Saturday, July 30, 2011

Eagles Sign Nnamdi Asomugha; Phillies Trade For Hunter Pence

The Philadelphia Eagles signed Nnamdi Asomugha to a fair and reasonable 5-year deal. He will join Doninique Rodgers-Cromartie and presumably Asante Samuel in making sure opposing teams never complete a pass against the Eagles again. Unless of course Samuel is traded. Even if the value is good, that would be poop pants, considering Joselio Hanson would then be the nickel corner behind DRC and Asomugha. But signing Asomugha is seriously, seriously awesome.

The Philadelphia Phillies traded Jarred Cosart, Jonathan Singleton, Josh Zeid, and one low A ball player to be named later in exchange for Hunter Pence and enough cash to prevent the Phillies from crossing the luxury tax threshold. While no A prospect is can't miss, it is sucky that Cosart and Singleton are traded, as they have potentially very high ceilings. Josh Zeid is in AA now and could be in the majors as a middle reliever next year. Unfortunately, Hunter Pence is largely overrated and represents at best a marginal upgrade over the man in the outfield he will likely be taking time from, Domonic Brown. At this stage, the wise thing would be to send Brown back to AAA and let him practice left field until the September 1 call-ups. Brown's only played 8 total games in LF in his time in the Phillies system. Pence appears like a lock to slot into right field. Get Brown reps in left now. The only thing that makes me relieved about this Pence deal is that contrary to what was reported earlier, Brown was not traded. Pence's BABIP is 5th highest in the majors thus far this year. Regression can be a bitch. Pence is good, but he is not great. But at least Domonic Brown is still on the Phillies. At the start of the day, that is basically all I asked for to be true by the end of the day. And sure enough, it is.

The Eagles Front Office are the top Front Office in Philadelphia. And that has never been more clearer than today. Amaro has his moments of glory (Lee trade #1, Halladay, Oswalt, Lee signing), but when he fucks up, he sure know how to go for the jugular (selling low on Lee trade #2, Howard's contract, Ibanez signing and contract, selling low on Cosart and Singleton for the 25th best outfielder in MLB). Eagles are shrewd. Amaro is a gambling addict. Nowak blames fans. Holmgren can't do math . Stefanski does not have a clue.

Friday, July 29, 2011

The Butterfly Effect: How One Decision Two Years Ago Continues To Shape The Philadelphia Eagles Today

The Butterfly Effect (noun): The phenomenon whereby a minute localized change in a complex system can have large effects elsewhere.

Think about this. Sometime in the summer of 2009, the Philadelphia Eagles made a very crucial decision, that as small in the grand scheme of things as it may have seemed then, has impacted the roster more than anyone could have ever fathomed back then.

The Philadelphia Eagles decided they wanted to take a flyer on Michael Vick upon his release from prison. The Eagles followed their decision to sign him by actually landing him. As controversial as the move was, no one could have predicted what happened next.

Signing Michael Vick led to the Eagles having three quarterbacks on their team. Someone had to go.

Having no more use to them, the Eagles traded one of those QBs, Donovan McNabb, to Washington for a 2010 2nd round pick (Nate Allen) and a 2011 4th round pick (The Eagles traded this pick to Tampa in exchange for Tampa's 2011 4th rounder (Casey Matthews) and a 2012 4th rounder.)

Then after Kevin Kolb got injured in the first game of the season, Michael Vick came in and never looked back. He took the job away from Kolb, and that allowed Kolb to be expandable.

The Eagles traded Kevin Kolb, another QB no longer of any use to them, to Arizona for a former first round draft pick and Pro Bowl CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and a 2012 2nd round pick.

To summarize, the decision to sign Michael Vick has given the Eagles the following things:

Michael Vick
Nate Allen (2nd round pick)
Casey Matthews (4th round pick)
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie
2012 2nd round pick
2012 4th round pick.

All of those guys are penciled in to be starters on this year's team, with the exception of Casey Matthews, who may yet win a starting job in training camp.

That, ladies and gentlemen, is The Butterfly Effect.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Best. Minute Of Transactions. Ever.

