Monthly Archives: November, 2012

Phillies…I Still Want An Upton

Now that BJ Upton has signed with the Braves there is a dearth of right handed bats left in the free agent pool. So if the Phillies are going to acquire one it will have to be via trade and the player at the top of my Christmas wish list is Justin Upton. Unfortunately it might just be a wish unless Reuben Amaro is Santa Claus.

The Arizona Diamondbacks have made it clear that Justin Upton would be traded for the right price. Arizona has some depth in the outfield even after trading Chris Young to the A’s. As of now they have Justin Upton, Jason Kubel, Gerardo Parra, and Adam Eaton (Not that Adam Eaton). Eaton is not yet a proven big leaguer but I guess he has played well enough in the minors to make the Diamondbacks feel comfortable to dangle Upton.

CEO Derrick Hall said “We’ve always said that if a team wants to talk about any of our players, including Justin Upton, that we would listen,”. GM Kevin Towers wasn’t shy to talk about trading Upton either saying “I think we’ve said it’s probably unlikely we end up doing something with him, but if somebody is willing to step up and we think it’s a deal that’s going to make the Diamondbacks better next year and going forward, we’ll talk about trading him.”. Upton would fill both offensive and defensive needs of the Phils since he plays right field and he has 30 homer run potential from the right side of the of plate. That’s two holes the Phillies are desperate to fill and I think Upton is eager to fill their two holes (what?!!). Plus Justin is only 25 and is signed through 2015. Even better he is only owed $38 million over the next three years which breaks down to 9 million in 2013 and 14.5 million in 2014-15. That’s not too much for a player with his potential. Especially since he is better and younger then his bother who just signed for more money per year then that.

That being said to get a young relatively cheap player you will have to give up a lot and I’m not sure the Phils have enough to get the deal done. Arizona has said they would be interested in a top of the rotation pitcher or young short stop. They have inquired about the Rangers short stops Elvis Andrus and Jurickson Profar. I would trade Rolens for Upton but they are looking for a young short stop and I don’t think Freddy Galvis is exactly what they are looking for.

What the Phils do have a lot of is young arms. If any deal could get done it have to include some combination Jon Pettibone, Jesse Biddle, Trevor May, Brody Colvin, Ethan Martin, Adam Morgan or Tyler Cloyd. The problem is that the Phillies are missing an attractive major league ready piece and it’s hard to imagine that any combination of the players I previously mentioned get Upton here on their own. Others players that could be involved would be Dom Brown or Vance Worley. Both are young and cheap players but Brown hasn’t developed into the player the Phils had hoped he would be and wouldn’t command as much as when he was an untouchable prospect.  Worley had a bit of sophomore slump but that could have been due to injury.

The Diamondbacks want a ton of talent for Upton and I don’t blame them. I named a lot of players and I wonder if there is some combination of them would work.  I’m not sure if the Phillies have what it takes to get that deal done but Ruben has been awfully quit so far and I wonder if he has something up his sleeve. What I would like to see him pull out of that sleeve is Justin Upton.

Quick Tuggs…Popovich is a BOSS…

 

“”Pop” my man, you are a BOSS. It’s as simple as that. “Pop” said, “Screw TNT and their ratings. I don’t care that it is a National Televised game. I don’t care that it is a match-up of a top team from the West and a top team from the East”. Well, he actually did not say that but he basically did with his actions.

Some of the so called “Experts” liked his decision. John Hollinger of the ESPN said…

Incidentally, Pop did same thing in Portland a year ago. So unless you want to argue a Miami game is somehow more important, thin ice here. This is an unacceptable decision by a commissioner

Kurt Helin, who is a Blogger-and-Chief of ProBasketballTalk on NBCSports.com chimes in..

 I don’t have issue with Popovich move: Spurs had 4 games in 5 days, Heat had 4 days off. Schedule maker’s loss. Sucks for fans but…To me, Popovich did what was best for Spurs, not fans or TV or League. He’s trolling, sure. But it doesn’t bother me.

