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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Philadelphia Area Sports Wrap

Ate a good wrap for lunch, so I figured to roll with it.

1. Can Temple Beat Penn State This Weekend? It would be the first time that the Owls have done so since 1941 -- were it to happen. And that would be huge news for Coach Al Golden and the Owls. Sure, the Eagles and Phillies grab all the headlines, but this would be a (much) bigger accomplishment/story. The Owls have at least a puncher's chance in this one. They're solid, and it's not as though the words "national champion" and "Penn State" have been found in the same paragraph this year.

2. What to Make of Andy Reid's Decision to Go With Michael Vick at QB? Reid's decision falls smack within two tautologies -- the one that says that you have to play the best players, and the other that says that a player doesn't lose his job because of an injury. Look, Kevin Kolb didn't look great in the pre-season, and he didn't have a good first game. That said, his offensive line was battered in the pre-season and bad in his first game, and the play calling was worse. Still, Vick looked like the sleek Vick of old, a QB who went to the Pro Bowl three times and who led his team to an NFC title game. Kolb doesn't have those credentials. It's a short-term gamble, because a) Vick is unsigned for next year and b) you've probably blown your relationship with Kolb, who will get a chance elsewhere. Also, it's a gamble because you might have blown -- to some degree -- credibility with some players by not adhering to the adage that a player doesn't lose his job because of an injury. Few figured the Eagles for the playoffs this year, and most of those who did had them losing in the first round as a wild card. I'm not sure that the decision to anoint Vick makes them more than a 9-7 team anyway. Besides, the Eagles still cannot steal the headlines from the Phillies.

3. Are the Phillies the favorites to win the World Series? Peter Gammons about said as much on Sporting News Radio over the weekend, and with a rotation of Halladay, Hamels and Oswalt they look very formidable, and might look even more so if Jimmy Rollins can come back from a nagging hamstring injury. This team has the feel of 2008, and the Yankees don't look as good as they did in 2009. Yes, I'll say they're the favorites because right now they're the hottest team around, and because no one else seems to command that label. That said, they still have to make the playoffs, and they haven't done that yet. They look confident, and their home joint jumps. Contrast that to views of Atlanta last week, where there were many empty seats. Charlie Manuel should be named manager of the year for what he's achieved, especially because of all the injuries the team suffered this season. Also, oft-maligned GM Ruben Amaro made a great move getting Roy Oswalt from the Astros this summer. Having three #1 starters in the rotation who could (and did) go seven innings took a lot of pressure off the Phillies' bullpen, and now Brad Lidge looks (pretty much) like the Brad Lidge of old.

4. Will the 76ers be better this season? They should be. The Sporting News labeled second-year guard Jrue Holliday as the player most likely to emerge as the next star this year (or something to that effect). Pair him with top draft pick Evan Turner and swingman Andre Iguodala, and that's a pretty potent threesome. The big questions are at the 4 and 5, and if the 76ers don't figure those out well they'll miss the playoffs again. Still, the Holliday-Turner backcourt should be fun to watch.


Blogger Bomber Girl said...

Would love to see the Yanks-Phillies rematch. Although you might not enjoy it so much, when all is said and done.

2:29 PM  
Blogger SportsProf said...

Feels like 2008 for the Phils, not 2009 (and, if that's the case, perhaps the Rays will return to the WS, not the Yankees). As to the enjoyment part, being a lifelong Phillies' fan, I'll enjoy any return to the post-season. And, somehow, some way, I think that I might have more joy this post-season than a Yankees' fan. The Phillies' are smokin' hot right now, 18-3 in September, they've won 10 in a row, and they have Hallday-Hamels-Oswalt as their top 3 starters in the post-season. Good facts to have on your team's side.

3:43 PM  

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