April 24, 2014

While We’re Waiting… Scott Baker anyone?

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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“The Indians are emerging as favorites to sign starting pitcher Scott Baker, with the Seattle Mariners also viewed as a possible destination for the 32-year-old righty, and a few other teams said to have expressed some interest as well. Baker is said to be likely to land a minor league deal and spring training invite, according to Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish.

Baker was a solid pitcher for the Twins from 2007-2010, averaging 172 innings a season over that time, with an ERA+ of 102, and 7.3 strikeouts and 2.1 walks per 9 innings. In 2011 Baker was having the best season of his career (129 ERA+, 8.2 K/9, 2.1 BB/9) before elbow problems led him to miss most of the season’s second half, ultimately requiring Tommy John surgery, which put him out for all of 2012 and most of 2013.” [Lukehart/Let's Go Tribe] [Read more...]

While We’re Waiting… Ultimate baseball road trip and Lindor in ’14?

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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“Every baseball fan I know has a dream road trip. If it weren’t for that blasted job, the doggoned mortgage, the inconvenient family getting in the way, we’d hop in the car and just go, man. Some years it’s just a swing up the Eastern Seaboard to grab four or five parks or so; some years it’s a jaunt west for all Southern California stadiums; some years it’s a trudge through the upper Midwest. But we all want to do it. If real life didn’t keep getting in the way, we all would.

One trip in particular always entices me, right around this time of year. I’ve always wanted to spend the first month of the season, right when baseball is beginning, and hit all 30 stadiums in 30 days. Just a different one each day, knocking them all off, and then returning to the benign normalcy of daily life like nothing happened. I’ve wondered whether it could be done; I’ve wondered if I could get anyone to go with me; I’ve wondered (mostly) how much it would cost.” [Leitch/Sports on Earth] [Read more...]

While We’re Waiting… Browns smart to wait for coach

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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Well, this is moderately encouraging: “I don’t even care if it’s an intentional display of patience on their part, or in reality a byproduct of not being able to give the job away, I’m still convinced the sometimes clueless Cleveland Browns are taking the right approach when it comes to conducting their latest head coaching search. By taking their time. Yep, I just typed the words ‘right approach’ and ‘Browns coaching search’ in the same sentence. It stunned me, too.” [Don Banks/Sports Illustrated] [Read more...]

While We’re Waiting… Tribe offseason could be interesting yet

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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What might an extension for Kipnis look like? “My best guess on an extension: 5 years, $37 million, with a $13M team option for 2019. That would keep Kipnis under team control through his age-32 season, at which point he’d be entering the phase of his career in which he’s likely to decline sharply.

The Indians can instead go year-to-year with Kipnis, paying him ~$500,000 in 2014, and (if he continues to play the way he did in 2013) something like $8 million in 2015, $11 million in 2016, and $14 in 2017, at which point he’d likely leave fr another team. That would work out to $33.5 million for the next 4 years, so the extension I’m proposing means the team risks Kipnis suffering a major injury or serious decline, in exchange for keeping him under team control for an additional two years for very little additional money ($3.5 million for the 5th year, $13 million for the 6th).” [Lukehart/Let's Go Tribe] [Read more...]

While We’re Waiting… The battle for Columbus

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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The easiest way for the Browns to take Columbus? Win. “Not long after team president Alec Scheiner joined the Browns in December 2012, one of his first trips was here. He spent two days introducing himself to businessmen, engaging with fans and meeting with members of the Greater Columbus Sports Commission.

“We are definitely very split when it comes to the NFL fan base whether it’s the Browns, Steelers or Bengals,” sports commission executive director Linda Shetina Logan said. “But by far the Browns have been the most aggressive in this market as far as trying to tap into the Columbus corporate community, our fan base and trying to find opportunities to work together.”

The city that helped give rise to Paul Brown at OSU boasts 809,798 residents – double that of Cleveland – and the state’s most robust economy. It’s little wonder why the Browns want to strengthen ties.” [Reed/Cleveland.com] [Read more...]

Bringing my ‘A’ game

board gamesAs a kid who loved playing sports, the winter months were pretty brutal. Our youth basketball season was only about 8 weeks long. There was way too much free time in the January through May months. One of the things that filled the time for me were board games.

That love of games has stayed with me into adulthood.

I know that for many the idea of ‘bored games’ is enough to send you racing for a nap or maybe your smartphone. I understand, but stay with me a little longer. For those who may still think of board games as Monopoly, Scattergories and Trivial Pursuit as your only or best options may be surprised.

About ten years ago my wife and I were invited to a friend’s home because they had gotten a new game that we ‘just had to try’. That night we were introduced to Settlers of Catan and the genre of Euro-games. There was a board game revolution happening that we were unaware of. [Read more...]

