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While We’re Waiting… Tribe Wins, Rebutting John Rocker and Will Jordan Cameron Breakout?

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“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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Excellent shut out from Kluber. “Getting five straight base hits will provide your team with a big spark, but getting nearly eight shutout innings from your starting pitcher will get your team a lot of wins.  On Friday night, the Cleveland Indians received both of these and defeated the Kansas City Royals by a score of 3-0.

The Indians, behind the superb pitching of Corey Kluber (7-5, 3.88), were able to record their league-leading 12th shutout of the 2013 campaign.  More importantly, the 49-44 Tribe was able to keep pace with front running Detroit, staying 2.5 games behind the Tigers who defeated the Texas Rangers as well.  The 12 zeroes thrown by the pitching staff are the most the Tribe has thrown in a season since the 1968 team compiled 17.

Kluber was spectacular and was matched pitch for pitch by Royals starter Bruce Chen.  Chen worked six shutout innings before giving way to the Royals bullpen.  The Indians did all of the damage that they needed to do off of the bullpen that inning.” [Steve Eby/Did the Tribe Win?]

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Not everyone agrees with John Rocker. “Despite what Rocker and others like him believe, it doesn’t make any sense to excuse drug use by saying players needed to do it to extend their careers. If they cannot play without drugs that enhance their performance, isn’t the right answer to say that their playing days are over? If they are going to play into their forties hopped up on amphetamines, steroids, and growth hormones, is that extending their careers or adding a bizarre, risky appendix to it?

Baseball tries to stay connected to its past, both the good and the bad. It maintains its record books and encourages fans to have debates over things like who was the best centerfielder, whether Walter Johnson could pitch well in the big leagues today, and which Negro League stars might have been Hall of Famers had racism not kept them out of the game.

But, contrary to Rocker’s view, staying in touch with the past does not mean honoring an era that threatened the very integrity of the game. Steroid-fueled homeruns were fun to watch. They also risked making the game into a circus. Let’s not get nostalgic about an era that almost destroyed the game in the name of “entertainment.”” [Arthur L Caplan/Forbes]

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Indians All-Time All-Star team. “I established a few ground rules for my search. I’d try to find the best first-half by a player at each position, and no player could make the All-Star team twice. For example, just because Tris Speaker had a handful of incredible first-half showings, I couldn’t name him as the starting center fielder and left fielder. Only one Speaker could make the cut. And, as it happens, Speaker only made the all-time All-Star bench.

That leads me to the next ground rule, which dealt with the construction of the roster. I wasn’t going to compile a 30-plus player team here. What I did instead was went with a more traditional 25-man roster. The roster would include a starting nine, including a designated hitter, a five-man rotation and a seven-man bullpen. The bench required a backup catcher, outfielder and infielder, and a fourth player. For hitters, I limited the search to those with at least 250 at-bats, with one exception (Sandy Alomar Jr.’s 1997 first-half of 240 at-bats).

To find the all-time Indians All-Star team, I used baseball-reference.com, which includes first-half split data dating back to 1916. Under the circumstances, someone like Nap Lajoie (with Cleveland from 1902-1914) didn’t make the cut. I tried to select as many players as I could from different eras, but the 1990s (obviously) dominated this list in the end.” [Jordan Bastian/MLB.com]

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*sigh* “The prosecutor’s office in Columbus says a former Ohio State football player previously caught up in the school’s memorabilia scandal has been indicted on felony drug and weapons charges.

The Franklin County prosecutor said 26-year-old former Buckeyes receiver Ray Small was indicted this week on felony drug possession and trafficking charges that included firearms specifications. Records showed he was in jail Friday but not give attorney information.

Authorities said the grand jury indictments stemmed from an April search of Small’s Columbus apartment that yielded heroin and oxycodone, as well as a semi-automatic handgun and assault rifle.”” [AP]

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Well, Norv Turner has a history… “The Browns decided to take a chance on Cameron and drafted him with their fourth round pick in the 2011 Draft. In Cameron’s first two seasons, he has seen little action as the third tight end on the depth chart behind Benjamin Watson and Evan Moore.

Now headed into the 2013 season, with a new coach and offensive coordinator, the Browns also made some personnel changes, particularly at tight end. With the team having let Watson and Moore leave, Jordan Cameron is now the number one tight end on the depth chart and as such, will play a bigger and more important role in the offense.

Cameron should surpass his career numbers on 26 receptions for 259 yards and one touchdown in the 2013 season. Just like wide receiver Josh Gordan, Cameron should and will benefit from a move away from Pat Schrmur‘s West Coast offensive philosophy to head coach Rob Chudzinski and offensive coordinator Norv Tuner‘s down the field passing philosophy.

As a result of the change of philosophy, Cameron should be running a number of routes within the 10 to 19 yard range, giving quarterback Brandon Weeden a reliable target which he can look to at any given time.” [Lucas Carreras/Rant Sports]

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Let’s hope it’s not the latter…. “The favorite idea of all for next season is: Kyrie plays 75 games, with Andy and Andrew suiting up for 65 each.  This isn’t a “best case” where everyone is completely healthy, but a reasonably injury-free year.  The twin bigs don’t play back-to-backs, while otherwise receiving 25 – 28 minutes per night; the reduced workload keeps them out of the doctor’s office.  I like either with Tristan or Bennett, but am really enthused about this duo playing together; Bynum always thrived with Pau Gasol operating from the high post, and Varejao’s passing has become a highly underrated aspect of his game.  The combined size and rebounding exceeds anything hoped for next season.  With growth from Dion and Tristan, and Kyrie taking the next step to superstardom, this crew battles towards the middle of the Eastern Conference.

The “that’s too bad” case involves Bynum playing nine games or something.  Basically, the reason why $6 million guaranteed was his maximum offer rears it’s ugly head; his knees are shot.  Varejao stays healthy though; Mike Brown’s influences reigns on defense; Kyrie, Tristan, and Dion progress nicely; and Jack / Miles / Clark / Bennett / Zeller provide the deepest bench in years.  The team sneaks into the playoffs, able to walk away with their financial flexibility in tact.

Finally, the “do we have to talk about this?” scenario: Bynum can’t get on the court; Varejao misses significant time for the fourth straight season; and Kyrie sits for fifteen games.  Suddenly we again witness a team of 22-year olds anchored by Tyler Zeller on defense; the lost opportunity of tying up $12 million of cap space on Bynum resides as an albatross to playoff hopes.  Replacing Coach Scott, Marreese Speights, Shaun Livingston and Wayne Ellington with Mike Brown, Jarrett Jack, Earl Clark, and rookie Anthony Bennett, while relying on growth from the youngsters was not enough to win forty games.  Another lottery trip ensues, with the springtime spent hoping for a miraculous summer.” [Kevin Hetrick/Cavs: The Blog]

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  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Kluber is definitely surprising me I didn’t think he could pitch half as well as he has been doing.

  • Hypno_Toad

    Josh Gordan might be able to fill in for Josh Gordon while he’s suspended.