July 23, 2014

While We’re Waiting… Bud Shaw skewers Jimmy Haslam

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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Of delusion and dysfunction: “Even as he continues to claim ignorance of the rebate scam allegedly operating on his watch at Pilot Flying J, he hopes you understand he’s on the job and attending to the details required to turn the Browns into a winner. When he says he gets why we might be skeptical of yet another Browns’ regime making yet another coaching change, he doesn’t know the half of it. [...] Even though the last 365 days has brought two head coach firings, a 4-12 season and a cloud hanging overhead from here to Knoxville, Haslam still says people around the league talk about the Browns “in terms of the Packers and Steelers.” I think he means the tradition, minus the winning and the stability.” [Bud Shaw/Cleveland.com]

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Heady hurler Trevor Bauer is reportedly looking good in Arizona [Jordan Bastian/MLB.com]

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So, about that whole Bobby Rainy situation: “The Browns picked up Rainey after training camp, after the Ravens waived him. In a quirk of the present-day assessments, Rainey was tabbed the “best player cut,” a double-edged sword if ever there was one. [...] The Browns waived Rainey on Oct. 18, six days after they had signed wide receiver Charles Johnson off the Green Bay practice squad. To make room for Johnson, the team put Hoyer on injured reserve. Johnson, though, arrived with a torn knee ligament. Because Johnson was signed off a practice squad, the Browns had to leave his roster spot open for two weeks. At that time, they hadn’t added a third quarterback to replace Hoyer, and they needed to cut someone. The team decided to cut Rainey and keep Fozzy Whittaker. Clearly, that turned out to be a mistake, but it was a mistake forced by issues unrelated to Rainey.” [Pat McManamon/ESPN.com]

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Don’t look now, but the Indians are suddenly the best-run franchise in all of Cleveland [Wahoos on First]

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And finally, the double standards in Berea: “Banner said Chudzinski was fired because the team failed to improve in the short term. Yet when asked about his and Lombardi’s major roster transactions, Banner answered, “I think most of the moves, both the free-agent moves and draft moves, need to be judged over time. I’m very optimistic that over time, whether we are dealing with undrafted free agents, the players we claimed or the free agents we signed, that it will prove to have been a year in which we moved the needle forward in terms of the talent level on the team.” [Tony Grossi/ESPN Cleveland]

  • Harv 21

    I had little sympathy for Grossi the beat writer when he was canned, because the content of his writing was devoid of information or analysis that was being better provided by others, and his constant sneering tone sounded like a guy needing a career change after 30 years. His reporting was like an analogue guy not willing to break a sweat for the new speed or competition of the digital age.

    But I like this new Grossi as analyst, where he accumulates the reporting of others and has time to reflect as he breaks it all down. This piece hits all the crucial points.

    Also want to commend the reporters in the presser. No genuflecting, appropriate disbelief, no backing down from the bluster of the charismatic guy like they did with Holmgren. OK, so maybe the nonsensical spin provided demanded it, but most all of the questions anticipated the front office narrative. There as only one important question they missed: “If you are telling the fans that you provided Chud with players, before and during the season, good enough to finish stronger, why isn’t your GM here today to discuss your personnel moves? And in his absence, why won’t any of you speak to your fan base today about the specifics of your personnel moves?”

  • Vindictive_Pat

    I loved the questions from the media, but there was one that I really would have liked for them to ask. I would have loved it if they had asked Jimmy Haslem (and not Joe Banner) whether he thought that the Browns had really spent enough money to upgrade the roster while having the most cap space in the NFL.

  • Natedawg86

    I don’t think the release of Rainey was a huge mistake. The guy had a solid game or two, but nothing that really distinguishes him as a top 20-25 back in the league. We will be just fine next year with a drafted RB, and Dion Lewis.

  • Vindictive_Pat

    Also, Edwin Baker was surprisingly competent. Averaged 4 yards per carry and scored 2 of the Browns 3 rushing TDs on the season. Frankly, I’d be surprised if Baker isn’t still on the roster at the start of next season.

  • Wow

    Joe Banner having a double standard, no way!

  • Natedawg86

    Lot could change. I like what I see in Baker. Kid runs hard and hits the holes. McGahee had 2 scores as well. I guess everything depends on what the new coach is looking for. We have Baker, Lewis, and OB1, but I could see us getting a real FB instead of OB1.

  • Vindictive_Pat

    I would like a true FB or at least some sort of h-back to replace Obi. He’s an RB in my book and excelled in that role specifically (minus his fumbling problem). He didn’t seem terribly adept at either clearing a path for the RB or in pass-blocking. He wasn’t awful, just wasn’t any better than mediocre.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Way to go Bud Shaw. As far as the way Rainey was handled I guess that must have been Chudzinski’s fault too.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    I’ll be surprised if he is because it means they didn’t find anyone else better which means the same old Cleveland Browns.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    This is why so many people had such an issue over Chudzinski taking the fall. Clearly the problems went far beyond coaching. Personnel was severely lacking. I enjoyed Banner trying to defend the personnel moves that were made especially the free agent ones. I especially enjoyed when he didn’t want to critique specific players such as Krueger and Bess. He didn’t want to “offend” them.

  • Wow

    I also like Joe contradicting himself about building for the future and defending his awful draft and free agents.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Joe Banner would not have allowed that besides I’m sure they rehearsed enough before hand that Haslam wouldn’t have spoken the truth.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    It was a load of bunk everybody knew it I was just glad to see the toothless Cleveland sports media finally ask some reasonably tough questions.

  • Raab

    Just a reminder that Grossi has freer reign in his current job than he had at the PD. All of these reporters — and coumnists — and all of the broadcasters have bosses, and those bosses can and do make a huge difference in what employees can get away with writing and saying about the teams, coaches, players, and owners.