We are done waiting ’till next year: It is next year. It’s Opening Day in Major League Baseball, and the Phillies start the season with a home interleague game against the Boston Red Sox. Cole Hamels starts for the Phils.
So what kind of day is it going to be? What kind of year is it going to be?
The Phillies, on the other hand, have been upfront that they view this as a rebuilding season.
Club president Pat Gillick candidly said on multiple occasions that he doesn’t expect the Phillies to contend in 2015 or ’16. “I don’t think it’s in the cards. I think somewhere around 2017 or 2018,” he said.
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Former Philadelphia Eagle and Hall of Famer Chuck Bednarik sits on the sideline before the NFL game between the San Diego Chargers and the Philadelphia Eagles in Philadelphia. The Chargers won 33-30. (AP Photo/Brian Garfinkel)
Chuck Bednarik — Eagles great, Pro Football Hall of Famer, and the last two-way player in the NFL — has reportedly passed away at age 89. Read more »
As the NCAA’s three-week run of March Madness begins, it’s time to talk about basketball student-athlete … academic fraud?
Syracuse University has not been included in this year’s NCAA tournament. Several weeks ago, the basketball program self-imposed a postseason ban on this year’s team — to which the NCAA then added sanctions and the vacating of 108 wins under head coach Jim Boeheim.
Boeheim countered with a press conference Thursday morning, just hours before the official first round of the tournament would begin, claiming his innocence and his intention to appeal sanctions that he claims are “unduly harsh.” Read more »
Yesterday in La Quinta, California, Philly comedian Kevin Hart took on Justin Bieber in a game of celebrity tennis to raise money for Cancer for College, an organization that doles out scholarships to survivors of cancer.
TMZ has video of the match, showing Hart and Bieber playing (very poorly) while Hart’s Get Hard co-star Will Ferrell ribs them from the sidelines. Check it out above.
The duo will meet up again on March 30th when Hart takes on the duties of Roast Master during Comedy Central’s Justin Bieber Roast.
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Major League Baseball’s Ambassador of Inclusion, Billy Bean.
When former professional baseball player Billy Bean was appointed Major League Baseball’s Ambassador for Inclusion last July, the Phillies were among the first teams to invite the openly gay speaker to share his message of inclusivity. According to MLB.com, he showed up this afternoon to speak to members of the Phillies’ Major and Minor League teams on embracing all forms of acceptance.
“There’s a message of complete acceptance. It doesn’t mean that it’s specifically to LGBT people like myself. It’s for women. It’s for every race, every religion,” Bean said.
Bean has been invited to speak to 14 teams, but Philadelphia is the first camp where he spoke to both Major and Minor League Players. When he was finished, he played ball with teammates in the outfield, giving them a chance to answer questions in a one-on-one setting. “Today is a win for the Phillies,” Bean said. “The world didn’t stop spinning.”
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Welcome to Salary Cap City, the sports town where we don’t win a heck of a lot, but by gosh, we have an awful lot of money stored up for future use.
The Eagles joined the party (started by the Sixers and Sudden Sam Hinkie) this week when they dropped a series of bombs on their fan base. Boom went Cary Williams and his $8 million salary. Bang went Trent Cole and his $11 million paycheck. And then the carnage culminated with the elimination of LeSean McCoy and his $12 salary cap hit in a trade to Buffalo that brought the Birds linebacker Kiko Alonso. Read more »
We already know that the Sixers stink. We expect that the Phillies — barring a miracle — will do the same during their forthcoming season. But it turns out they stink in vastly different ways.
The Sixers stink in a very futuristic way, you see, while the Phillies stink in retro fashion.
ESPN did an analysis of all teams in the major professional sports — football, baseball, basketball and hockey — then ranked how committed each is to using advanced metrics (mathematical analysis of everything about a sport that can be quantified) to improve the team on the field.
The Sixers ranked first. The Phillies: Dead last.
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Two of the legendary college basketball coaches passed away within days of each other last week: a saint and a satan.
Dean Smith, the gentlemanly patriarch of North Carolina hoops, won 879 games as the coach of the Tar Heels, which at one time was an NCAA Division I record. He owns now the ninth-best winning percentage of all-time and during his tenure won two national championships and got to 11 Final Fours.
Smith reeked of goodness. He was known for running a clean program even though he landed some of the best scholastic recruits in the nation and was also a liberator of sorts, having recruited the school’s first African-American player — Charlie Scott, who became one of the school’s all-time greats — while also pushing for equal treatment for African-Americans amongst local businesses.
Tarkanian on the other hand was the rapscallion who flaunted this reality: The concept of student-athlete is a myth and is only relevant to the fans of a college only when it comes with sports success. Tark “The Shark” won almost as many games of Smith. He had 29 seasons with 20 or more wins, took his Running Rebels to four Final Fours, and won the 1990 national championship with one of the most talented teams ever assembled (Larry Johnson, Stacy Augmon, Greg Anthony, Anderson Hunt), blitzing goody-goody Duke in the national title game, 103-73.
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In this Aug. 27, 2014, file photo, members of the Jackie Robinson West Little League baseball team participate in a rally in Chicago celebrating the team’s U.S. Little League Championship. Little League International has stripped Chicago’s Jackie Robinson West team of its national title after finding the team falsified its boundary map. The league made the announcement Wednesday morning, Feb. 11, 2015, saying the Chicago team violated regulations by placing players on the team who didn’t qualify because they lived outside the team’s boundaries. Little League International also suspended Jackie Robinson West manager Darold Butler from league activity.(AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast, File)
Dear Little League International:
Welcome to the party!
By stripping Chicago’s Jackie Robinson West team of its title, you confirmed the sad but obvious fact that cheating is everywhere, including Little League baseball.
Many successful teams have come under fire by coaches and parents, usually in private, for allegedly breaking the rules. Sour grapes aside, it is startling that, when pressed for more detail, virtually every coach follows his accusation the same way:
Everybody does it.
One doesn’t have to be a baseball aficionado to understand that, if that’s true, you must either crack down hard on every violation, or change the rules. But retaining the status quo will only fuel people’s perception that Little League is not the wholesome organization it once was.
America’s game, and more importantly, the integrity of our children — our future — is at stake.
The American Public
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Ed Sabol touches his bust after it was unveiled during the induction ceremony at the Pro Football Hall of Fame Saturday, Aug. 6, 2011, in Canton, Ohio. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)
Ed Sabol, who founded NFL Films, has died at age 98. The company is headquartered in Mount Laurel, N.J.
A member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2011, Sabol was the visionary force who revolutionized sports on camera and mythologized football at its highest level of competition.
“Through his determination and innovative spirit, Ed Sabol transformed how America watched football and all sports,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Monday. “Ed ignited the fire at NFL Films and was the Keeper of the Flame with a remarkable vision and dedication to telling the stories of the people who played, coached and loved the game.
“He earned the ultimate recognition by being selected in 2011 to the Pro Football Hall of Fame where he will forever be remembered alongside the men he so greatly cared about. Ed’s memory will live forever in the hearts and minds of fans around the world whenever they see the work of NFL Films and of the many people he inspired.”
Here’s the film his now-deceased son, Steve, used to introduce him at the Hall of Fame.
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