I see some of their points. Stern should have done something with the Portland game. BUT come on fellas you can’t really defend this. People pay their hard earned money to see the best product on the court. By trying to defend Pop by saying it’s a smart move to rest his players is total ‘BS”. The dude sat his whole DAMN team. He sat Tony ParkerManu GinobiliDanny Green and Tim Duncan. The best part about it is that Kawhi Leonard and Stephen Jackson were already out for the game. Don’t give me that they are tired. It’s only NOVEMBER…

Here is what Stern had to say..

“I apologize to all NBA fans,” the statement from Stern said. “This was an unacceptable decision by the San Antonio Spurs and substantial sanctions will be forthcoming.”

“Pop” will get a slap on the wrist. I told you he is a BOSS..

Sixers Ball…Short term fix?..”Chunk” puts it perfectly…

Now what? Bynum is nowhere close to coming back. He does love his “Grey Goose Vodka” before games though. My bad, I am not supposed to say that. Inside stuff peeps. Man, this Bynum crap has sucked all the excitement out of the season so far. So I will ask the question again. Now what? The Sixers say they have a plan for life without Bynum. Let me take that back. They never had Bynum. Here is DiLeo’s quote..

“We’re anticipating he’ll be back at some point,” DiLeo said. “We hope he will be back. We have plans for the future if he is not back with us, but we are anticipating this is a short-term thing. We want to plan on him for the long term.” via Tom Moore of PhillyBurbs.com

Let me try to read in between the lines here. The Sixers are looking for quick fix. Maybe, I am reading it wrong. I did go to Catholic school for 12 years. Let’s pretend I did read it right. So who is out there for the short-term?

If you are looking at the free agent ‘Big-Men” there is very little. Eddy Curry? That’s funny. Kenyon Martin? Martin should just retire already. Hey, Tony Battie is out there. Sorry, bad joke. The one guy that sticks out is Chris Anderson.

The “Bird-Man” could be interesting. He is an energy player that fans would fall in love with. He is a good rebounder and shot blocker. Last season he averaged 4.6 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in just 15 minutes a game for the Nuggets. He is 34 years old, but still can bring that energy. There is always room on a team for energy players.

Trading options? Well, I don’t see them doing anything big as of right now. The Sixers have to be careful about a trade. The one positive thing about this Bynum mess is that they will have plenty of cap room to play with next summer (leaving Bynum out of it for now) with Josh Smith, Dwight Howard, Al Jefferson, and Paul Millsap leading the way for the “Big-Men”. There is no way in hell, that Howard is leaving LA though. I just don’t see it..

I mean Varejao of the Cavs (leads the league in rebounding 14.9 rpg) could be available. But he is making 8.3 million this year and has 3 more years left after this season. No thank you, to that. Jason Maxiell? The Pistons are not going anywhere and his contract is up at the end of this season. He is making 5 million this year. Maxiell is a high-energy guy as well. So for the short-term free agent the winner is Chris Anderson. For the short-term trade the winner is Jason Maxiell.

I am tired just as much as you are about the Sixers bringing in mediocre players over the years. BUT this time it would make sense, CAP ROOM people. The thing that sucks the most right now is that Jrue and Evan are playing very well. Now if only we had a “Big-Man”.

Screw it, just go out and trade for Josh Smith…This is how I really feel about the “Short-Term” fix anyway..

 

 

WAG Wednesday…Irina Shayk

WAG stands for Wives And Girlfriend’s and every Wednesday we bring you the hottest WAGs of professional athletes from all sports across the world. This weeks WAG is Irina Shayk. Shayk started her career relatively late for a model, at the age of 19, when she began modeling in Paris. In 2007 she replaced Ana Beatriz Barros as the face of Intimissimi and in the same year debuted in the annual Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. Since that time, she has appeared in every annual edition, attending photoshoots in such places as St. Petersburg, Naples, Grenada and Chile. After being the image of Intimissimi for three years, Shayk was made the official ambassador for the brand in 2010. Her other modeling contracts include Beach Bunny (2009), and Guess spring/summer 2009. Other work include the Victoria’s Secret catalog, Lacoste, Cesare Paciotti and Morellato. Her magazine covers include Annabelle, Bolero, Woman, Jalouse, and Paris Capital. She also appeared in Culo a book in which Diddy (Sean Combs) served as “executive editor” on this coffee table book, a collection of artful ass photography by Raphael Mazzucco. By the way Culo means ass in Italian and Spanish. Irina dates Cristiano Ronaldo.

