April 18, 2014

While We’re Waiting… You’re Killing me Smalls!

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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Awesome. “David M. Evans, the writer, director and narrator of “The Sandlot,” loves to tell this story: He was in an airport a few years back. He saw a father trying to contain a wild child while also trying to carry his luggage. Finally, giving up, the dad put down his bags and told the child, “You’re killin’ me, Smalls.”

“He was three feet from me and I couldn’t resist,” Evans says. “I told the guy, ‘You’re never going to believe this’ …’” He took the guy’s address and sent him and his son an autographed poster.” [Oz/Big League Stew]

—-

“Network research executives say they don’t have enough information to determine whether Twitter affects TV ratings.

Take the soccer game, for example. It may have generated more Twitter trending topics than the NCAA tournament. But the NCAA tournament produced 11 times more TV viewers that night. The 9.8 million viewers who watched the NCAA tournament’s late window on March 22 dwarfed soccer’s audience. To me, the soccer game’s numbers backed up the skepticism most TV executives have when they talk about Twitter’s effect on sports TV ratings. But network executives had a different take. They pointed to the soccer game as an example where social media may have had an effect on the soccer game’s 0.5 national household rating.” [Ourand/Sports Business Journal]

—-

“We’ve spent the last few months talking about interesting these 2013 Indians would be. Well, they’re interesting, all right.

In what was supposed to be the ninth game of the season, the Indians were set to use their seventh starting pitcher (Corey Kluber: No. 7 in your depth chart, No. 1 in your heart). That would have put the Indians on pace to use 126 starting pitchers this season (which would of course be a record… but let’s not read too much into that, because I’m sure they won’t actually use more than 100).

Anyway, rain intervened to momentarily pause the merry-go-round, and now it’s Zach McAllister getting the nod in Game No. 9. So… six starters in nine days. That already sounds better, doesn’t it?” [Castrovince/Castroturf]

—-

“Ohio State will be No. 2 in the preseason polls. Phil Steele projected that, and it seems like the most rational assumption. The Buckeyes went undefeated last year; they’ll get the proper respect in the preseason polls.

The question of whether they are the best team to knock off the SEC in a title game this year, and whether they are better than every SEC team other than obvious preseason No. 1 Alabama, is debatable.

Ohio State had a special season, but it didn’t necessarily prove the Buckeyes are ready to beat the SEC. The best non-conference foe was UCF, and the only non-conference foe from a BCS league was a bad Cal team. The Big Ten was really down last year, and the Buckeyes got the two best teams other than itself, Michigan and Nebraska, at home. It needed overtime to beat Purdue and Wisconsin, and got a one-point win against Michigan State. Ohio State didn’t rank better than 10th in any major statistical category. And not playing a conference championship game or bowl game might have helped. Ask Georgia or Florida how much better its season would have looked without their extra games at the end.” [Schwab/Dr. Saturday]

—-

“I’ve been sailing through this analysis assuming that we all accept the premise that with Sheard, Taylor, Rubin (plus Hughes, Winn) the d-line and specifically the interior d-line was a strength. But at 119 rush yards/game, one might question that assertion. Let’s look a little closer.

Prior to the bye week, there was not one game with Taylor and Rubin played together. Over that span of games, the Browns allowed 132 rush yards/game. For a frame of reference, that would be 26th in the league if it were the year-long average.

However, in weeks ten through seventeen, Taylor and Rubin played together. Over that time period, the Browns allowed 89.7* rush yards/game. That rates out as SECOND BEST in the league. Coincidence? I think not.

If anyone has a better metric to measure the effectiveness of an interior d-line, I’m all ears. Until then, I say again: Rubin + Taylor = second best run defense in the NFL.” [Kanick]

  • mgbode

    I loved the Sandlot. That and the TBS-version of Major League (tough parents who didn’t let me see the “real” version until later) were the baseball movies of my youth that stuck with me.

    Scarf it Smalls. It’s messy but good.