Two amazing things happened in the exact same minute.

The Eagles traded Kevin Kolb to Arizona for Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and a 2nd round pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. I've always been a fan of Kolb, but this is without a doubt a good deal for the Eagles and I will have more on that later.

Bob Bradley was relieved of his duties on the U.S. Men's National Team. Bob Bradley was never any good, but the last three years were miserable, painful, and embarrassing beyond belief. It is about time Sunil Gulati grew a sack of balls and got rid of Bradley. As long as it is not an American or MLS Coach, I don't care who the new guy is to replace Bradley's spot. Anyone, including many monkeys, are better suited for that job than Bob Bradley was.

Now attention turns to the Phillies, as they debate whether or not to make a franchise-altering blunder by shipping Domonic Brown to Houston for Hunter Pence. Don't Trade Dom!

Monday, July 25, 2011

7/25 Padres Vs. Phillies Live Blog

It is a Monday day game and I've got nothing to do today, so enjoy this live blog! Because this is a local only telecast and I do not know who else would even be able to watch it, let alone be able to chat, I am not sending any email invitations out. If you want to chat, just hop into the comments section and I'll add you.

AFL Playoffs Conference Semifinal Schedule

Well, the Arena Football League Playoffs are back! And this year, I will be offering insane, unprecedented coverage of them. For reasons that I can only describe as pure insanity, I have decided to live blog this entire thing. Even the games that will only be available online at Eight teams are entering, and only one will emerge as ArenaBowl XXIV champion on August 12, 2011. I will have a more in-depth preview of this later in the week, but for now, here is your schedule for the first round of the 2011 AFL Playoffs, the Conference Semifinals! (all times ET)

American Conference Semifinals

July 29: #4 Orlando Predators vs. #1 Jacksonville Sharks 8:00 (NFL Network)
July 31: #3 Georgia Force vs. #2 Cleveland Gladiators 3:00 (

National Conference Semifinals

July 29: #3 Dallas Vigilantes vs. #2 Chicago Rush 8:30 (
July 29: #4 Spokane Shock vs. #1 Arizona Rattlers 10:00 (

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Philadelphia Fans Cheer A Catch That Robs Raul Ibanez Of A Home Run. Wait, What?!?!?!?

But please, GQ, keep telling us how Philadelphia Phillies fans are the worst fans in the country.

Because It's Been A While Since I Poked Fun At Keith Olbermann

Check out his beginning of the season prediction for the Philadelphia Philies:
Philadelphia: If everybody had been healthy, they still would’ve been overrated. Win all the divisions you want – eventually an unreliable closer will cost you too much to survive it. Now he’s hurt, and his heir presumptive is so incapable of stepping up that his manager and general manager have publicly expressed their doubts about him. There’s the outfield, already a problem spot before Domonic Brown was hurt (Raul Ibanez is its power – he hit 16 homers last year). And most disastrous of all, deranging everything from the infield defense to the entire batting order, is the combination injury/enigma of Chase Utley. I’ll repeat what I wrote here in my Fantasy Notes last week: everything I heard from everybody I know connected to the Phillies says that Utley’s options are season-ending knee surgery, or virtually-season-ending rehab. Either way, offensively the Phillies are reduced to Ryan Howard with very little line-up protection, the hustle and skill of Shane Victorino, and lord-knows-what from Jimmy Rollins. The Phillies are not contenders. Oh yeah – nice rotation. Unfortunately it’s like living in a mansion with no furniture.
As of the games played on July 23, 2011, the Phillies are five games ahead of the Braves for 1st place in the NL East, 10 games ahead of Arizona for a playoff spot, and are on pace to end the season with over 100 wins.

The Phillies offense may not be the world-beating offense it was in 2007, but baseball is as much about preventing runs as it is scoring runs. The Phillies have been excellent at preventing runs, and are not completely terrible at scoring them. Thus, you have the best team in baseball through July 23.

I wonder if Keith Olbermann believes the Phillies are contenders now.......

(h/t to Tug Haines on Twitter)

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Here We Go Again .......

