April 16, 2014

While We’re Waiting… Free agents options, stealing bases and unbreakable records

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.

Both of these guys killed us last year. Not sure where the supposed ‘interest’ is coming from though- “Bucks forward Ersan Ilyasova is expected to be among the most sought-after free agents come July. He is already drawing interest from no fewer than 12 teams. Same goes for Nets forward Kris Humphries. Interestingly, the Nets are said to be the frontrunners for Ilyasova. Meanwhile, Humphries is likely to be heavily courted by the likes of the Nuggets, Mavericks and Warriors. Don’t be surprised if the Cavs contemplate a bid for both players, too.” [Amico/FSO]

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On Jason Kipnis- “His improved game and dirtbag image has not just drawn the attention of the Indians. His nine home runs, 34 runs batted in and .280 average has him in the discussion as one of the best second basemen in the American League and a potential candidate to play in Major League Baseball’s All-Star game in July. A year ago he played in the MLB Future’s Game. If Kipnis is selected to play in the midsummer classic, he would be only the third position player in recent years to play in the Future’s Game one season and the All-Star game the next. Geovany Soto and Jason Heyward accomplished the feat in 2007/2008 and 2009/2010, respectively.” [Brandyberry/DTTWLN]

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Looking for D-line perfection- “The stereotype for most of Urban’s defensive linemen (and the SEC’s more broadly) was that speed was a more prized attribute than size, and the data certainly supports this for defensive ends, but not for defensive tackles. In his classic Finding the Winning Edge, Bill Walsh lists his ideal defensive end as 6’5″ and 275 pounds and his ideal defensive tackle as 6’2″ and 290 pounds. Urban’s defensive tackles are almost exactly the same size as Walsh’s NFL ideal, reflecting the fact that tackles generally have to meet a certain size requirement (especially weight) to be effective in the interior. Defensive ends, on the other hand, are able to have a bit more variability. Urban’s ends are typically a bit shorter and a bit lighter than Walsh’s NFL ideal, though he does not distinguish between strong and weakside ends in his analysis.” [Peltier/Eleven Warriors]

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Always a fun topic. Unbreakable records- “8. Rickey Henderson’s 1,406 stolen bases.  As I’ve written before, I like to look at career records by dividing them by 20 years. For instance, Barry Bonds’ career home run record of 762 (or, if you prefer, Hank Aaron’s record of 755) divides out to 38 home runs per year over 20 years. That’s a GOOD number, but it’s not unheard of; last year, five guys hit 38 or more home runs. In 1996, 21 players hit 38 or more home runs.

Rose’s hit record breaks down to 213 hits for 20 years, which is high, but guys get that many hits. Tris Speaker’s doubles record of 792 divides out to 40 doubles a year. Guys do that every season. Rickey Henderson’s stolen base record averages out to more than 70 stolen bases every year for 20 years. Since 2000, exactly ONE player has stolen more than 70 bases in a season (Jose Reyes in 2007). Only 11 times in baseball history has more than one person in a season stolen more than 70 bases, and six of those seasons one of the players was Rickey Henderson. It’s possible — not likely, but possible — that the game will shift back to the running game. Even if that happens, I doubt anyone ever will get within 500 stolen bases of Rickey Henderson.” [Posnanski/Joe Blogs]

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Trying to save the turf?- “To my knowledge, there are two primary groups of people that use League Park – vintage baseball teams and youth sports leagues (not just baseball, but I’ve seen football teams practicing there as well.) One concern of mine is that there was a recent study in the American Journal of Sports Medicine that found that football knee injuries were 40% more likely on artificial turf, as compared to grass. Even though the study focused on football, it’s possible that anyone exerting themselves on turf are more likely to sustain injuries. With baseball, turf often makes the ball travel faster, and take more awkward, high bounces – this could make sharply hit ground balls more dangerous among youth baseball leagues. With the vintage teams that use League Park, they play true to 19th century baseball and do not wear fielding gloves. I’m sure they don’t want more sharply hit grounders flying toward their bare hands. Some may say, “well those people can just go play somewhere else.” I’m sure they could, but why would you want to drive away the primary groups that already use the facility?

Perhaps you don’t have a problem with artificial turf, or are indifferent about the possibility of its installation at League Park. Like I said, we all have our pet peeves and this just happens to be mine…it may not necessarily be yours. However, if you happen to agree with me and think this is an extremely dumb idea, spread the word. I’ve heard that while this has pretty much been decided, it’s also not too late to change peoples’ minds and get a natural grass playing surface at League Park.” [Liscio/It's pronounced Lajaway]

  • http://twitter.com/GreatestHurley Jason Hurley

    I was fooling around on ESPN.com the other day with offensive ranks for AL 2B, and Kipnis is top 3 in most categories.  Does he qualify for ROY?

  • Natedawg86

    When I was growing up, it seemed like there were a lot more SBs.  It was exciting to see Lofton steal 2nd, and then on the next pitch take off for 3rd.

  • mgbode

    from the Amico link:  “Another hot rumor making the rounds is the Cavs potentially trading their fourth overall pick to the Trail Blazers for the sixth and 11th overall selections…I don’t think the Blazers would do that unless (the Cavs) gave up No. 24, too”

    #4+#24 for #6+#11 — sign me up (J.Lamb and PJIII/Zeller).  yes, at that point, I would consider taking the risk on PJIII if we think he can play SF.  we already improved one slot with a high draft pick, so I don’t mind swinging for the fences with the other.  with TT & AV that is an athletically dynamic and potentially defensively dominant team.

  • dwhit110

    Wait, so you’re telling me we’re going to restore this historically significant park, but we’re going to put artificial turf down for the playing surface? Isn’t that kinda like restoring a ’55 Chevy and putting a moon roof in? I don’t get it.

  • JNeids

    Agreed. I miss the old school speedsters. I had hopes of Brantley turning into that guy at the top of the order…which is yet another reason I am not a professional scout/manager.

  • Hypno_Toad

    Jason Kipnis is a legitimate all star at 2nd base. Too bad Chris freaking Getz has more votes than him.

    I have no faith in the fans of Major League Baseball.

    SECOND BASE
    Ian Kinsler, Rangers: 1,447,171
    Robinson Cano, Yankees: 1,164,448
    Dustin Pedroia, Red Sox: 699,422
    Robert Andino, Orioles: 317,434
    Chris Getz, Royals: 278,585

  • http://twitter.com/GreatestHurley Jason Hurley

    Which is why there should be some sort of fantasy baseball-type scoring system to determine the All-Star teams.  It’s easy enough to do – and you can put in some sort of fielding metric for those so inclined.  Additionally, you can still give fan vote some weight (one-third?) but keep NY/BOS fans from jamming up the starting lineup.

  • Steve

     They use a fantasy baseball type scoring system from Elias to determine free agent types at the end of the year, and it doesn’t do any better a job than the all-star selection process.