  • Harv 21

    Kanick’s analysis assumes that the 4-3 d-line pieces easily translate into the 3-4. I don’t think that’s a safe assumption. This FO certainly has some d-line fetishist tendencies, but since both Rubin and Taylor’s skills best translate to nose tackle, and there’s only one of those playing at a time, they can’t afford to assume that either one of them (or Sheard) will be as effective as an end in the 3-4. So they are picking up guys they know to be effective in the 3-4.

    Someone will say: look at what Horton did with two Rubin-Taylor shaped guys elsewhere. I’d respond: they are undoubtedly making these moves at Ray Horton’s behest after he’s watched the tape. And I still think Sheard is trade bait because they know he’s not suited as an end in a 3-4 and they have no idea if he can transition to LB. .

  • Porkchop

    I dont even consider Killin me Smalls a movie line anymore, its am ingrained speech pattern for me. Worse then The Sandlot turning 20 is The Bad News Bears are almost 40.

  • mgbode

    I think Taylor’s skillset translates best to 3-4 DE. He’s bigger/wider, but he’s more attacking than you want the standard NT to be. It’s one of the reasons the Ravens moved Ngata to DE.

  • BenRM

    I also think Sheard is gone. Frankly, I’m not entirely upset about it. He’s certainly not a bad player, but for our “pass rusher” he left a lot to be desired.

  • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

    the only analysis i did was this: we had a good interior d-line last year. why did we sign a clone of two of the best players we have?

    w.r.t. to who plays where: rubin is ngata-sized and ngata generally plays an end. so rubin could play end. or he can play nose. or taylor can play end. but taylor could play nose. or bryant could/maybe be a 5tech DE although he wasnt in oakland. or you could draft ansah to be an end. and it doesnt matter because horton’s scheme is not married to labels and is all about ‘attacking.’

    all of which underscores my main point –> what the hell is going on here?

    wth with the hoarding of defensive front pieces? why are we looking at adding more such redundancies? and why do we have so many seemingly redundant pieces there when there are holes elsewhere in the lineup???

  • mgbode

    if he is gone, then it needs to be before the draft so we can draft his replacement. i think it seems likely the coaching staff is going to give him a shot at being our run-stuffing OLB guy.

  • Harv 21

    And Kobe goes for 47 on a nasty ankle. First time I’ve ever rooted for him.

    “The Lakers moved a full game up on the Utah Jazz for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

    “We’ve got no breathing room at all,” Bryant said. “I’m still on edge. We’ve got to win three more games and we’re in.”

  • humboldt

    Eh, Sandlot was ok, although I found it a bit hackneyed even as a kid. It is in a separate tier of quality than Major League, which is a well-written and acted comedy with pathos and depth.

  • mgbode

    it’s supposed to be hackneyed because they were kids. the back-n-forth insults were hilarious.

    the ones I remember off the top of my head not mentioned in the article:

    you wear your mama’s bra

    if my dog was that ugly i’d shave his butt and have him walk backwards

    is that your sister in left field? (strike1) why is she naked?(strike2) think she’ll go out with me? (strike3)

  • mgbode

    Horton is only out of here if our defense excels.

    Agreed with the hoarding seeming strange when we have obvious holes elsewhere.

  • Harv 21

    Ok Jim, then tell me: If it’s not about filling 3-4 holes, if Horton is not encouraging these moves and in fact sees Rubin (or Taylor) able to transition to 3-4 end like Ngata, give us an alternative theory. Suggest the identity of the incompetent(s) and the rationale. Evil, totally stupid Banner shedding his cap-master image to flex his organizational muscles and show everyone who’s calling shots with personnel? Newbie owner interference? Has Lombardi already hypnotized everyone through the bars of his basement Berea cell?

    Sounds too much like the default premature Cleveland fan paranoia. And I don’t want to fall into that, at least not yet.

  • maxfnmloans

    I say “you’re killin me smalls” to my son 5 times a day…I guess I’m not so unique in that regard

  • humboldt

    The whole arc of the film is trite, which isn’t necessarily a criticism since I think that’s what was aiming for. It is a feel-good slice of Americana (i.e. “A diverse collection of middle-class suburban youth discover friendship and camaraderie through baseball”) that certainly has more memorable moments/lines than other films of its generation (Rookie of the Year, Little Big League, etc) but it is not a great sports movie in itself. At 10-years old I remember thinking how contrived and hokey it all felt.