Howard Eskin: Just reported on TV Eagles have some interest in b farve once they trade kolb. Sources told me its possible. Not sure what farve thinks

Jeff McLane: I'm not discounting @howardeskin report about #Eagles interest in Brett Favre. But a team source told me it's still a "long shot" and ... that "a lot of things would need to fall into place" for it to happen. BTW, there's was never a denial about the #Eagles' interest.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Tim Howard: World-Class Hypocrite

Let me be perfectly honest. I hope Bob Bradley gets sentenced to a lifetime of coaching soccer in northern Siberia. But through it all, there are still a few players on Bob Bradley's U.S. Men's National Team that you sort of like. For me, one of those was Tim Howard.

Here is one story ESPN, Alexi Lalas, John Harkes, and the rest of those butt-fucky schmucks not named Ian Darke will not tell you.

Tonight, the Philadelphia Union played a club friendly against English Premier side Everton. Now Everton are in their pre-season, so not everyone is going to play 90 minutes. I think everyone knows that. But for the Union's standpoint (because the game is being played at PPL Park), a major selling point of the match was Tim Howard. Unfortunately, at the last minute, Everton and Tim Howard announced that he would not be playing in the match.

Now normally, this slight mis-communication could be understandable. While still a nuisance as the Union used Tim Howard as a major selling point to this match, we must understand this is Everton's pre-season and they may not want to waste their goalkeeping fixture in a meaningless match in Philadelphia.

The problem comes in when Tim Howard decides to lie about the whole thing. This is what Tim Howard told ESPN today in regards to not playing tonight in Philadelphia.
Those decisions are obviously made jointly, but unfortunately, they were made quite a long time ago. They don’t get made this week. Those types of things are discussed amongst ourselves months and months in advance.
Upon hearing of this statement, Philadelphia Union CEO Nick Sakiewicz told the following to Philadelphia Union writer Chris Vito.
"We're really surprised. One of the reasons we entertained Everton's phone call was because of Tim Howard and we were under the impression Tim Howard was playing."
Now why on earth would Sakiewicz get the impression Tim Howard was playing if the decision not to play Tim Howard was made months ago. Well, when this friendly was first announced back in April 2011, Tim Howard had the following to say.
“Philadelphia Union is a fantastic club and I’m really looking forward to playing against them,” said Howard. “Nick Sakiewicz brought me through the ranks when I was younger, I’m friends with members of their coaching staff, and one of my best friends, Danny Califf, plays for them. It's a club whose results I always look out for and hope they do well.

“It will be a tough game for us. They're going to be in the mold of their manager, Peter Nowak. He's a tough, hard-nosed former Polish international who doesn't back down. I know for a fact from being very close to him that he expects nothing less from his team as well.”
Tim Howard: World-Class hypocrite.

(h/t The Brotherly Game)

Sunday, July 17, 2011

2011 FIFA Women's World Cup Final Live Blog

Go Go USA!

Japan vs. United States 2:00 (ESPN - Ian Darke and Julie Foudy)

Saturday, July 16, 2011

The United States And Japan Have An Interesting Past In Sports

I think it goes without say, but this World Cup Final between the United States and Japan on Sunday (which I will be live blogging!) will be the most publicized sports meeting yet between the two countries.

And before you say anything, yes, there is such a thing as the World Cup of American Football.  And yes, the United States defeated Japan in double overtime in 2007 thanks to the leg of Craig Coffin. Who knew?

(h/t Philadelphia Will Do)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Tomas Vokoun's Contract Perfectly Illustrates The Flyers' Follies

For the past 20 or so years, there was a long held organizational belief in the Flyers that you do not need the best goaltending in the world to win the Stanley Cup. For the past 20 or so years, there has been pushing from the a large part of the fanbase that yes, goaltending is necessary to succeed in the NHL. Obviously, these are two very different philosophies, and while it is difficult to say one is completely the way to go, there is one thing that should not have been done. And that is exactly what the Flyers did this off-season. They gave Ilya Bryzgalov a 9-year, $51M contract.

