August 17, 2014

While We’re Waiting… Ubaldo’s disposition, Jason Donald and Hannahan!

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.

Interesting piece from this weekend on Ubaldo Jimenez- “Nearly eight months after being dumped by the Rockies, Jimenez still struggles to gain command of his fastball and make sense of the trade. Divorce can be messy. But I’m not sure the breakup angst that Frank and Jamie McCourt inflicted on the Los Angeles Dodgers can match the emotional scars left on Jimenez. Long before Rockies general manager Dan O’Dowd traded Jimenez to the Indians last summer, the trust was broken between the most talented pitcher in franchise history and management. Truth be known, Jimenez wanted out of Colorado.” [Kiszla/Denver Post]

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Did the NFL know about the Saints’ bounty program sooner? “In this case, it can be argued that the NFL came down extra hard on the Saints now not because they had a bounty system for three years but because the NFL gave them an opening to get away with one year of it, and the Saints were too stupid and/or arrogant to realize that they should stop.

Regardless, if the Saints had merely stopped doing it after the NFL showed up and gave short shrift to the investigation in 2010, no one would have ever known the difference and the NFL wouldn’t be dealing with a major blow to its image and the league now wouldn’t be forced to determine how deep it wants to dig into the rabbit hole and Congress wouldn’t be poised to do the digging for the league. So it’s fair to conclude that the league didn’t want to discovery the bounty system in 2010. And that the league hoped that the Saints were smart enough to stop.” [Florio/Pro Football Talk]

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“The Indians have been taking a hard look at Jason Donald in center field this week. First and foremost, the Tribe just wants to know if Donald is a realistic alternative as a backup outfielder. Hey, more depth around the diamond is not a bad thing.

When discussing Donald, though, manager Manny Acta has said a few times that testing him in the outfield could also help the team in the event that it “wants to get creative at the end” of camp. To me, that means getting creative in the construction of the bench.” [Bastian/MLB.com]

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“Since this generally relates with “all the news that’s fit to link”, let’s go back a week and get to the impetus for this piece, the opening to Terry Pluto’s “Notes” on the Tribe (which generally come straight from the Indians) as Pluto starts out with, “two weeks remain in spring training, but right now it appears Jack Hannahan will start at third base, with Lonnie Chisenhall headed to Class AAA. This may open the door for Jose Lopez to make the team as an extra infielder, along with Jason Donald.”

As someone who cares not at all about Jose Lopez or whether he’s on this team and think that Donald is more interesting as trade bait for an OF than he is moving around the diamond (even though I like Donald a lot as a player), I was more than a little surprised at reading this with two weeks remaining in Goodyear. What was even more shocking was most Indians’ fans blindly nodding at this arrangement because is “makes sense” because of Hannahan’s glove or Chisenhall’s struggles or whatever other over-rationalization was out there to attempt to explain why this is the “proper” way for the Indians to start the 2012 season – with Hannahan at 3B EVERYDAY and with Chisenhall in Columbus to “get ready” and “make adjustments” and bide his time before he was needed.

Wait…WHAT! A team that has offensive questions up and down the lineup – from whether players can replicate career years (Asdrubal, Kotchman), recover from “lost” seasons (Choo and even Brantley), or can carry over momentum from successful starts to their careers (Santana, Kipnis) – is ready to go with the offensively-challenged Jack Hannahan at 3B, despite a young hitter in Lonnie Chisenhall already having logged some 200+ PA in MLB, with no incentive (service-time wise) to keep him in AAA for the year?” [Cousineau/The DiaTribe]

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Finally, a great screen capture from the weekend. Well done. [30FPS]

  • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

    can i just add this link on harrison barnes?  i doubt the cavs have a chance to take him in the draft, but 17-minutes-with-towel-over-head makes me quite ok with missing out on him.

    http://www.newsobserver.com/2012/03/26/1959100/questions-remain-after-barnes.html

  • Mark

    I’m with you Jim. I know he is a hot and cold player but I guess I’ve only seen him when he’s cold because I’ve never seen him impose himself on a game and take it over. I don’t know what to make of him. I wouldn’t be upset if that decision is out of our hands and he’s scooped up before the Cavs pick.

