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While We’re Waiting… and waiting and waiting.

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“While We’re Waiting” serves as the early morning gathering of WFNY-esque information for your viewing pleasure. Have something you think we should see? Send it to our tips email at tips@waitingfornextyear.com.

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“Things are decidedly rosier after his second season in the NBA. Tristan Thompson was the (only?) pleasant surprise of the Cavalier’s terrible season. But, especially early on, it wasn’t all that apparent to Cavaliers fans. He still looked uncoordinated, he wasn’t getting shots to fall, he wasn’t getting shots off (he was getting blocked at a historic rate), and he was letting his offensive struggles affect his defensive focus, which is where most of his value was coming from. Still, as I wrote in late November, it wasn’t as bad as the Cavalier fan base and NBA world at large believed: he was already showing he could defend good offensive power forwards like Thaddeus Young, and his passing ability went from being a thing that existed only in theory to something that helped the starting unit, with Anderson Varejao and Kyrie Irving, play pretty effective offensive basketball. His usage rate decreased, largely because he was no longer a black hole; once he got the ball, he was able to keep it moving.” [Zavac/Fear the Sword]

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“The 2013 Indians team has been streaky throughout the season. When the offense was clicking, the rotation was struggling. When the rotation was solid, the bullpen was struggling. When the bullpen was going strong, they could not get to the mound in a meaningful opportunity with a close game to preserve because the offense and starting pitching would not let it be so. Too few times has the entire machine been functioning on all cylinders.

The Indians just are not playing good baseball right now. There is no real denying of that. But is this a June swoon to be likened to the midseason collapses of the last several years, or just a temporary stretch of bad baseball made worse by a series of slumps, injuries, and unfortunate scheduling?” [Toth/DTTWLN]

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Stay classy Miggy. [SBNation]

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“Tom Heckert drafted Little 59th overall in the 2011 with one of the Julio Jones picks. We don’t know but I will offer that Heckert looked at the premium to be paid for high-profile Jones out of Alabama and the discount available on the one-year-at-WR, suspended-for-2010 Little and saw value. We don’t know but I will offer that Greg Little in the second round made the Jones trade much easier for Berea. The combine numbers back it up…” [Kanick]

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“Lindor is going to be the starting shortstop for the Carolina League All-Star team and is joined in the starting lineup by first baseman Jerrud Sabourin and outfielder Tyler Naquin, with pitcher Cody Anderson also on the team. The Carolina League plays sends its All-Star team to face the All-Stars from the California League, its West Coast High-A sister league. This year the game will be played in San Jose, California, on June 18th. Lindor is the marquee player in the game, on either side. The other three players are all a little too old to be considered a prospect who ‘matters,’ but they’re playing well and any of them could become contributors in another couple years.” [Lukehart/Let’s Go Tribe]

  • BenRM

    I am also inclined to think good things about Little.

    But I find it interesting how opinions on Heckert have shifted (should shift?). I can’t tell you how many times after the sale I heard that Haslam should keep Heckert because he is a “great!!!!” general manager.

    A year, a few suspensions, some injuries, and no playoffs later, I wonder how “great!!!!” he still appears? I know it’s early, but when you look at the selections of Richardson, Weeden, Little, and Gordon, and the non-selection of Julio Jones, I’m not entirely impressed at the moment.

    Again, it’s far to early to say anything with certainty, but it’s just a fun “food for thought” type of comment.

  • mgbode

    Heckert had some issues but he did build a nice base of young players. He never provided the impact player(at least yet), gambled on off-field and health issues, and seemed to miss on mid-round picks as much as later ones.

    I can see the argument on keeping him or getting rid of him for a new regime pretty easily. Banner, having worked with him, likely new right away that he wanted him replaced though, so let’s be thankful he just did it rather than give him a 1yr tryout like Holmgren did with Mangini.

  • >>>interesting how opinions on Heckert have shifted>>>

    raises hand.

    i absolutely bludgeoned heckert on john hughes (i was wrong) and was almost as vocal about the reach for weeden. i thought at the time (and said) he lost at poker trading up for taylor and richardson. the hardesty move? of course i killed it. hell, the pick he gave away for sean lauvao in the 3rd round is now starting strong safety for the vikes. (mistral raymond) (*cough* 6’1″ *cough*).

    but i’ll say this for him: when he had a guy he liked he got him. ultimately, you need brass balls like that and it’s worthy of some respect.

    btw on the overall jujones five for one deal: from here, the deal was good. whether or not the picks pan out seems a separate question.

  • mgbode

    FTS hits on some nice things about Tristan, but I remember him struggling mightily anytime he was asked to guard a center and the numbers at 82game.com back that up. That doesn’t take away much as he’s not really built to defend those guys, but it seemed to be a major point of the article and it’s just wrong (it could change in the future).

    that said, the most pleasant surprises for Cleveland sport teams last year IMO:
    Greg Little (post bye week)
    Tristan Thompson (post Andy injury)
    Jason Kipnis (assuming we forget Aug/Sep ever happened for the whole team)

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Tiago got Splittered by the King!

  • Ben Frambaugh

    You can place me on the keep Heckert Bandwagon. I thought he did a pretty damn good job of building this roster. I won’t beat the man up over a few mistakes here and there…I think he did a good job overall. Nobody is perfect, but as long as you don’t make too many “misses,” you should always have a job.

  • Ben Frambaugh

    Having read that article (for a second time) the only thing that he directly says (twice) is that he is strong enough to bang with centers. Otherwise, almost everything else seems (to me) to be more geared to how he compares with other Power Forwards. I think that Zavac could have probably written that a bit more clearly though. Maybe I’m just reading it differently because I have been so active over at FTS for so long.
    I do agree that Greg Little was a bit of a revelation. TT (post Andy injury) was a very pleasant surprise and I will have to trust you on Kipnis. I only watch basketball and football, LOL. If I (or my kids) are not playing Soccer/Softball/Bowling/Poker/Chess/Volleyball or anything else, I’m not watching it.

  • mgbode

    the part that got me with it was that it was a direct fire at Zeller, but Tyler actually was better at defending 5’s than Tristan was last year (and he should be as he’s a center-only). No, Zeller wasn’t good at defense.

    I will readily admit that I’m much more prone to jump on such things the past couple years as NBA analysts have tried to start claiming some of these defensive PFs are actually good at guarding centers. Larry Sanders, Anthony Davis, etc. are PFs who are active and are forced to play at the 5 at times. They are not big,strong enough to handle that spot (at least yet) and the numbers reflect it.

    And, I’m the same way with kids and sports though I am finding much less time to watch the Tribe this season as my sons’ baseball teams take up more of my time. Definitely not complaining though as those games are always more fun to watch.

  • Ben Frambaugh

    Yeah, I get that about Zeller/TT. Neither one was very good at defending Zeller. The eyeball test showed Zeller was just too weak to play Center (and I think that hurt his confidence as the season wore on.) An offseason of NBA workouts should do wonders for him physically which will (I Hope) help him mentally.
    TT is strictly an athletic (slightly undersized) PF. As for Sanders/Davis – I think it takes most young centers several seasons to really develop the muscle to truly handle the beating they take for 82 games at the center spot. To me, 24 and under is a tough spot for them (unless they are absolute physical freaks) because it just takes time for a man’s body to continue to mature…and the taller you are, the harder it likely is.