This is not going to be a post about how much I miss Richards and Carter. Those are changes I can accept. This is not going to even be a post largely centered around the salary cap, although inevitably, it will be mentioned.

What this post aims to do is to talk about goaltending, its importance in hockey, and just how good some goalies really are. And just how wrong the Flyers were to pay Ilya Bryzgalov what they did.

Since the 2011 Stanley Cup, when Tim Thomas won it, everyone has been saying how this proved once and for all you need goaltending to win the Stanley Cup. There is no denying it. Tim Thomas is a fabulous goaltender. He is by far the best goalie in the NHL today, and with good reason. But it is worth mentioning that even though he shattered numerous save percentage records, the Bruins still needed to win three Game 7s to advance and were one unfortunate bounce away from being eliminated in the first round of the playoffs.

In the post lockout era, Tim Thomas is not the rule. He is the exception to it. Of the six starting goalies to win the Stanley Cup since the lockout, only two of them can so much as say they are above league average. While those goalies, Thomas and Giguere, are very good goalies, to mention them first is to bury the lead. Four teams won the Stanley Cup on below average to average goaltending. I have talked about this before on here so I will not go into it again, but here is more on Tim Thomas and the Stanley Cup winning goalies in the post-lockout era if you missed the post a month ago.

It is a belief the Flyers have not had good goaltending in twenty years. That falsehood is often linked to the Flyers 35-year Cup drought as evidence that the Flyers need goaltending to win. What many may not realize is that in the past 10 years alone, the Flyers have had capable goaltending numerous goaltending.

Example number 1: Roman Cechmanek. Now people despise Cechmanek because he became such a headcase, but if you look at it, the guy was a great goaltender. Not only was he a Vezina nominee, but his career even strength save percentage is .931. That's very good. Cechmanek was an elite NHL goaltender. But unfortunately, his headcase-iness cost him a very productive career in the NHL.

Example number 2: Martin Biron. Would you believe it if I told you the Flyers had a goalie whose numbers were equivalent to those of Martin Brodeur? Well, they did. And his name was Martin Biron. Before you completely blast this as sensationalized bullshit, consider the following. Martin Brodeur and Martin Biron have the same even strength save percentage, the same penalty kill percentage, and almost the same total save percentage (h/t Geoff Detweiler). So why will Martin Brodeur go down as one of the best goaltenders to ever play and Martin Biron will struggle with being remembered five years when his playing days are done? The answer is Brodeur's longevity and the fact that the New Jersey Devils teams Martin Brodeur has played on all have been really fucking good. All Brodeur needs to do is be his above average self, and a real good defensive team turns into one of the most vaunted defensive teams in recent league history. Biron has not had such good fortune. Make no mistake about it, Brodeur's longevity separates him from the pack. But make no mistake about it, if you isolate individual performances, Biron is on Brodeur's level.

We saw last year what a good defensive team can do regardless of who is goalie last year when the Flyers carried Michael Leighton's five-hole all the way to Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals. We saw this year what a complete team breakdown can do to a team in the post-season. The Flyers got above average goaltending from Sergei Bobrovsky and Brian Boucher all through the season, but come playoff time with one of their 2-way forwards injured (Carter) and their best defender (Pronger) injured, even Tim Thomas would have been made to look like a sieve with that team in front of him.

When the off-season came around, the Flyers (namely Ed Snider) decided he had had enough of "mediocre goaltending" (even though as I showed above, there were times when it was far better than mediocre) and he persuaded Paul Holmgren to do whatever he could to sign Bryzgalov. And sadly, he did just that.

Why the Flyers did what they did I have no idea. They waited before the market was set last year and overpaid Michael Leighton on a 2-year, $3.1M contract. As it turned out, better goalies went for less as the off-season went on. The Flyers jumped the gun, and in doing so, overpaid a guy they had absolutely zero business overpaying.

