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 email@example.com.
The only division we can compete in? “Outside of the Fielder deal, while teams in the other divisions have improved, the teams in the AL Central this offseason have done very little to make themselves much better. The Royals and Twins have made a few nice signings, but nothing big or that will put them over the top. Like the Indians, the biggest boost to them will be health and the development of their internal players. The White Sox are in sell mode and are retooling and are not considered to be a major factor in the division this season.
Even with the Tigers continuing to add big pieces in the past year, the Indians should thank their lucky stars they are not in the AL East or AL West as they would almost have no chance every year unless they hit on a bunch of young very good players at one time like the Rays. Beating the “buyers” over a 162 game season is a tough task, but the Indians have never had to really worry about that too much in the AL Central.” [Tony/Indians Prospect Insider"
More on baseball's identity fraud problem. "Few in baseball were surprised that two well-established players had misrepresented themselves. The fear is that the problem could be much more widespread. One agent said more than a dozen players could soon lose their contracts because of age and identity issues.
“These are like time bombs,” Mark Newman, the Yankees’ senior vice president for baseball operations, said by telephone from the Dominican Republic while scouting there last week. “But people are absolutely getting the message. Major League Baseball, the consulate and the major league clubs are all committed to this, and it will get better." [Kepner/NY Times] (Hat tip- @TheDiaTribe)
An interesting breakdown of the best NBA draft classes. Could ’12 end up in this discussion someday? [Hardwood Paroxysm]
Not Cleveland related, but I thought it was a good story- “Jeff Francoeur heard them shout, just as he did in the previous visits. But unlike most players, he didn’t pretend not to hear the good-natured ribbing. Rather, he waved back and even engaged in an occasional exchange with the fans. The message they had for him was simple – it was a Bacon Tuesday in the right field bleachers in Oakland. Because, you know, everything is better with bacon.
They cooked and baked, from regular bacon to home-made chicharron with fresh cheese. All the way up to the chocolate-covered bacon. Seriously. They ate and they drummed, they shouted and had fun, they cheered and they ate some more. And when the game was over, there was a spare plate left for Jeff Francoeur. Just like that. Because Frenchy is a nice guy, they said. Francoeur seemed touched. He signed baseballs and ticket stubs, chatted with them, took the bacon, said thank you and left. But not before he made sure the same fans would be coming to the Wednesday game, too.
The next day, he walked out to his position before the game, carrying a signed baseball in his hand. He spotted the familiar faces, smiled and threw the baseball over the fence. There was a hundred dollar bill rubber-tied to the baseball. And an inscription: “Beer or Bacon Dog on me. Jeff Francoeur.” [Hardball Times]