Thursday, September 27, 2007

Phillies Game Back in Both Races

The Phillies are walking the annual tight rope to the playoffs again this year. They haven't reached the other side in more than ten years. They do have a good chance this year. The current update on the playoff chase is that the Phils are one game back in both the wild card and the N.L. East. The Phils won 5-2 yesterday and the New York Mets lost. The Padres won again.
I think the Phils have a better shot at winning the division than anything else. The Mets are slumping and might just fall apart with four games to play. The Padres are surging and so are the Colorado Rockies. Now, wouldn't you want to race just one team to the finish or would you rather try to beat every team that's in second in their divisions in the N.L.. The Phillies, to give themselves a good shot, would probably want to win, at the very least, three out of the last four games.
You gotta think, though, that if the Phillies would have won a few more games in their horrible start to the season, that it would be a different story right now. But I guess you shouldn't cry about spilled milk.
Even if this team doesn't make the playoffs, I think they still did a great job getting this far. I mean, with the rollercoaster of a bullpen and a rotation that has dropped like flys the entire season, that they are lucky to be in this position alone. Remember that when you call into WIP after the season, if the Phils are not playing October baseball, and start ripping Charlie Manuel and telling him to get out of town. He did a good job with this team and has earned the right to coach next year. But let's just hope that he has his team ready for the start of the season next year.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Phillies Closing In

The Phillies will finish their season off with a six-game homestand. Entering that homestand, which starts tonight against the Braves, they will be tied for the wild card lead and a chance at the division. How did they get a share of the top spot in the wild card? Well, they didn't play last night and they were a half game back. The leader at that time was the San Diego Padres and they lost last night.
The Phillies would love to compete in their first post season since 1993 this year. They certainly have the talent to do it: the reigning MVP and two different candidates for this season's award.
It will be a tough task for the Phils to edge out the Padres or any other team close to the wild card lead. The Padres pitching staff is why they are competing for a playoff spot this season. With Chris Young (left), Gary Maddux and Jake Peavy, their staff is one of the finest in the entire league.
That is exactly what the Phils lack: quality pitching. Sure it wasn't their fault, because they had a pretty good staff coming into this season but plenty of injuries have turned them into patch work and mediocre at best. The Phils strength is their hitting, no question about it.
The Phils have six games left: three against the Braves and three against the Nationals, all at home. Those are certainly winnable games. It will be fun to watch.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Why Jimmy Rollins Should Be MVP

Jimmy Rollins is a remarkable ballplayer. You don't see many players go all-out every game and play flawlessly. Jimmy Rollins is about the best all-around shortstop in the league. He is having one of his best years this year. Rollins is a big reason why this team is still contending for a playoff spot.
In spring training, he took a bold step by saying that the Phils were the team to beat in the N.L. East. Now you can imagine what the team that won the division by double digit games last season thinks about that. The Mets fans put a big target on Jimmy from the begining and still boed him till the final game between the two teams.
Jimmy plays in almost every game and it shows, he has 201 hits, 18 triples, 38 doubles, and 29 homers this year. He is batting .295 and has 90 RBIs. That is a remarkable number of RBIs for somebody batting in the lead off position. He is also very good on the base pads; he has 38 stolen bases. He is impecable in the field
MVP stands for most valuable player and right now I'd rather have Jimmy on the team than anyone else.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Eagles Go Lion Hunting