The same thing happened this year, only on a far more extreme level. The Flyers signed Bryzgalov to a long-term deal at a cap hit of $5,666,667. The Washington Capitals signed Tomas Vokoun, a better goaltender, for a $1,500,000 cap hit. That is a difference of $4,166,667. That is just unexcuseable on the part of the Flyers. There is no market for goalies. They could have waited it out and gotten their man for a very, very, very cheap price. But no. They jumped the gun. And they will pay for it dearly in the next nine years. Even if the Flyers win a Cup with Bryzgalov between the pipes, that contract will still be a glaring mark of negativity. The Flyers had options. They could have orchestrated a trade for Semyon Varlamov, who I would have loved on the Flyers. They could have signed Tomas Vokoun for pennies. But instead, they payed Ilya Bryzgalov every penny he wanted. And now they are stuck with him. Likely for the next nine years. The only way this signing is not a mistake is if Bryzgalov does for the next 9 years what Tim Thomas did last year in Boston. And that is all but impossible. Bryzgalov is a good goalie, but there are those in the NHL better than him. And Bryzgalov does not deserve to be paid that money.

Especially when one of those goalies better than him is making $4,166,667 less.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

2011 MLB All-Star Game Live Blog

Even though I have been gone for the past ten days, I figured why the heck not, right? Roy Halladay and Jered Weaver are the starting pitchers. Unlike other All-Star games, in this one, the winning league gets home field advantage in the 2011 World Series, so there is something to be played for. Live from Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona, it is the 2011 MLB All-Star Game! Join us for the live blog.

American League vs. National League 8:00 (Fox - Joe Buck and Tim McCarver, SR: Ken Rosenthal)

My Ten Pre-Vacation Predictions Re-Visited

I'm back! Please, please, hold your applause.

Before I left on vacation I decided to make ten predictions of things I think will happen while I go on vacation. These were not the most well-thought out predictions I have ever made, but I wanted something to look back on once I got back. And looking back, I am glad I did this, as looking back on these predictions will touch on everything I wanted to touch on as I learned the news of what did happen while I was (mostly) deprived of news.

So let's see how well/poorly I did!

1. Steven Stamkos will sign a long-term contract with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Steven Stamkos is still a restricted free agent. The Flyers and the Maple Leafs may be sorta kinda maybe in the mix to send an offer sheet his way. No points for me on this one.

2. The NFL will agree to a new CBA.

From what little knowledge I gathered while I was away and when I got back, the NFL and NFLPA have been one week away from an agreement for the past week. No new CBA. No points for me.

3. The NBA will not agree to a new CBA.

No new CBA here, either. Point for me this time.

4. Cole Hamels will be named NL All-Star Starter.

Cole Hamels can't pitch in the All-Star Game because he pitched on Sunday. Justin, you are an idiot for not looking ahead and seeing this could happen. Instead, it is Roy Halladay who will be the 6th Phillie to pitch the start of an All-Star Game. No points here.

5. Roy Halladay will receive a standing ovation in Toronto.

They practically worship Halladay like a god of all things awesome in Toronto. Naturally, Rogers Centre gave him a standing ovation. Point here.

6. The Phillies starters will not achieve any historic in-game achievements.

Confession: When I first wrote this, I was only hinting at a no-hitter. But while I was gone, Cliff Lee homered (if you don't click that for the homer, click to hear Jair Jurrjens's call of the homer; it's the stuff of legends) making him the first Phillies pitcher to do so since Chan Ho Park in April 2009. While this prediction mentions only starters, it is worth noting that little known Phillies relief pitcher Juan Perez threw the 46th immaculate inning in baseball history. For comparisons sake, there have been 271 no-hitters thrown, 20 perfect games, and one imperfect game. But again, I specifically said starters. Is a pitcher hitting a home run a historic in-game achievement? Half a point.

7. Paul Holmgren will overpay for someone.

In the truest sense of the word, no, he did not overpay anyone. He got a great deal for Max Talbot which may or may not have circumnavigated the cap and at least as of yet, he has not given Stamkos eighty bajillion dollars. But, Homer does not get off free on this one. He signed Bryzgalov to a long-term deal at a cap hit of $5,666,667. The Washington Capitals signed Tomas Vokoun, a better goaltender, for a $1,500,000 cap hit. That is a difference of $4,166,667. And the goaltender getting $4,166,667 less per year is the better goalie. That underpay by the Caps of Vokoun pointing out how much the Flyers overpaid Bryzgalov, even though it happened before I went away, deserves half a point.

