With Andy Reid out of the way, there may not be an authority figure in Philadelphia sports right now under more scrutiny than Ruben Amaro Jr. Paul Holmgren could probably give him a run for his money, especially if some of the rumored offseason plans are true, but I think we’ve got to go ahead and give the nod to RAJ.
You know what that means. It’s time for the Obligatory Vote of Confidence™! (Needs its own graphic and maybe a jingle.)
Today’s Obligatory Vote of Confidence comes from David Montgomery. The Phillies president tells Bob Brookover for the Inquirer that the general manager is not solely responsible for the club’s issues, giving “credit” to his staff. Then Montgomery made a very curious analogy about decision making and baseball.
"The reality is that when things don't go well, people look to find, well, whose fault is it?" Montgomery said. "I believe in situations like this that when times are good there's enough credit to go around. It's all of us. Ruben is not making independent decisions. He's going with a pretty good group of eyes who are looking out there at players and making determinations. God knows we're all trying to bat 1.000 on decision making. The reality is, I think we do better than the .300 standard in baseball."
Hm. .300 might make for a fine batting average, but I’m pretty sure decision making is held to a higher standard. I don’t know about you, but I expect scouts and executives to be right at least 50% of the time. Otherwise why have a front office at all? All personnel moves can be determined by one or a series of coin flips. At least it's cost effective, and the Phillies could push the savings right into some extra coin flips during free agency.
And as long as we’re deflecting blame across the entire front office, it’s worth noting that somebody had to hire the people steering Amaro wrong. Who would that be? Because apparently that's the person you want to yell at.
Personally, I don’t think Amaro has necessarily been quite as poor at his job as many people seem to believe, but a handful of the missteps he’s made have been rather gargantuan in size. Arguing he’s better at decision making than anybody on his roster is at hitting is an awfully counterproductive way to combat those truths, no?
>> Amaro gets backing from his boss [Inq]
VOORHEES, N.J. — Radko Gudas (wrist) is closer to game action as the Flyers’ defenseman has been cleared to shoot pucks for the “past couple of days.”
The 26-year-old, recovering from a fractured right wrist (his shooting hand), was shooting and hitting in practice Wednesday at Flyers Skate Zone. Gudas has yet to play in a preseason game, but said he’s “pretty close” to 100 percent.
“I can’t say it’s really 100 percent, but it’s getting there soon,” Gudas said following practice.
“There’s a lot of time for me to get in top, game-like shape. There’s not a chance I would miss the start of the season.”
Gudas said the most important aspect of the wrist’s healing is keeping it stable by wearing a brace to limit too much moving.
“It’s better, I’m shooting on it in practices, feels better every day,” he said. “I’m working on a lot of it every day with the strength guys and the doctors here. We’re going day to day, I’m seeing myself sooner than later jumping on the ice.”
The second-year Flyer would like to play in preseason games before the start of the regular season, but also understands the importance of not rushing to avoid costing him regular-season games as a result.
“That’s the main part — feeling pain-free,” Gudas said. “Throughout the season, there’s not a lot of time off so we need to make sure everything is the best it can be before the season starts.
“Obviously it’s going to be the coaches’ decision when to put me in. I’m sure they’re talking with the staff for when would be the proper time.”
Gudas signed a four-year contract extension in June after playing a career-high 76 games and recording 14 points (five goals, nine assists) in 2015-16.
After practice, Flyers head coach Dave Hakstol did not have an update on Gudas or defenseman Nick Schultz, who was shaken up Tuesday night.
“Everybody wants to play at least a game or two before the season,” Gudas said. “I don’t think it needs to be said.
“He wants to have me ready and I want to be ready.”
The Eagles crushed a Super Bowl contender on Sunday at the Linc. And Vegas took notice.
According to Bovada, the Eagles' odds to win the Super Bowl went from 33/1 to 22/1. Just nine teams have shorter odds to win the Super Bowl. The Patriots are tops at 15/4, followed by the Packers (8/1) and the team the Eagles beat, the Steelers (9/1).
With the win, the Eagles also became the favorite to win the NFC East, going from 11/4 to 2/1. They're followed by the Cowboys and Giants (both at 11/5) and last year's division champs, Washington, is at 6/1.
The Eagles are also 12/1 to win the NFC.
Of course, the biggest story for the Eagles this season has been the emergence of rookie quarterback Carson Wentz. He had his first 300-yard passing game Sunday and was named the NFC's Offensive Player of the Week. His odds to win MVP went from 50/1 to 33/1. Those are the same odds as Drew Brees and Eli Manning.
Meanwhile, former Eagles quarterback and current Minnesota Viking Sam Bradford went from 50/1 to 25/1 to win MVP.
While Wentz's MVP odds shortened, his odds to win Rookie of the Year actually got longer, going from 8/5 to 7/4. That could have something to do with the odds of Ezekiel Elliot (7/4), Dak Prescott (5/1) and Sterling Shepard (7/1) all improving.