While We’re Waiting… Bynum Philly Fallout, Contention Limbo, and Infield Shifts

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While We’re Waiting is the daily morning link roundup that WFNY has been serving up for breakfast for the last several years. We hope you enjoy the following recent collection of yummy and nutritious Cleveland sports-related articles. Anything else to add? Email us at tips@waitingfornextyear.com.

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Leading off, Philadelphia 76ers new CEO Scott O’Neill apologized for the Andrew Bynum saga last year in Philly, even though he wasn’t involved in the deal that sent away Andre Iguodala, Mo Harkless, and Nikola Vucevic, ““I apologize on behalf of the Sixers to any fan who invested and thought Bynum was going to be their guy and be the savior,” said O’Neil, while being a guest on Cataldi’s radio show. “At the end of the day, that’s our apology to every fan — not just to you [he told Cataldi]. “However, we are going to take some chances when we can take some chances. And sometimes, they’re not going to work. And sometimes, they are. When they don’t work, we are not going to ever talk about a player negatively. That’s not going to help us or the franchise or the fans. That’s not going to help us recruit. It doesn’t help us go out and grab free agents. It doesn’t help us when we are evaluating talent. It doesn’t help us when we are talking to coaches. It just doesn’t help.”” [Ball Don't Lie]

Next up, the Tribe is sort of hanging around in contention limbo, writes Matt Meyers on the Sweet Spot blog for ESPN, “What seems more likely is the Indians behaving like the Pirates at the last two deadlines, making a couple of minor upgrades that are mostly cosmetic — a way to tell the fans, “look, we’re going for it!” They are probably better off playing out the season with their current hand and hoping that enough breaks go their way. If not, they can hope to move Cabrera over the winter in the same way they moved Shin-Soo Choo last winter in the offseason before he hits the market. ” [ESPN/Sweet Spot]

Cavalier legend Austin Carr expressed his thoughts on the summer transactions, and I know some people think A.C. is a little over the top, but I do think he knows the game, “I’m also pretty excited about some of the guys I watched during Summer League in Vegas. Dion looks like he’s improved his game. I really want to see him have a better understanding of how to play the game. You have to see the game in Technicolor instead of black-and-white. That’s what I’d like to see him do. Once he starts to see the game in Technicolor, that will change his whole mindset and he won’t be so frantic. I was like Dion in my rookie year. You play ‘in a hurry.’ Things will slow down for him as sophomore. As for Tyler, his whole issue is to be more aggressive in his second year. That’s the whole key for him. He’s a seven-footer with fantastic skills. He just has to use them and not be afraid to use them. But again, that’s a young guy in his rookie year.” [AC/CavFanatic Blog]

ActaSports has a really interesting report on who is and is not shifting in baseball and how the frequency of shifts in general has skyrocketed, “But even as often as these teams are shifting, they are still not shifting against anywhere near the 100 players suggested by Baseball Info Solutions. The most aggressive (and progressive) teams are now up to about 30 different players against whom they use The Shift Defense. We believe that there is still room for even better results by shifting against as many as 100 different players in MLB.” [ActaSports]

Finally, Amadeo Della Valle has had a strong summer, Michael Citro of 11W writes, playing in the U20 Euro Championships for Italy. Della Valle will be a sophomore this upcoming season for Coach Thad Matta, “Without Della Valle’s contributions, Italy could not have won the tournament. His triple in the waning seconds sunk Spain, 76-73, in a crucial matchup on July 15. He had a huge game against the Spanish (who finished third in the tournament), scoring 27 points and pulling down seven rebounds. He also knocked down a buzzer-beating bomb off one leg in the quarterfinals against Lithuania to send the game into overtime, where Italy eventually prevailed, 75-72, a week ago today. Della Valle averaged 13 points per game in the tournament to lead the Italians. He averaged about four rebounds per game (3.7 to be precise) and finished the tourney with eight assists, 14 steals and four blocks. At 1.4 steals per game, it looks like Della Valle’s defense is improving. Being Aaron Craft’s teammate probably helps a bit in that area. He also drew 4.3 fouls per game against his opponents.” [Eleven Warriors]