August 2, 2014

While We’re Waiting… A little bit of everything

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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“But what also stands out about the Indians is the way that profound production has come not necessarily in a steady flow but in a series of flamboyant bursts. “If you look at our games,” Reynolds said, “we’ve either been getting blown out or blowing people out.”

If we define a “blowout” as a game decided by five or more runs, as Baseball Reference does, then the Indians have been involved in 12 of them — seven wins and five losses — in 29 games played. It’s made for somewhat erratic work for the back-end relievers, and it’s also ensured that the Indians are either as entertaining and enticing an offense as exists in the game today or, well, a bit on the dull side, depending on when you happen to tune in. They’ve scored 7.8 runs per game in their wins and 2.29 runs per game in their losses.” [Castrovince/MLB.com]

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“Cribbs was expected to sign with the Arizona Cardinals this offseason, but he hasn’t fully recovered from surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his knee. The Cardinals then used a third-round pick on Tyrann Mathieu, who has big-play ability as a returner.

Asked if Cribbs was off the Cardinals’ radar, general manager Steve Keim told the team’s official website: “That’s something we have already explored. At this point, I really can’t get any further into it, so I will leave it at that.”

That doesn’t sound like Cribbs is on the Cardinals’ priority list. Early in free agency, it was reported that Cribbs was deciding between the Cardinals and the New England Patriots. But the Patriots are no longer an option after they signed return man Leon Washington.” [Hensley/AFC North Blog]

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“The growth of spending on athletics overall is unsustainable. It’s climbing at a rate that’s double what it costs to fund a normal student, which coincides with tuition costs that are already skyrocketing at their own unsustainable rates. I personally don’t care enough about creating a strategy to knock of an SEC team in a single January football game, largely because I’m not one of the consumers that college football has to fight to keep engaged. I also can’t get too worked up over paying players who garner seven times the investment (or in SEC athletes’ cases, 12 times) that a regular college student does.

They should be be paid, but it shouldn’t be the financial priority.That should be holding publicly-funded schools with booming athletic departments in power conferences that have the means to be sustainable exclusively through non-tuition and non-tax dollars accountable for doing exactly that.” [Ramzy/Eleven Warriors]

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“What about the word ‘uniform’ is confusing? Since this is a Clearing the Decks, I wish to voice my long-held pique at the decades-long problem of: why do sports uniforms stop at the knee? I got into this with Dambrot’s Akron Basketball team and their expressions of individuality with their sock selections. But you see it in pro-hoops, NFL… and it’s really apparent in baseball. (See jpg above.) It looks plain that the apparel makers call the shots. I’ve got a frosty Bud Light waiting for the first coach who has the balls to say: Your uniform includes proper wearing of socks and shoes.” [Kanick]

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Not Cleveland related at all, but well done Matt Kemp. Watch the video- “Here’s the backstory, as well as we can piece together via YouTube descriptions and comments: The fan in the video, Joshua Jones, is fighting “a tough battle,” says his friend Tommy Schultz, who filmed and uploaded the video. Jones’ family “put money together” to get great seats to see the Dodgers play the Giants in San Francisco. The group, including dad Steve Jones and brother Ryan Jones, was able to get the attention of Dodgers third-base coach Tim Wallach. Wallach said he’d try to get Kemp to come by after the game. Not only did Kemp come by, he made this fan’s year by giving him half of his uniform — and he surely brought a smile to the face of anybody watching.” [Oz/Big League Stew]

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And one more. “About 20 people lost limbs in the Boston Marathon bombings. Now they’re swimming in that soup of phantom pain and real fear of what their future holds. Boy, do I have a kid for them.

His name is Josh Ruchotzke. He’s 18. And he’s one of the better hitters on the Farmington (Ill.) High School varsity baseball team. Why does Josh matter? Because he’s basically doing it all without legs or hands.” [Reilly/ESPN]

  • mgbode

    on Kanick’s uniform quandry – I have no issue with either wearing knee-high socks or baseball pants down to the shoe. However, I do believe it should be limited to those 2 options and they should be uniform in those 2 looks (not 15 varieties of them). Also, you should be able to wear whatever brand of shoe you like, but the color should be uniform throughout the team on any given day.

  • mgbode

    Also, if anyone sees ESPN or someone put a new video on Josh R., please let me know. Here are a couple videos, but they are 3 and 4 years old:

    Back to Baseball: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QHzG91YmrVw

    Beginning of the Journey back: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yrWUd5A9MVk

  • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

    i’m just saying that when everyone picks their own shoe and whether to wear knickers or pajamas, it’s no longer a uniform.

    let’s not forget that one of the reasons for having a uniform is that it reinforces the concept of team. part of being a team is to do what is best for the team, not the individual. this idea that everyone can pick their own shoes strikes down team concepts and fosters a selfishness or me-first attitude. we can debate the extent of that reality and whether or not it does damage. but it does, at some level, run counter to team ideals.

    lots of players pay lip service to ‘it’s not the name on the back, it’s the name on the back.’ conforming to rules of a team uniform is part and parcel to that. it’s not a big ask of the players to accept such team rules.

    not to make too big a deal of this, but it’s sad reflection on society that the implementation of a standard shoe/sock combo should be so challenging and its beneficial elements so hard to understand.

