April 21, 2014

While We’re Waiting… Tanking’s future in baseball?

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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Discussing how #tanking might be making its way into the MLB lexicon: “OK, that’s a loaded term, a dirty word in the world of sports. As we saw this offseason, however, there is a big difference between being the 10th-worst team in baseball and the 11th-worst. The New York Mets needed an outfielder. Actually, they needed three outfielders. As Michael Bourn’s free agency dragged into late January and then into February, it became clear the Mets were very interested in the speedy center fielder.” [David Schoenfield/ESPN's SweetSpot Blog]

Lots of folks on Twitter were commending this new-ish comparison for the Indians’ situation with Chief Wahoo: “The Dolans have made it clear that they are not going to change the team’s name, but the work that the Saginaw Chippewas have done with Central Michigan and other schools provides a blueprint to the Dolans to show they are not tone deaf to the fact that the world has changed in the past 50 to 60 years.” [Thomas Moore/The Cleveland Fan]

This has been a great series of various things Indians players can improve upon in 2013. Up next — Michael Bourn: “One of the major issues for Bourn against offspeed pitches is that he simply can’t make contact. In 2012, Bourn whiffed at 40.3 percent of the offspeed pitches he offered at—the 10th worst rate in the league. Bourn’s struggles with the offspeed pitch are especially interesting considering his role as a leadoff hitter. Since 2009, 33 leadoff hitters have seen at least 1,00o offspeed pitches. Of that group, only Stubbs has whiffed at a higher rate than Bourn’s 38.1 percent.” [Ryan McCrystal/It's Pronounced 'Lajaway']

Shocker (not really): Jim Thome STILL is trying to play in 2013: “Know this about Jim Thome: If he is forced into retirement, he is not going to be bitter, and he is not going to complain. Thome, though, does not want to retire. In fact, he is heading to Phoenix early next week to continue his training at Fischer Sports, a physical therapy and conditioning center.” [Ken Rosenthal/FOX Sports]

A nice New York Times blog post about Kyrie’s big week: “For a 20-year-old manning the game’s toughest position, Kyrie Irving’s second-year numbers have been increasingly eye-popping: 23.5 points, 5.5 assists, 1.7 steals, a true shooting percentage of just under 57 percent (including 42.5 percent on three-pointers), and a player efficiency rating of 22.3.

Last weekend, the Cavaliers’ point guard had a chance to put his talents on national display, parlaying his first All-Star game berth into a full-fledged coming-out party.” [Jim Cavan/Off the Dribble]

No new news on the Browns QB front: “Rob Chudzinski spoke to reporters at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis Friday morning and did a good job of not tipping his hand as to what the Browns are planning to do at the quarterback position. Moving forward, no one really knows what it going through the minds of Chudzinski, Joe Banner and Mike Lombardi as the Browns prepare for free agency and the draft.” [Fred Greetham/The OBR]

And finally, this was some good commentary on the Buckeyes’ current status heading into another huge B1G matchup: “Ohio State’s 71-45 victory over Minnesota on Wednesday didn’t exactly right the listing ship of the past two weeks. The Buckeyes shot poorly for much of the game, went on prolonged scoring droughts, turned the ball over cheaply, and didn’t rebound well at home.

While it’s still cool to chillax and enjoy the win in the midst of a stretch that has humbled the Scarlet & Gray, it would be a mistake to think Ohio State played up to its potential or to assume that all is well. You’re likely not feeling as good as you did when you saw the Buckeyes take Michigan to the wire in overtime in Ann Arbor.” [Michael Citro/Eleven Warriors]

  • mgbode

    tanking is such a prudent thing to do. you have to take advantage of every rule that you can. not “throwing” a particular game, but arranging things around the trade deadline, keeping veterans on the DL as long as possible, and letting all the kids play as much as you can.