Philer Up!…Not Our Beloved Chooch. Well, Maybe..

Not going to lie, I am not really that surprised by this. Don’t get me wrong I love Chooch, but becoming a .330 hitter at 33 years old makes you think something is up. I guarantee that most of the ball players are taking something. The drug that Ruiz tested positive for was Adderall.

Adderall is a anamphetamine commonly used to control attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

The drug helps you focus more. Some people close to me think I need to take these pills. Whatever… Just recently there were NFL players that tested positive for the same thing Richard Sherman of Seattle, Eric Wright of Tampa Bay and Jermaine Cunningham of New England. Here is Chooch’s statement..

”I am sincerely regretful for my mistake in taking a prohibited stimulant,” Ruiz said in a statement issued by the Major League Baseball Players Association. ”I apologize to my teammates, the Phillies organization and the Philadelphia fans. I will serve the imposed 25-game suspension to begin the season and I look forward to returning to the field and working toward bringing a championship back to Philadelphia in 2013.” via FoxSports.

Ruiz can play during spring training though. Here is the Phils statement..

“The Phillies fully support Major League Baseball’s Drug Program. We are disappointed by the news of this violation of the program. We will support Carlos in an appropriate manner and move forward to achieve our goal to play championship-caliber baseball in 2013.”

Chooch hit .325/.394 obp with 16 homers and 32 doubles in 114 games last season. All I am going to say is that Chooch had to steal these pills from Victorino. Vic definitely has ADHD or ADD. He has one them ADD things…

Eagles…An Eagles Die Hard Debut

As a fan of Philly sports I think we all at one point or another have said “dude, I can play better then that”. Especially this Eagles season you gotta think you might be able to play because you know you would play with more heart than these guys. Well one Eagles fan is going to get that chance tonight. Vinny Curry has been a life long Eagles fan and grew up in central Jersey.

He was drafted in the second round by the Birds but hasn’t been active for a game this season. The main reason he hasn’t seen the field is due to depth on the D-line but the other DE’s have been less than impressive. Curry will be one of seven rookies to play in tonights game. Others rookies who were drafted after the second rounder have already contributed to the team and Curry has been vocal about wanting to play. “I’m pretty sure the fans want to know where their [second-round] pick’s at,” Curry said. “I’m wondering the same thing. But it’s damn sure not a talent issue. They have their guys set already. Ankle sprain in the summer, that’s all I could think of.”

Curry and 49ers running back LaMichael James are the only two second round pick that have yet to see playing time. It may be tough for Curry to step in this late in the season and make a big impact. Especially with how badly this team is and no one is sure how many plays Vinny will get. Curry has expressed his excitement about getting to play this week and I think most fans are equally excited to see him play. Hopefully he can be a spark for a team that badly needs a fire lit under its ass. So from one Eagles fan to another I wish Vinny the best of luck.

 

Andy’s Day Care…Eagles/Panthers..Quick Hits..

 

The Foles era had a roaring start (sarcasm). The best thing that I saw from Foles was that audible he called at the line by HIMSELF. I never thought I would see an Eagles QB do that. Seriously... He hit Cooper on that quick three step drop on the outside, when the blitz was coming from up the middle. Well after that there was not much anything from him. He was rattled for most of the game because of the O-Line. Foles went 9-24 for 84 yards in the second half. Ouch..