The Eagles surprised everyone, even their most faithful fans, as they tamed the Detroit Lions at Lincoln Financial Field earlier this afternoon. They scored 56 points in their first win of the season and by the way, that's the most points the team has scored in 54 years. The final score of the game, in which the Eagles scored 42 first half points, was 56-21. Going into this game most people thought that it was a must-win, and that if they lost the game the season looked as bright as the Titanic did when it hit the iceberg. Hopefully, we saw the real Eagles' offense today. Perhaps it was still asleep for the first two games.
McNabb looked like Peyton Manning as he threw for four touchdowns and 381 yards. Kevin Curtis looked unstoppable as he reeled in four touchdown grabs and gained 221 yards. He tied an NFL record for the most receiving yards in the first half, with 205 yards. It was one of the best performances by a wide receiver I have ever seen. Brian Westbrook played like a man-with-something-to-prove, breaking tackles and gaining first downs with ease. He finished with 222 yards total with three scores, but left the game in the third quarter with a rib injury. That will give Eagles' fans nightmares and sweaty palms even if it turns out to be minor.
Jon Kitna had a great game in this offensive showing, as he threw for 446 yards and two touchdowns for the Lions. The Philly defense showed yet again how solid it is by getting to Kitna nine times.
Earlier in the week, most Eagles' fans were busy burning McNabb on local radio stations for saying that black quarterbacks are criticized more than white quarterbacks in an interview for HBO. After that interview, most people thought that McNabb couldn't handle the pressure put on him from the fans. A lot of people thought he was just making up excuses because he hadn't won a Super Bowl yet, and they wanted him out of town after that interview was shown last week.
McNabb showed why he should still be in town in the beginning of the game when he scored on his first five possesions. Many people will probably think, though, that this was nothing more than a fluke game. All I know is that the Eagles looked pretty stinkin' good today.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Pathetic Eagles

The Eagles' offense showed just how pathetic they were on Monday Night Football, with the nations eyes on them they did not come through in the clutch. The final score was 20-12, Washington Redskins. The defense played solid but it the offense was horrid. They didn't even score a touchdown against the Redskins. David Akers scored all of the points for the Eagles, with four field goals.
Why is the offense floundering when it was the defense we worried about coming into the season. I will give you a one of reasons: the receivers are not getting open. The offensive line protected McNabb well enough but he needed more time because Kevin Curtis, Reggie Brown and various other receivers weren't getting into enough space to allow McNabb to complete the pass.
Another thing I miss about the offense is McNabb making a good play out of a bad play. His ability to buy time and run around until someone gets open. He can't do that any time soon because it is not even a year after his surgery. But that playmaking ability is what has made McNabb the kind of quality quarterback that he is.
The Eagles lost this game because they could not score in the red zone, which used to be automatic for McNabb and this offense. Brian Westbrook was the one bright spot in the offense. He made big play after big play but you can't win with only half of your offense showing up for the game.
The defense did good but not great. Believe me people people, Jason Campbell isn't as good as he looked Monday night. I do think the defense did well against Clinton Portis and Ladell Betts. But hey, at least their wasn't any muffed punts.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Preview: Philadelphia Eagles-Washington Redskins

The Eagles play the Washington Redskins tonight in a Monday Night Football showdown. The Eagles lost their opener in distastful fashion last week to the Green Bay Packers. The Redskins, however, won their opener facing the Miami Dolphins. That's not really saying much, though. The Eagles' questionable run defense will have its first real test tonight. The Redskins have a great one-two punch with Clinton Portis and Ladell Betts sharing the carries. The Eagles should have some adrenaline going because it is the home opener. Don't forget about the Redskins' passing game either, sure Jason Campbell can be terrible but you have to remember that the guys he's throwing to can make big plays. Cris Cooley is a first-rate tight end and Santana Moss is a very gifted recevier. The Eagles need not to give up big plays in order to win.
The Eagles' offense should throw the defense off with a good mix of run and pass. Brian Westbrook needs to have a good game. McNabb will throw for big gains if the offensive line protects him. I think that is one of the keys to win for the Eagles. It will be a well coached battle, with Joe Gibbs (Redskins' coach, upper right) against Andy Reid. Should be a very close divisional matchup. I can't wait.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Oden Out for Season

