Archive for October, 2009

Eagles Vs Giants Week 8 Preview

October 31st, 2009 by Johnny G | 13 Comments | Filed in Eagles, Football, General

The last time these two teams met it was in the 2008-2009 NFL playoffs, where the Giants’ quest for a repeat was cut short by the Eagles. Will this New York Giants team be looking for revenge? Will the Eagles be able to run their offense efficiently without Brian Westbrook? Will the Eagles defense be able to stop the two headed running back combo in Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw? These are all questions that will decide which team comes out on top Sunday afternoon.

The New York Giants (5-2) come into Philadelphia (4-2) holding just a half game lead over their division rivals, making this game as important as a Week 8 game can be. The Giants came out to start the season clicking on all cylinders, going 5-0 in their first five games but then fell back to earth by losing their last 2 games. As many can see the performance of the Giants can be tied to the performance of their quarterback Eli Manning, during their 5-0 stretch to start the season, Manning threw 10 touchdowns with only 2 interceptions. Meanwhile during this two game losing streak he has thrown for 2 touchdowns and 4 picks. If the Eagles defense can get pressure on Eli early this could be a long day for him.

The key for the Eagles will be establishing the run and protecting Donovan Mcnabb. With Brian Westbrook being a game-time decision, the Eagles may have to play this entire game with Lesean Mccoy as their only real running threat. Although Mccoy has not dissapointed to this point in the season, this stellar Giants defense will be the first real test for him and the entire Eagles offense as a whole. It is going to be a tough task for this Eagles Offensive line to keep Mcnabb off the ground. With the relentless pass rush of Osi Umenyora and Justin Tuck they have combined to be one of the top pass rushing duos in the NFL. As many Eagles fans painfully remember, Umenyora thoroughly abused Winston Justice on national television en route to 6 sacks against Mcnabb and disrupting any sort of gameplan for the offense.

This game all comes down to protecting the QB and whichever team keeps their QB off the ground will most likely win this football game. Both Eli Manning and Donovan Mcnabb do not deal with pressure very well and in Mcnabb’s case, especially pressure up the middle. The lowly Oakland Raiders relentlessy blitzed right up the middle on Mcnabb and the offense struggled the entire afternoon.

Although this game will be overshadowed by Game 4 of the World Series, this should be a very exciting game to watch. Don’t forget to Chat live with other Eagles fans on in the live chat section of the site!

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Location, location, location

October 31st, 2009 by Christian | 16 Comments | Filed in Baseball, General, Phillies

There’s an old adage that you only need to know three things about real estate: location, location, location.

For Game 3 of the World Series tonight, there are three critical locations you need to know about also:

LOCATION #1. Cole Hamels fastball. If Hamels can locate his fastball, he’s dominating. Last year he did and was virtually unhittable in the postseason. This year, he’s struggled with it.

According to shortstop Jimmy Rollins, “He hasn’t been able to place his fastball where he wants it. You see the catcher setting up outside, and he’s pulling the ball in. When he’s doing that, it makes his changeup a lot less effective. When he’s spotting his fastball and he can throw the changeup in the same spot 10, 12 mph slower, it becomes tough to hit. But when he’s struggling with one pitch, you can almost start cancelling out the other, and I think that’s the biggest difference.”

Take it to The Bank. The Phillies have enjoyed home cooking, posting an 11-1 postseason record at Citizen’s Bank Park since the beginning of last year’s playoffs. The Bank is the best home field advantage in baseball.

The seats behind home plate. New Yankee Stadium looks like a corporate shell of Old Yankee Stadium. The old place was built for the Bronx Bombers. The new digs seem to be made for the Manhattan IBMers. On television, half the seats appeared to be empty. Not exactly sure why. I’ve read different reasons for it, from overpriced tickets, to Cliff Lee’s dominant performance. But one thing you can be sure of – you won’t see empty seats in Philly.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Yankees’ Hidden Opponent

October 27th, 2009 by Christian | 12 Comments | Filed in Baseball, General, Phillies
Big Ben

Big Ben

Father Time commands that youth must be served. And in this World Series, between two evenly matched teams, age may be the deciding factor. It’s not glaringly obvious, but there is a significant gap among the teams, and it’s in a crucial area. Look at the top five hitters on the respective clubs:

Leadoff Hitter:
Jimmy Rollins is 30, Derek Jeter is 35
Second Hitter: Shane Victorino is 28, Johnny Damon is 36
Third Hitter: Chase Utley is 30, Mark Texiera is 29
Cleanup Hitter: Ryan Howard is 29, Alex Rodriguez is 34
Five Hitter: Jayson Werth is 30, Hideki Matsui is 35

That’s an average of 29.4 years for the Phillies and 33.8 years for the Yankees. If you remove Mark Texiera from the equation, four of the top five Yankees average 35 years of age. That’s a little long in the tooth in athletics, and the longer the season goes, the more you’d think natural physiology favors the Phillies. I’ll take the twenty-nine year olds over the thirty-five year olds every time, especially in a long series.

The rest of the starters and the top four pitchers on each team are about even in age, with the exception of the Yankees 40 year old closer, Mariano Rivera.

