August 26, 2014

While We’re Waiting… Who is Edwin Baker?

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.

WFNYBanner www

Hey, here’s one good thing from the latest Browns loss: “A year after being a 7th round pick by the San Diego Chargers, former Michigan State running back Edwin Baker was reunited with his former head coach Norv Turner. The Browns released Caleb Hanie and signed the young back off of the Houston Texans practice squad; a place they have gone to earlier in this season. Baker seemed excited to be back with Turner and was looking forward to get an opportunity in Cleveland and back in this offense. In his first game of his career, Baker ran for 38 yards on 8 carries while catching 4 passes for 46 yards and his first NFL touchdown.” [Peter Smith/Dawg Pound Daily]

Would you be interested in Jay Cutler for the Browns? “And trust me, the Bears fan base is just about done with Jay Cutler. Personally, I find that hard to believe, because every time I watch him play (and I’ve seen him a couple times from the upper deck of Soldier Field,) I had been marveling over his arm strength, particularly when compared to the nonstop parade of dink-and-dunk Browns QBs, culminating most recently in Colt McCoy.” [Brian/Cleveland Sports Torture]

Yeah, overall, Sunday was still pretty miserable: “These are the kind of conditions the Browns must conquer if they want to dream of the playoffs some day. Bitter cold. A biting December wind knocking down passes. A frozen, slippery field. An opposing defense susceptible to the run. A slumping defense desperately needing time off the field in the fourth quarter.” [Tony Grossi/ESPN Cleveland]

Were you satisfied with Saturday’s close loss? “Last season, the Cavaliers were 24-58. A team with a record like that becomes accustomed to moral victories, because actual victories are so few and far between. And moral victories are just fine for a team that wins 24 games in a season. Moral victories are fine for a team without direction, other than the draft lottery. This year’s team is better than that, I think.” [Mike Mayer/Rebuilding Since 1964]

I wasn’t that angry, really, especially when you look at the scheduling disadvantage: “The Cavaliers were playing on the second night of a back to back, after beating the Orlando Magic Friday night. The Heat on the other hand had 3 nights off before the game last night, losing to the Indiana Pacers Tuesday night. The Cavs are the younger team but playing back to back games, both on the road, can be highly problematic for any team. The Heat, on the other hand, were able to rest after a grueling game against the Pacers.” [Jared Mueller/Factory of Sadness]

Great updates on the Omer Asik front, with a three-team deal being the most likely: “As much as speculation has centered around Thad Young, if the Rockets are to do a deal with Philadelphia and former Rockets assistant GM Sam Hinkie, it is more likely to be a three-team deal in which the player the Sixers trade goes elsewhere.” [Jonathan Feigen/Houston Chronicle]

Have you been dissatisfied with the Indians this winter so far? Does John Axford change anything for you, possibly? “Criticism of the Cleveland Indians’ lack of activity this offseason has not just come from fans of the ball club. It has also come from the national media, where some have gone so far as to call the Indians losers of the annual Winter Meetings while others have opined that the team’s lack of aggressiveness and free spending could end the upcoming season before it even begins due to other upgrades within both their division and league.” [Bob Toth/Did The Tribe Win Last Night?]

Things are going quite well indeed these days for the Buckeyes basketball squad: “Admittedly against a soft schedule, Thad Matta appears to be up to his old tricks. The scoring concerns have been addressed by committee with three guys averaging double figures and six scoring at least 8.5 points per night. Lenzelle Smith Jr. has stepped up to lead point seeking with 13.4 a night via 54% shooting including 49% from distance.” [Chris Lauderback/Eleven Warriors]

  • boomhauertjs

    I seem to recall that over the last couple of years, the Heat have had some of the more favorable scheduling as far as back-to-backs go. A lot of that has to do with all of their national TV appearances, but it doesn’t do anything to help the NBA’s reputation for coddling their marquee teams.

  • JNeids

    I’m too lazy to go look up the exact details of the event, but wasn’t that whole debacle last season when the Spurs sent some of their players home before a game with the Heat? The Spurs were about to play their 4th game in 5 nights while the Heat hadn’t played for like 5 days? I remember it being something like that, and regardless of it being the Heat, the NBA schedule always puzzles me when things like that happen.

  • mgbode

    it was last year, it was a nationally televised game and Stern lambasted the Spurs for it. he also avoided the questions later in the season when most of the top teams were resting their stars in certain games (including the Heat w/ Wade).

    it’s tough. the NBA wants the teams to play their guys and the schedules will never matchup perfectly (and the teams that get more Thursday games generally have a more broken up schedule). But, the teams need to not drive their players into the ground or they won’t be healthy for the playoffs (which the league also wants).

  • mgbode

    it was last year, it was a nationally televised game and Stern lambasted the Spurs for it. he also avoided the questions later in the season when most of the top teams were resting their stars in certain games (including the Heat w/ Wade).

    it’s tough. the NBA wants the teams to play their guys and the schedules will never matchup perfectly (and the teams that get more Thursday games generally have a more broken up schedule). But, the teams need to not drive their players into the ground or they won’t be healthy for the playoffs (which the league also wants).

  • mgbode

    Is it just me or do the Asik rumors confuse anyone else? Asik is upset that he is not the starting center and moreso his game w/ Dwight on the floor just does not make offensive sense (nor defensive sense against teams w/ stretch mobile PFs or run alot of transition basketball). So, why would having him swap Dwight for Bynum help his situation?

    Now, I would love to be the 3rd party in these discussions if we could net ourselves Spencer Hawes (or Evan Turner, though doubtful on him with how he is playing unless Philly thinks they are selling high on a RFA they won’t be able to re-sign).

    However, the part of the article that makes most sense:

    But according to an individual familiar with discussions so far, he has not been in talks with the Cavaliers

  • Ben Frambaugh

    I’m with you on being a third party. I saw this posted elsewhere:
    Philly: Asik, Houston: Varejao, Cleveland: Thad Young
    We’d likely be expected to move at least one first round pick…but Thad Young could be our starting 3 (and play small ball 4) for us.

    Varejao would be the energy/big off the bench that Houston apparently wants Asik to be. Asik becomes a starting center in Philly and allows them to continue the TankStrong campaign they are on right now.

  • Ben Frambaugh

    Stern (and I believe some members of the Heat front office) blasted the Spurs for doing it…but when the Heat pulled that act later in the season (against the Spurs), there wans’t near as much attention paid to it.