Archive for July, 2014

Phillies Trade News and Updates

July 29th, 2014 by Sam Shipley | Comments Off on Phillies Trade News and Updates | Filed in General, Phillies, Sports


Will Jonathon Papelbon be a member of the Phillies after Thursday’s trade deadline?

With the MLB Trade Deadline on Thursday, many around the league are anxious to see the moves that will be made and/or not made. Around Philadelphia there has been endless buzz since arguably the season started about what the Phillies roster would look like in August. Names such as Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, Marlon Byrd, Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, and Jonathon Papelbon have been thrown around in rumors since at least March.

Now it is time to see who will be in Philadelphia come August 1st. Here is the latest surrounding the Phillies as we approach the trade deadline.

*Note: This page will be updated as news comes in. Stay tuned right here”



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Start of Camp Has Many Eagles’ Fans Feeling ‘Super’

July 24th, 2014 by Jim Chesko | Comments Off on Start of Camp Has Many Eagles’ Fans Feeling ‘Super’ | Filed in Eagles, Football, General

It was just about a year ago that Chip Kelly’s first training camp as head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles got under way – the first time since 1998 that someone other than Andy Reid was in charge. Not surprisingly, there was a lot of anticipation about what the former Oregon Ducks head man would bring to the table, including questions about how a high-energy college offense would translate to the pro game, and whether perceived No. 1 signal caller Michael Vick was really the right fit for Kelly’s offense. All of that amid expectations by even the most die-hard fans that the Birds would finish about 6-10 or – at best – 8-8 in Kelly’s first pro season.

What a difference a year makes. Vick once again couldn’t stay healthy (and is now an ex-Eagle), Nick Foles took over and had a season for the ages, and the Eagles finished with a 10-6 record and a division title, plus the trip to the postseason that went with it. So, as Kelly & Co. open their second training camp, the stakes are significantly higher, with the Eagles an overwhelming favorite to win a second-straight NFC East crown – and fans now wondering if this team just might be good enough to earn a trip to Glendale, Arizona, for Super Bowl XLIX.

Nick Foles wChip KellySure, the start of another NFL training camp is always exciting, but Eagles fans this year seem to be more fired up than in any July since back in 2004 when the team had a new wide receiver who was known to most football watchers by his initials, T.O. And, yes, that season did culminate with the Eagles’ second Super Bowl appearance.

All of the optimism about the 2014 season is understandable. LeSean McCoy set a franchise record with a league-leading 1,607 rushing yards and 2,146 yards from scrimmage last year and is now arguably the best running back in the league. Foles put up some fantastic numbers in his sophomore season: a 64% completion rate, 27 touchdowns with just two interceptions, and a passer rating of 119.2 – the third-best in league history. The Birds’ defense showed marked improvement in the second half of 2013. And it doesn’t hurt that the rest of the NFC East, against whom the Eagles will play six of their 16 regular-season games, looks to be pretty mediocre. (In a recent Philadelphia Daily News readers poll, 88% of respondents predicted the Birds would win 10 or more games again this season.)

As training camp opens, there’s plenty to pay attention to for Eagles Nation.


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Ken Giles; set-up man, closer, or starter?

July 22nd, 2014 by Kyle Lutz | Comments Off on Ken Giles; set-up man, closer, or starter? | Filed in Baseball, General, Phillies

I believe rookie reliever, and 100 mile-per-hour man, Ken Giles has the fine makings of a future closer; with a similar style to former-Philly closers Brad Lidge and Billy Wagner. His arsenal of pitches include a 97.2-MPH four seamer, an 89-MPH cutter, an 86-MPH slider, and a 86.6-MPH curveball. His fastball’s his out pitch, especially when his fastball’s velocity is at its best at 100 MPH. Additionally, he relies on his fastball 60% of the time and his slider 40% of the time. Giles’ curveball is a pitch he rarely uses, in comparison to the other two. Might I mention that his WHIP’s only 0.73 this season.

Giles has the making of a fine closer based on his high fastball and the fact that he relies on the pitch so much (like most closers do), strikeout rate, and consistency. Then again, most of those qualities can be said for a successful starting pitcher as well. Either way, he’s got a promising future. Although he’s only 14 games into his major-league career, his ERA thus far is just 0.60 and he currently has a 13-game/14.2-inning scoreless streak. The only earned run he’s given up thus far was during his major-league debut on June 12th.