The first pick in the last NBA Draft, Greg Oden, will be out for the season. Oden had microfracture knee surgery and that will make him miss the season while he recovers from it. Oden just went to the doctor to check on his knee that was hurting and the doctor said he needed the microfracture knee surgery. Oden was supposed to make an immediate impact this season with the Portland Trailblazers but know they will have to wait one more season. Oden was also injured most of his college career but still played good and took Ohio State to the championship game. Oden only played one season in college and had big expectations for the NBA. So does fellow rookie Kevin Durant, Oden is constantly compared Durant, who was the number 2 pick in the draft. There is much speculation about who will be a better NBA player, but everyone now knows one thing: Durant will have a head start.
With this injury to Oden, one has to think that mabye he is injury prone. He got injured in college and now is out for his first season. Will he play poorly when he comes back and then suffer from injuries for the rest of his career? I don't think he will be plagued by injury, I think it was just tough luck that he has the injury he has. I think he will comeback and be a star in the NBA but he will just have to wait

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Spying Patriots

NFL commissoner Roger Goodell concluded yesterday that the New England Patriots had broken NFL rules. The Patriots are said to have video taped the New York Jets', the team they played on Sunday, defensive signals. Officials took away a camera and video tape from a Patriot's assistant coach. Goodell is even thinking about taking away the Pats draft picks. He said what the Pats did broke a competitive violation. The Patriots will be able to present their case, however, probably by phone on Friday. The league said the Pats have been suspected in the past of doing something similar to what they did on Sunday.

The big part of this case for me, is that the Pats have been suspected of things like this before. Who knows when they have done it before. In Super Bowls and playoff games that were close, did they video tape the other team's signals? Did they do it against the Eagles in the Super Bowl a few years ago? Is Tom Brady as good as people think he is or is he getting help from coaches telling him the other teams plays? Bill Belichek is a respected coach around the league but will that change with these allegations popping up. My respect for the Pats has fell considerably.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Special Woes

The Philadelphia Eagles lost their first game of the season yesterday, 13-16 to the Green Bay Packers. Green Bay exploted all the Eagle's mistakes. Guess what the biggest mistake was? Punt returning. Out of all the problems I thought would plague the Eagles, punt returning was NOT one of them. If you didn't watch this game I will give you a recap. Greg Lewis fumbled the ball in the first quarter off a punt and it rolled into the endzone and was recovered by Green Bay for a touchdown. Then rookie kicker Mason Crosby nailed a 53-yard field goal to give the Packers a 10-0 lead at the end of the first quarter. Eagle kicker, David Akers, kicked a 33-yarder threw the uprights. McNabb then drove down the field and threw an 8-yard touchdown pass to second year recevier Jason Avant. So the score is tied at the half. David Akers then booted in his second field goal of the season, a 47-yarder, to put the Eagles ahead. Mason Crosby then evened it out with a field goal, a 37-yarder. So it is tied,13-13, going into the fourth. So, the Eagles D makes a big stop late in the fourth quarter and the Packers punt it to J.R Reed. It is short and with mutiple Packers around him, he dives for it and bobbles it with 59 seconds left and a tie game. Packers ball in field goal range and Crosby puts it home for the game-winning field goal. The whole team played pretty good, the defense especially. McNabb played good but not great. The punt returning ruined the game. Greg Lewis and J.R Reed, you don't have to field a punt, you know that? The Eagles recently cut punt returning specialist Jeremy Bloom, who probably wouldn't have fielded those punts. You would like to have him on the team now, wouldn't ya, Andy.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Eagles Preview/ Notre Dame-Penn State Recap and More

