August 2, 2014

While We’re Waiting… Appreciating Ward, Ubaldo’s velocity and free agent WR available (Update: Phil Taylor Trolls the Air!)

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.

“At 36 years of age, Cleveland Browns fans know Ward all too well. Perhaps not as well as Keith Rivers or Ed Reed or Daven Holly or Bart Scott, but the 14-year relationship with Ward is one of many memories, some better than others. Upon their return in 1999, the Browns were greeted by their bitter rival. Some homecoming that turned out to be; the final score was a 43-0 shellacking in front of the lakefront crowd. Ward, making up for lost time in the wake of the Browns’ absence, hauled in three passes including one touchdown, his first of many against the Cleveland Franchise. His 1,000th and final NFL reception, fittingly, occurred within the confines of Cleveland Browns Stadium. ” [Scott/Still WFNY]

—-

Our own Kirk was asked to provide some insight on the Buckeyes’ Buford for a Pistons’ site-  “William Buford provides a perimeter threat with a variety of options in which to score. Buford’s mid-range game with the ability to curl around screens for jumpers is second to none in college basketball. That skill alone should allow him to stick around for 10 years in the NBA. He’s an excellent foul shooter, and he goes through stretches of being an excellent three-point shooter. There have been times this season where the 6’5″ guard has taken the Buckeyes on his back and single-handedly carried them across the finish line with hot shooting. Buford’s battle at the next level, just as at this one, will be to remain consistent, avoiding the 2-for-13 shooting nights that have plagued him at times. However, if you’re talking about an early second round selection, there are few that have as much scoring ability from the wing as Buford does.” [Piston Powered]

—-

I have to say, if this were baseball, a rule change wouldn’t be on the horizon for 8 more years. “The NFL Competition Committee announced during a conference call Wednesday that it will introduce multiple rule changes and bylaw proposals to ownership next week in Palm Beach, Fla., including the following: Making the penalty for having too many men on the field a dead-ball foul. This stems from an incident that took place during the most recent Super Bowl. With the New York Giants’ defense illegally having 12 men on the field, the New England Patriots ran a play and wound up losing valuable time, although they gained 5 yards. The new proposal would immediately stop the play and make it a 5-yard infraction.” [Wyche/NFL.com]

—-

Jimenez had a much better outing- “Ubaldo told me the homer angered him and he stopped messing around after that. I suggested he pitch angry from now on. As for the much-documented pitch velocity, Jimenez was sitting around 92-95 mph on the afternoon. He was mainly around 93 mph with his heater. It’s not the 97-98 mph fastball that Jimenez boasted a couple years ago, but it’s early and he remains hopeful that his pitch speed will get better as we get deeper into the summer. “I’m not going to lie to you,” Jimenez said. “Sometimes you do [think about it], because sometimes you don’t feel like it’s coming out of your hand good. So you wonder about it like, how hard am I throwing? But, today, that wasn’t the case. I was thinking about throwing strikes and I felt really good with my mechanics. I think it’s getting better and better.” [Bastian/MLB.com]

—-

Oof- “The 49ers did indeed make an inquiry about the Steelers restricted free agent during the opening week of free agency. But they and the other teams that asked about Wallace were told the receiver was looking for a lot of money. How much? A league source said that Wallace, 25, wants a contract that surpasses the eight-year, $120 million deal that Larry Fitzgerald signed last year with the Cardinals. Combine that with the first-round pick any team that signs Wallace to an offer sheet would lose if the Steelers didn’t match the offer, and you start to understand why we’ve heard so little about Wallace in the last week and a half.” [Barrows/Sacremento Bee]

—-

Finally, here’s a fun game. Find the worst quarterback on this list. [McManamon/FSO]

—-

Update: This hilarious post regarding Browns defensive tackle Phil Taylor is a must-read if you missed the mid-air antics yesterday. [Kissing Suzy Kolber]

  • Max

    That Pat McManamon article just reminded me that Mike Holmgren traded FOR Charlie Frye in 2007.

    even if it was for an ice tub and a 55 gallon drum of icy hot, it was too much.

