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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Auburn vs. Ohio State? I get Auburn vs. Ohio State. It’s a tough call for the second spot in the BCS title game, given that Ohio State is undefeated in a weak BCS league while Auburn has one loss in a tougher league — and has the most impressive win of the season, by anyone, with that upset of Alabama.
What I don’t get is the free pass given to Florida State. Why are the Seminoles just blithely assumed to be deserving of that first spot in the BCS title game?” [Doyel/CBS Sports]
“It isn’t just that Meyer is about winning and winning only. That doesn’t make him any different than 99 percent of the coaches who are paid millions of dollars to win at the big-time level in football and basketball.
What separates Meyer from most of his colleagues is his ability to sell the notion that he’s clean when there’s dirt and mud all over him. If you bring up all the Florida players who were arrested during his time in Gainesville, his defenders will howl at the unfairness of it all. Some charges were dropped, and some of the charges were relatively minor. That’s what the Meyer-backers claim constantly.” [Feinstein/Washington Post]
“Stats are only interesting if they tell us what we don’t already know. Did you know that scoring more points than your opponent correlates very strongly with wins? How interesting is that?!! I believe good stats tell us something interesting, usually in one of two categories:
1. They accurately represent an individual performance or an aspect of the game that has already occurred, or 2. They predict future performance.
I will refer to metrics that accomplish these tasks particularly well as “narrative” or “explanatory” stats and “predictive” stats. Passer rating is decent as an explanatory stat. It is far from perfect as I’ll discuss later, but in general passer rating goes up as the passer’s performance improves and vice versa. Passer rating is not so good at predicting future performance. No individual metric is, and the game would be a whole lot less fun if we could predict the future, so I’m glad.” [Rufio/Dawgs by Nature]
“Monday night was the non-tender deadline for MLB, when teams had to decide whether to make offers to their arbitration-eligible players, or cut them loose (the Indians non-tendered Lou Marson, Matt Carson, and Tyler Cloyd, while keeping a group of players that includes key pieces such as Justin Masterson and Michael Brantley). Almost every team non-tendered some players, which means there are now dozens of new free agents on the market. Most of them are not particularly notable, but there are a few who stand a decent chance of making an impact with someone in 2014.
The Indians could use another starting pitcher, and probably another reliever too, but given that they’ve let the pitching market thin (I can’t recall a year when so many players signed before the Winter Meetings even began) without making a move, it seems more and more likely that the Tribe will be doing their shopping in the discount aisle, where players like those cut loose this week can be found.” [Lukehart/Let’s Go Tribe]
MLB trade value column. “45. Carlos Santana, C/1B/DH, Cleveland Indians (43): He’s one of the worst defensive catchers and one of the worst baserunners in baseball. Those two things don’t matter much when you hit like Santana does. Santana hit .268/.377/.455 in 2013, piling up 642 plate appearances. He got all of those at-bats thanks to a formula the Indians have been following for years: Give Santana enough starts behind the plate to make his offense shine compared to his weak-hitting peers at catcher, but DH him a bunch and give him a few starts at first base so he doesn’t have to take a bunch of days off like a typical catcher would, and so that his shaky defense doesn’t hurt the team too much. It’s a delicate balance, with the Indians slowly scaling back on Santana’s catching time; his 84 games played at the position in 2013 were his lowest total since 2010. The good news is that he has a strong enough bat to handle playing first or DH more frequently, he’s just 27 years old, and he’s a steal at three years, $18 million (or four years, $30 million, assuming the Indians pick up his option year).” [Keri/Grantland]