While We’re Waiting… Stagnant offense

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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“If the Indians are looking for something a bit cheaper, maybe Matt Garza fills the bill. Signing him won’t cost the Indians a draft pick, and though roughly a league average starter, he’s an upgrade over three and arguably four of the Indians current starters. Beyond Garza, Johan Santana is a free agent who was still an effective starter while dealing with injury issues with the Mets. He’ll command much less than the deals Tanaka, Jimenez, and Santana are asking for. Jason Hammel, late of the Orioles, might be another buy-low candidate. When healthy, he’s pitched quite effectively for Baltimore in recent seasons. The trick is, like with Santana, keeping him healthy. Adding Hammel and Santana could net the Indians 300 above average innings. Or it could give them 120 below average ones. But then that’s why they cost less, right?” [Kory/Sports On Earth] [Read more...]

While We’re Waiting… Charting top QB draft prospects

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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Phenomenal research here on the top QBs in the 2014 NFL draft class: “Most notable for Bridgewater is the lack of screens incorporated in the offense. Some have said that Bridgewater throws a high quantity of short passes, however the screens a QB normally utilizes have become short throws so that Bridgewater throws 53% of his passes in the 1-10 yard zones.” [Greg Peshek/Roto World]

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So, about all of these changes at WFNY…

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We’ve received your emails, read your comments and scanned your tweets. Things around these parts look a bit different lately and change can be a scary thing. As we have over the past five years, we here at WFNY strive to not only bring you as much quality content we can on a day-to-day basis, but do so in a manner which not only keeps in line with the ever-changing web-based landscape, but ensures that you, dear reader, are provided with the best in-game experience possible. While we can’t do much in the way of dollar drafts and new scoreboards, we can ensure you that our pages will never be covered in snow when you log in every morning.

So why the changes? What’s different? Who are you guys and what’d you do with my WFNY? Let’s start at the top, shall we?

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While We’re Waiting… Trade you a Roger Dorn for a Pedro Cerrano

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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“Potential, poschmential. As they used to say before the draft became an offseason obsession, potential gets coaches fired.

Talent wins. The Browns should use logic for a change instead of reams of analysis and overthinking. Watkins is a good player. Pairing him with Josh Gordon and adding Jordan Cameron makes any offense strong. Take a quarterback later. Nick Foles was not a top pick. Colin Kaepernick went in the second round. Russell Wilson was a third-round choice. Guy named Brady was drafted later.” [McManamon/AFC North Blog] [Read more...]

While We’re Waiting… Is trading for Deng a Hail Mary move?

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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“With the youth and inexperience of this Cavs team, it’s going to be difficult to find the quarterback of the defense overnight. Varejao is perhaps the most likely short-term candidate to take the role, but even he plays a different position than he did during Mike Brown’s previous stint in Cleveland. Long-term, you hope Tristan Thompson can grow into that role. Thompson may never develop into the shot-blocking power forward he looked like he could be at Texas, but quarterbacking a defense and communicating different schemes to his teammates could be more valuable. It won’t happen overnight; Vogel stressed continuity.

Over the summer, Mike Brown made it seem as though he felt that, with his coaching, defensive ability and talent simply wasn’t that important. He pointed to strong defenses from his first stint in Cleveland that included Damon Jones and Donyell Marshall. Vogel’s comments above seem to directly reject this notion. Luol Deng might be just what the Cavs need.” [Zavac/Fear the Sword] [Read more...]

While We’re Waiting… Deng it!

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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“How does Deng fit on the Cavaliers? Mainly, the upgrade that he represents on the wing both offensively and defensively is tremendous. The small forward position has been the bane of the Cavaliers’ existence since LeBron James left. Earl Clark and Alonzo Gee are combining to average 9.6 points on 38% with 5.8 rebounds and 1 assist per game in 36.6 minutes this season. I’d probably argue that no team was getting worse production out of that position in the entire NBA.” [Vecenie/Fear the Sword] [Read more...]

While We’re Waiting… Searching for an identity?

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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“Following an 82-78 home loss to the Indiana Pacers on Sunday, the Cavs are 11-23. That’s three more wins than at this point last season. That’s probably not what the Cavs were shooting for.

Worse, the Cavs aren’t really playing like a team with a clear identity. Now, in fairness, they’ve been without star point guard Kyrie Irving (bruised knee) for three straight games. They were also without Irving’s replacement in the starting lineup, Jarrett Jack (back spasms), on Sunday.” [Amico/FSO] [Read more...]

