August 26, 2014

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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“Crushed” Kenny Lofton speaks out against steroids, Hall of Fame voting

With me being off the ballot, what I accomplished during the steroid era meant nothing. You look at the people who voted for the Hall of Fame. I think there might have been 600. They still voted for people who were cheating the game. It boggles my mind that the people you know cheated, who admitted they cheated, are still on the Hall of Fame ballot. That is sad. It’s really sad for baseball. [...] For me to go out and cheat it that way, that’s not respecting the game I love. I just feel the reason these guys cheated was because of the money. They didn’t care about the Hall of Fame. If you would have cared about the Hall of Fame, you wouldn’t have even thought about cheating. It was all about money.

– Former Cleveland Indians outfielder Kenny Lofton, 40, in a recent conversation with Paul Hoynes of The Cleveland Plain Dealer. Lofton, who despite hitting .299 with 2,428 hits and 1,528 runs while making the postseason 10 times, only received 3.2 percent of the vote in one of the  more controversial Hall of Fame seasons ever. He will no longer be eligible for the ballot without an exemption from the Hall of Fame’s veteran’s committee — an excruciatingly slow process to endure.

[Related: On the 2013 Indians starting rotation and narratives]

MLB News: Lofton, Alomar Jr, Mesa and Franco make 2013 HOF ballot

In what is another sign of the Indians’ heyday of the mid-90s being a distant memory, several members of the teams to make it to the 1995 and 1997 World Series have been named to the latest release of the MLB Hall of Fame ballot.

As notated by The Plain Dealer’s Paul Hoynes, long-time Indians Kenny Lofton, Sandy Alomar Jr., Julio Franco and Jose Mesa could potentially be enshrined in Cooperstown, joining Roberto Alomar and Eddie Murray as players from the same era. All first-timers, these four Tribe greats are joined by Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, Craig Biggio and Sammy Sosa among the ballot freshmen.

The left-handed Lofton finished his illustrious career having made six All-Star teams, earning the Gold Glove award four times and leading the league in stolen bases on five separate ocassions. Lofton wrapped up a 16-year career tallying 622 stolen bases and was, per Baseball-Reference, worth 65 wins.

Alomar, presently the bench coach for the Cleveland Indians, spent 11 years as a player with the Tribe, representing the team six times as an All-Star. He was Rookie of the Year in 1990 and garnered MVP consideration in 1997. In his 20 seasons at the big league level, Alomar recorded an OPS of .716 and was worth 11.5 wins.

The ageless Franco was arguably one of the best pure hitters to wear an Indians uniform, averaging .298 over the course of his 23-year career. Appearing in three All-Star games and winning the Silver Slugger award each of those three seasons, Franco obtained MVP consideration in 1988, 1991 (where he hit .341)  and 1994. Recording 2,589 hits despite several stints overseas, Franco was worth 39.7 wins.

Mesa, who may be the least popular member of this bunch, was in the league for 19 years, seven of which were with the Cleveland Indians. Saving 46 games in 1995, Mesa was second in Cy Young voting and fourth in MVP voting. He recorded 321 games over the course of his career.

The Hall of Fame Class of 2013 will be announced on Jan. 9, 2013

[Related: Face Transplants, Rebuilds, and the Case for Trading Asdrubal Cabrera]

Former Indians Alomar, Blyleven Enter MLB Hall of Fame

In baseball news from earlier in the week, former Cleveland Indians stars Roberto Alomar and Bert Blyleven earned enough votes for entry into the MLB Hall of Fame. Both earned the required votes for the hall despite very different track records of success over the years with the Baseball Writers Association of America.

Despite their  success with the Indians over the years, neither will be wearing the Cleveland cap in their hall of fame plaques. They both selected their championship teams with Alomar selecting the Toronto Blue Jays and Blyleven entering with the Minnesota Twins.

But for both players, Sheldon Ocker of the Akron Beacon Journal had stories to share in an article from Sunday’s paper about their legacy as stars for the good and the bad.

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While We’re Waiting…

While We’re Waiting aims to be the round-up of the recent WFNY-esque information for your morning viewing.  Have something you think we should see?  Send it to our tips email in the sidebar.

“I’m not passing judgment now — Rice is in the Hall of Fame, and I’m happy for him. I’m just saying that’s kind of interesting.  Well, wait, one other thought: To once again quote my friend Ken Rosenthal: He wrote that Rice deserves induction because he met “my first essential requirement for a Hall of Famer — 10-year dominance.” I appreciate that. I respect anyone who has thought through what the Hall of Fame means and then is consistent in that thinking.  However, if 10-year of dominance is the theme then I would like to point out …

Rocky Colavito (1957-1966): Led the American League in games (1,533), homers (337), RBIs (1020), extra base hits (603), times on base (2,355), runs produced (1,545), outfield assists, … 2nd in Doubles (252 — to Kaline), runs (862 — to Mantle), walks (824 — to Mantle). Total Hall of Fame votes: 2 in 1974; 1 in 1975.” [Joe Posnanski]

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