8. JP Dellacamera will tell everyone who will listen that BIMBO Bread is "packed with goodness and baked with love."

The Union played the San Jose Earthquakes on CSN three nights ago. Poor guy gets paid to say that every time. Score one.

9. Simon Gagne will sign with the Philadelphia Flyers.

Well he signed with the Los Angeles Kings Flyers West. That should count for something, right? Hello? Hello? No? Oh well. I said Philadelphia Flyers, not Flyers West. There is a difference, in spite of the fact you can't really tell that at the moment. No points here.

10. 49er16 and kt1000 will do a much better job than myself at consistently posting here.

Absolutely. They are welcome anytime. Point here.

So counting things up, I got a masterful 5/10 predictions right. I fail.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Cliff Lee Can Do It All

 On Saturday I was talking with a friend of mine watching the Braves-Phillies game on Fox. We both wondered if Cliff Lee would make the most sense for a pitcher to transition to an everyday player? Lee can obviously field, and he can also hit (His OBP is .233 which is almost as good as Michael Martinez!). Well our question was answered on Saturday when Lee drilled a home run off of Braves pitcher Tommy Hanson.

I guess that answers my question. My favorite part of that home run is Braves pitcher Jair Jurrjens screaming, "No! No! No! Are you kidding me?"

Poor Lee though. Tommy Hanson was just as good as him on Saturday and the game went to extra innings with both pitchers recording the no decision. The Phillies would lose in the 11th inning.

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Sunday, July 10, 2011

One Of The Greatest Soccer Matches Ever

The 4th quarterfinal of the 2011 Women's World Cup had a little bit of everything: sloppy defending, missed chances, spectacular saves, officiating controversy, and a finish for the ages. Just a truly incredible match. Here are some of the highlights:

The United States took a quick 1-0 lead 74 seconds into the match, after a Brazil own goal by their sweeper Dianae. The USA held that lead at halftime, with help from a Hope Solo save in the 38th minute.

Then, in the 65th minute, controversy erupted after a breathtaking run into the box, by Marta. This video shows both the red card, the distputed PK, and then at 9:35 the incredible goal by Marta at the start of extra time.

I agree with Darke's call in the moment. I do think Marta should have been awarded a PK after her incredible move with the ball. But, a red card was totally unnecessary and harsh judgment from Australian referee Jacqui Melksham. As to the save and re-kick, there have been far worse instances of encroachment not called.

After 55 minutes of only playing with 10 on the field, with only a couple of minutes left in the match (following some spectacular injury milking by the Brazilians, especially from the defender Erika), Megan Rapinoe delivers a perfect ball onto the head of Abby Wambach, who delivered a thunderous header into the net, to force the match into a PK shootout:

For my money, a more stunning goal than the one Landon Donovan scored against Algeria in last summer's World Cup in South Africa.

Wambach's equalizer led to the PK shootout, which was eventually won by the United States 5-3.

The United States advances to the semifinals. They play France at 11:30 AM ET on Wednesday.

Women's World Cup Shocker

Host Nation Germany 0- Japan 1.

Brazil vs the US Women's Team on Sunday morning at 11:30 AM ET.

The Final is next Sunday, July 17th.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Rating NHL Broadcasters

Since Justin is on vacation, not a lot noteworthy has happened in hockey, as the NHL world awaits Steven Stamkos' signing decision. However, since he likes writing about announcing; this article from SB Nation rating local NHL announcing crews would certainly have caught his eye.

Here are the comments about the Flyers CSN announcers:

"Jim Jackson, Keith Jones - Philadelphia Flyers: Keith Jones has become a caricature of the "good Canadian boy" ex-hockey player. On Versus, he's somewhat balanced and talks about things other than physical play.

