Originally posted on Waiting For Next Year  |  Last updated 1/20/13
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. Leading off, Chris Pokorny at Dawgs By Nature gives his take on Mike Lombardi joining the Browns, “Banner clearly liked working with Lombardi during their short time together in Philadelphia. I think Tom Heckert could have stayed with the team if he had been able to retain the general manager position in the same capacity, but I don’t think he was interested in a reduced, collaborative role that he would have had to play with Banner and others. Without question, I would have preferred Heckert over Lombardi. Heck, given the negativity surrounding Lombardi, I would have preferred a lot of other candidates over Lombardi. Given the fact that we knew this would be a reduced role, though, I just don’t think this is, “the end of the world.”" [Dawgs By Nature] Former beloved Tribe centerfielder Kenny Lofton used to play hoops pretty well, you know. The Classical has a really great profile about it, “The Wildcats celebrated their coming out party with a good old-fashioned snowball fight, and Lofton played a starring role in that battle, too. “Basically, it was Kenny versus the rest of us because he had such a ridiculous arm. He was throwing snowballs like 100 miles per hour, just knocking guys off their feet,” Mason Jr. remembers. “Afterwards, we said to him, ‘Man, you should play baseball.’” Eventually, Lofton would take the suggestion seriously. But the East Chicago, Ind. native had some work left to do on the hardwood before he’d trade in his sneakers for spikes.” [The Classical] He didn’t have the best of games last night, but I did enjoy Michael at Eleven Warriors’ profile of Sam Thompson and his improved game, “The Chicago product is playing shutdown defense, which is his primary attribute right now, aside from murdering innocent rims with extreme prejudice. With outstanding performances from Thompson (and Lenzelle Smith Jr.) on the wing, the Buckeyes neutralized D.J. Byrd and Nik Stauskas in last week’s victories over Purdue and Michigan, respectively.” [Eleven Warriors] Nick Mancini over at Stepien Rules thinks that the Cavaliers should take a chance on Buckeye product and frequently injured center Greg Oden, “Really, what do the Cavs have to lose in taking a chance on Oden? Lets be honest, this is a lost season and I would much rather watch Oden than the likes of Kevin Jones, Jon Leuer and Luke Walton. But I also know what kinds of risk come with Oden.”  [Stepien Rules] Let’s Go Tribe looks at the left fielders in the AL Central from last season. It’s not pretty for us Indians fans, but thank goodness Brantley (likely) will b there, “Moving to the outfield, we start off with the, ahem, power position, left field. And as any die hard sabermetric type or casual Tribe fan can tell you, the Indians had the worst collection of left fielders last year. An over-the-hill Damon and never-was Duncan both were released. Cunningham was only good for late inning defense. Zeke is strictly a backup, Rottino was a stop-gap and Canzler didn’t make it through waivers (twice!).” [Let's Go Tribe] Stephanie Liscio at It’s Pronounced “Lajaway” gives an insight into Tribe Fest and lunch with Terry Francona, I’ve mentioned this before, but what I really like about Francona is that he just comes across as very straightforward and frank.  I wanted to ask him about his thoughts on the World Baseball Classic, and found his response very honest. While Francona likes the idea of an additional two weeks of spring training in connection with the tournament, he didn’t seem happy to lose some of his marquis players for an indeterminate amount of time.  He seemed particularly frustrated by the fact that Santana will be gone, because of his importance to the pitching staff.  Even though Francona said he was happy for all of the players, and knew they were proud to represent their countries, he pointed out that he hoped the Dominican Republic loses quickly so Santana can come back to camp sooner.  Another point that Francona made is that it makes it kind of challenging as a new manager, with a new staff and team, to be missing players for a portion of the spring.” [It's Pronounced "Lajaway"]  
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