August 26, 2014

While We’re Waiting… Keith Dambrot’s sensational story

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.

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This was a great story. Another little-known fact in Keith Dambrot’s amazing journey? He coached my brothers’ Jewish Community Center CYO team in the late ’90s, just before latching on with LeBron James at St. V-M, then heading back to Akron. What a coach: “Dambrot is driven by routine and superstition, and these walks are driven by his desire to still be making them almost decade from now. He’s 54, and he signed a 10-year extension with his alma mater last summer. He’s come face to face with his coaching mortality once, and before he hands off the reigns at Akron he wants to continue to both figuratively raise the ceiling for the program and, sometime soon, literally stick the shovel in the ground for a new arena.” [Zac Jackson/FOX Sports Ohio]

Going name-by-name through the WR free agency market in hopes for a potential fit with the Browns: “Mike Wallace (PIT – 26) – Based purely on physical ability and age, Mike Wallace would lead this class. The problem lies with everything else. There’s reason to believe he’s declining since his peak in 2010. His attitude is suspect as well. He wants a massive contract, he’s going to get it, and it’s not likely to be a very cost-effective investment.” [Jon Stinchcomb/Dawgs By Nature]

Irresistible to make this comparison between the Cavaliers post-LeBron and Magic post-Dwight, especially with last night’s matchup that turned out to be a blowout: “When the Cavs and Magic face off tonight, they will have a lot of things in common. Both teams have redefined or are in the process of redefining their identities following the loss of the best players in their respective histories. They’ve taken more or less the same approach to the rebuilding process, although the Cavs are two years further along and already have one player around whom to shape their roster. Neither team has much to play for at this point in the season beyond ping-pong balls, and both are in the business of developing the talents that may or may not be their future.” [Sean Highkin/Hardwood Paroxysm]

Our Cleveland friend from Pro Basketball Draft shares his updated take on the top 20 NBA Draft prospects. No change at the top: “1. Nerlens Noel, C, Kentucky, 6’11″ — Despite Noel’s recent knee injury that shelved him for the season, the Kentucky big man remains atop the big board. Before his injury, Noel was emerging as one of the premier defenders in the country, highlighted by a 12-block performance against Ole Miss. The door is now open for other prospects to challenge to potentially be the top pick, but a torn ACL is no longer the same devastating injury it used to be. With Noel potentially able to suit up in 8 months, he still belongs on the top of my board.” [Joe Kotoch/Sheridan Hoops]

Meant to share this yesterday. But I really like this weekly look at Buckeyes’ mock madness brackets and how their remaining schedule could affect their seeding: “The good news for Ohio State is that there are 3 games against RPI top 50 squads left, and two of them are at home. The bad news is that the Buckeyes could conceivably lose every one of those games. I think the Buckeyes are probably still in the tourney even if they lose all four games, although that would be ugly. The most likely scenario is that Ohio State goes 2-2, beating Northwestern and either MSU or Illinois. If Ohio State holds serve at 2-2, a minimum of a 5 seed feels like a reasonable expectation.” [Matt Brown/Land-Grant Holy Land]

I also enjoyed this look at the infields in the AL Central: “Honestly, the Indians don’t have much weakness at all in the infield, and you can argue that they have the best overall potential of all the teams, top-to-bottom. Now, the Tigers have Fielder and Cabrera who alone can carry that infield offensively to numbers that other teams can’t compete with. With that said, the Indians could have something special on their hands. You can make a legitimate case that they have the best or close-to-best players in the division at second, short and at catcher. Chisenhall isn’t close to Cabrera at third, but if his numbers come out second in the division to Cabrera’s, I wouldn’t be surprised.” [Jim Pete/Indians Baseball Insider]

A nice update here from a former Beacon Journal writer on a former Indians star prospect: “I couldn’t help but notice former Indians prospect Nick Weglarz in the Tampa Bay Rays lineup of a split-squad game against Pittsburgh Saturday. He had one plate appearance, earned a walk and scored a run. But that was not what interested me. The Rays had the minor league free agent playing first base. The 6-foot-3, 240-pound, burly red head from Canada had never played the infield during his seven years with the Indians organization. He had 414 starts in left field and 57 in right field, according to Baseball-Reference. But Weglarz has always looked more like a lumberjack than a baseball player and runs like one too. Those aren’t the type of guys who are successful chasing down fly balls through spacious outfields. They are stationary players who deserve a stationary position.” [Jonas Fortune]

Finally, this was a fun article about every MLB team’s big-screen appearances. The Indians one is obvious, but the rest are pretty fun too. [Kevin Kaduk/Big League Stew]

  • The_Matt_Of_Akron

    “Both teams have redefined or are in the process of redefining their
    identities following the loss of the best players in their respective
    histories.”

    Is he claiming that Dwight Howard is better than Shaquille O’Neil?
    AVG: PTS / FG% / REB / AST / STL / BLK
    Shaq (93-96, 4 seasons) 2004.75 / 57.9 / 922.75 / 179 / 60.75 / 242
    Dwight (05-12, 8 seasons) 1429.375 / 57.5 / 1019 / 116.875 / 78.25 / 168

  • The_Matt_Of_Akron

    Maybe because Dwight stayed longer?