On the Comcast broadcast, Jones wears his heart on his sleeve. Everything can be improved with toughness and every player having an off night "needs more effort", regardless of the level of effort. "Being more physical" in all aspects of the game is paramount.

Jackson carries a heavy Philadelphia bias and refuses to criticize a Flyer, even when the criticism is obvious."

In the few opportunities I've had to listen to Jim Jackson, I've enjoyed the broadcast. He calls a solid game and his voice doesn't annoy me. I guess calls like this are what accounts for this guy's opinion of Jackson as a Flyers homer. I do agree that Keith Jones doesn't really bring anything to the table.

Now, as some people who read this blog or follow Justin on Twitter know, I'm a Capitals fan. Ranking the team of Beninati and Laughlin as 3 stars is pure insanity, or perhaps he listens to those broadcasts with cotton in his ears. He correctly nails Beninati on the screaming on random plays, but misses how he all too often falls back on his stupid catchphrases and his incessant Comcast promotion. And Laughlin falls back on his hockey player-ese of just attaching "Y's" to every player to serve as a nickname. He also thinks every bad call against the Caps is a conspiracy, and also always has an excuse when the Caps flame out in the playoffs. I deserve a medal for listening to 15 years of these guys doing Capitals games on TV.

Anyway, these lists are always fun for debate as to which crew is the best. My money goes to Randy Hahn and Drew Remenda of the Sharks.

Also, remember to catch Bob Costas and Al Michaels as they work tonight's Mets at Giants game on the MLB Network.

DeSean Jackson Y'all

Desean Jackson was not too thrilled about a question during a recent radio appearance:

Good to see that Cal-Berkeley education in action.

Sad Night at Rangers Ballpark

Do not watch this video if you are easily disturbed.

RIP to Shannon Stone and condolences to his family, especially to his son. Nights at the ballpark should not end with a 4 year old kid ending up losing his dad. And how much more crap will the universe throw at Josh Hamilton?

Thursday, July 7, 2011

2022 World Cup Follies Update

I swear I don't know where that money came from.

How long ago was 1863? The battle of Gettysburg was fought in that year. 1863 is also the year in which the rules or “Laws” of soccer were first introduced. And, ever since then,148 years, the game has always been played in 2 halves. You play 45 minutes, take a break, then play 45 more. Outside of the USA, it’s been a pretty successful formula.

That might be changing.

Last December, FIFA, the sanctioning body of soccer, and a notoriously clean, open, and above board organization, elected to hold the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, choosing it over the United States, where temperatures in the summer have been known to get to 120 degrees and above. At the time, viewers around the world were told of all of the innovative plans the Qatari organizers had for cooling the stadiums, to make sure no one keeled over and died in the middle of the match from dehydration.

Well, it appears Qatar may have oversold those plans by just a teeny-tiny amount. To the point where FIFA is considering radical changes, including holding the tournament in the winter. Now FIFA is floating the most radical idea yet; changing the format of a soccer match from 2 halves, to 3 periods of 30 minutes each.

Imagine the NBA changing the Finals to 6 8 minute periods, or the NFL making the Super Bowl 12 5 minute periods. This would be, in my opinion, the most ridiculous change to the rules in the history of organized soccer.

A legacy only Gary Bettman would be proud to have.*

*Or, FIFA took the money and ran

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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Athletes Opening Their Big Mouths

Let’s check in on two athletes who maybe should have thought before opening their mouths in recent press appearances:

Here’s Bryce Harper, a multi-millionaire at 18. He drives a giant truck. Most people assume he’s the next big thing in baseball. But, boy does he seem like a guy who has no idea how to make friends and influence people. Courtesy of the DC Sports Bog, here are Bryce’s thoughts on his recent promotion to AA Harrisburg:

“’Those last 20 games, I was really, you know, really not too focused,” Harper said. “You know, I was wanting to get out of there, doing things that I shouldn’t have been doing. And once I got [to Harrisburg Monday night], baseball was fun again. It was a lot of fun being out here, being in this kind of crowd, this type of atmosphere. You know, that’s what you live for.’”

