July 25, 2014

While We’re Waiting… Playing to expectations?

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.

“Have we learned anything? Yes. The Cavs are not going to be a playoff team. Their bench is not good enough and they don’t have enough veterans. The question now, is are they going to improve measurably? The only Cavs who’ve done that so far are Casspi, Andy, and Gee. Gee’s numbers on offense aren’t great, but he’s expanded his game, especially from the freethrow line. The handwringing? That’s on Tristan Thompson. I think he needs another offseason to get rid of his bad habits with the ball around the basket. In addition to stopping his habit of keeping the ball to low and mechanically gathering, he needs to learn to keep his shoulders parallel with the backboard and to shield off defenders. He also needs to learn how to dunk with one hand. One of the biggest reasons he has his shot blocked so much is that he opens up to the defender way too much. This is coachable.” [Nate/Cavs the Blog]

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“Not surprisingly, the NCAA ruled for the big conference team that needed a break when it said it will grant Georgia Tech a waiver to be bowl eligible at 6-7, if the Yellow Jackets lose Saturday’s ACC Championship Game to Florida State. That was reported by CBS and ESPN.

Because of that decision, some bowl eligible team is going to get left at home.

There were already 70 bowl eligible teams for 70 spots before Georgia Tech’s waiver. UConn and Pitt can both get bowl eligible with wins on Saturday. Add in Georgia Tech, which successfully argued that it would have been eligible had it not gotten into the ACC title game after Miami and North Carolina were ineligible, and we could see three eligible teams left home. The Yellow Jackets’ waiver means at least one will (and for those bowl projections, put Georgia Tech in the Music City Bowl replacing Middle Tennessee). [Schwab/Dr Saturday]

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“Nobody is entirely sure where “It you ain’t cheatin’, you ain’t tryin’” or “It’s not cheating if you don’t get caught” came from. But these have been prominent ideologies in baseball. Even now, when you talk about greenies or corking bats or scuffing balls or stealing signs, many people just kind of shrug and laugh and think of it all as relatively harmless mischief. Steroid use, though, has taken on darker and more sinister tones.

Which leads to the argument that steroid use is a different level of wickedness and brings a whole different level of dishonor to the game — maybe. But what brought more dishonor to baseball than the years when dark-skinned players were simply not allowed to play in the major leagues? It remains the game’s greatest shame. And yet men who used their position and power to ACTIVELY participate and advance that shame — men like Tom Yawkey, Kenesaw Mountain Landis, Ty Cobb, Cap Anson, George Weiss and others — are in the Hall of Fame. Alcoholics are in the Hall of Fame. Other drug users are in the Hall of Fame. People who did pretty despicable acts — spit on an umpire, attack a fan, purposely spike other players, purposely throw at other players’ heads — are in the Hall of Fame. All these, certainly brought dishonor to the game.” [Posnanski/Joe Blogs]

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“After all, the Raiders third-string quarterback has only been active for one regular season game in his two-year career — and he false started on his lone play — and yet, the most intriguing player on the Oakland roster moves the needle like no other. Especially when coach Dennis Allen admitted this week there have been discussions about activating Pryor. Perhaps even for this weekend’s game against Cleveland.

Except, Pryor has not been told anything of the sort. He has just continued to work on his development, he said.” [Gutierrez/Comcast Sportsnet]

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“He’s a 14 and 14 guy who’s playing out of his mind every night even though it’s completely obvious his team will lose before each game ever begins. Maybe that effort will be rewarded with a trip to Houston for ASW. Maybe it won’t. Regardless, I do think Varejao does deserve the NBA’s Most Improved Player award in the very least.

He’s averaged seven points and seven rebounds for his career. This season he’s doubled that. Anyone who’s seen him play can tell that he’s improved all phases of his game offensively. He’s nowhere near flopping at will and being fined for it on defense either. But if he did win the NBA’s Most Improved Player, he’d be the oldest player to ever do so in the last ten years.” [Bowers/Stepien Rules]

  • boomhauertjs

    Saw a great tweet about Tristan yesterday:

    If he were any more robotic, he’d transform and roll out.

  • mgbode

    why should GaTech be penalized for UNC and Miami’s transgressions? Because, had the NCAA not granted the waiver, that is exactly what would have been happening.

    Of course, they can benefit from their transgressions by upsetting FSU. But, benefiting from others cheating is allowed.

  • woofersus

    Comparing the steroid controversy to past racism is a little silly. Sure racism has brought shame to the game and many other aspects of our society for that matter, but it’s not at all the same thing. One was a cultural mindset that we’ve thankfully made a lot of progress at changing, and the other is an individual act of cheating. You can argue that some people did bad enough things on or off the field other than steroids that they should be kept out of the hall of fame, but it’s a tough line to draw sometimes, since removing everybody with a character flaw would leave the HOF fairly empty. At the end of the day it’s about their on-field performance.

    The reason steroids is a big deal is because it draws into question the veracity of the competition. It’s the same reason gambling is such a big deal. Maybe to some people it just feels like a bigger thing because people are altering their bodies with illegal substances, (and the legality of these substances vs sandpaper, cork, or vaseline DOES matter) but the real reason baseball has had to make a big deal out of the “steroid era” is because long term it will cost them the respect of the fans who pay the bills.