Why is the Indians defense so bad? Credit to my former Akron Aeros buddy Brendan Bittner for pointing this out to me: The Indians defense since 2010 is the worst in UZR … by a lot. The Indians rank 30th with a -192.1 mark in the past 4.5 seasons. Next-worst is Houston at -140.4.
Of course, that means not only have the Indians been really bad defensively this season (as FanGraphs’ Mike Petriello wrote back in late April), but they also weren’t very good in the previous few years either.
Below is an updated chart with the FanGraphs data to see how the Indians have progressed in the last month since Petriello’s article:
Not much difference. Still, the Indians are missing some ultimate gimmes and ranking last in several probability categories. Isn’t this really, really depressing? Maybe I’m just slightly more optimistic about the team’s front office … but doesn’t this seem like a gigantically glaring fault?
Let’s talk about Vegas. Do I really have to talk about this, guys? Like, really? I really don’t want to. I want to talk about this even less than Indians attendance … or Chief Wahoo … or the Sin Tax. Gosh, it’s been a less-than-exciting year in Cleveland sports.
Let’s just start here: “Your hot take on Johnny Manziel doesn’t have to be rational or logical as long as it’s negative.” That’s such a perfect line from SB Nation’s Matt Ufford. I wish I could laugh at his video even more if it just wasn’t so darn true.
Yes, the Browns have been very, very bad since 1999. Just look at the point differential compared to the rest of the AFC North, as CBS Sports’ Will Brinson shared. It’s horrendously bad.
Here’s what I’ve been telling people: At least the Browns will be exciting to watch in the years to come with Johnny Football around. For years, they’ve been bad AND boring. There’s nothing worse than both at the same time. With Johnny, everything is exciting.
I have no idea how much better the Browns might be by drafting Manziel and not, say, Teddy Bridgewater. I’d prefer if the Browns simply only won 6 games here in 2014. Yes, my expectations are incredibly low, that’s the life of a realist Browns fan. But I know that the Browns should be exciting. And damnit, I’ll be watching.
Is Joel Embiid the no-doubt best prospect? I’ve now seen two posts in the last week that very adamantly proclaimed Joel Embiid as the clear top prospect in this year’s NBA Draft class. The two articles were by Canis Hoops’ vjl110 and Dean Demakis.
If Embiid is leaps and bounds the top guy, then that changes my mindset of late. For now, I’ve been under the general impression of viewing him, Jabari Parker and Andrew Wiggins as fairly equal peers. Which leads me to think of all of the possible tiebreakers imaginable. And I kept going back to one in particular.
In my Cavs analytics article back in March, I highlighted an old quote from Ben Alamar, now the team’s senior analytics consultant. The quote was about favoring Russell Westbrook over Brook Lopez in the 2008 draft: “(Centers) are the scarce resource, right? That’s what they always say. But the truth is that’s not necessarily the case and even if they were the scarce resource, that doesn’t mean they have the biggest impact.”
Alamar has only been with the Cavs for the last year and a half. So his comments don’t necessarily reflect the Cavs’ non-center decisions in the 2011 or 2012 drafts. But using that mentality, I could understand not picking Embiid if he were in a tie with Parker and Wiggins.
But now? I’m not so certain if that would be a factor. At No. 1, you take the best player. If Embiid is so clearly ahead of the rest of his peers, then he’s the pick. Will the Cavs necessarily agree? I have no idea. But the data is starting to mount.
Misc Cleveland links: Indians Baseball Insider’s Jeff Ellis has his fifth MLB mock draft. The Sports Intern has a Q&A with Lauren Whitaker, the digital media coordinator for the Browns. And Romenesko picked up a testy interaction between Richmond Heights’ mayor and Cleveland.com reporter Sara Dorn, a former Flyer News colleague of mine at the University of Dayton.
Tweets of the week: As usual, just some tweets that caught my eye from the past seven days.
Now that I've discovered Tom Hamilton, I listen to every late-and-close @Indians game. He makes everything so exciting!!!!
— robneyer ⚾️🧗♂️🦉🗽 (@robneyer) May 23, 2014
— Ryan Pritt (@RyanPritt) May 24, 2014
No running on Brantley!
Credit @dano708 for the pic.
(Will RT it shortly if anyone elsewhere wants it blank) pic.twitter.com/6K20CHMQEo
— Monte the Color Man (@Monte_Colorman) May 24, 2014
"What would you do if a Cleveland team won a championship?" pic.twitter.com/RFlbOCsJ9c
— . (@CleSportsProbs_) May 26, 2014
First Take is currently debating Johnny Manziel in Las Vegas. I imagine this is what hell is like if hell were in HD.
— Richard Deitsch (@richarddeitsch) May 26, 2014
— Stephanie Warsmith (@SWarsmithABJ) May 27, 2014
If Pettine doesn't care that should end the greatest three-day argument in Cleveland since the last one.
— Zac Jackson (@AkronJackson) May 28, 2014