It’s a busy day for Believing Since 1999 Daily, mainly because I got way too caught up in FirstEnergy Stadium (home of the Cleveland Browns) and the fact that Joe Banner refuses to wear orange ties to public team functions. The busyness (word? it is now) may have contributed to the incredibly boring title that you see above. Anyway, today’s edition of the Daily is chock full of good stuff from all over the internet. Let’s light this candle.
– Believing Since 1999 soundtrack of the day (this is a thing now): “Echo” by Gorilla Zoe.
– George Gund III, who previously owned the Cavaliers and the Barons, passed away yesterday. A nice column from Cleveland.com about a very influential man in Cleveland sports history.
– Here’s another Cleveland.com article about Dion Waiters’ situation coming off the bench for the Cavs. Waiters just went off for a career-high 33 on Monday, and was able to attack the basket at will. The effort was not lacking from Waiters or the Cavaliers as whole on Monday, but the execution was extremely poor. Defensively, it’s appalling that the final score in regulation was 124-118.
– A final note on the Cavs for today, they are in Portland tonight for the penultimate game of their west coast swing. Tip off is at 10 eastern, and the probable starters are Irving, Miles, Gee, Thompson, and Zeller. The preview from the Cavs is here.
Watching the game on Monday, I loved the way Waiters played individually, and also the way Irving played individually. Byron Scott has said that these two need to play together more, and that was apparent during certain stretches in Sacramento. Another major area of growth that is being forced on the team is the baptism by fire that Tyler Zeller has gotten over the span of the last few games. There’s plenty of work left to do for Zeller, just ask Austin Carr, but some improvement has taken place. Here are his season splits.
Byron Scott has said that getting tougher as a team is paramount to their success, and we’ll see if they can get a better result tonight against a good Trail Blazer team in Rip City. They’ll also be reunited with J.J. Hickson, who’s projected to be in the lineup for Portland and has been playing very well this season. Somehow, despite all of the losing, I’m still intrigued to watch this team regularly and see Irving and Waiters play. It’s hard to see good progress sometimes, but it’s there. Again, injuries have been killer this season.
– Mel Kiper’s first mock draft is out. It’s ESPN Insider protected, but he has the Browns taking Bjoern Werner, a defensive end from Florida State. Kiper also cites that he is better suited for the 4-3 scheme, so be prepared for this prediction to change roughly a million times before April. I don’t want to get in the habit of posting draft predictions everyday, but since this was the first one from Kiper, I figured I’d throw it up there. If we stick to the 4-3, defensive end is an area of need, so this would work.
– Apparently, Joe Banner said yesterday that there is indeed a front-runner for the Browns general manager/director of personnel spot. Nate Ulrich from the Akron Beacon Journal does a really nice job with this piece, talking about Ray Farmer as a supposed candidate and more. Farmer is the director of pro personnel with Kansas City. According to Ulrich, Banner also said that the candidate needs to have a good record of evaluating talent and drafting. That’s good to hear, because it should eliminate Michael Lombardi from the proceedings (God willing). He drafted JaMarcus Russell, and that’s bad enough for me. Torches and pitchforks still at the ready.
– Jimmy Haslam hinted at some new unis for 2014, and my hope is to bring back some orange pants, jerseys, or both. As long as they don’t touch the helmet and don’t let Nike have completely free range, I think I’ll be pleased with the outcome. Looking forward to that should it come up next year.
– Manny Ramirez still wants to play. Sign him up for some DH duty in Cleveland. That’d be a dream come true. Just think about it…
– Looking ahead to the future for the Indians, top prospect Francisco Lindor is on track and participating in the Indians’ Winter Development Program in Cleveland. He’s not the only interesting infielder in the Tribe’s system, either. Because I’m a baseball nerd and worked for the Aeros last summer, I’m into following what’s going on in the minors. Look forward to more thoughts on the Tribe’s farm system as we get into spring training.
– A complete list of the guys at the Winter Development Program at Progressive Field is here, and a list of the top 20 prospects throughout the organization is here. A couple of good resources if you’re interested in what’s going on down on the farm.
I’ll be watching Workaholics and the Cavs tonight, and likely will tweet excessively about both over at @BelieveInCLE. Hope to talk to you there.