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2010 Baseball Previews: NL East – Could the Phillies Actually be Better? 3

Posted on March 24, 2010 by Don Spieles

With less than two weeks left until opening day, let’s abandon the designated hitter and take a look at the Senior Circuit, otherwise known as the National League.

In the eastern division, the NL is right up there with its AL neighbors – well, almost, anyway.  In the last 10 postseasons, the World Series representative from the National League was an eastern division team for four of them (Mets in 2000, the Marlins in 2003, and the Phillies in ’08 and ’09), winning in ’03 and ’08.  Things are looking decent for that to be the case again in 2010.

1. Philadelphia Phillies

Many predict that Halliday will have a historic year in Philadelphia.

Many predict that Halliday will have a historic year in Philadelphia.

At some point, things will have to work out in favor of someone else besides the “Phightin’ Phils, but it would be hard to make a case for it being likely this season.  As if the Phillies weren’t the odds on favorites based the fact that they are coming off of two consecutive World Series appearances, they also went out and picked up a picked up a pitcher by the name of Roy Halliday.  On paper, the Phillies getting Roy Halliday is the equivalent of the Lakers getting LeBron James.   Many already have this newest Philadelphia son pegged to be the NL Cy Young winner.  Some even mention the NL MVP, as well.  There are even a couple of optimists who think he could win 25 games now that he’s in the NL and playing for the offensive juggernaut that is Philadelphia.  While 25 seems a stretch (in 11 season, Halliday has had 25 decisions or more only three times,) AL pitchers who move to the NL seems to have great initial success.

Read the rest of this entry →

Outrage at Olney’s Pujols/Howard Story Misguided 0

Posted on March 16, 2010 by Don Spieles

Yesterday, Buster Olney of ESPN became the story when he posted an article stating that a “sources” had informed him that there had been internal discussion within the Phillies organization about trading Ryan Howard to get Albert Pujols. Since then, lesser media outlets and the blogosphere has erupted with everything from “professional” condemnations to personal insults and attacks leveled at Olney.

So, we have journalists, both amateur and quasi-professional, accusing Olney of being unprofessional by casting insults at him?  That’s the kind of  irony that inspires Alanis Morissette songs!

The reaction over an utterly reasonable article seems to be prompted more by the fact that Olney is a nationally read writer for ESPN, the network that is the undisputed king of sports news.  The story, in and of itself, lends nothing incredible and is, in fact, much more professional than many of the rebuttals.

St. Louis Cardinals Albert Pujols breaks record

While evidently not likely, a trade of Pujols for Howard is not without it's logic, regardless of which side of the table one looks from.

Some points to be clear on:

  • Olney did not say there was discussion between the Cardinals and Phillies.

“It’s not fully clear whether the Phillies actually have approached the Cardinals with the idea”

  • Olney immediately contacted Ruben Amaro, Jr., the Phillies GM and included his denial in the article.

“Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro flatly denied that the internal discussions have taken place. “Lies,” he said. “That’s a lie. I don’t know who you’re talking to, but that’s a lie.”" Read the rest of this entry →

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  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Paul Warfield: The Perfect Receiver
      December 10, 2018 | 3:36 pm

      Warfield-DolphinsThe Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month was perfection personified as a wide receiver during his NFL career.

      Known for his fluid movement, grace and jumping ability during his 13 year NFL career, Paul Warfield was an eight-time Pro Bowl selection and key performer for the Miami Dolphins during their 17-0 campaign in 1972.

      Because the role of the wide receiver has changed so much and today’s star receivers get the ball thrown to them so many more times than in the pre-1978 era, Warfield is often overlooked when discussing all-time greats.

      But, think about this. Warfield averaged 20.1 yards per catch for his career (427 receptions, 8,565 yards) and 19.9% of his receptions went for touchdowns (85). By comparison, Julio Jones has averaged 15.5 yards per catch for his career and a touchdown in 6.9% of his receptions (46 TDs in 669 catches). Antonio Brown averages 13.4 ypc and a TD in 8.7% (70 of 804) of his receptions. Terrell Owens averaged 14.8 ypc and a TD in 14.2% of his receptions. Even Jerry Rice, considered the greatest receiver of all-time, averaged only 14.8 ypc and a TD in 12.7% of his catches.

      Read more »

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