While We’re Waiting… Mike Brown leads Cavs turnaround

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While We’re Waiting is a space on the WaitingForNextYear website where we share links every day. We’ve been doing it for about four years or so. Denny Mayo used to be much more amusing with his intros, if you recall. You know the drill: Email us with suggestions at tips@waitingfornextyear.com.

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Brown deserves credit for the hot stretch: “But stop and take a breath. Take a really deep breath and you might notice something different. Is that hints of azaleas? Notes of coffee and barnyard? Nope. That’s just new Mike Brown smell you’re smelling. So far, even as the team has gradually improved almost in spite of itself, Brown has done some things to buck what many considered the more troubling trends from his first time around.” [Robert Attenweiler/Cavs: The Blog]

This is a really good overview of all of the latest Cavs trade rumor chatter out there from all of the different Cavs writers. [Ryan Mourton/Fear The Sword]

Next man up for the Browns: “Many times in the NFL, late season games that seem meaningless, are opportunities for young players to show what they can do. Case in point is free safety Tashaun Gipson. As an undrafted rookie free agent last season, he was able to show enough in the final games that gave the new coaching staff enough confidence to go into the 2013 season with him as the starting safety opposite T. J. Ward.” [Fred Greetham/The Orange and Brown Report]

These numbers certainly are eye-popping: “Axford HR/FB exploded in 2012, and that continued in 2013. Axford had the 6th-highest HR/FB in 2012, 11th in 2013, and is fourth over those two years. All of a sudden, one out of every five fly balls that Axford allowed left the park, and Axford went from one of baseball’s better relievers to a replacement-level pitcher.” [Bryce Dugar/Bloomberg Sports]

Do you like the moves so far? I’m optimistic.“The underrated offseason continued for Chris Antonetti on Wednesday when he acquired Josh Outman from the Colorado Rockies for Drew Stubbs. The appropriately-named pitcher will serve as the team’s second lefty in the bullpen behind 2013 Trade Deadline acquisition Mark Rzepczynski and, like most of the players the Indians have acquired recently, will be put into the best possible position to succeed.” [Adam Burke/The Cleveland Fan]

Saying “no, thanks” to the Price rumors: “I know, I know. Unless GM Chris Antonetti were to pull a rabbit out of his hat, there was little to no chance of the Indians being able to pry left-hander David Price away from the Rays. But the trade package Tampa Bay could be seeking pretty much obliterates any chance (however small it was) of that happening.” [Michael Chaney/Wahoos on First]

If you haven’t yet read this detailed look at Ohio State’s deal with Coca-Cola, you really should finally. Hoorah to college newspapers. [Caitlin Essig/The Lantern]

Looking at Urban’s recruiting pool: “Why is Meyer recruiting fewer Ohioans than Tressel? I doubt that there has been a significant change in the talent available in Ohio between 2011 and today. More likely, Meyer believes that he needs to bring in the best talent from all over the country in order for Ohio State to compete at the national level. And because of his experience at Florida and Utah, he likely has many more out-of-state contacts than Tressel did.” [Mike Mayer/Rebuilding Since 1964]

Oh hey, it is being reported after all that a Buckeyes assistant will be leaving to become a head coach. The team’s co-defensive coordinator, assistant head coach and safeties coach Everett Withers might be headed to James Madison. [Luke Zimmermann/Land-Grant Holy Land]

Is Carlos Hyde one of best OSU backs ever? “While the Buckeyes prepare for the Orange Bowl, we have ample time to appreciate Hyde’s year, especially in comparison to the last two elite OSU running backs, Beanie Wells and Maurice Clarett. It’s notoriously difficult to compare players across different years and teams. Different offensive lines, play calls, and other offensive threats on the team complicate simple comparisons of basic statistics. Then there’s the issue of more advanced statistics being unavailable that far in the past, as Sabermetric-style statistics for college football are a relatively new phenomenon.” [Chad Peltier/Eleven Warriors]

Finally, I really enjoyed this article about The Batting Stance Guy. I definitely did that in my backyard growing up. [Will Leitch/Sports on Earth]