Tuesday, October 28, 2014

It's Been A While....

Wake up, dear readers (all three of you).

I haven't watched a single pitch of the World Series, but that doesn't stop me from opining.

The Giants are one win away from winning their third title in five years.  Normally, that would constitute a dynasty, but go ahead, name four or five players on the Giants team.  I don't know if their run is the result of luck, poor opposition, the dilution of major league talent in general or they just know how to peak at the right time.

The Giants have had good pitching and timely hitting, but there aren't names like Jeter, Bench, Brooks and Frank Robinson et al.  The Giants remind me most of the great Oakland teams of the early to mid '70's.  Few Hall of Famers but a lot of solid players who always peaked at the right time.

The Phillies, meanwhile, are going to be on the outside looking in for a very long time.

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The Sixers are going to be on the outside looking in for a long time, too.  Go ahead, name more than two players on the team.  Take all the time you want.

They have a strategy, or at least that's what we continue to hear, but by the time they can see if it worked there will be more ushers in the stands than paying customers.

The NBA probably rejected any changes to the lottery system, at least for next year, because the Sixers, who will benefit from the current setup, must have told the powers-that-be that the franchise would have to move in a few years if the system changed because no one in Philadelphia would listen to chicken little any longer.

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The Flyers started out this year like last year, that is, losing.  They looked set to dig themselves another 1-7 hole, especially with a tough road trip coming on the heels of their winless start, but, lo and behold, they beat some damn good teams, returned home and beat Detroit, and now they are back at even though down in the standings.

Meanwhile, Steve Mason, who was allegedly going to break out this year, has stunk and Ray Emery, his backup, who stunk last year, is the guy who's been in the next for this admittedly very mini winning streak.

As for their defense, well, it was suspect to begin the year, worsened due to injuries and was so depleted the Flyers brought up their top prospect on defense after saying he had to get more seasoning as a pro before they would let me make his NHL debut.

Who knows with this team?!

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And then there are the Eagles.  They began the season with Nick Foles at quarterback.  The debate as to his true value was intense.  He did well when he came on last season, his first as a starter (at the midpoint of the season) but worries persisted he wasn't ever going to be a franchise quarterback. When the Eagles won five of their first six games, several by hanging on for dear life, his legions of detractors howled that Foles looked shaky at best and his supporters, many of them in the same locker room, said, "Hey, we're 5-1 and he's had something to do with it!"

Well, they lost their next game, which they led with less than two minutes remaining on the road and were driving as time expired, and the headlines said Foles bore much of the responsibility.

So, what should we conclude?  Foles could win most of his starts for the second half of the season, the Eagles could make the playoffs but bow out early, then the alleged brain trust would make noises about needing this defensive back or that one and when the draft rolls around grab the first quality QB available.

For you see, Nick really isn't a franchise QB.

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For many of my 35 years in Philadelphia, Penn had been a power in Ivy League football and basketball.  The basketball team has been lousy for a few years running but the football team was still among the elite until this year.  Penn is 1-5, their only win coming against perennial doormat Columbia.  I guess as the schools intellectual reputation has risen even higher over the last many years, its athletic prowess has moved in the other direction.

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Temple, meanwhile, started off like a ball of fire but has cooled considerably since then.  It seems like we are always waiting for Temple to put it all together.