Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Something Old; Something Older

The Ron Hextall era has begun and we can be excused if we blinked and thought it looked a lot like those of his predecessors Paul Holmgren and Bobby Clarke.

Hextall's first roster move was to reacquire J.R. Umberger, whom the Flyers traded away several seasons ago.

What is it about the Flyers' front office that compels them to reacquire players they jettisoned?  I don't have the official figures in front of me (and I am not going to spend a single nano second digging them up) but if they aren't professional sports' all-time leaders in sellers' remorse I don't know what franchise is!!!

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In today's Inky the estimable Bob Ford suggested the Sixers would be smart to draft recently injured and operated on center Joel Embiid.  Embiid was projected to be the first pick in the upcoming draft and thus off the board by the time the Sixers made the third pick, but he fractured a bone in his foot, had surgery, and is on the shelf for at least six months.

Were the Sixers to draft Embiid they would be in position to set an all-time NBA record that will never be broken...guaranteed!  They would be the first and only team to ever acquire through a trade or draft pick three starting centers in three consecutive seasons who could not, and in two cases and counting, did not play a single game that season.

The Sixers' front office cannot be that stupid.

Can they?

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Through seventy-five games this season the Phillies have been shut out ten times.  Despite their ineptitude, some commentators are still suggesting they should not be sellers at the trade deadline.   What a great idea.  To follow such a course would not be postponing the inevitable because the inevitable arrived two seasons ago.  The Phils are old.  They cannot hit.  They pitch erratically.  They have nothing down on the farm.  They have plenty of examples not only of what some teams have done to rebuild but what they themselves have done in the past to avoid it.

Saturday, June 14, 2014


Many years ago I took a graduate seminar with the most famous photographic historian in the world.  That statement isn't an exaggeration.

When I finished my degree I returned to the East Coast and landed in Boston.  There I met a number of photographers and historians who asked me about my background.  When I mentioned this historian and my admiration for him I was often taken aback when told, "Photography left him behind in the '50's!"  My reply was always the same:  "I'd rather judge someone for what he accomplished, not what he didn't accomplish."

I feel the same way about Jimmy Rollins.

Yesterday J-Roll tied Mike Schmidt for the franchise record of total hits.  As early as this afternoon, Jimmy could be in sole possession of the record.  Along the way Jimmy has earned an MVP, four gold gloves and the admiration of his peers.  He is one of the best all-around shortstops ever to play this game.  He has over 400 stolen bases and over 200 home runs.  His range is impressive, his hands sure and his arm strong.

J-Roll has also endured the wrath of fans who lament his failure to draw enough bases on balls, hit the ball on the ground more and in essence perform like the lead-off man he has been most of his career.

For my part, I'd rather judge him for what he accomplished.

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Who Had June 3rd?

So, who had June 3 in the pool?

Who had the date Larry Bowa would publicly spew his trademark "He's killing us" tirade?

Does a team that has been shut out seven times in its last 27 games derive any benefit from Larry publicly scolding them?

So, will the winner please step forward.