July 26, 2014

While We’re Waiting… Good moves, ‘meaningless’ streaks and Weeden’s confession

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.

“Sitting at the game on Tuesday, it was pointed out to me that the top of the Indians’ order (Choo, Cabrera, Hafner, and Santana) was netted for the Indians for Benuardo, Einar Diaz, Ryan Drese, and Casey Blake. After a weekend/beginning of the week in which we heard/read endlessly about the way that the Indians traded two consecutive Cy Young Award winners and how the fans are upset that the Indians hold their annual Fire Sale where they get rid of their best players, I thought a little perspective was in order. This isn’t meant to justify the CC or Lee deals, nor will it EVER mention Matt MaTola as an option for the current team as any kind of upgrade (as that’s idiocy), but let’s remember that the Indians have really had 4 seasons since the Colon deal in which they traded players (of varying degrees of note) in July of 2002 and perhaps it is instructive to look at those years of trading as a whole instead of analyzing individual trades.” [Cousineau/The DiaTribe]

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“You know I love my “meaningless” statistical accomplishments. Say what you will about Vinnie Pestano’s strikeout streak, but what the reliever has going on right now for the Tribe is something unmatched in the team’s long storied history. With his strikeout of Avila in the eighth inning, Pestano extended his strikeout streak to 22 games (at least one strikeout in each appearance). Dating back to 1918, that is now the longest such streak by an Indians reliever.

In the Majors (also dating back to 1918), there have only been 40 sstrikeout streaks of at least 22 games (including Pestano’s current run). Only five pitchers, including Pestano have started a season with a strikeout streak of at least 20 games, which is what he is at for 2012. For those curious, the MLB record since 1918 for a reliever is 39 games by Bruce Sutter for the Cubs in 1977. The AL record since 1918 for a reliever is 32 games by Jeff Montgomery for the Royalsin 1989. [Bastian/MLB.com]

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“Tuesday many of the same eyebrows were raised when Brandon Weeden, the team’s second first-round pick, confessed he never used a tight end at Oklahoma State. Weeden is adjusting — if there is an adjustment — to taking snaps under center, but he said his biggest change will be dropping back with a tight end, which he said “is a benefit for me.” The confession came in response to a question about how different the Browns offense is from the one he ran in college.” [McManamon/FSO]

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“While walks and extra-base hits are sabermetric favorites (understandably so), Cabrera’s offensive improvement this year can also be linked with his improved contact skills. While it seems unlikely (given his past performance and, yes, regression) that he will be able to maintain a strikeout rate under eight percent all season, that is stunningly different than his past numbers. A lower strikeout rate means more balls in play, meaning one needs to rely less on random variation to maintain a good batting average (and thus on-base percentage). Again, this may be linked to Cabrera being more selective on when he swings, which may in turn be linked to so-far career-high contact rate. Strikeout rate, like walk rate, stabilizes more quickly than many other statistics, so this is obviously a good sign.” [Klaassen/Fan Graphs]

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“The chorus of concussion concerns is growing with big names in the lead. Former NFL quarterback Kurt Warner has labeled the notion of his two school-age sons playing football a “scary thing” and says he’d prefer they didn’t. Now, the father of three-time Super Bowl winner Tom Brady is expressing reservations about how he’d handle it if his son were just starting out. Meanwhile, registration is underway for the coming season of youth football across the USA. Parents face the question: Do you let your kids play?” [Mihoces/USA Today]

  • mgbode

    I’m an advocate of flag football for youth and tackle once they hit 7th/8th grade.   However, alot of these articles miss the point on why.  It isn’t the ‘big hits’ that are the issue with youngsters but the repeated smaller hits over time that accumulate.

    The big hits happen in pretty much every sport.  My oldest son was drilled in the forehead with a line drive last weekend (teeball, so we use a softer ball thankfully).   The same can happen in basketball and alot of other sports.  Football (and hockey) are different because of the constant banging of bodies (which means heads at times).

    All that being said, using proper prevention (hey Weeden, use a friggin’ mouthguard) cuts down on the accumulated effects a great deal.   Snap your helmet, wear the better protecting helmets that fit properly, and, most important of all, use proper technique (hey NFL, spearing is illegal on the books, you might want to actually enforce it).