Six Hitter: Raul Ibanez is 37, Jorge Posada is 38
Seven Hitter: Pedro Feliz is 34, Robinson Cano is 27
Eight Hitter: Carlos Ruiz is 30, Nick Swisher is 29
Nine Hitter: Ben Francisco is 28, Melky Cabrera is 25


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Stephen A. Smith Sells Out Philly

October 27th, 2009 by Christian | 5 Comments | Filed in Baseball, General


I was watching The Ed Show the other night and Stephen A. Smith came on as a guest to give his views on the World Series. Smith, who worked as a sportswriter in Philadelphia from 1994 to 2007, picked the Yankees in six games. After bragging that he personally knows Jimmy Rollins and Ryan Howard, he made his most obnoxious and irrelevant quote about the Phillies, “They are not the New York Yankees!” he blustered.

You’re right Stephen, they’re not. The Phillies are the world champs. They took two of three from the Yankees this year, at Yankee Stadium by the way, and have been a powerhouse in the playoffs.

Hey Stephen, whichever national media outlet you’re working for at the moment won’t cut off your checks if you don’t pick the Yankees. But guess what, we don’t need you on our side. Philly gave you your break, and now we’ll break your heart. Phils in six.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

World Series Fever

October 21st, 2009 by Christian | 4 Comments | Filed in Baseball, General, Phillies

Jimmy Rollins double wins Game 4

Was that a great, clutch hit by Rollins on Monday night, or what?

Before that missile, Rollins was hitting .167 (3-for-18) in the NLCS. Despite an off year, Rollins is a big-game player, who shines brightest on the biggest stage.

Game 4 will be a tough loss for the Dodgers to rebound from. Only two teams have recovered from a 3-1 deficit to win the NLCS: the 1996 Atlanta Braves against the St. Louis Cardinals, and the 2003 Florida Marlins against the Chicago Cubs.

Tonight the Phillies try to become the first NL team to make two consecutive World Series appearances since the 1996 Braves.

If they win tonight, they’ll try to become the first NL team in 33 years to repeat as champs, duplicating a feat by a team they remind me a lot of: the 1976 Cincinnati Reds.

Cole Hamels goes for the series clincher. In his career, Hamels has started 7 games against the Dodgers. He’s 5-0 with a 2.19 ERA.


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Hugh Douglas is Wrong

October 18th, 2009 by Christian | 7 Comments | Filed in Baseball, General, Phillies

Over the weekend I was listening to sports radio and I heard Hugh Douglas speculate that Chase Utley is being given a pass by fans on his recent throwing errors. He even went as far as to insinuate that fans aren’t being tough enough on Utley because he is white. Douglas said, “I don’t want to make it a black or white thing,” but then continued his own racially biased argument, by comparing Utley’s numbers to Ryan Howard’s numbers. Is Hugh Douglas kidding? Pitting two teammates against each other? This is coming from a guy who has defended Donovan McNabb for the past five years.

I offer this to Hugh Douglas: If the Phillies were in Game 7 of the World Series, and Chase Utley made three terrible throws, then vomited in the infield, do you think fans would give him a pass? You don’t have to answer that, because the bigger question is why aren’t you harder on McNabb? Is it because he’s black?

Could it be that Utley gets the benefit of the doubt because he’s a key component on a team that won the World Series last year? Because he never makes excuses or blames his teammates. “I didn’t make the throw,” Utley said repeatedly after Friday’s night game, taking full responsibility for the gaffe.

Bottom Line: Utley is putting up the best offensive numbers for a second baseman in the modern era of baseball! And both he and Ryan Howard are underrated. They are also both world champs.

If you’re going to be an analyst, stick to the facts. Fans support Utley because of how he plays, not the color of his skin. Fans are tough on McNabb because of his poor performance in big games, not the color of his skin. It would be responsible if our commentators could do the same.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

QB/RB Controversy?

October 11th, 2009 by Christian | 1 Comment | Filed in Eagles, Football, General

McNabb & Westbrook Return

Donovan McNabb and Brian Westbrook return to the starting lineup today for the Eagles after missing three weeks due to injury. Are Eagles fans excited to have them back?
McNabb is recovering from a broken rib, suffered when he took a hard shot in the end zone in the season opener against Carolina. Westbrook has been rehabbing an ailing knee.
In their absence, the Eagles went 1-1 with a bye last week, but had youngsters step in and shine. Kevin Kolb led the team at quarterback, and became the first QB in NFL history to throw for more than three hundred yards in his first two NFL starts. He was named NFL Offensive Player of the Week in week three.
Westbrook’s replacement, rookie RB LeSean McCoy has rushed for 144 yards on 34 carries, with a touchdown. He’s looked quick, fresh and decisive in his running style early on.
Tampa Bay (0-4) shouldn’t pose much of a problem – however, they have beaten the Eagles the last three times they have met, and McNabb has struggled against Tampa, throwing for only three touchdowns and five interceptions. Bucs cornerback Ronde Barber has feasted on the Donovan, returning three of those picks for touchdowns.
My question is: If McNabb plays poorly, how long before Eagles fans call for Kolb?

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,