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“It has become crystal clear that Choo’s focus is on the season ahead, which will be a contract year before he can head into free agency. Unless Choo pulls a Carlos Gonzalez and negotiates an extension with Cleveland on his own — an extremely unlikely scenario — it’s a safe bet he will hit the open market next winter. So what should the Indians do here?
To me, it depends on how the team view’s its level of competitiveness in 2013. If the front office feels the 94-loss showing in 2012 was a fluke, and a quick turnaround with a young core is possible in the American League Central, then by all means the team should keep Choo and go for it. If the club fizzles in the first half, well, the Tribe can try to trade Choo before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline. If the team competes into the second half, and then fades (like in 2011 and 2013), then the Indians can at least try to get some Draft compensation. Can anyone really expect a quick turnaround, though? It’s certainly not impossible, but it’s highly unlikely. This is a situation that could take several years to reverse and that is why I think Cleveland should try to get as much as they can for Choo right now. The Indians explored the market for him this past July, and they should do the same this winter.” [Bastian/MLB.com]
“It’s mostly highly-skilled below-the-rim finishes around the hoop, an arsenal of off-balance hooks and up and under moves, and the occasional wide-open 15-foot jumper. Almost all of his baskets are assisted or off offensive rebounds meaning he doesn’t need to blow by a defender to create space for a shot. As a big man, he doesn’t grind away on the block in the low-post, it’s all backdoor cuts and constant movement. On the defensive end he makes a living outworking the competition, and it helps that he has good defensive instincts, a 7-foot wingspan, and there is no one better in the league at defensive position for taking charges, contesting, or boxing out. It’s pretty obvious that his success is rooted in skill (particularly his touch), will, size, and a very high bball IQ. None of these are going anywhere. There’s another player from another era with the same description, and wouldn’t you know it, he’s the first guy on this list! That’s right, Dennis Rodman.” [Pestak/Cavs the Blog]
Not Cleveland sports related, but great piece on Ray Guy, who never made the hall of fame- “On occasion, when Guy speaks at a banquet or to some organization, the host will make an introduction and then an assumption, announcing him as a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. And Guy will shake his head and correct the host because he can’t let a lie linger in the applause. And apologies will be made and Guy will assure the host that it was an honest mistake despite the awkward silence that will fill the room. “They don’t know, I’m pretty much in every damn Hall of Fame except this one,” he says. “I wonder if they have a beer drinking Hall of Fame. I could be in that one, too.” And Ray Guy throws back his head and begins to laugh. Because what else can you do?” [Carpenter/Yahoo Sports]
Oof. “The Cavaliers bench is bad. How bad are they you ask? Well, let’s break it down, Yo Momma style:
The Cavs bench is so bad, I’m jealous of the Charlotte Bobcats’ depth. The Cavs bench is so bad, Byron Scott doesn’t sub them in, the bench physically rejects them every 10 minutes. The Cavs bench is so bad, I’d rather stick a hanger on the stove, let it sit there for like a half hour, take it off and stab it in my tongue slow like ssssssssss than watch the second quarter of a Cavs game. The Cavs bench is so bad, they scored six points against the Nets and two of those points were off a goaltend from Reggie Evans. Wait, this one actually happened. The Cavs bench is so bad, they actually play Luke Walton. Donald Sloan is like a nerdy kid who’s really into anime, he has no idea how to score. Omri Casspi is so bad, he’s on the All-Star Ballot. Wait, what?! [Benedetti/Fear the Sword]
Finally, your bowl game projections. Nebraska smelling roses? [Schwab/Dr. Saturday]
Bonus: Not Cleveland related, but at the 5:30 mark of this video the Vanderbilt coach carries the mascot into the locker room to celebrate. That’s funny stuff right there. [Youtube]