Oct 9, 2012, 4:08 PM EDT
The Reading Phillies have three players on a list of the Eastern League’s Top 20 Prospects according to Baseball America. Catcher Tommy Joseph, third baseman Cody Asche, and pitcher Jon Pettibone all made the cut. Home run king Darin “Babe” Ruf did not.
Oct 9, 2012, 3:03 PM EDT
The Sixers will open their preseason schedule without Andrew Bynum this Thursday in Orlando, but insider Dei Lynam shared some good news from training camp on Monday.
There was some legitimate concern after the team announced they were shutting down their newly-acquired center for three weeks, a precautionary measure taken due to a bone bruise in his knee. He may be over a week away from stepping on the hardwood yet, but Bynum admitted he is feeling much better recently, thanks.
Oct 9, 2012, 1:50 PM EDT
Through five weeks, the Eagles’ defense ranks ninth in passing yards allowed (206.8), and fourth in opponent passer rating (67.1). Despite the decent numbers all-around though, some very good wide receivers have posted good games over the past three weeks. That could spell bad news with Calvin Johnson coming to town.
Oct 9, 2012, 12:20 PM EDT
At this point we’ve already heard about one million reasons why Michael Vick can’t hang on to a football this season. Some believe it’s because he’s trying too hard to be a pocket passer, others claim he’s being asked or forced to run too frequently, and a whole bunch of nonsense in between.
Heck, if we were to take his comments at face value, supposedly the quarterback doesn’t even realize it’s a problem at all.
Oct 9, 2012, 11:14 AM EDT
♪ Makin’ movies / makin’ hockey / and fightin’ round the world
Oct 9, 2012, 10:29 AM EDT
If the Phillies are going to jump back into contention in 2013, they’ll be relying on a contribution from Chase Utley. The concern is knee injuries have prevented the second baseman from starting the season on time two years in a row. Who’s to say there won’t be a third?
Jim Salisbury had a candid sit-down with the five-time All Star on Monday, who discussed his frustration with the situation, whether he was surprised it cropped up again this year, and how many games he hopes to be available next spring.
Oct 8, 2012, 4:54 PM EDT
Would it be fair to term this, the 2012-13 offseason, the single-most crucial winter for the Phillies since they won the World Series? How the organization chooses to address the club’s many needs could not only determine whether or not Philadelphia is back in contention next season, but quite possibly the trajectory of the franchise for years to come.
Given the gravity of the situation, how do you feel about Ruben Amaro Jr. and Charlie Manuel as the men tasked with getting this operation back on track?
Oct 8, 2012, 2:57 PM EDT
Okay, so it wasn’t the greatest Phillies season of this era, but you can’t go through 162 games and not produce some memorable moments. Courtesy of reader Kevin Watkin, who is responsible for putting together this highlight reel, here is a video package of the best of the Fightins in 2012. [video below]
Oct 8, 2012, 11:49 AM EDT
Okay, that headline might be a slight exaggeration, but by at least one measure, it’s absolutely true. Unfortunately for the Eagles, that one measure happens to be second only to “wins” in importance: scoring.
Oct 8, 2012, 3:31 AM EDT
Even at 37 years old, Allen Iverson has the itch to play. Granted some of his motivation might be financial, but watching A.I. give everything he had on the hardwood night after night, his love of the game is unquestioned. That would help explain why The Answer turned up in China over the weekend.
Oct 8, 2012, 2:15 AM EDT
You gotta hand it to Kurt Coleman, there’s seldom a dull moment in the Eagles’ secondary with the third-year safety. Number 42 has already been in on some of the most memorable plays of this short season — good and bad — but it’s equipment issues he’s quickly becoming famous for.
First he had his helmet trucked off by Cleveland’s Trent Richardson in Week 1. On Sunday, Coleman took out his aggressions on Antonio Brown’s shoe. [video below]
Oct 7, 2012, 4:56 PM EDT
For the fourth time in five games, Michael Vick led the offense on a long scoring drive to put the Eagles ahead in the fourth quarter. For the first time this season, it was not enough to get the job done.
In their longest drive of 2012, the Eagles finally reached paydirt on play number 17, capping an eight-plus minute drive with a two-yard touchdown pass to Brent Celek for their first lead of the afternoon. They left the Steelers far too much time to work though, and Pittsburgh used all of their six-and-a-half minutes to methodically march down the field, then kick a 34-yard field goal to deliver a 16-14 victory as the clock expired.
Oct 7, 2012, 12:30 PM EDT
Another chapter in the sports rivalry between the cities of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh gets written today, albeit a much different one. The Flyers and Penguins play each other six times over a normal 82-game season, and can then meet in the playoffs for seven more as they did in April. The Phillies and Pirates play at least two series per season as well, and also could meet in the postseason — if the Bucs ever got there.
The Eagles and Steelers meet just once every four years, unless they were both to wind up in the Super Bowl. It appears both could be a long way from that goal in 2013.
The Steelers are 1-2 entering today, and there is a belief their entire campaign could hinge on today’s result. That’s not being melodramatic either, not in the AFC North where the Bengals are 3-1 and the Ravens are 2-2. Luckily for the Steelers, they are coming off of a bye and return three great players in Rashard Mendenhall, James Harrison, and Troy Polamalu.