“Big Red” did not help out Foles either by having him drop back 50 plus times. Andy also did not help himself out with having McCoy still in the game with about 2 minutes left. Big Red’s excuse was, “Trying to win the game”. Ummm, you are down 31-6 with 2 minutes and YOU are RUNNING the BALL. Come on bro, you were trying to kill the clock and get the hell out of Washington. Weak…

Eagles

– Offense overall ranking (14th)

– Passing (15th) and Rushing (11th)

– 3rd down conversions (15th). They are 56-145 (38.6%)

– Defense Overall ranking (14th)

– Against the Pass (12th) and Against the Run (18th)

– 3rd down conversions against (10th). Opp are 45-125 (36%)

Panthers

– Offense overall ranking (22nd)

– Passing (18th) and Rushing (16th)

– 3rd down conversions (22nd). They are 44-122 (36.1%)

– Defense Overall ranking (22nd)

– Against the Pass (17th) and Against the Run (19th)

– 3rd down conversions against (18th). Opp are 52-136 (38.2%)

The Bottom Line…

Panthers are awful. I feel bad for America that they have to watch both of these teams. Cam’s numbers are way down. He has only 9 passing TD’s this year and only 4 rushing. Last year he had 21 passing TD’s and rushed for 14. It doesn’t look like he will get any where close to those numbers. By the way, what the HELL happen to DeAngelo Williams? Man, he has been awful this year. He is averaging 3.4 yards a carry. Actually, the Eagles could be just what the doctor ordered for him…

Panthers 24     Eagles   14

Philer Up!..Upton to choose this week..

A report came out this morning, saying that B.J. will make his decision this week on what team he is going to play for. The report comes from Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times..

 B.J. Upton is “looking to make a decision this week” on the multiple offers he’s been presented. The Phillies and Braves have both been aggressive in their pursuits of Upton, and the Nationals, Rangers and Giants have also been loosely linked.  He seems likely to land a five-year deal worth close to $75 million.

I have written about it before on how Upton would bring much needed balance/flexibility to the Phils lineup because of his power and speed. He is a helluva center-fielder, but he is streaky as hell though with the bat. He hit a career high in homers last season with 28 but also had a .298 OBP. He has a career average of .255 with 118 home runs and has 232 stolen bases.

Not going to lie though, 75 mill for a streaky player does seem like a lot. I would still do it…

Week 12…Angry Elf vs Dark Helmet..Their NFL Picks!!

Well, Angry Elf loves to talk a lot of “BS”, so of course he continues to do so. I just let him talk to make himself feel better. I never truly understand what he is talking about. He went 0-3 on Thanksgiving day. Dark Helmet “Schwartz” is very very strong right now. He was 2-0-1 on Turkey day..

Standings

Dark Helmet          Little Angry Elf

20-14-2                      17-17-2

Dark Helmet..

Raiders/Bengals

Bengals (Under 50.5) – This is Carson Palmer’s returns to where he started..Cincy..the Bengals are heavily favored in this contest by 8 points ..I think that’s too high..Carsons playing at a high level despite his defense not helping out & McFadden is returning. But I see the Bengals edging out a victory behind QB Dalton.

Chiefs/Broncos

Broncos (-10.5) – The Chiefs have been terrible. I don’t know how Crennel has held onto his coaching job this far. Peyton is playing like the old Peyton and is riding a 6 game winning streak. He and the Broncos will tear them to shreds.

Bucs/Falcons

Bucs (+1.5) – Unlike my counterpart “Angry Elf”, I do pick tough games, so here is the one right here. The Bucs are pulling out tough wins & QB Freeman is playing lights out. RB D. Martin is doing big things for this offense, as well as WR V. Jack,who is making big time catches make this O go! ATL QB Ryan had his worst TD to Int performance 0-5 & ATL still beat the Cards last week,so that proves his defense has his back. I see the Bucs winning this close affair still at home.

Angry Elf..

Just to be clear. I went 0-3 on purpose because you see it was the 1st annual Angry Elf Thursday bowl and God forbid if I didn’t let the Dark Helmet win.

