Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Still On Hold

If the Phillies don’t get their man, aka Alfonso Soriano, Pat Gillick is going to have to make a deal to improve his team and, frankly, he doesn’t have many chips with which to bargain. Pat Burrell is not an option given his no-trade clause. Gavin Floyd, reportedly still unable to pitch consistently at the AFL level, has minimal value and falling. The farm system has few arms that would help the Phils down the road let alone attract interest from other teams and those who do such as Gio Gonzalez, should be virtually untouchable. So, who ya’ gonna’ trade? Aaron Rowand is my top nominee and I doubt there are a lot of clubs out there who would be interested.

It could be a very unproductive off-season which would lead to a very unproductive on season given the holes that remain. Don’t say Gillick didn’t warn us with his comments at the July, 2006, trade deadline that he, for one, might be looking beyond 2007.

Until the Phillies do something constructive, I am casting about for something more concrete to discuss.

Hey, look over there, across the street. Yeah, the Flyers may be losing every night out but at least they are working the telephones, trying to right the ship.

Paul Holmgren, who just the other day had the label “interim” deleted from the front of his title as GM, has picked up just where Bobby Clarke left off, reacquiring players previously traded. Not a good sign, Paul. If you are going to emulate your mentor, you should leave out the parts about second-guessing yourself about past decisions.

This deal does underscore what makes hockey difficult to follow religiously for this sports fan. For every thrilling rush up and down the ice there is the inevitable dropping of gloves.

The Flyers’ excellent beat writer Tim Panaccio picks it up from here: Paul Holmgren's first move as general manager of the Flyers wasn't to get a 20-goal scorer to add life to an anemic offense.

Instead, it was to add life to a comatose dressing room with a guy who was continually offering encouragement from the bench during the Western Conference finals last season - Todd Fedoruk.

Here’s the “difficult” part: Flyers’ coach John Stevens noted that The thing you like about Fridge is he has that infectious personality; he is a fun guy and keeps everyone loose. He brings a level of enthusiasm, when he walks into a locker room. We do have a quiet team... . Fridge is one of those guys who brings life."

It's great; I'm excited to be going back to Philly, said Fedoruk, who is on injured reserve after suffering a fractured right cheekbone and broken orbital bone after a fight with Minnesota's Derek Boogaard on Oct. 27.

Sounds like a real fun guy alright!!

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So, how are the other occupants of the Wachovia Center faring at the moment? Not too good. That three game opening streak turns out to be just a mirage. Now headlines in the paper cite the Sixers’ determination for the umpteenth time that Andre Iguodala get more aggressive. It isn’t going to happen. This is Andre’s third year in the league and by this time his aggression, or lack of it, is well established. Of course, the Sixers haven’t tried the obvious approach with him. Have him work out with Todd Fedoruk and his buddies. Why didn’t they think of that before? After all, they all work in the same building.

Meanwhile, Chris Webber grows more and more unhappy as a Sixer. I have no idea how much is left on his contract and what options the Sixers have with regards to his ongoing tenure with them, but you can bet your last dollar Mo Cheeks and ownership won’t be quoted as saying what a fun guy Webber is or how much he brings to the locker room any time soon.

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The Eagles are back in favor in this town after their dominating win over a lousy Washington team which was led by an ineffective quarterback and who lost their top running back in the first quarter. Before making plans for the post-season it is worth noting the Eagles didn’t look very good stopping the run yet again. They did blitz a whole lot more than in the recent past, a reversion to defensive coordinator Jim Johnson’s historic tendencies. But bear in mind they were blitzing a highly immobile quarterback in this game.

Meanwhile, much has been made of Andy Reid’s decision to hand the play-calling over to his offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg. I thought it was interesting that when wide receiver Reggie Brown was interviewed after the game about the switch he acknowledged he had no idea who was calling the plays. Maybe it’s more about execution not authorship???


J. Weitzel said...

Swing, shoot, swat, slapshot ... and a miss.

Webber has another year remaining on his contract, to serve as a final reminder that two scorers cannot coexist on a team with Allen Iverson. As for Iguodala, noboday can assert themselves on the Sixers for the reason I just mentioned. But in general, I get a sense the Philadelphia media believes Iguodala is a 20-point scorer. Only on a bad team, friends.

This is why it was better to fill the roster with Eric Snow, George Lynch and Aaron Mckie types who played defense first and could let Iverson pound the ball all night.

Tom Goodman said...

I would change the title of this blog with your permission, but someone no doubt already has that one!!

It is going to be one long gloomy winter in Philadelphia sports and the Sixers and Flyers pretty much have themselves to blame.

Can you believe the Flyers are struggling to get a win, any win, and reacquire a guy who is on injured reserve. Step right in, Todd. Oops. Well, step in when you can, OK?

Mo Cheeks is a good man in a bad situation. He doesn't deserve the GM with whom he is saddled any more than he deserves Webber. At least he can sit Webber. King is another matter, but if they Sixers continue in the direction they are clearly headed, King may not be around much longer to tormet Mo.