Originally written on Waiting For Next Year  |  Last updated 3/3/13
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. Skepticism Sunday: “It’s happening already. There hasn’t been a practice or even an organized team activity, let alone a game that counts. The team can’t even officially meet as a whole, but already, it’s happening. It seems with each passing regime, many in the Cleveland Browns fan base and media become increasingly more skeptical and mistrusting of the next group that comes in. Their reasons are not unfounded.” [Ryan Alton/Draft Browns] – Is drafting a guard the undoubted best move? “The best way for the Cleveland Browns to improve is for them to use the sixth pick in the draft to take Chance Warmack, offensive guard from Alabama and begin to complete the best offensive line in the NFL. When that happens, with a healthy Trent Richardson running behind that line, Brandon Weeden can be great. Or Colt McCoy. Or your grandmother, if she has a decent arm and half a brain.” [Brian Tarcy/The OBR] – Looking for stars on defense: “As you know, the 2013 Ohio State Buckeyes have a lot of defensive starters to replace. With only four returning starters — including none on the defensive line — the defense this fall will have more question marks than Frank Gorshin’s Riddler suit. Among those queries will be the usual ruminations on which young players will step up, which freshmen are likely to see playing time, who among last year’s backups can make the leap, and whether or not the D can continue the evolution it began over the last quarter of 2012. But perhaps the biggest question of all is: where will the defensive leadership come from in 2013? The Buckeyes will be as green as the Ohio Stadium turf on the defensive side of the ball.” [Michael Citro/Eleven Warriors] – This sounds familiar, eh? “Impossible as it may be, there is currently one small-market NBA team that may have the opportunity to replicate the Oklahoma City model. In the two and a half seasons since the end of the LeBron James era, the Cleveland Cavaliers have limped to a total record of 60-146 and have amassed four first round draft picks and currently have two more selections in the upcoming 2013 NBA draft (a likely lottery pick of their own and another from either the Heat or the Lakers). Stockpiling draft picks, sound familiar?” [Eric Palutsis/Pro Basketball Draft] – Loved this back-and-forth roundtable over at CTB: “There have been some notable exceptions (there’s at least one nice drive and kick play a game, for example), but overall the on-court chemistry between Dion Waiters and Kyrie Irving has been severely lacking. Dion hasn’t really figured out any off-ball moved or cuts yet, and combined with the fact that Kyrie is occasionally a reluctant passer, what often results is a stunted isolation for Kyrie at the end of the shot clock, while Dion sulks thirty feet from the hoop. I would love for Byron Scott to initiate a lot more movement for the Cavaliers in general, and a lot of that should involve the backcourt.” [Dani/Cavs: The Blog] – Looking at another LOOGY? “With the departures of relief pitchers Rafael Perez and Tony Sipp during the offseason, the Indians now have a huge opening in their bullpen for a lefty – preferably one who throws strikes and is not afraid of the later innings. Nick Hagadone would seem to fit the bill, for the most part. In parts of the last two seasons with the Tribe, the left-hander has shown the ability to strike people out and hold opposing bats at bay. The problem for Hagadone is that he has also shown the penchant for melting down.” [Craig Gifford/Did The Tribe Win Last Night?] – Baseball stats in the spring, what could be bad? “If a team has a really great spring training, it’s not like they can carry some of those wins over to the regular season. Ultimately, spring records don’t matter – players are rusty and getting in shape and pitchers may be trying some new pitches. Teams will occasionally come from behind to win at the end of games, when minor leaguers not expected to be on the 25-man roster are on the field. Is there ever any correlation between your record during spring training, and how you perform during the regular season? I figured I’d take a look at the Indians during the past 10 seasons when it comes to spring vs. the regular season, as well as teams that made the playoffs over the past 10 seasons.” [Stephanie Liscio/It's Pronounced "Lajaway"] – And finally, not Cleveland-related per se, but still related to stats. And maybe the opposite will occur to the Tribe in 2013? “There is a term used often in the sports analytic community called regression, or reversion to the mean, that contends that if a statistical phenomenon occurs, it is likely not to occur again and revert closer or back to the norm or average. In layman’s terms, it is a sophisticated way of saying things will even out. With this in mind, I took a look at MLB playoff teams since 2008 that improved their win totals by at least ten wins from one season to the next and then saw if they had a significant drop-off the next year, i.e. reverting back to the mean. What I found was of the 11 teams in this study, each one lost at least 5 more games the next season and 8 of the 11 failed to get back into the playoffs.” [Alex Burwasser/Bloomberg Sports' Stats Insights]
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