Originally posted on Waiting For Next Year  |  Last updated 3/15/13
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. “I’m not one to think that stolen bases are all that important in the grand scheme of things, but they can certainly be both a game changer and a mental advantage as the year progresses. The Indians will possess three guys that can steal a base at any time, and two more guys that can steal a base when they need to. That’s more than half the lineup. When you add four other guys that can hammer the ball out of the park (as well as three of the five guys that steal bases), and you begin to see the team really start to take shape. This team will be able to beat you down with power, and wear you down with speed, at least on paper. It will be interesting to see how the speed plays out this season offensively, because there are some legitimate bats now that can put the ball in play. You never want to run yourself out of a game, but the Indians could quite literally “steal” baseball games this season utilizing a small ball strategy. I’m not a proponent of it as a team mentality, but I definitely could buy into it as an in-game move.” [Pete/Indians Baseball Insider] —- Very interesting- “The first few days of the league year provide fans across the country with an opportunity to ring in the new year with a dash of optimism. But how often does adding a veteran or two via trade or free agency land a team in the Super Bowl? The table below lists every notable veteran acquisition1 by the 40 teams to make the Super Bowl since 1993, the start of the Free Agency era in the NFL. The “W/L” column shows whether the team won or lost in the Super Bowl, while the AV column shows how much Approximate Value the player provided in his first season with the new team.” [Stewart/Football Perspective] —- A future Cavalier? “They call him Otto-matic. It’s a cheap pun, but the moniker suits Otto Porter beyond simple wordplay, so pre-programmed is the sophomore forward to fulfill his duties. He is at once a player of modern vintage — a 6-foot-8 wing with position-bending versatility, a 44.0 percent three-point shooter comfortable running a fast break — and catnip for extollers of the old school, a label Porter’s dependable, exceedingly no-frills excellence inspires with such frequency that it borders on trite. “He goes to the glass, makes the extra pass,” says LSU assistant Robert Kirby, who recruited and then coached Porter while at Georgetown from 2010 to ’12. “He moves. He sees the play developing. He thinks two passes ahead.” And if he is ideally mechanized on the court, he is a p.r. handler’s paragon with the press, a naturally benign, shrugging-and-smiling deflector of praise that longtime Hoyas sports communications director Bill Shapland likens to a lion that doesn’t roar. The amplifying chorus of praise that accompanied the Hoyas’ recent 11-game winning streak, which inspired national player of the year endorsement from no less than Jim Boeheim and prompted John Thompson III’s mother to stroll through campus in a T-shirt bearing Porter’s nickname? “It’s cool, I guess.” The media requests that have recently hounded the reserved star and nearly exhausted his parents? “It’s not really too much.” What about, say, his skills tending the tomatoes and sweet potatoes and beans in the family garden back home in Morley, Mo.? “I’m OK.” And so it goes even in private, such as in the moments after a win over Rutgers in early March, when Georgetown sports information director Mex Carey prepped Porter for a TV interview by informing him he’d scored 28 points. How many rebounds? Porter asked. He was told he’d grabbed eight. No, he specified. How many did the team have?” [Barnes/SI.com] —- Dion getting some notice- “Dion Waiters was drafted just this past summer by the Cleveland Cavaliers in hopes of providing point guard and future star Kyrie Irving with some ball-handling and shot creating help in the backcourt. Early in the season Waiters played poorly enough to make many wonder if Cleveland made the right choice in drafting him, to the point where he lost his starting spot for small stretches of the season. The clear issue was his shot selection and lack of control. Hoisting up 30-footers out of nowhere and dribbling into a crowded paint to force up a shot is no way to say you’re ready to take away some of the offensive duties from an All-Star point guard. Waiters’s ways have changed though, and he’s slowly evolving into a very solid two guard. His pre-All-Star Weekend shooting percentages of 39.6% from the field and 30.9% from downtown have skyrocketed to 48.6% and 38.1% respectively since the break, with the same amount of playing time and attempted field goals a night. This is, in all likelihood, due to his smarter shot selection.” [Vertsberger/Hickory High] —- Carlos Santana and Chris Perez make at least one preseason all star team. The all-beard team- “Catcher: Carlos Santana (Cleveland Indians) Oh, the good ol’ chinstrap. It’s only fitting that a catcher is the one on our All-Beard Team with the finest chinstrap.” [Oz/Big League Stew]
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