April 21, 2014

While We’re Waiting… The debate rages- Ohio State, Florida State and a one loss SEC team

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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“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]

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“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]

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“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]

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“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]

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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]

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Video: Peter King talks to Josh Gordon. [MMQB]

  • mgbode

    NJ will love this stat: Hanson’s career ERA+ is 104 compared to Masterson’s 105. Yes, obviously that doesn’t say much as Hanson has fallen off the last 2 years while Masterson has done well 2 of the last 3.

    I do like Hanson as a cheap reclamation project though. I’m not as big on Hudson because I don’t think he’d sign for 2015 on a team-option (we’d need the option of cutting bait if he doesn’t recover).

    Oh, and I really like Webb. I think having a worm-burner guy in the pen is a good thing to come into some dicey situations (trying to get a DP).

  • Garry_Owen

    That Feinstein piece was pure garbage, and I’m one that views Urban Meyer with significant skepticism (though perhaps through my somewhat scarlet-lensed glasses). Is he really using Marcus Hall’s actions as evidence that Meyer is a smarmy scheister? Really? The guy that suspended a potential Heisman Trophy candidate and a probable 1st round draft pick after NOT being charged with, you know, real crimes? That guy? Whatever Urban Meyer’s faults might be – and he has many, and many of these pre-existed OSU and were cited by Feinstein – what happened last Saturday in Ann Arbor (and thereafter) is not one of them.

    Look, had Hall done that stupidity in any other stadium in front of any other fanbase, I think it would be different – and I would certainly be embarassed. I don’t think of myself as a moral relativist, but this was The Game. That whole fight, the suspensions, the taunting by UM fans, and Hall’s double-guns gesture just seemed absolutely, wonderfully, appropriate. I loved all of it. It added fresh new layers to this rivalry – and I would have loved it if the deal was reversed, and it was a skunk badger player in the Shoe doing the same thing. I get that folks outside of Ohio and that state up north don’t get it, but I do; and I think Meyer does, too.

    Go pound sand, Feinstein. When you have some real evidence of Meyer’s smarmy scheisterism, I’ll listen. But not this. Not now. But whatever. Enjoy those page hits.

  • mgbode

    I was embarrassed by the fight and the aftermath. But, not because of the actions themselves. Rather it was because important members of the Buckeyes let a backup LBer bait them into it and the team was so hyped up that emotions hurt our execution on the field.

    I truly hope it was a good teaching moment Urban can use moving forward.

  • Garry_Owen

    Agree with this, for sure. In hindsight, though, Hall’s backup performed wonderfully. Also, it’s hard for me to blame Wilson. What happened to him was pretty close to criminal battery. I probably would have swung, too.

  • Steve

    168 scholarship players plus however many walk on’s were not so caught up in the pageantry that they forgot that you can’t throw a punch on the field. You’re a representative of the university and all the cameras are on you at the moment, you’re held to a higher standard. I completely get that kids make mistakes, but you have to set the precedent that the individual is not bigger than the program, and you aren’t going to be the program that flips the double-guns on national TV.

  • Steve

    I’m not sure why everyone is giving a free pass to Auburn this weekend. Missouri has a damn good defense, and I think has a great chance to knock them off, and they’ll have the 12-1 record that Auburn would. Every week we seem to have some people bemoaning that if the season ended that day, that it would be completely unfair to someone or another. That’s why we play all 12 or 13 games first. Last week and this, we’ll have some games that will be just as good as any playoff game.

  • Steve

    I’m not sure why everyone is giving a free pass to Auburn this weekend. Missouri has a damn good defense, and I think has a great chance to knock them off, and they’ll have the 12-1 record that Auburn would. Every week we seem to have some people bemoaning that if the season ended that day, that it would be completely unfair to someone or another. That’s why we play all 12 or 13 games first. Last week and this, we’ll have some games that will be just as good as any playoff game.

  • mgbode

    Mizzou is the least talked about team that still has a chance to go to the national champ game in the last week of the season in recent memory.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Embarrassed c’mon man!

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Can’t wait for all of the college football whining to end. Ohio State should just be thinking about Michigan State because the Spartans will give them more then enough to deal with this Saturday.