Now, I can see for a kid from Las Vegas how a town like Hagerstown, Maryland can be beyond boring. I mean, Maryland is struggling to even put in nickel slots, which could possibly enliven that town. But, to take a shot at a small town like that? I’m guessing Bryce won’t be doing any rehab assignments in Hagerstown. It should be incredibly entertaining to watch Harper as he chases ARod’s mark as the most hated douchebag in baseball.

Now, here’s PGA Tour golfer Bubba Watson. Bubba’s just a simple country boy from the backwoods of America who, like Justin, decided he wanted to spend his Independence Day weekend over in Europe, by playing a tournament in Paris, France. After bombing out and missing the cut, he had some, well, interesting things to say about his visit to gay Paree…

“’I think this might be the only time I play in Europe. I miss my home," Watson said.

"I love France. France is a nice place. Paris is a beautiful city. I went to the Eiffel Tower, to the Louvre, somthing like that, and the arch way, and saw the castle that we are staying next to (Versailles Palace)."

Watson described the Eiffel Tower as 'that big tower' and the Arc de Triomphe as 'this arch I drove round in a circle' and in riding past the Louvre on his motorised push bike, Watson described it as 'a building starting with L'.’”

Watson also ripped the security at the golf course. Even though he later apologized for his behavior, it’s safe to say Watson hasn’t made any fans among the notoriously welcoming French citizenry. I think it also exposed the weaknesses in the American educational system. I thought everyone knew about the Louve and Versailles by the time they finished high school. At least he’s provided some material for Woody Allen to use in his next movie about Americans visiting Paris.

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Red Pinstripes Will Make Ryan Howard Look Thinner

There are times when nostalgia is a good thing. Some times nostalgia is a bad thing. You need to move on. When it comes to uniforms though, nostalgia can be beautiful. There are some retro jersey's I wish teams would go back to. Example, the retro 1984 jerseys the Phillies will be wearing July 22nd.
I'm not the biggest fan of pinstripes, but the old Phillies red pinstripe jerseys with the all red hats with the P are beautiful. Why doesn't the Phillies the go back to this look? Why doesn't more major league teams go back to their retro look?

When the Giants moved to AT&T Park, they went back to their retro vanilla look over their former all white jerseys. The move was meet with praise for the Giants. I wish other teams like the Orioles, Brewers, and Braves would go back to their old jerseys. That is nostalgia I would support.

To go back to my original point, I wished the Phillies would ditch their current uniforms mash-up and go back to the jersey's of the Mike Schmidt era.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Can't Have 4th of July Without Kate Smith

This is a Philly centric blog right? How could my pal Kris forget about Kate Smith?

My name is Keith, aka 49er16, I run Keith's Sports Journal and can be found on Twitter here. Kris and I will be filling in for Justin until he returns from vacation. So enjoy the 4th of July and hopefully enjoy our work at ACOEPCC until Justin returns.

Happy Independence Day!

Enjoy the holiday where Americans celebrate their freedom by grilling meat, giving themselves nasty sunburns, and blowing up small parts of the country. Or you can just go on a Black Sea cruise. Have a great time celebrating our 235th birthday!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Ten Things That Will Happen While I Am On Vacation

Starting the afternoon of July 1 and ending July 11, I will be on (a very much needed) vacation, and at the same time, I will not be anywhere near a computer. So with that in mind, here are 10 things that I think will happen between the time my vacation starts and the time it is over.

1. Steven Stamkos will sign a long-term contract with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

2. The NFL will agree to a new CBA.

3. The NBA will not agree to a new CBA.

4. Cole Hamels will be named NL All-Star Starter.

5. Roy Halladay will receive a standing ovation in Toronto.

6. The Phillies starters will not achieve any historic in-game achievements.

7. Paul Holmgren will overpay for someone.

8. JP Dellacamera will tell everyone who will listen that BIMBO Bread is "packed with goodness and baked with love."

9. Simon Gagne will sign with the Philadelphia Flyers.

10. 49er16 and kt1000 will do a much better job than myself at consistently posting here.