July 28, 2014

While We’re Waiting… Antonetti’s Letter, Capturing A NBA Star, And Browns’ Snap Counts

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

First up, Stephanie Liscio of It’s Pronounced “Lajaway” analyzes the letter that Chris Antonetti sent to season ticket holders following Manny Acta’s termination, “I think that by saying “the coaching staff will remain intact through the end of the season,” it’s pretty clear that most of them will likely be let go.  There’s no talk of them being in the running for positions moving forward, and they’ll probably want to let the new manager choose his own staff.  This isn’t necessarily heartbreaking for me, but I like Steve Smith and it seems like he hasn’t made any egregious errors. Now let’s get to the players that were discussed (or more telling, the players not discussed).  At first, I noticed that Chris Perez’s name was missing (not a huge surprise).  To be fair, Vinnie Pestano’s name isn’t mentioned either, and I highly doubt he’s going anywhere.  The bullpen was oddly left out of this e-mail altogether (except to say it’s deep), which seemed kind of strange.  I can only think that it may be undergoing a face lift in the offseason.” [It's Pronounced "Lajaway"]

From The Wages of Wins Journal, here’s a look at how NBA teams have acquired Top 20 players over the past 25 years, “Of the 680 players we have the previous season’s data for, we can see a very odd curve. The odds that a great player will be a rookie or have had a below average season the season before? Terrible! In fact, the same is true with average players. If a player will help your team contend, the best bet is for them to already have been a good or great player! This post isn’t that optimistic for teams without great players. The basic rule for success in the NBA is to get a superstar and use them to be great for multiple years. And the data supports this.” [The Wages of Wins Journal]

Did you wonder how many snaps the offensive linemen, backs, and receivers got in Thursday night’s loss to the Ravens? Chris Pokorny at Dawgs By Nature has you covered, “”With Mohamed Massaquoi out, WR Joshua Cribbs was in line to see the second most snaps on offense against the Ravens. In the team’s first two series, he already had two catches. Unfortunately, after getting decapitated on a punt return, he had to leave the game. That opened the door for Jordan Norwood to have a lot more reps. Norwood even saw more action than Josh Gordon and was targeted ten times. Little and Norwood each should have had two more catches added to their total had they not dropped passes. If that happened, maybe we’re talking about a different outcome to the game.”” [Dawgs By Nature]

Did The Tribe Win Last Night? has been ranking the summers from the 1995 Cleveland Indians’ players. Albert Belle tops the chart, “Belle made the 1995 All-Star team because he was voted in by the fans.  The funny thing is that Belle really wasn’t having that great of a season (for Albert Belle standards) up to that point.  He was hitting the ball well, batting at a .312 clip with 51 RBI heading into the Mid-Summer Classic, but the thunderous power wasn’t really there.  Belle only had 14 homeruns for the team because just about everyone else in the lineup was dropping bombs.  Belle blasted his 15th homer of the season in a July 16 win over Oakland, but two days later Belle hit his biggest one of the year. [DTTWLN?]

The STO announcers hinted at this the other night, but Omar Vizquel, days away from retirement, ruffled some feathers in Toronto, “To push the point about leniency home, Vizquel also says “I think a lot of mistakes were let go because its young guys. You expect mistakes from young guys. It needs to be talked about.” Which, again, is a point with good merit, but the timing of it – and with Vizquel having openly discussed his aspirations to manage a ball club in his post-playing career, makes this particular bout of advice-giving /clubhouse revelation reek of oh, I don’t know, self-serving purposes? He’s painted himself as a veteran guy who “expecting much more from [himself],” and who tried his best to help out in a clubhouse he was new to, despite of mistakes from players being overlooked by manager John Farrell and the coaching staff. After all, it’s not Vizquel’s job to coach – the Blue Jays signed a .548 OPS retiring player solely to compete, right?” [Thom Tsang/Rant Sports]

Pigeons and bats and stadiums — Oh my! ESPN takes this look at pests in stadiums around the country, “In sports venues from Atlanta to Seattle, Cincinnati to Gainesville, Fla., and College Station, Texas, to San Francisco, pigeons and their airborne accomplices — seagulls, starlings, grackles and bats — can make life miserable for fans and those responsible for maintaining facilities. When Great American Ballpark opened in Cincinnati in 2003, pigeons immediately started dumping on customers outside main gates and concourses. At the University of Florida, the school had to build a special bat house to lure bats from several sports stadiums. The Tampa Bay Rays also built a bat house to draw bats from its spring-training stadium, which was being covered in bat feces (guano).” [Doug Williams/ESPN Playbook]