The Eagles play their first game today at Lambeau Field in Green Bay. That means that they will be playing the durable Brett Farve. The Packers don't have much running game though, so the defense should not be tested in that category. If Brett is on his game, this should be a good one but if he lobs it up for multiple interceptions, the Eagles should win this game by a heathy margin. Hopefully the Eagles remember their vow to run it more this season. Brian Westbrook deserves to get the ball more. He makes something out of nothing out there. McNabb will play good because he always starts out the season ready and on a roll. I think Kevin Curtis will play a major roll in this offense all year. I am not that worried about the defense. I think they will play the run better this year and the DB's are always good. I think the offensive line will protect McNabb well and the defense line will get to Farve at least three times. My prediction is 28-14 Eagles at the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field.
Penn State beat Notre Dame 31-10 yesterday. Notre Dame played good in the first half but then the Penn State offense took over in the second half. The first score came when Darrin Walls returned a interception, thrown by Penn State quarterback Anthony Morelli, 73 yards to the house. Penn State came back with a big play of their own at the end of the first half when Derrick Williams returned a punt 78 yards. The game was tied to begin the second quarter. The Nittany Lions scored four more times during the game with the Fighting Irish scoring only once. Jimmy Clausen was pretty good in his first college start. He was 17 of 32 passing with 144 yards and one interception. He threw for more yards than Penn State quarterback Anthony Morelli (131 yards passing). I think Jimmy Clausen will develope into a star in Notre Dame but maybe not this year.
I did watch the Phillies yesterday as they beat the Florida Marlins 9-1 in the game of the week on Fox. Joe Girardi was the color commentator in the broadcasting booth. You know him because he managed the Marlins last year and one NL Manager of the Year award. I thought he did an awesome job calling the game yesterday afternoon. Now maybe it was just because his former team, the Marlins, were playing but I thought he did a great job trying to make the fans watching know what is going on in a players head. He noticed every little detail during the game and told us if the player made a mistake or if the player did something good and why it was happening. The man knows a lot about baseball and I don't know why the Marlins fired him. I even thought that when he got fired but now I think that even more.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Preview: NFC South

Teams: Atlanta Falcons, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Carolina Panthers
Winner: Saints
Why: Drew Brees hits his recevier every time and can make something out of nothing. That running punch of Deuce McAllister and Reggie Bush is one of the best in the league. Bush is also a terrific recevier. Marques Colston is like a young Randy Moss and should be a big factor. Their defense is good enough. Scott Fujita is a tackling machine. The Saints should win this division pretty easily
unless an important player is hurt.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Predictions and Previews: AFC East

Teams in AFC East: New England Patriots, New York Jets, Buffalo Bills, and Miami Dolphins

Winner: New England Patriots

Why: This maybe the best Patriot team and that means trouble for the other teams in the AFC East. They picked up an aging Randy Moss and a quality recevier in Donte Stallworth. Even though Rady Moss is getting up there, he can still make big plays. Tom Brady is still one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL and Laurence Maroney is a decent back. On defense the Pats picked up big free agent defensive end Adalius Thomas but kept in place most of the defense. Tom Brady does have a shoulder injury but is probable for the first game of the season. Tedy Bruschi is questionable for the game, though. With one of the best football minds as their coach, Bill Belichik, the Pats should cruise through the AFC East. The Jets will finish in 2nd in the division.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

How The Phillies Break Your Heart

This is the time of year when the Phillies usually make a run at the NL Wild Card. Sure, this team is a little different but you can still smell the same stench as the teams that came before. This is how the Phillies break your heart: They win down the strech to give them a chance but don't win enough to put them very close to the leaders in the Wild Card or division. Or you could look at it this way: They don't lose enogh to be out of contention. They give themselves just the right amount of hope to make you think they might do it this year.

The other reason this guys break your heart is that most of the guys on the team seem like likable guys. Ryan Howard's big smile or Jimmy Rollins dancing in the dugout. Aside from Brett Myers most of these guys seem like nice guys.

After the Phils swept the Mets in four games last week, they lost 2 of 3 playing the Marlins and lost the first game against the Braves yesterday afternoon. The other problem with the Phillies is that they beat the team their supposed to (the Mets) and lose to the team they are not (the Braves). They need to be more consistent in the coming games, none of this hot-and-cold stuff, they need to win almost every series. So it has began, the emotional roller coaster that is September for Phil's fans.