April 23, 2014

While We’re Waiting… Ryan Shazier, Bubba Baker, and Fantasy Football

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, there’s a lot expected of junior linebacker Ryan Shazier this season, but if he lives up to the expectations, there’s a long list of OSU linebacking royalty to join. Kyle Rowland at 11W explains, “Numbers can be manipulated to tell many different stories. But there’s nothing false about the equation when it comes to Ohio State’s linebackers. Twelve All-Americans, eight first-round draft picks, two Butkus Awards and two Lombardi Awards. Other schools – Penn State – claim to be Linebacker U. Upon further review, though, the Buckeyes have a legitimate claim to the honor. Ryan Shazier, a tackling machine that moves from sideline to sideline like a circling shark, would like to add more separation between Ohio State and other linebacker factories. He’d also like to etch his name alongside the likes of Spielman, Gradishar, Katzenmoyer, Hawk, Laurinaitis and other Buckeye greats.” [Eleven Warriors]

A lot of us are fantasy football junkies (I will have at least three teams this year, which is probably two more than I should), and Chris Pokorny at Dawgs By Nature give you the lowdown on where to pick your favorite Brownies, “The average draft position for Richardson is at pick 12.8 overall, which is right at the beginning of the second round. Realistically, that means he could go at any point of the first- or second-round. ” [Dawgs By Nature]

Bill Livingston at the PD has a nice story about Bubba Baker making a Korean War veteran’s final wish come true by gathering several former Browns together to meet him, “Baker, a defensive end, faced the best offensive linemen in the NFL for 13 seasons, two of them with the Browns. Nothing like Aug. 22 had ever happened to him before. “A man who’€™s going to meet God soon wants to meet me. It’€™s a burden, it’€™s a responsibility, and it’€™s an opportunity,”€ Baker said. “€œWhen it’€™s my time to meet God, I don’€™t want St. Michael to say, ‘I sent you a message that day and you didn’€™t pay attention.’”€” [Livingston/PD]

Also at Eleven Warriors, they go roundtable style to discuss the upcoming 2013 season, “Jeff Heuerman is a big wild card. I could see him having tremendous production this season. Braxton, Dontre, Carlos Hyde, Rod Smith, Philly Brown, Devin Smith, Evan Spencer, etc. are going to be weapons all season. It’s remarkable when you go down the list and realize there are more than 10 players that can deemed dangerous. So, obviously, there will be someone that benefits from the attention paid to other players. I think Heuerman is the guy” [Eleven Warriors]

Finally, Jeff Sullivan at FanGraphs goes through some of the wildest swings and misses of the week, and it’s no surprise that an Indian hitter made the list, Jason Kipnis, “Jason Kipnis knows he swung at a bad pitch. From time to time, he’s going to swing at bad pitches. He’s going to get tricked, and he’s going to whiff, swinging over a baseball in the dirt. But Kipnis came this close to swinging and missing at a pitch that hit him in the body. I don’t know if that’s ever happened to him before, but that seems like the kind of thing one doesn’t easily forget. It seems like, years down the road, one would be able to recall swinging at a pitch that would’ve otherwise been a painful free base. When that happens, it’s embarrassing.” [FanGraphs]