April 19, 2014

While We’re Waiting… Changing the rules and 9-7 still possible for the Browns?

Cleveland sports fans are waiting. Thus, while we’re all waiting, the WFNY editors thought you might enjoy reading. Because you never know how long we might be waiting. So here are assorted reading goodies for you to enjoy. Send more good links for tomorrow’s edition to tips@waitingfornextyear.com

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“Rule change proposal: Batters should be allowed to “decline” walks. The problem: The intentional walk is a plague on the game. It is boring and anti-competitive and against the spirit of baseball. Nobody would argue that the baseball is a better game, more interesting, more exciting to watch and to play when teams cannot simply tiptoe around the game’s best players in the game’s most exciting moments. The walk was put in place to encourage pitchers to throw strikes — that is to throw pitches that potentially can be hit. That is at the heart of baseball. The fact that so many teams are now avoiding hitters (there were more than 1,000 intentional walks in baseball in 2013) suggest that the deterrent is simply not strong enough. David Ortiz this year was intentionally walked 27 times. That’s more than Willie Mays or Mickey Mantle were ever walked. That is not good to the game.” [Posnanski/Joe Blogs]

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“Meyer hasn’t lost a football game of any sort since late November of 2010, when he was the head coach at Florida. It marks 20 straight wins and makes Meyer the first coach in major college football history to have three win streaks of at least 20 games.

The Energizer Bunny keeps going and going and going. For Ohio State, its winning streak keeps growing and growing and growing. With the Buckeyes sitting at 7-0, one might think pressure would build because of the national championship hunt. Instead, pressure for the Buckeyes exists due to a winning streak reaching significant heights.” [Rowland/Eleven Warriors]

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“Alonzo Gee is obviously not the long-term answer at starting small-forward. He’s an imperfect player probably best-suited for 15-20 hustle minutes off the bench, where he can terrorize opposing players on the defensive end with his energy level. However, has he done enough over the last two games to wrangle the starting small forward position away from Earl Clark, who seemed to be the favorite going into camp?

Clark sat out the game on Monday for simple resting measures, meaning I think we can expect him to get quite a bit of run on Wednesday against the Wizards. But Monday, Gee took advantage of his opportunity. He went 5-10 for 14 points to go along with two rebounds, blocks, and assists, along with three steals. This followed a solid performance on Saturday against the Pacers, where Gee played 18 minutes and scored nine points on five shots. Gee has outperformed Clark so far this preseason, and coach Mike Brown seemed extremely impressed with Gee’s performance on Monday in particular” [Vecenie/Fear the Sword]

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“If you take a look at the Cleveland Browns remaining schedule it’s not out of the realm of possibility to see them finish .500, or dare I say maybe 9-7. Now don’t get me wrong, it’s a big reach there is no question about it. However, if you look at the remaining schedule after this weekend’s game in Kansas City, there a several winnable games left on the docket.

With that being said, the Browns need to fix a few glaring issues to achieve this goal, but it’s not totally out of the question. If they can get improved play at the quarterback position, it would be a huge start to making this thought a reality. Whether it’s Brandon Weeden somehow digging down deep to elevate his game or Jason Campbell taking over and playing the best football of his career it is possible. It would certainly help this Browns team score enough points to let this top ranked defense handle the rest.” [Ristano/Dawg Pound Daily]

  • MrCleaveland

    1. I’ve long thought that a batter who is walked should have an option: take his base or let a courtesy runner (for lack of a better term) take his base while he bats again with a fresh count. The courtesy runner could enter and leave a game as often as needed; no restrictions. If a batter walks three straight times in an inning, then you fill the bases with three courtesy runners if you want.

    Pre-steroid and pre-expansion baseball records have lost some of their meaning anyway, so I wouldn’t worry about what effect this would have on records.

    2. With Weeden as the starter, I seriously don’t know if the Browns could even go 4-12.

  • Chris Mc

    Calling one intentional walk every 4.8 games a “plague” seems slightly exaggerated to me.

  • boomhauertjs

    Browns at 9-7? Is Hoyer coming back this week?

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    The answer at SF comes in a year when the French guy LeBron James returns. Until then Gee/Clark/Miles/Karasev can all help fill the gap. It doesn’t really matter who starts between Gee and Clark they just have to perform their role.

  • woofersus

    Declining walks and courtesy runners would create a lot more problems than it solved. When a guy with a great walk rate came up to bat teams would just leave him up there until he got a hit or struck out, with as many guys as necessary taking his place on base. Entire innings would be played with one guy at bat. Speedy guys who can’t hit for average would get used exclusively as courtesy runners and never hit. It would alter the game in a huge way.

    I don’t think intentional walks are quite that level of scourge (with 4860 games played in the regular season, 1000 IBB’s still means less than one in 4 games) but if you really wanted to eliminate it as it currently exists you could disallow the pitcher from throwing a pitch while the catcher is outside of his box. (and make it a balk if he does) They could still throw four balls in a row, but there’s be a little more risk.

  • woofersus

    I don’t really think Karasev is going to get many minutes at SF unless he gets really lethal from long range and Brown wants to occasionally put an all-shooter team on the floor. If he plays well enough he may become the 4th guard eventually, pushing Miles to mostly SF minutes, but for now I wouldn’t expect to see too much of him when the team is at full strength.

    I totally agree that the “answer” at SF has been intentionally pushed off while the rest of the roster was addressed, whether it means the return of Lebron or some other acquisition next offseason. I think Gee probably ends up starting, but not by a wide margin. He gives you slightly better shooting than Clark, while Clark is the better rebounder. Defense is similar. I wouldn’t be shocked if they alternated depending on matchup. Miles will probably be the first guy off the bench at that position regardless.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Oh no I agree I was simply listing possibles at SF. I prefer/like Sergey at SG but a three guard with Irving/Waiters/Karasev would be nice too.

    As far as the answer at SF I love to jab those anti-LBJ fans with the fact that the one glaring need just happens to be at SF. I mean look at the roster and makeup of this team and don’t tell me LBJ doesn’t fit in absolutely perfectly because he does at least to me. The chances are slim and long at best but who knows.

  • Garry_Owen

    I’m getting pretty tired of the talk about OSU’s win streak. It’s such a misleading statistic, owed entirely to Jim Tressel’s lapse in judgment and the NCAA’s oversight (reach?). Does anyone in the universe think, for even one second, that the Buckeyes would have beaten Alabama in last year’s title game (assuming they won the Big 10 championship game)? I get that they’ve won every game on their plate since Meyer took over, but the streak comes with a huge asterisk in my mind – and if I was Meyer, I’d remind my team of it every time someone in the media asks the question – just to take any false pressure off of them.

  • mgbode

    I don’t think there’s a way we got into last year’s Natl’l champ game even as an undefeated team.

  • woofersus

    Yeah, it’s hard to imagine it wasn’t at least partially intentional, although the timing of Kyrie and Tristan’s contracts dictate that next year is the one where we need to use up the cap space and make whatever big splash we’re gonna. If we’d missed on those picks then it would be a discussion of making trades for picks still and pushing it back a year, but as it is the stars may align. There are going to be other options on the market next year, but only one that instantly makes us not only a championship contender, but a favorite.