Oct 6, 2012, 2:30 PM EDT
Braves fans looking for sympathy obviously won’t find much here. You can debate the merits of the infield fly rule in a specific situation, and it sure looked funny on a ball hit into what most people would consider the outfield on Friday night, but based on the letter of the law, I personally would have to agree it was a subjective call and therefore technically accurate. (I’m not as sure I agree with its application though.)
Braves fans weren’t having anything resembling a debate at Turner Field, which erupted into an uncomfortable scene in the moments that followed the controversial play.
Oct 5, 2012, 12:38 PM EDT
Now that some folks are finally starting to come around on Juan Castillo — very slowly, we will add — we thought it would be helpful to look at some of the numbers that explain why.
Oct 5, 2012, 10:30 AM EDT
It’s only October, but four weeks into the season it sure looks like the injury to Jason Peters is something the Eagles may never quite fully overcome in 2012. Pass protection and running to the left have been issues, and they’ve already flip-flopped Demetress Bell for King Dunlap at left tackle, then back again.
But Peters looms in the shadows of the non-football injury list, eligible to rejoin the 53-man roster between Weeks 6 and 9. As impossible as that prospect might sound, both Peters and Andy Reid seem to believe he could still make it back in time to contribute this season.
Oct 4, 2012, 4:55 PM EDT
On the same day the NHL announced the cancellation of the first two weeks of its 2012-13 season, two important Flyers finally made the move several of their teammates had already made as far out as weeks ago. Claude Giroux and Danny Briere, two of the franchise’s most recognizable players, are heading to Europe to play hockey.
Giroux and Briere apparently were a package deal, as both opted to join Eisbären Berlin in the Deutsche Eishiockey Liga in Germany. I’m not sure who else their roster is comprised of, but I’m willing to venture a guess they’re going to have a pretty good team with these recent additions.
Oct 4, 2012, 2:44 PM EDT
The puck was slated to drop in Philadelphia one week from today, but in what was essentially a foregone conclusion, the NHL has announced the inevitable: the 2012-13 season will not start on time.
Oct 4, 2012, 2:00 PM EDT
As new friend of the Level and Pittsburgh Tribune-Review writer Alan Robinson pointed out on Wednesday, Michael Vick has experienced some success in two career meetings against the Steelers. Then again, the Eagles quarterback’s struggles in Arizona might be telling us something completely different about this Sunday’s matchup.
Oct 4, 2012, 12:42 PM EDT
When the Phillies announced several changes in their coaching staff roughly an hour or so after the season ended, speculation was Triple-A manager and Hall of Fame second baseman Ryne Sandberg would be hastily promoted to the position of bench coach.
On Thursday, Sandberg was indeed hired by the big club, but reportedly to be the team’s third base coach. Nothing further — for now at least.
Oct 4, 2012, 3:52 AM EDT
This could be considered taking some journalistic liberties as we paraphrase ever so slightly, but we’re pretty sure what Jimmy Rollins was saying here is the equivalent of, “We’re still the team to beat.”
With the Nationals on their way to the playoffs, and the Phillies headed to the vacation spots of their choosing, J-Roll did not seem so convinced of the natural order of things. We’ll allow the ’08 MVP to describe this season on his terms, but it’s not much different from what we’ve suggested all along — that injuries played a prominent role in holding the Phils back first and foremost.
Oct 4, 2012, 2:47 AM EDT
Somehow, somewhere there is actually an ongoing conversation about who will win the American League MVP award. As an impartial observer, allow me to settle this for everybody, be it voters and fans alike.
Uh… I think it’s the guy who accomplished a feat that hasn’t been witnessed in 45 years.
Oct 3, 2012, 5:01 PM EDT
The time to say goodbye to the Phillies is upon us. While a sad occasion, for the first year since their last World Series appearance in ’09 — where win or lose, the season is over — we can’t say we didn’t see it coming.
For all intents and purposes, baseball season was over one-to-two weeks ago, at whichever point you felt the Phillies had fallen hopelessly out of the Wild Card race. Then again, by that logic some might say baseball season was already over as far back as July, when the team was 14 games under .500. Or you could argue baseball season wasn’t over until this past Friday, when they were eliminated from playoff contention.
Oct 3, 2012, 2:55 PM EDT
Round and round it goes…
The Eagles signed Demetress Bell in April to fill in for Jason Peters while he recovered from a ruptured Achilles that in all likelihood cost him the 2012 season. King Dunlap was retained as insurance, a policy from which the team had already drawn from after just one preseason game. Then a hamstring injury forced Dunlap from the lineup in Week 2, but now that he’s ready to return, it appears the offense will stick with Bell.
Where it will stop, no one knows.
Oct 3, 2012, 12:54 PM EDT
Each week during the 2012 season we’re hitting up some of the most knowledgeable people on the Internet when it comes to the Philadelphia Eagles’ opponent that particular Sunday. Today we have Alan Robinson, Steelers beat reporter for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
Kulp: Pittsburgh is 1-2 heading into the intrastate matchup, and you wrote their campaign could very well hinge on this game. The team seems to be getting healthy right on cue, with Rashard Mendenhall, James Harrison, and Troy Polamalu all potentially available this week. Assuming they all play, are the Steelers’ problems suddenly solved?
Alan Robinson: Not necessarily. (Full response below.)
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