Giles was originally drafted by the Florida Marlins in the 44th round of the 2009 MLB amateur draft, but didn’t sign with the team. Two years later, he was drafted (again), this time by the Phillies, in the seventh round. The Phillies would sign him two months later, after he was drafted in June of 2011.

(Mike Janes/Four Seam Images via AP Images)

Perhaps just as impressive as his WHIP/ERA numbers is his strikeout rate of 12/9 innings, and, on top of that, that he’s only allowed eight hits in 15 innings so far. In four minor-league seasons with the Gulf-Coast-League Phillies (2011), single-A Lakewood (2012), A+ Clearwater (2012-13), as well as double-A Reading and triple-A Lehigh Valley (2014), he was 9-6 with a 3.77 ERA and 12.1 strikeouts/9.


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Why is Kyle Kendrick still in the major leagues?

July 20th, 2014 by Kyle Lutz | Comments Off on Why is Kyle Kendrick still in the major leagues? | Filed in Baseball, General, Phillies

Despite the overwhelming lack of talented prospects stacked among the Phillies’ minor-league systems the past couple of seasons, due to shipping away young talent in return for older and more established players, there has got to be a better pitcher and player for the team in the minors than Kyle Kendrick. Kendrick’ll turn 30 in a month from now (August 26th) and yet, in eight major-league seasons thus far, he’s failed to show the team anything impressive on the mound.

Don’t let wins and losses fool you, like they never should when it comes to starting pitchers, Kendrick’s a sub-par, inconsistent, atrocious pitcher that somehow has still managed to remain atop the major-league level and on the team’s roster. On top of that, he’s in the big leagues somehow without being traded yet either by the team since being drafted in the seventh round of the 2003 MLB amateur draft. Since his debut in June of 2007, he’s gone 68-64 for his career, with a 4.41 ERA and more average hits allowed/innings pitched (203/187).

Kendrick placed fifth in Rookie of the Year voting in ’07, as he went 10-4 with a 3.87 ERA. Despite his impressive .714 winning percentage that year, he allowed 129 hits to 121 innings pitched, all while striking out batters only 49 times; a strikeouts/9 rate of just 3.6. Of course, he wasn’t predicted to be, and hasn’t been since, known as a strikeout pitcher, but regardless, it’s worth noting how very little he does so anyway.

(Jae C. Hong/AP)

Of course, many will correctly point out that, many below-average pitchers have been in the majors over the years (e.g. Kendrick’s former teammate, Joe Blanton); and some for quite a few years at that. Let’s make this clear though, in relation to that: most of those aforementioned below-average pitchers on other teams are pitching in the big leagues in the first place due to their respective teams’ lack of overall talent on the field. Yes, the Phillies are performing poorly this season — and beyond that, the past couple of years — but Kendrick started his career with Philly when they were competing and a good team. So that needs to be remembered, and considered, when making the argument that Kendrick belongs here due to how poor we are at the moment.


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Why Tim Kerr belongs in the Hockey Hall of Fame

July 18th, 2014 by Kyle Lutz | Comments Off on Why Tim Kerr belongs in the Hockey Hall of Fame | Filed in Flyers, General, Hockey


Tim Kerr, the former right winger of the Flyers from 1980-1990, holds numerous NHL/Flyers’ records, and I feel he’s been overlooked thus far for the NHL Hall of Fame. Kerr played in 13 total NHL seasons with Philadelphia, New York and Hartford, compiling 370 career goals, 304 assists and 674 total points; in only 655 career games. His career was cut short due to numerous injuries over the years, including a severe knee injury in 1985 and a shoulder injury two years later in 1987, among others.

The important thing is, with regards to his HOF chances — despite his lack of a prolonged career, that besides setting numerous Philadelphia/NHL records, he averaged over a point a game for his career; (1.03). To put that statistic into perspective, he averaged 84 points per 82 games (a full NHL season), including a very impressive 46 goals/season and 19 power-play goals/season. He also had a career +/- of 74.

Kerr is, impressively, ranked 11th all-time in NHL history in goals/game with 0.56, 41st all-time in points/game with 1.03, and 44th all-time in career power-play goals with 150. To me, when you’re that prolific of a goal scorer throughout your career, despite injury problems, you deserve a good shot at the Hall of Fame. Kerr was a committed and strong offensive/team player, to simplify his career.

Maybe if he ranked lower, as in the top 100/200, in points and goals/year he would have a lesser shot at making it, but since he ranked higher among the two categories he’s a shoo-in for the Hall, in my opinion.