    Films like Major League are not only feel-good comedies, but have a depth, emotional complexity, and realism that I found much more appealing even as a kid.

  • maxfnmloans

    it’s getting to the point around these parts that anytime anyone expresses a dissenting opinion, they’re a whiner or a typical Cleveland paranoid fan…maybe the comments section should be called “The Company Line”

    What they are doing does not make sense. Until we see if it works or not, all we have to talk about is what we think. What’s wrong with that?

    Kanick’s piece was more about those who have been brought in for pre-draft interviews, and a great majority of those are defensive linemen. Certainly that could simply be because this draft isn’t very top heavy with talent at the “skill” positions, and further, it does have a number of closely rated defensive linemen. Also, anything a GM/personnel guy says this close to the draft is most likely BS…so, the Browns could be bringing all these D linemen in as a smokescreen because they really want Milliner…or maybe Geno

    BUUUUUT…have you looked at our starting secondary? Basically ignoring CB in free agency was a curious decision. Sure, they signed a couple guys late, but in NFL parlance, both of them are J.A.G.s (just a guy)…as a result, we have a screaming need in the secondary, yet they are stockpiling defensive linemen. I don’t think wondering what in tarnation is going on is being paranoid…it is a legitimate question.

  • mgbode

    yes, it was completely hokey. that was part of the charm (everything from the Beast to Smalls not knowing who Babe Ruth was).

    and I do completely agree that ML is a much, much better film in all respects. no question there. simply put: ML got Randy Newmann to do the songs. Sandlot had to resort to his cousin :)

  • mgbode

    3 games each. All the Lakers have to do is match Utah from here on out.

  • maxfnmloans

    Newman!

  • Harv 21

    they tried hard enough on the CB they wanted that they saw fit to use the Haslam private jet for him and his fam.

    Not sure “company line” is best description for this commenter. Believe Kanick knows my comments well enough that he knows I’m honestly trying to understand him, not shut him up.

  • Harv 21

    Kobe’s a maniac. After all those rings and all these years he’d rather risk being served up as an appetizer in the first round than miss the playoffs. That’s some kind of competitive heart.

  • Porkchop

    I’m sorry but realism in Major League???? Really??? A movie that asks us to enter a farcicle world where not one, but at least TWO men are interested in dating Rene Russo? Sorry pal, but that dog don’t hunt, and it wouldn’t date Renee Russo neither, ’cause even non hunting dogs have some self respect.

  • mgbode

    but, she was an almost Olympian in the 100m medley. that adds to the intrigue :)

  • mgbode

    it’s his “F-U Jobu” moment (in regards to Dwight being Jobu)

  • maxfnmloans

    right on…I wasn’t specifically trying to call you out (although it sure appeared that way, in hindsight, since I was replying to you. For that I apologize)

  • mgbode

    yeah, if we trade back and end up getting a guy like Poyer in the 2nd and Will Davis in the 4th along with singing Kerry Rhodes, I’ll feel much better about things.

    but, until then, I’m worried.

  • humboldt

    Did Rene Russo kill your dog?

  • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

    welp…

    i’m simply pointing out that taylor-rubin-bryant-hughes (and sort of winn) are very similar players and all good players and represent significant investments both in draft picks and salary.

    why do we need four-to-five starting caliber interior defensive linemen? i dont know, that’s why i’m raising the question.

    is interviewing-thus-potentially-selecting a fifth-sixth d-lineman at #6 in the draft (which the workouts of lotulelei, richardson, floyd, and kinda ansah indicate to be a possibility) a wise move when buster skrine and tashaun gipson are starting in your d-backfield? i dont know, that’s why i’m asking.

    and i’m also asking if ahtyba rubin started sucking all of a sudden when i wasnt paying attention. because last i looked, he’s the cornerstone of the line. always reliable, always working hard, generally effective, and has missed only three starts in an interior line position in three years. i dont understand what’s not to like about him, but reading the browns’ non-verbals, it seems they dont like him much.

    if youre in the ‘cant have too many d-lineman’ camp, im simply challenging the premise. because if six good tackles arent too many, is ten? twenty? it seems obvious to me that with finite resources, you can have too many good players at one position.

    i dont know how youre missing my point, but youre missing my point.

  • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

    gracias. perfect.

  • The_Matt_Of_Akron

    Also, who would ever believe that an owner would move a Cleveland sports team??!!?!? Farcical indeed!

  • The_Matt_Of_Akron

    Or that any Northeast Ohioan would EVER want to move to Miami!?!?! Farcical!

  • http://twitter.com/bbo13 B-bo

    Actually, this is just the usual with Browns commenting in general in my experience here. No topic gets people as heated and polarized as this team, year after year after disappointing year–but particularly following a regime change, which isn’t exactly uncommon. My approach to this issue, as is always the case for me with a new regime, is to actually let it play out for a while before gnashing teeth and rending garments. Which of course makes me uncritical/simple-minded/kool-aid drinking/a company man/etc. (clearly I need to OBSERVE more), but I’m ok with that. I refuse to get myself worked up without any evidence that it’s necessary. Being able to say “I told you so” or call “First!” on another failure of a season just isn’t that important for me. I’ll give new coaches/execs/players plenty of rope, and if they hang themselves, then I’ll gladly call them on it. But I’m not rushing out to build the gallows myself in early April. I trust there is a plan. I trust that we have competent people. There’s only one way to find out. Or two, I suppose, though sadly I lack both a DeLorean and a flux capacitor.

  • http://twitter.com/bbo13 B-bo

    And by the way, I like that people get into it. It often adds positively to the discussion/debate, and pushes me to think. But it also can bring out some of the worst in folks and eventually deteriorate into a futile exercise.

  • Porkchop

    Yes, in my heart of hearts I know the answer is yes, my heart however is not a court of law, and her fat cat Hollywood lawyers got her off.

    What we know is this; After being rejected by every single member of the species homo sapien on account of her profound unatractiveness, Rene Russo began courting members of the ape families, first the greater then regretabally the lessers. When these attempts failed she moved on to dogs. My dog, Jack Burton, a Russian Wolfhound caught her eye one day – when chasing down two hoodlums who robbed an orphange – he cornered the nere-do-wellers in an Akron area landfill – where Ms. Russo was spending time in the hopes that the massive ammount of detritus would act as her “fat friend” and convince some vagabond or hobo to date her – or at least share a tin of beans from their bindle. When she saw Jack, bravely cornering the cowardly thiefs waiting for police she fell in love. She immediately approached him and asked for a date. He declined and felt rather insulted that she would assume that just because he was a dog he would jump at the chance to date the ugliest woman on the planet. His ego somewhat hurt, Jack cleansed his pallet of Rene Russo’s site by knawing on the bloated rotten rectum of a raccoon long since departed this mortal life. What happened next is where the story gets dicey. A large tonnage of steel fell on Jack Burton as he happily slurpped away on raccon hiney. The crane operator was later found semi-concious in a pool of his own vomit, mumbling incoherently about how some Medusian She-Wolf burst into his cab, he became instantaneously sick fell out of the cab and blacked out. Unfortunately the crane operator could not identify Ms. Russo in a photo lineup as he began vomitting uncontrollably on the pictures as soon as he saw her. This fact, played like the devils fiddle by those fat cat Hollwood lawyers, and a star struck jury- who didn’t notice that Rene wasn’t even in the courtroom, she had the almost as hideous Gina Gershown play her part – let her off the hook.
    These are the facts – and they are not in dispute.

  • mgbode

    the entire NFL goes spread and we have a 53man roster filled with athletic 325lb men. noone will want to play our team and will need a bye week afterwards.

  • Harv 21

    no need to apologize. It’s a good reminder anyway that my default tone here (judgy, arch and a little arrogant – hence the avatar) a little abrasive and pretty far from the tone I intend or actually speak in. Gotta be careful.

  • 5KMD

    You play ball like a girl!!!!!

    We got kicked out if the pool for life that day