    Worst QB on that list? Either Cleo Lemon or Luke McCown. Spergeon Wynn is ineligible because no one should be judged for anything on that ’99 team.

  • http://twitter.com/oribiasi oribiasi

    Luke McCown, hands down. 

    Wow, I totally forgot he traded for Charlie Frye.  In the graveyard of Cleveland QBs, for me, he is the saddest.  And I’m including Brady Quinn in that bunch.

    I don’t know why, either.  Maybe its because he seemed genuinely interested in playing well and just sucked so bad.

  • mgbode

    I love the idea of tricking the Pistons into drafting Buford :)

    Cmon Detroit, he’s a younger version of Joe Dumars and Ben Gordon.  You’ll love him !

  • MrCleaveland

    Put Phil Taylor up on the Ring of Honor today.

  • mgbode

    I miss the pitchers that “pitched angry.”   Nowadays everyone wants to seem like a tactician and be “clinical” with how they pitch and act.   Outside a few guys like the Reds Chapman, batters don’t seem to fear that the guy throwing a hard object 90MPH near their head is bat-butt crazy and cares more about breaking their will than getting them out.

    I only saw Nolan Ryan pitch in the 2nd half of his career, but seeing how he pitched I wouldn’t step to the plate in a game against him today.

  • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

    i hereby retract all my carping posts about heckert overpaying for taylor.

  • http://twitter.com/oribiasi oribiasi

    Doesn’t Josh Beckett pitch “angry?”  At least he pitches with “emotion.”

  • Chucky Brown

    try “drunk”

  • Boomhauertjs

    Anyone else feel a Tommy John surgery in Ubaldo’s future?

  • Harv 21

    Agree with Scott’s last line about Heinz Ward: wish he’d played for us. That guy was clutch, squeezed every ounce from his talent and played the game like wanted to do nothing else. And he hung it up because he couldn’t stand the thought of wearing another uniform just to grab a last paycheck. Cleveland fans would have wanted two statues built for that guy.

  • http://twitter.com/oribiasi oribiasi

    Also that.

  • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

    yup.

  • Harv 21

    I was thinking he might go Rick Ankiel. Of course, that problem’s found in those who care too much, and not sure that’s Ubaldo’s problem.

  • Garry_Owen

    Most interesting line in the Ward article:  “In a poll conducted in 2009, Ward’s peers would not even consider him “tough” due to how he played the game. The Dean of disdain.”

    I wonder how much this, and not the supposed refusal to play for anyone other than the Steelers, convinced Ward to retire.  Granted, the poll mentioned by Scott was only of NFC North players in 2009, but I have to imagine that the feelings conveyed about Ward in the poll are generally shared throughout the league.  Not sure Ward really wanted to try to fit in on another team full of people that disdained him.

  • mgbode

    he always looked whiny to me.  like the preppy kid that didn’t get a BMW for his 16th bday

  • Harv 21

    Not my take. His own teammates loved him,which is what generally happens with guys who play like that. I think the bigger issue is that his play was finally slipping. Doubt he was worried about disdain, any more than guys like Dennis Rodman. Doesn’t look like he was shedding croc tears at his retirement presser when he talked about playing for just one org.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S521YlB9IFU

  • typo

    The more I hear from Ubaldo, the more he sounds like a head case ala Mr. Carmona. Jus wonderful!

  • Garry_Owen

    I don’t necessarily disagree, or question his love for the Steelers.  I also understand that the NFL is a fraternity that transcends team colors.  I do wonder if it has some impact, though.  If I was of retirement age, considering whether to retire or attempt a career move among companies with whom I had developed a less than favorable reputation in one area or another, I think I might be more apt to retire than to attempt the transition.  The reputation might be the final deciding factor.  It wouldn’t negate the other valid considerations.