August 26, 2014

While We’re Waiting… Tribe’s playoff odds, MOAR T-RICH and a haunted Buckeye basement

While We’re Waiting is a space on the WaitingForNextYear website where we share links to Clevelandish sports stuff, or at least things I think are interesting. Links are the currency of bloggers. We give out five or so everyday. Sometime it would be cool if the sites we linked to reciprocated. You know the drill: Email us with suggestions at tips@waitingfornextyear.com.

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Drivers seat, baby!!! “Adding those up and prorating their opponents’ winning percentages this season, the Indians basically have nine games against one team with a .398 winning percentage. We would expect the Indians to win roughly six of those nine games. Okay, so they’re not a lock to win at least six games. But they’re likely to win six, and more likely to win seven than five.

So are they likely to grab one of those wild cards? It’s very very close. According to Baseball Prospectus, it’s almost exactly a 50/50 proposition. Because while it’s likely the Indians will win more games than at least one of the teams ahead of them, there are also teams behind them that might finish in a rush. That’s the problem with a tight six-team race; nobody’s safe, whatever the apparent advantages.

But compared to just a few weeks ago, let alone a few months, you have to love the Indians’ chances.” [Rob Neyer/SBNation].

Decisions decisions decisions…. “The next decision is what to do with the guys who don’t make the postseason rotation. Managers tend to have quick hooks in the postseason, and it is not uncommon to have a guy warming up in the bullpen from the first inning, so having a guy in the pen who is capable of going 4-6 innings is huge. You could see a scenario where Francona works the rotation to have both McAllister and Kazmir ready on a given day, starts one and has the other warming up whenever there’s a sign of trouble in the early innings. The best case scenario is that you stay in a game when your starter falters; the worst case is you get through a blowout loss without taxing the rest of your bullpen.

The good news is that this is the time of year where Francona makes his money. The fact that he has been through pennant race and playoff pressure multiple times should be an advantage, in that he can judge which players are ready to respond to the pressure and which will be overwhelmed by it. In a short series where the talent gap is small, one decision can make the difference. Having a guy in the dugout who has been there before will help.” [Jeff Mount/Wahoo's On First]

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Some artifacts from the haunted basement at Ohio State. [Land-Grant Holy Land].

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Good stuff from Kanicki. “I actually think Browns got good value on T-Rich.  I haven’t been a Richardson fan and I’ve pointed out why on several occasions.  Basically, I think he runs soft.   Got no Beast Mode.  Stops before contact.  Been like this since his Bama days.  See below and below that.

So I’m ok with the value received in return for the trade.  I would also say the Browns got good value on their auction of 2012 draft picks.  Browns also have an efficient payroll structure as demonstrated by their $25M in cap space.

None of these “good management practices” add up to even an attempt at winning football in 2013 and thus these “smart moves” amount to a steaming crap in the middle of the Munilot.  All of these moves say, “We assume you will continue coming to losing games because we’ve improved the ‘fan experience.’”  Banner don’t care if he wins this year, next year, or the year after that.  (Has anyone heard a timetable or a tangible goal for this organization?)  All I read is that he has to get ‘his own guys’ on the roster like that’s normal.  To expect him to win Heckert’s guys is unreasonable.

I say b-llsh-t. [Mike Burgermeister/Jim Kanicki].

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Eddie George thinks T-Rich is better off. [TMZ].

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Philly fans really don’t like Andrew Bynum. “Yes, it seems like even if I’m ready to move on, I’m not quite ready to forgive and forget entirely. I was burned too badly, left too embarrassed and hopeless and empty inside to let go of my bitterness entirely. I’m over Andrew Bynum, but not so over him that I want to be risking running into him in the street with the Cavaliers and having to be all “Oh, hi, Andrew, how have you been? Wow, you look great, is that the Caesar you’re rocking now? Hey, it works for you! Oh, and this is…this is your new team? Gonna be suiting up with them opening night? Well, that’s great, that’s…I’m glad you’re happy, really. Heading over to Dave & Busters now, huh? No, no, you guys go ahead, have fun…the Sixers are playing a pre-season game in Spain tomorrow afternoon anyway, I gotta watch D-League footage of Darius Morris to see if he’s improved his decision making in the pick-and-roll in the off-season. Hey, gimme a call next time you’re in town, we’ll go mini-golfing! Nothing in your new contract about you not going mini-golfing, is there? Hahahaha! Ahh…yeah, no, go ahead, we’ll catch up next time. You still have my old number, right?”

Nope, can’t have that. I might not want Cavs fans to suffer exactly as much as I have with Bynum, but it probably wouldn’t be the best thing for my mental health for his days in Cleveland to be all sunshine, lollipops and rainbows either. Some sort of middle ground, in which Cavs fans at least get a taste of quality Bynum without getting to straight-up OD on him, would probably feel about right for me.

And ultimately, this is a decision that all Sixers fans must make going into next season: What level of misery do we wish on Cavs fans over the course of their team’s two-year, up to $24 million deal with Bynum? I see there being four potential levels at play here: ” [Andrew Untenberger/The 700 Level].

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What players should the Cavs’ rookies study? “Far from being a #1 pick, Pacers big man David West still has a lot that he can teach our #1. Measuring a bit larger than Bennett (6’9, 7’4 wingspan to 6’7, 7’1) West counters his floor bound nature well on both offense and defense. Defense is probably the best place to start, because those are the biggest concerns with Bennett. The most impressive thing that West does, in my opinion, on that end of the floor is his constant banging. Every minute that he is on the floor, he puts his large frame to good use, and it wears opponents down. It takes time to learn the system, and understand defense. We saw it with Tristan ThompsonBlake Griffin is still trying to figure it out, and JJ Hickson probably never will. Hitting your man repeatedly however, does not. On a roster with Anderson Varejao and Tristan Thompson, guys that are also physical, and play at a frenetic pace, having to deal with the 240-60 pound Bennett banging away at them, as well as (hopefully) a 280-300 pound Andrew Bynum doing the same will wear down even the best front courts. Doing this of course, will require the non-stop motor that West has as well, which is another huge concern.” [Ryan Mourton/Fear the Sword]

  • Steve

    “All of these moves say, “We assume you will continue coming to losing games because we’ve improved the ‘fan experience.’” Banner don’t care if he wins this year, next year, or the year after that. (Has anyone heard a timetable or a tangible goal for this organization?) All I read is that he has to get ‘his own guys’ on the roster like that’s normal. To expect him to win Heckert’s guys is unreasonable.

    I say b-llsh-t”

    What is b-llsh-t exactly? That fan’s wont continue to show up? That’s laughable. The Browns are going to take someone in the first round, and the fans will start frothing at the mouth over the kid, and we’ll be right back in the same spot we were going into this year, you know, a year that the team was obviously not trying to maximize their win total.

    That Banner doesn’t care if he wins this year or the next two? I’ll give this a maybe. He’s going to try to build a legit contender, and is not going to give up anything toward that long term goal to achieve something as useless as a 6 win season instead of a 4. He’ll care if there’s no progress towards building a contender, but there’s no reason to get hung up on making an awful team just a merely bad one.

    I will say it is BS if he thinks expecting him to win with Heckert’s guys is unreasonable. But I don’t think he’s saying that, and I expect him to keep the defensive pieces that Heckert brought in.

    All in all, a lot better, and more informative piece than the usual “it’s not fair!” that has been going around.