Per, Kerr was a similar statistical player in his career to Bobby Hull, Phil Esposito, Marcel Dionne, and (most impressively) Wayne Gretzky; all of whom are already NHL Hall of Famers.


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Phillies Firesale On The Horizon?

July 16th, 2014 by Ryan Waterman | Comments Off on Phillies Firesale On The Horizon? | Filed in Baseball, General, Phillies


July 31st is approaching, quickly. The Phillies currently sit 9 games back of the Nationals in pursuit of the NL East crown. Many may think that the Phillies are in a pretty good position approaching the All-Star break, and are still in a good position in the division. Unless things change dramatically in the next 2-plus weeks, I foresee the Phils as sellers at the deadline. I might even go as far as saying the dreaded “fire sale” could be looming on the horizon. The Phillies, as inconsistent of a team as they are, have some pretty decent pieces that could be of pivotal help to a contender looking to be put over the top. This article is meant to take an in-depth look at the trade chips the Phils have, and potential trading partners and targets.

Trade Chips:

Cliff Lee – Arguably the Phillies biggest trade chip. Lee, 35, has started in 10 games posting a 4-4 record with 3.18 ERA and 61 SO. Lee may no longer be a spring chicken, but he can still pitch his butt off. If surrounded by an offense that can give him serious run support, he can be a Cy Young contender for sure. He would be an instant upgrade to any team’s rotation, and since he’s in twilight of his career, he’ll likely be dealt to a contender for a shot at the elusive World Series ring. Since Lee is the Phillies biggest value chip at this point, he will require a pretty penny to pry away, likely, two young prospects and/or a young roster player.

Cole Hamels – The 30 year old southpaw’s stock has been up and down this season. In 16 starts this season, Hamels has posted a less-than impressive 3-5 record. However, he more than made up for that with his stellar 2.93 ERA and 106 SO. In 107 IP, Hamels has surrendered 35 ER. Hamels’ stock has soared of the past week, posting a 2.63 ERA over 13.2 IP, while striking out 12. Hamels has a NTC that 9 teams are clear of, the Yankees, Angels, Dodgers, Rangers, Red Sox, Cardinals, Padres, Nationals and Braves. Out of that list of teams, only 3 teams would be able to absorb Cole’s full contract like the Phils ask…the Yankees, Dodgers, and Angels. Out of those three teams, only the Dodgers and Angels have the prospects necessary to meet the likely return on Hamels, which will likely be the same if not higher than Lee.

Chase Utley – The least likely Phillie to be dealt, Utley’s stock has been rising and falling all year. If the Phils had dealt him two weeks ago, they would’ve gotten their highest return on him. Since than, his stock has faltered a bit. But, he’s coming back in a very strong way, hitting .311 thus far during the month of July, with 2 HRs and 9 RBIS. In any case, it’s highly unlikely that Utley will be moved, as he has publicly stated his desire to retire a Phillie. However, if traded, Utley will likely net a return of two prospects or a prospect and young roster player.


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LeBron is a Cavalier…again.

July 14th, 2014 by Jeremy Bonnette | Comments Off on LeBron is a Cavalier…again. | Filed in Basketball, General, Sports


Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few weeks (and the rock doesn’t have wi-fi), the biggest story in the sports media was LeBron James’s proverbial chokehold on the free agency market. While there were some signings done very quickly, many teams held off on giving players new deals before making an attempt to sign King James first. After tons of speculation, theories, hypotheses, conspiracies, and tweets, ESPN confirmed that he would return to Cleveland. As I’m reading about this on my lunch break friday, there were half a million tweets about it within ten minutes of the announcement. Initially, I thought it was a fake report, and that millions had just been trolled thanks to some genius who thought it would be a good prank. However, the report was real, and the entire sports world reacted in various ways (depending on affiliation).

The Decision 2.0 was hardly the enormous affair that it’s predecessor was. There were no cameras, no 30 minute slot on ESPN, and no sponsors; just, “I’m coming home”. Regardless of the decision LeBron made, I applaud him for handling the situation with far more maturity and class than the one made about 4 years ago. I honestly do not think Dan Gilbert deserves James’s time of day, especially after the letter he wrote 4 years ago slamming his former superstar. But again, I commend LeBron on being a mature adult about the situation, and was able to forgive and forget the situation ever took place.

As much as I despise the Cavs, and the fluky nature of them garnering a ton of top 3 draft picks every year, James made a good decision. I’m not exactly sure how long it will take them to win (or if they’ll win at all), but they’re only going to get better as more players are willing to join the crew.

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