  • RyInCBus

    “Tuesday many of the same eyebrows were raised when Brandon Weeden, the team’s second first-round pick, confessed he never used a tight end at Oklahoma State”

    Thursday, my eyebrows were raised when Pat McManamon, one of the town’s best known Browns reporters, confessed he’s never actually seen Oklahoma State play”.  Otherwise, he would’ve known they don’t use a Tight End and this wouldn’t be breaking news.  Guess it’s too much to ask that our media do a little homework these days. 

  • Mark

    Exactly! This is not a shock as I read about it months ago.

  • Harv 21

    The stats re strikeout streaks for relievers is not meaningless, but it’s amusing to take it back to 1918. There were no set-up men or closers or situational late-game match-ups until Rollie Fingers about a half century after that, and starters usually finished their games. The relievers were just pitchers not good enough to start who pitched only when the starter completely fell apart or was injured.

  • http://twitter.com/brandon_ROTU brandon_ROTU

    Last night, ESPN U re-aired the 2012 Fiesta Bowl between Weeden and Luck. Didn’t watch many Oklahoma State games last year, but this kid (ok, guy) really passed the eyeball test. When given time (yeah, like that has happened with our O-Line in forever) he was outstanding.  Really got me excited about the Weeden Experience in Cleveland.  Pinpoint accurate throws to the receivers in stride on short, intermediate, and deep routes.  Blackmon got WAY too much credit in that offense. If Luck is A+, Weeden was an A.

  • BenRM

    This concussion stuff is getting out of hand. It’s an important issue, without question, but the coverage is extreme.

    It’s getting to the point where I feel it’s more about posturing for the law suit than it is learning about concussions. 

  • BenRM

    This concussion stuff is getting out of hand. It’s an important issue, without question, but the coverage is extreme.

    It’s getting to the point where I feel it’s more about posturing for the law suit than it is learning about concussions. 

  • mgbode

    “The relievers were just pitchers not good enough to start who pitched only when the starter completely fell apart or was injured”

    that’s pretty much true today too.  though the threat of getting injured is added to the equation (i.e. pitch-counts)

  • mgbode

    “Didn’t watch many Oklahoma State games last year”
    “Blackmon got WAY too much credit in that offense”

    first, how would you know?  second, Blackmon did in the Stanford matchup exactly what he did all year long.  he was the best YAC WR I have seen in college football in a long time.  it’ll be interesting to see if it translates and there is risk, but Blackmon’s ability to take those bubble-screens, break tackles and trot 70+yds down the field for a TD helped Weeden a great deal (I think Cardinal-#6 from that game still has nightmares)

    I hope the “Weeden Experience” is a positive one as well, but let’s not disparage what helped get him to this point.

  • mgbode

    I don’t see how the NFLPA could ever win any lawsuit on player safety when they fight rule changes designed for player safety, fight wearing protective gear designed for player safety, and refuse to mandate the helmets with a particular safety rating as done by independent studies (VaTech, etc.).

    Weeden apparently doesn’t use a mouthguard, you see chinstraps constantly unbuckled, articles on ill-fitting helmets, lots of players still using the old dome-style helmets, thigh/knee pads not worn and being fought to be included as necessary.  the list goes on and on.

  • Deuce

    The tight end is the whole passing game here, he better get familiar quick!

  • Harv 21

    no, that’s not true today, where starters are judged by “quality starts,” never expected to finish a game and every team has more than one reliever good enough to pitch every day. In the teens, twenties, thirties, etc. starters – the whole rotation – finished most of their games over a season and relievers generally sat unless there was a blowout or injury. That’s what I meant by reliever stats going back further than the 1960s don’t relate to today’s game. Then, one reliever might come in in the 5th inning and he would finish the rest of the game. No biggie if he struck out one guy over 4 innings. There was no lefty-lefty matchup guys who faced one or two and then sat, so striking out one each appearance now is much more impressive.  

  • Jim

    hey guys,throwing to the tight end in the NFL is not tough,hes no more than 20 yards down field and stands 6 ft 4or 5-hes either in the middle crossing or on the perimeter turning in or out in front of a 5 11 or 6 foot corner,he weighs about 250 to 260,so hes not hard to spot -quit this business about “using a tight end”

  • Steve

     mgbode is correct below but I completely disagree that it is getting extreme. Way too many former players are suffering, racking up huge medical bills, or worse.

  • mgbode

    once you get into relievers, yes, it’s completely different with all the specialization.   my point was what causes a manager to go to a reliever is basically the same.  pitchers don’t finish games because managers are trying to be proactive against injuries.