If Friday’s loss was the most frustrating of the season, Saturday’s could certainly qualify for the most disheartening.  The Indians squandered another great start from their pitching staff.  Poor fielding was the difference for the second straight night.  The bats – well, they were nowhere to be found yet again in matchup of what has to be the two worst offenses in the game.

Starter Justin Masterson is still trying to figure out how he got credited with a loss.  He went nearly 7 innings, gave up no earned runs, and allowed only four hits.  He caught some breaks as the Giants hit the ball hard for outs at times, but there’s no way he deserved the loss.  The difference was one run – balked home by Tony Sipp in a comedy of errors 7th inning.  NorCal scribe Tim Kawakami openly mocked the Indians on twitter, characterizing the afternoon and 7th inning thusly:

The standard double-fall down-error-error-walk-balk late-inning rally! (Can’t believe how bad Cleveland is.)

[Read more...]

While We’re Waiting…Tribe All-Stars, LRMR & Cavs, Pryor & Browns

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

Potential Tribe All-Stars: “After Cabrera it gets a little dicey in figuring out who may also represent the Tribe in the Midsummer Classic.  The only other possibilities are right-handed pitchers Josh Tomlin (9-4, 3.95 ERA), Justin Masterson (5-5, 3.18 ERA), Carlos Carrasco (7-4, 3.62 ERA), and closer Chris Perez (2-3, 2.54 ERA, 18 saves).  Tomlin, 26, is tied for the league lead in wins, but doesn’t appear to have the eye-popping numbers or sexiness to get added to the roster over a host of other popular names from other teams, though if he were to go out his next start and win his 10th game it could make it interesting.” [Tony Lastoria/STO]

[Read more...]

Sport Science Studies Tristan Thompson’s Dunking Ability

A commenter first alerted us on Thursday night to this Sport Science clip after the Cavs, somewhat surprisingly, took Tristan Thompson with the fourth overall pick. It has been making its way around Cavs circles on the internet this weekend. In the video, John Brenkus and his team study Tristan’s arms and wingspan, his 38.5 inch vertical, and how that translates to his incredible dunking ability. The Canadian import was a favorite of the stat community heading into the draft. This is a different kind of analysis but it’s good to know all the nerds love our new draft pick.

Choo breaks thumb, Travis Buck back up

Compounding the frustrations of last’s night loss in San Francisco is what appears to be a serious injury to Shin-Soo Choo.  His nightmare season continued in the fourth inning last night when a pitch from Jonathan Sanchez ran in on on him and hit his left hand.  It was confirmed last night that he had a broken left thumb.  He was immediately placed on the 15 day DL.  While further examination is required, it’s unlikely he’s back on the field in that time span.  ESPN.com speculated this morning that Choo could be out for the year, or close to it.

To fill his roster spot, Travis Buck was called back up from Columbus.  He has been on the I-71 yo-yo that Jenny Lewis trademarked over the past few years (sadly, Jensen was finally let go from Columbus yesterday).  Buck is hitting .228/.278/.347 in 32 games this season with the big league club.  The Tribe outfield is in complete disarray.

Buck and fan fav Austin Kearns will likely platoon in right while Choo is out.  The already struggling lineup is now littered with platoon and utility players – Buck, Kearns, and Shelley Duncan will now all see regular outfield duties.  It’s going to be a slog to get to the All-Star break.

(Photo: Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Santana Throws Win Away in San Fran

The Indians’ early season success was characterized by ultimate efficiency.  No opportunity was wasted.  They capitalized on every chance to win ballgames – whether holding steady while ahead or jumping on every chance to get back in games when behind.  Things have certainly evened out over the past month but last night’s loss has to qualify for most frustrating of the season.

It was a completely squandered opportunity.  The Indians had their best pitcher on the mound to start a 9 game road trip and weekend series against the defending champs.  The Tigers, who have cooled a little, lost to Arizona giving the Indians a chance to increase their cushion in the AL Central.

And then it all came undone in the bottom of the sixth inning.  [Read more...]

