April 17, 2014

While We’re Waiting… Trying to move on

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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“The baseball world couldn’t fathom what happened here, because ballplayers aren’t supposed to die. Not during Spring Training, when optimism is abundant and nobody frets over standings or statistics. Not when they have young, growing families waiting for them on dry land.

That’s why baseball fans remember the names Tim Crews and Steve Olin. They remember the way your Cleveland Indians teammates wrestled with the emotional intensity of that 1993 season. The way Bob Ojeda, who had been with you on the boat and survived only because he happened to be slouching at the moment of impact, dealt with survivor’s guilt and suicidal thoughts before returning to the team later that year.

What they don’t know, what they can’t know, is what it’s been like for your families to live with the losses. What it was like for your wives to explain to their children that Daddy wasn’t coming back. What it was like — what it is like — for them to wonder what their lives would be like today, if only you were still here. Twenty years. You’ve missed so much.” [Castrovince/MLB.com]

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“When free agency and the salary cap arrived 20 years ago, mid-line veterans faced a rude awakening. Teams learned quickly that middle-round rookies provided 90% of the productivity at perhaps 30% of the costs, and experienced starters flooded the free agent pool. Markets have a way of stabilizing themselves, and teams learned whose talents were cheaply replaceable and whose weren’t, while veterans and agents used contract extensions and cap-friendly deals to prevent veteran extinction events.

The expectations changed as much as anything else did, however: we don’t blink when we see Karlos Dansby, Dannell Ellerbe, Dan Connor, or Bradie James on the open linebacker market anymore, because players of their age and accomplishments are exactly what we expect the market to consist of. We expect up-and-comers like Ellerbe to sign quickly, while players on the wrong side of 30 wait by phones. The market learned some things about itself over the last 20 years, but we learned even more about the market.

We blink when we see Urlacher, however, and Urlacher must now compete in a pool that contains Dansby, James, Bart Scott and others, just as Freeney and Abraham now ride the same railcars.” [Tanier/Sports on Earth]

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“The Buckeyes’ passing game therefore seeks to exploit safeties and linebackers who are overly focused upon the run game. Much of the playbook attacks a 15-yard box inside the curl to flat zone on each side of the defense.  OSU wants to take advantage of a defense having fewer linebackers and safeties within area because they are playing the run. The Buckeyes then use route combinations that create ‘stretches’ upon those remaining safeties and linebackers.

Meyer’s primary weapon for doing so is his slot or ‘H’ receiver. Meyer’s inside receivers are generally the focus of the passing game. Corey Brown filled this role on third down for OSU in 2012 and led the Buckeyes in catches. Meyer wants to quickly get the ball to his most dynamic receiver in these vacated spaces to earn yards after the catch. The base of the OSU passing offense then is routes featuring its playmaker at H in the middle of the field area. This comes in the form of option routes, shallow crossing, and triangle stretches. I will address each in turn.” [Fulton/Eleven Warriors]

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“The timing of that high-inside heated was curious, seeing as it came one pitch after Melky Cabrera took a moment to admire a fourth-inning grand slam. Carrasco then threw at Butler, was tossed from the game and had his wrist slapped with a six-game suspension from Major League Baseball. Carrasco appealed and went on to blow out his elbow, requiring Tommy John surgery. The pitcher sat out all of 2012 with the injury, watched Cleveland lose 94 games and is only now back on a mound and in the mix for a job.

I’d consider this all time served, but that pesky suspension is still hanging over Carrasco’s head. Shoot, Cabrera is on his third team since the incident took place. But, barring a pardon from The Commish, Carrasco still needs to serve his suspension when he’s back in the big leagues.

Complicating matters is the fact that Cleveland has 13 games in 13 days to open the season. The Indians are already considering opening the year with 13 pitchers (eight relievers) to guard against any setbacks with the rotation. If Carrasco is one of the starters, well then Cleveland will need a spot starter out of the gates due to the suspension.” [Bastian/Major League Bastian]

  • boomhauertjs

    Carrasco should start the year in Triple A. Watched some of yesterday’s game and he doesn’t have the command quite back. He’ll be needed to replace one of the starters (probably Kazmir) by May. Then they can call him up around an off day, so he can serve out the suspension then.
    That article about Olin and Crews was really hard to read. I still remember seeing the headline on the paper “Tribe players killed in accident” and being depressed that entire day.

  • mgbode

    I first thought the title was going to be about LeBron.
    My second thought was about busted brackets.

    So much deeper and appreciate you putting that link here as I missed that article yesterday.

    For the youngsters who weren’t following the Tribe back then, Steve Olin was the Vinnie Pestano of the early 90′s Tribe. He finally received a chance for the closers role the season earlier and thrived. He should have been the Tribe’s closer in the 90′s setting records. Sigh.

  • boomhauertjs

    And he wouldn’t have been afraid to throw his best pitch in Game 7 of the World Series…