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While We’re Waiting… Promising players entering their prime?

While We’re Waiting is the daily morning link roundup that WFNY has been serving up for breakfast for the last several years. We hope you enjoy the following recent collection of yummy and nutritious Cleveland sports-related articles. Anything else to add? Email us at tips@waitingfornextyear.com.

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“Carrick Felix knows exactly who he is. On the floor, the Cleveland Cavaliers rookie is a stopper who can guard multiple positions, score in transition and hit open jumpers. He wants to be like Jimmy Butler and Iman Shumpert. Away from the floor, he brings people together. He has a Master’s degree from Arizona State University, he cuts hair and he watches skateboarding. He’s the sort of guy who immediately puts those around him at ease.” [Herbert/SB Nation]

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“Could we be seeing big things from Leon McFadden in 2013? Without Skrine and Owens having not received favorable reviews for their past efforts as starting cornerbacks, the competition is certainly open enough for a third-round rookie to slip in and start on opening day.

What is a little bit ironic is that after Browns fans had been hoping for the Browns to sign and start Brent Grimes, NFL.com’s pre-draft scouting report on McFadden compared him to one NFL player: it was Grimes.

McFadden won’t be at any more of a size disadvantage than his competition; in fact, he has a little more size (in terms of bulk) than both Skrine and Owens. McFadden was praised in scouting reports for his “strength, quickness, attitude, and ball skills.” We’ll see how well his transition to the NFL goes and if he picks up Ray Horton’s defense well enough to leap up the depth chart.” [Pokorny/Dawgs by Nature]

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“There are a number of reasons why implementing the Pistol would be a great idea for the Browns, but before I get to the reasons, I want to debunk the myth that it takes an athletic quarterback to make good use of this particular offensive set. The only reason why many believe that it takes an athletic quarterback to execute effectively from the Pistol is because the teams that have used it the most in the NFL up to this point were teams with exceptional athletes at the quarterback position that also relied on the read option (namely the San Francisco 49ers and Washington Redskins). The fact is the Pistol offense is like any other offense in that having a great athlete at quarterback is always an added bonus. Simply because the 49ers and Redskins decided to combine the Pistol with the read option does not mean every other team that relies on the Pistol must also rely on the read option. Plenty of teams have utilized the read option out of shotgun formations. Does this mean that every team that lines up in a shotgun formation must have an athletic quarterback that can run the read option? Absolutely not. There have been plenty of teams at the college level that have utilized the Pistol without a great athlete at the quarterback position and I expect teams around the NFL to take the same approach as offensive coordinators continue to think outside the box.” [Leister/Draft Browns]

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“Francona said Kipnis can put a backspin on a ball hit to the opposite field with the best of them. The Indians manager mentioned Adrian Gonzalez and Manny Ramirez, both of whom he managed in his days with the Red Sox, as two other hitters with the same skill. “That’s part of his swing. If anything, he’ll probably get better,” Francona said. “I can’t even backspin a golf ball.” [Bastian/MLB.com]

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Um… creepy. “Yes, that’s free agent guard Nate Robinson autographing a baby at the NBA’s Las Vegas Summer League on Thursday evening. The diminutive guard that always seems to pack a smile into the most distressing of circumstances even seemed less than bemused, perhaps concerned, by what was presented before him. To the baby’s credit, there were no obvious tears. How you react to this is entirely up to you.” [Dwyer/Ball Don’t Lie]

  • mgbode

    Kipnis leads team in:
    BA
    OBP
    SLG
    OPS
    HR
    3B
    2B
    SB
    Runs
    RBI

    And, I could continue. Kipnis has been flat-out amazing and would be in
    the MVP discussion if he were on a big market team (note: not the leader, just in the discussion). If he continues and we make a postseason push, then he’ll make his way into the discussion anyway.

  • Harv 21

    I’ve prepared a draft if his acceptance speech for Team MVP. It starts: “I’d like to thank my good friend and teammate, Mark “Deep Freeze” Reynolds, whose hot start freaked me out before he went sprawling like Mary Decker Slaney in ’84 …”

  • mgbode

    CB2: I think that Owens wins the job in training camp w/ Skrine as the main nickel guy, but that Owens is just keeping the seat warm until McFadden learns the defense. Horton throws the whole defense at his players at once, so it’s going to be a tough ramp for Leon and he’ll have his general rookie mistakes as well.

  • mgbode

    by the time that Kipnis is making that speech, Reynolds will be on his customary late-season streak, so you’ll need to prepare one more comparison angle.

  • Harv 21

    ” … even as I was inspired by his Eddie the Eagle never-say-die late season tenaciousness.”

  • MrCleaveland

    Harv drivin’ the Wayback Machine. As Rome would say, “Dan O’Brien doesn’t want any of that?”

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Kipnis barely was shown any All-Star love so I can’t imagine anything remotely close to an MVP mention.

  • Harv 21

    yeah, sorry, once I hit Slaney had trouble controlling the skid. Turned wheel left, then right but nuthin’ was working

  • MrCleaveland

    Apology not necessary. I like it. So does the Soviet hockey team.

  • Garry_Owen

    And just like that, he’s in the discussion. (The only discussion that matters, anyway.)