While We’re Waiting…Cavs Interested in Lighty, Browns Workouts, Greg Little Background

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

More Draft analysis and looking at how to rebuild this roster: “My reaction to the Cavs’ draft is confusion. Draft day started with so much promise. The Cavs had the 1st and 4th picks, two second rounders, a huge trade exception, and an owner willing to spend money. The options seemed limitless and, at a minimum, it appeared the day should end with the Cavs having two long-term starters and a quality role player in tow. Something completely different happened. No picks were bought or traded for; instead a pick was traded away. At #4, the Cavs reached for a player that most had in the 8 – 10 range; who also plays the same position as two of their three best players under the age of thirty. Of their fifteen players, the Cavs have four point guards and six power forwards. Are the Cavs trying to remake themselves as the Minnesota Timberwolves? The trade exception expires in two weeks. Surely a trade is coming. This can’t be the last memory prior to a depressing lockout, can it?” [Kevin Hetrick/Cavs:TheBlog]

[Read more...]

Source: Ryan Hollins Picks up $2.5 Million Player Option

The Cleveland Cavaliers may have not addressed their current hole at the center position via the recently held NBA Draft, but Ryan Hollins has picked up his player option for the 2011-12 season, a source tells WFNY.

[Read more...]

Rich Paul Hopes LeBron James and Dan Gilbert Can Patch Things Up

Guilty by association but once again a part of the Cleveland Cavaliers organization, Rich Paul strolled into Cleveland Clinic Courts along side team owner Dan Gilbert looking to be a part of the newest chapter of Wine and Gold history.

“It’s like I never left,” Paul tells WFNY on a day where the Cleveland media and select public were introduced to the two newest members of the Cavaliers, Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson.  A friend of LeBron James, a member of the infamous four hoursemen, and one of the R’s in LRMR - the marketing agency that will forever be linked with all things evil when it comes to Cleveland sports and fandom - Paul now finds himself as the player representative for Thompson, marking the first time the James confidant has been back with the team since the night of The Decision.

[Read more...]

WFNY Podcast: Talking Irving, Thompson and Trading Harper

You’ll never believe it but the subjects of this week’s podcast were very NBA Draft heavy.

Was Kyrie Irving the first pick all along?

Were the Cavs left holding the bag with Tristan Thompson?

Why didn’t they draft David Lighty?

Where do we go from here?

All that and more discussed with the ever-handsome Dan Labbe.  Per usual, you can download the mp3 here, catch the audio over at Cleveland.com or just listen right here after the jump.  Do enjoy. [Read more...]

Cavs Draft: So, What Exactly Happened?

As the dust settles in Independence, the Cleveland Cavaliers appear poised to add two new names to their roster at the beginning of the 2011-12 season – whenever that may be.

With the first- and fourth-overall selections in the 2011 NBA Draft, Chris Grant and his staff opted to call the names of Duke point guard Kyrie Irving and Texas power forward Tristan Thompson, two players who the Cavaliers said were at the top of their draft board.  In the early going of what will be a multi-year rebuilding process, Grant stated that his team set out to draft players who he felt were the best available at their respective positions and that the team did just that.

A lot of hype, expectation and speculation went into Thursday night’s festivities as the team was armed with two high selections as well as two second-rounders, the $14.5 million Traded Player Exception acquired in the LeBron James deal last summer and multiple players who had been rumored to be up for grabs.  What resulted may have failed to meet the expectations of those hopeful of boundless moving and shaking, but the Cavaliers are better today than they were 24 hours earlier.  [Read more...]

While We’re Waiting… Grading the Cavaliers’ Draft

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

“[Kyrie] Irving is mostly a case of winning by default, but they wouldn’t have been the first team to be unable to get out of their own way with an obvious pick. Irving gives them a franchise point guard to build around and was the best player overall in this draft. Going for Derrick Williams would have been sheer hubris in order to burn LeBron by choosing a replacement forward. Then, with the fourth, they could have opted for Valanciunas, which would have been a good pick. But there’s a reason so many teams were chasing Tristan Thompson. His workouts showed how he would translate on the next level, and with that kind of athleticism, he provides a good running partner for Irving. They managed to not overcomplicate the combination of two top-five picks. They got good talent both small and big. That’s a win right there.” [Matt Moore]

[Read more...]

Nevermind

Chad Ford of ESPN has reported the Cavs have traded Justin Harper to the Orlando Magic for two future 2nd round picks. Carry on.