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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While We’re Waiting… Top Buckeye moments of 2013, drinking your favorite Cavaliers, and ranking the NFL head coaching vacancies

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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Leading off 2014, let’s take a look back at the best the Buckeyes had to offer in 2013 with help from Jason Priestas and the guys at Eleven Warriors, including their top moment, “Ohio State is one of the top-five winningest programs in the history of college football – a veritable blue blood program if there ever was one – and this man matches into town and shatters a 44-year-old record like it was no big deal. The game that secured the mark, Urban’s 23rd win in a row, came against Indiana, in a 42-14 romp on Ohio State’s senior day. He would, of course, add a little room between the new mark and the old mark, by securing No. 24 in dramatic fashion in Ann Arbor when Tyvis Powell intercepted a Devin Gardner pass on a final, desperate two-point conversion from the Wolverines. Sadly, the streak would die against Michigan State in the Big Ten Championship Game the following week, but it was a hell of a ride, every step of the way. Stop for a second to appreciate it. If you think you’ll see another streak like this one, you’re likely wrong (we’d love to be wrong).” [Eleven Warriors]

The Cavaliers’ heart-breaking losses in the past week have probably driven some people to the bottle a little more than usual. Over at Cavs: The Blog, they pair each player up with a beer or two that resemble their qualities, including Alonzo Gee, “You’re a “hard nosed defender” (ha) with a half-decent three pointer.  But it’s time to up your defense game so I can remove those quotes.  Chances are this is the best Alonzo will ever be, but it couldn’t hurt for Alonzo to down a few barley wines – big, strong beers that typically have some dark fruit, licorice, and booze notes.  Great fits would be Anchor’s Old Foghorn and Old Ruffian from Colorado’s Great Divide.  Whatever the choice, the bigger and stronger the better.” [Cavs: The Blog] [Read more...]

While We’re Waiting… for a New Year with a winning 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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“Fans have been screaming that the product on the field has been unacceptable and the team has now made a bold move that echoes these sentiments. The front office believes that if they can find the right coach, and more importantly the right QB, and then surround that QB with even more talent via the surplus of draft picks and cap space, that this team and roster should really only be one year away from being competitive and turning this franchise around. But should we be hopeful they can make the right decisions and make this happen?

We all know Mike Lombardi is gearing up for the draft and probably has some input on who the new coach should be since both will be a piece of the equation when it comes to bringing on new players and draft picks. That, folks, is scary. All along I was offered assurance that with Banner, Chud, Lombardi, Farmer and Haslam that the consensus would help shield the Browns from Lombardi’s history of draft failure, but bringing in a coach who could very well align with Mikey, this to me is very scary.” [Krupka/Dawgs by Nature] [Read more...]

While We’re Waiting… The fired coach edition

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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“If the Browns relieve coach Rob Chudzinski of his duties Monday, as ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported Sunday evening, it will illustrate the height of their arrogance, the cartoonish level of their dysfunction. They actually believe there’s a future NFL coaching star out there who wants to work with an owner under federal investigation and a CEO and general manager who have yet to prove they know anything about talent evaluation.

It will show owner Jimmy Haslam learned nothing from his days as minority owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers, who pride themselves on continuity. The Browns can’t find a quarterback, so they use their coach as a scapegoat instead.

If Paul Brown were alive, he would want his name removed from the team he founded.” [Ridenour/Ohio.com] [Read more...]

While We’re Waiting… Life without Andrew Bynum

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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Where is the hope for the Cavs? “I have a somewhat similar feeling of optimism about the entire franchise right now. Again, it feels out of place. It is possible it is because I am dumb. Hopefully not. The Andrew Bynum era may be done in Cleveland. If so, at least it went according to Plan B. The team saw what they had, decided it wasn’t going to work by January 7th, parted ways, and only sunk $6 million into the project.” [Kevin Hetrick/Cavs: The Blog]

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While We’re Waiting… Kirk Cousins rumors heating up

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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Passing on the latest backup QB fad of Kirk Cousins: “The success of those guys, or lack thereof, doesn’t doom Cousins to a similar fate. What it does offer is a look at relative value. The Cleveland Browns shouldn’t take the same level of risk on Kirk Cousins. The going rate for him will probably be as high as we think it is, in which case Joe Banner should hang up the phone. Still, some consider Cleveland to be the leading contender for Cousins’ new home.” [Jon Stinchcomb/Dawgs By Nature] [Read more...]

While We’re Waiting… Cavaliers Christmas wishes

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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Letters to Santa from each of the Cavaliers: “Anthony Bennett: What do you get the man who often seems unable to get out of his own head? How about a tale of a young, awkward, southern man who discovers his precocious talents, and learns to visualize and attack, in order to come one of the greatest players his sport has ever seen. Santa, please bring Mr. Bennett a copy of Frank Coraci’s 1998 masterpiece, The Waterboy.” [Nate Smith/Cavs: The Blog] [Read more...]