Raiders/Bengals

Raiders +8.5 . Palmer will come out gunning vs his old team. Expecting McFadden to finally live up to the hype this week.
Seahawks/Dolphins

 Under 38.5 . Neither Tanning chump or Phillytugger’s lover Wilson will be consistent enough throughout this one. Two sloppy teams who won’t light up the scoreboard

Eagles/Panthers

Over 40. Eagles defense couldn’t stop a bird with no wings. Oh yea, that’s somehow Vick’s fault. Cam newton has been nothing short of terrible.

Contributors.. @block_TLP and @fawkingpawsy     Brian Lockett and Brandon Bramanti

That Old Feeling

After hearing about Andrew Bynum’s  new knee issue I got a feeling that crawled into the pit of my stomach. Then after the Eagles game Sunday it was killing me and I couldn’t avoid it.  It was a feeling that I have felt before but not in a few years. It’s is that old feeling that the sports teams in this town are doomed and we are inescapably tied to them. When I say tied I mean the success of these teams directly effect the mood of this city. Think about the Monday after any Eagles loss. You can really feel it every where you go. We are unable to just wash our hands of the failures of our sports teams and we wear it on our sleeves. We take it with us to school, work and carry it in our social lives.

After the Phillies won the World Series in 2008 I thought that feeling had left me for good. I thought they broke the curse and proved that winning a championship in Philadelphia wasn’t impossible. Just think about that postseason everything broke the Phils way. I started feeling optimistic about Philadelphia sports something I never felt before 2008. I felt like the sports gods were finally on our side for once and at the time it look like the Phillies had the potential to be a dynasty. They really could’ve and maybe should’ve won multiple World Series. Plus Ruben Amaro started spending like he was employed by George Steinbrenner and with a payroll  like that how could we not win multiple championships.
Unfortunately it’s starting to feel like the curse was not lifted but the World Series win did two things. First this town was like a pressure cooker before 2008 and when they won the World series it relieved that pressure just before this town was about to explode. Secondly it gave us a false sense of optimism.

Since 2008 the Phillies keep on bringing in more talented and expensive players but as the payroll ballooned we keep getting farther away from another World Series. The Eagles snuck into the playoff in 2009 and made it all the way to the NFC Championship only to get beat by the Cardinals. A team they blew out 48-20 Thanksgiving day earlier that season. Last season they went on a spending spree that brought the biggest names on the market here and put them in most Super Bowl conversations. Since then they have progressively gotten worse and are nowhere near going to the Super Bowl. The Flyers 2009-2010 kicked our false sense of optimism into high gear when they comeback to beat the Bruins in playoff series after going down 0-3. They lost in the 6th game of the Stanley Cup Finals when Michael Leighton gave up one of the softest goal ever to Patrick Kane in overtime. Now the Flyers have a great group of young players but they are on strike and may not have a season. The Sixers have been stuck in mediocrity for a long time but that looked like it was going to change this year with the acquisition of Andrew Bynum. With the Flyers on strike and the Eagles sucking this bad they should have been the talk of the town. Now it is a real possibility Bynum will never even step on the floor as a Philadelphia 76er. Can someone explain to me how Dwight Howard has back surgery and Bynum has a preventative knee procedure but Howard has play ever game while Bynum hasn’t played one?  It’s starting to look like we are doomed again and the pressure is starting to build.

It is this mixed feeling of passion and pain that defines and shapes us.  It’s the reason why Donavan McNabb got booed at the draft. It is the reason we throw snowball at Santa Claus and batteries at J.D. Drew. It’s the reasons fans try to fight Tie Domi and Joe Hickman fought other fans in the opening day brawl in the 700 level. On the flip side this is also why we sold out 257 games in a row at Citizens Bank Park. It’s why we invade other team stadiums for away games across the country. We have this unique pride in Philadelphia while also feeling like when you put Philadelphia on a jersey you won’t win championships. These teams are a like a bad girlfriend that you stay with for some reason. They are always hurting you but you just can leave them. It can make you crazy and that’s what the return of this feeling means. The return of the crazy Philly fans.