  • mgbode

    i don’t mind the sock v. pants but understand why you might.

    on the shoes, why should it matter if one has a Nike swoosh and another has the Adidas stripes if they are both the same color? Barely noticeable IMO.

    (then, as you allude towards, there is the reality that having uniform shoe brands would put the endorsement money into the teams pockets instead of the players, and the players union would never agree)

  • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

    see attached. it’s not a big ask and if you-the-player are REALLY about winning, the logo on your shoe shouldnt enter your thinking.

    as far as branding on shoes and union considerations i dont understand why shoes should be any different from the jersey or cap contracts.

    i never said balls wouldnt be needed to fix this. that doesnt mean it shouldnt be done.

    it comes down to: are you the Big Red Machine or are you Gilbert Arenas?

    and not for nothing but we know all the names on that reds team don’t we? so.. branding accomplished, n’est-ce pas?

  • mgbode

    the reason that shoes are different is that the precedent has been set that the players have control of them and most are tied down with exclusive shoe contracts. to get them to change, they would have to say that those contracts are not allowed to be signed moving forward and that would take a union concession.

  • woofersus

    Kudos to Kanick for calling out the media on complaining to the fans for not going to games. We’d all like to see the ballpark packed but it’s not like people just haven’t gone because they didn’t get a pep talk on Twitter. And it’s a little hollow coming from guys whose job it is to go to the games. Wondering why and creating discussion is fine, but don’t give the collective a “Really?” as if they owe you anything.

    Disagree on the criticism of the “28 rule” though. That age is very different in baseball than it is in football. When we signed Bourn and Swisher there was some concern about their age and possible decline, but mostly we all feel it’s reasonable to expect they will still be at least near peak production throughout those contracts. Lots of baseball players extend their prime years through their early 30′s. In the NFL that’s not so. Maybe with QB’s and offensive linemen the age of 30 is nothing to fear, but at most positions you start seeing a decline by that age, and it’s fairly rare to play past 35. I don’t think it was weird at all to want to add players in their primes rather than aging veterans looking for one last payday.

  • Garry_Owen

    I think shoes are also different because of their function. Though the various brands of shoes are basically the same, there are differences that are noticable to athletes – and these guys (generally) are also obsessive about the performance of their equipment. Shoes can be a big part of that. If an athlete’s feet aren’t happy, his body isn’t happy. I know that there are certain brands of shoes that I prefer from a fit, comfort, and performance perspective over others. Indeed, there are some athletic shoe brands (Nike, for one) that I would rather never wear (and don’t) because of these things. For that reason, the shoe thing (as far as brands go) bothers me not at all.

  • http://twitter.com/RickWFNY rick grayshock

    I don’t think that shoes should be a big deal to conform to in baseball. At least a color scheme. Basketball would be where the real pushback would come from.

    I am completely with you on the pants and socks combo. I know, I’m old fashioned, but I would love to see a team (a WHOLE team) go with the knee length pants and stirrups.

    Do little league teams even hand out stirrups anymore?

    Sigh. I miss being 10 sometimes.

  • mgbode

    great point. I only wear Nike basketball shoes and Adidas cleats because those are the shoes that happen to best fit my feet.

  • Garry_Owen

    Especially after an injury and surgery or two, the right shoe is extremely important.

  • mgbode

    LL teams do not issue stirrups (at least in my league). They only issue the jersey and caps, the rest is for the parents to buy (yes, even the pants).

    I made it optional for my sons’ teams, but peer pressure quickly overcame the couple early holdouts. I can proudly say that both teams are fully on knee-high socks. However, good luck finding a pair of knee-length pants in most youth sizes (so the socks have to go over the pants, which stinks).

  • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

    on the shoe issue, it’s an easy compromise: black out the logo. wear any shoe you want, whatever feels good. but they all need to be black. or white or blue or whatever. ie, they need to be uniform in appearance.

  • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

    here’s a couple examples on how to make stirrups relevant. note the logo placements.

    i find myself preferring the hunter pence/ jim thome look which arent really stirrups, just a dark sock. (it turns out that method pre-dates stirrups in terms of being old-school.)

    but we’re on the same page w.r.t. the pajamas.

  • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

    yeah, the ’28 year old rule’ was lazy. the point was to contrast indians’ agressive work to field a winner this year to the browns’ WFNY approach. and the greater point was to send some plaudits antonetti’s way.

  • http://twitter.com/RickWFNY rick grayshock

    Those Twins socks are fantastic.