  • 5KMD

    Walter Oufutt of my OHIO bobcats made him look awful. He’s a volume scorere without contributing much of anything else. Pass.

  • Steve

    What does that mean? All I get is that he was upset about losing. I have no problem with that. And he didn’t ignore the media. When someone came up to him, he pulled the towel off.

  • porkchopexpress

    I agree with the Chisenhall thing.  The Indians complete inability to committ to any player who doesn’t have chronic injury problems is befuddling to me.  That being said, it is tough with a groundball pitching staff to simply cut him loose out on third.  You can ruin the kids confidence real quick if he starts kicking the ball all over the infield.                                      On the Harrison Barnes thing, I just needed to see him not only not get his shot off but get it tip/stripped and taken the other way to confirm that I want nothing to do with him at the next level.  If you can’t even get a clutch shot off against the Bobcats in the tournament whatcha gonna do when Luol Deng runs wild on YOU!  (sorry its Wrestlemania week, I got caught up)

  • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

    my point is mainly that we see draftniks get breathless about measurables without ever watching the prospect’s games.  (see tannehill, ryan)  so not only did HB suck under the brightest lights, but he played the me-me-me game with the towel — ‘im a competitor, look how hard im taking this.’  struck me as highly narcissistic.  

    (if you think that’s harsh, go put a towel on your head for 17 minutes. i bet youll find the last 15 minutes are hard to do unless you’re committed to your affectation.)

    and i didnt even know about his ‘brand-building’ mission as discussed here.

    if he’s there, we have to say no to HB.  we’re seeing in KI how someone who focuses on the game and who doesnt worry about ‘branding’ can work out.  we’ve surely learned our lesson about the heart of the ‘it’s a business’ players.  let someone else stroke this one.

  • mgbode

    i’m so torn on Barnes.  part of me sees how he can run cold, how he just doesn’t have “it” and worries me to death that he’ll bust out in the NBA.

    the other part of me does watch him nail ridiculous “NBA shots” in college, has shown at times to be everything a NBA SG needs to be (including height and size, which do matter).

    I sincerly hope that he goes ahead of us in the draft.  I would much, much rather have Beal or MKG.  Not even close.  But, I’m guessing that NBA GMs are smart enough to realize that too and that it’ll come down to a pick between J.Lamb (gifted but a toothpick), Barnes (inconsistent but obvious talent), and Moultrie (loads of untapped potential – might be best non-Anthony Davis big man in this draft “if” he’s a hard worker, which is tough to gauge).

  • mgbode

    bad IF defense + expected regression from Verlander and pitching staff + addition of Fielder largely negated by subtraction of Victor and expected regression of Peralta =
    http://www.grantland.com/blog/the-triangle/post/_/id/22032/the-addictive-fun-that-is-mlb-overunder-bets

  • Steve

     First, I don’t get the Tannehill jab. Considering how mediocre the rest of that roster was, I think he was more than fine. But apparently he’s the next Ryan Leaf, if you listen to all the genius pundits who somehow don’t get paid for their analysis in this town.

    And I don’t see how it’s the me-me game. Yeah, sure, I guess it could be. But I didn’t know a guy couldn’t be upset for 17 minutes after a really tough loss. The kid knows he didn’t play his best and it cost his team the game. 17 minutes to get your head wrapped around it seems fairly quick to me.

    And we saw with Lebron, before Irving, that someone can care about his “brand” and still play some fantastic basketball. They aren’t mutually exclusive. If the kid can make NBA plays, then you take him.

  • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

    you kinda made my point concerning talent evaluations and how i/we as fans should defer to ‘experts.’

    if you dont get the tannehill jab it’s (probably) because you didnt watch his games.  if you had, youd know that texas a&m had great talent, underachieved, lost all their biggest games, had unprecedented 2nd half collapses, during which tannehill made quite a few bad decisions.  but here we are with mkc/lull suggesting he could/should be the 4th overall pick in the draft.  at least lull has acknowledged the poor season he had; ive yet to read mkc perform any review of tannehill’s performance in games.

    watching games and having actual games factor into my analysis doesnt make me a genius.  just makes me someone who’s watched games and able to factor that into my analyses.  and that is more than most ‘genius pundits’ who want tannehill.*

    let’s remember, these are the same ‘genius pundits’ who reported you that pat shurmur was a ‘groomer of qb’s’ and ‘experienced OC’ who knows the WCO.  if any of the geniuses who repeated that garbage had watched the rams (particularly the rams/seahawks finale), they’d have expressed more critical opinion on the shurmur hire.

    how does this tie back to barnes?  he’s played poorly when it most mattered.  that, to me, is important.  the fact that his head is on branding before he’s left high school shows a lack of priority and likely an enabling cadre/posse.  red flags.  but just you wait, the mocks will still have him slotted to go #3 overall.

    but hey… i just watch the games and think for myself.  if youre cool taking mkc’s word on the browns, go for it.  if you think chris broussard is more concerned about giving you straight dope than preserving access to players, more power to you.  enjoy it.  im skeptical and slightly peeved at what passes for reporting these days.

    *ps, imo griffin is still a run-first qb despite the talk that he isn’t.  just going by what i saw on the field.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Those articles gave me a headache I’m like those old scouts in “Moneyball” I believe what I see more then statistics.  Under 93.5 wins should be plenty for Detroit to take the AL Central if you ask me.  You can have the Indians I’ll take the Tigers and lets see who ends up better.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Those articles gave me a headache I’m like those old scouts in “Moneyball” I believe what I see more then statistics.  Under 93.5 wins should be plenty for Detroit to take the AL Central if you ask me.  You can have the Indians I’ll take the Tigers and lets see who ends up better.

  • Steve

     Ah, the classic “I’ve watched the games!” “Reporters are dumb too!” arguments. I’ve heard them many times, and most of the time, these people are wrong.

    Get this, I’ve watched Texas A&M play too! I don’t know, how in retrospect, we can say they really underachieved. The Big 12 was strong, and top heavy. They probably should have beaten Missouri, but I’m not putting that on Tannehill. You know who he did whoop up on though? The guy every in town is driving themselves crazy over. Somehow, no one in town wants to critique that game. But, hey, we can’t all be smart enough to pick out the one game that fits our argument the best and ignore the rest.

    Yeah, Barnes stunk it up against Kansas, but he’s played well when they last met FSU, both times against Duke, and I’ll gladly take the games against Kentucky and Wisconsin.

    And again, for you branding = bad, despite all the signs that show that its a “whatever” thing, especially in the NBA, and you don’t bother to show how it’s preventing him from playing better (it might, but you’ve made a big stink about this, so the burden of proof is on you).

    And if you’re listening to Broussard talk about Barnes, then the joke’s on you for thinking he is an analyst. Sticking at ESPN, just to keep it simple, I’ll listen to Thorpe, who’s job is completely devoted to evaluating young guys, and doesn’t give a crap that they don’t pick up the phone if he calls.

  • Steve

     You’ve built up a bit of a strawman there. The article doesn’t say the Tigers won’t win the division, in fact, it still calls them heavy favorites. It just says they aren’t a good bet to win 94 or more games.

  • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

     >>>Ah, the classic “I’ve watched the games!”>>>>if youve heard the pd offer any review of shurmur’s record at st louis, bring it.  if youve heard any acknowledgement of a&m’s meltdowns vs arkansas/texas in the tannehill conversation, you’re listening closer than i am.  i apologize to you and appreciate (now) that you have an informed opinion.  sorry, really.  but i do not believe that many sportswriters share our level of ‘watching the games’ experience and i do believe many parrot what they hear from other reporters (who may or may not have watched any games).  whether through lack of homework or due to ‘maintenance of access’ there is every reason to question the insight of our news sources.  i do not respect the position of ‘reporter’ of itself as providing unique endowment of sports insight.
    so yeah, ‘ive watched the games’ is definitely gives me a leg up over many so-called experts.  trust your eyes.  you saw courtney upshaw making plays in the BCS?  zach brown was invisible in the independence bowl?  betcha upshaw will be making plays in the NFL; betcha brown will washout in two years.  not the rocket science mel kiper wants you to think it is.

    >>>branding = bad >>>> 
    ok, you line up melo and amare and cp3 and josh smith and deron and wade and wall and (lets leave lebron out of it).  ill take dirk and duncan and KI and AV and rose and noah and kobe.. the guys who are game first.  we can fine tune the teams but you see where im going.   the brand guys will get you into the after party.  the game first guys will get you wins. 

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    I’m not big on Barnes anymore he showed he wants to be a shooting guard and not a small forward all season.  Not only that but he appears to be dependent on a point guard setting him up.  Irving could do that but I’d prefer someone who doesn’t rely on him as much.

    I like MKG and Beal too.

  • Steve

     We actually see Shurmur pretty similarly, so let’s just leave that at that.

    But a lot more happened at A&M that caused them to be where they are besides Tannehill. The kid’s team was overmatched in the games we should have expected them to be overmatched in. Ho-hum, doesn’t mean the kid can’t make NFL throws.  Of course, he’s going to get thrown into a pretty crappy situation either way (Cleveland or Miami), so I’m not expecting him to get many chances to show off the measurables anyway. I’m just saying that it’s quite a bit early to be throwing the jabs at him.

    And I’m not so sure you’d win that basketball game. Also I wouldn’t have Anthony or Wall, and I’d be iffy on Stoudemire. Those guys aren’t as good as we think because of their defense, not their branding. I’m not sure why I don’t get Lebron (or Howard for that matter) though, other than it would completely undermine your argument.

    Also, I don’t know anyone who thinks Upshaw won’t be making NFL plays. I don’t get that argument. Measurables guys like him at least as much as “trust your eyes” guys.

    That said, we’ve strayed pretty far from the important topic: Can Harrison Barnes make NBA plays? And does sitting with a towel over his head after a tough loss prevent him from doing so?

  • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

    can HB make nba plays?
    looks like ‘no.’  he wasnt able to create shots for himself in college, no reason to think he can in nba.  *however* i will grant that williams’ offense showed zero discernable playcalling and if he were to wind up with a rivers or popovich or byron scott team, he might look better.

    what does sitting with towel on head for 17 have to do with anything?
    it shows him as a narcissistic child in his emotional development.  paying tens of millions of dollars to someone who is immature has been shown to be a losing proposition over and over.  reinforces the entitlement issues he’s had since high school.  it’s a major red flag in my book.

    would i take him at -let’s say- #8?
    lol.  yeah.  probably.  even though center is greater need.  his ceiling is still high and playing next to KI could help him reach it.

  • Steve

     First, and this really isn’t up for debate, sorry, but he can make NBA plays. Yeah, he’s thrown out some stinkers as well, and some of his performances should case us to wonder if he can turn the corner, but he’s shown the ability. The list of guys who come out each year with the athleticism to play at the next level is short. The Cavs, specifically, need to take someone who could be a star, and not is a safe bet to be a solid bench guy.

    And apparently we’re not going to agree on the towel thing. I just don’t know how you can speak so absolutely when you have no idea what was going through his head. There’s a million possible things he could have been thinking about other than “pay attention to me!” It’s wrong and dangerous to so easily assume its a reason to knock a kid.