In Appreciation of Kyle Kendrick

In Appreciation of Kyle Kendrick

One month after avoiding arbitration, the Phillies extended Kyle Kendrick through 2013 on Sunday, agreeing to pay the versatile right hander $7.5 million over two years. Though Kendrick is eligible for arbitration again in 2014, the agreement marks the first time the club has demonstrated a commitment to the 27 year old as he enters his sixth Major League season.

The front office is rewarding Kendrick's career year, one in which he remained effective despite bouncing between the starting rotation and bullpen as needed. They are telling Kendrick he has carved out his place on this roster, that he will be in Philadelphia for the foreseeable future.

Yet many fans still fail to recognize Kendrick's value. Maybe it's because we've become spoiled by Cy Young award winners and World Series MVP's, or some of us aren't able to erase the memory of his awful '08 campaign. Whatever it is you don't care for about Kendrick, make no mistake, he has developed into a more than serviceable pitcher for the Phillies.

He belongs on the staff.

What exactly is there not to like about Kyle Kendrick? When Roy Halladay arrived in the clubhouse, Kendrick began to mimic the superstar's workouts. Dedication. He does whatever is asked of him -- spent most of '09 in the minors, moved in and out of the bullpen, even took a joke about being traded to Japan in stride. Team player. Most importantly, he's played very well of late, going 8-6 with a 3.22 ERA in 2011.

Improvement.

Practically all of Kendrick's numbers were career bests -- ERA, 1.221 WHIP, 8.6 hits per nine, 1.1 home runs per nine, 4.6 strikeouts per nine. He was even better in games he started, posting a 5-4 record with a 3.16 ERA, 1.157 WHIP, 5.0 K's per nine, and a 2.71 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

Obviously those aren't All-Star numbers, but almost any team in the league would have taken Kendrick as either their fourth or fifth starter last season. On the Phillies, he was the seventh option, behind Joe Blanton and Vance Worley. However, for whatever reason, every time Kendrick took the mound, you could almost hear the collective groan of the fan base.

Who else has seven Major League starting pitchers?

Such contempt for a mere role player makes no sense. It's not as if Kendrick were some vastly-overpaid underachiever. He's just a guy making the most of his rather ordinary talents, working hard to get better while helping the ball club win any way he can. That's somebody I want on my team, especially when the results back it up.

>> Phillies sign Kendrick to two-year deal [Phillies Zone]

Best of NBA: Nets end 11-game skid by routing Pelicans

Best of NBA: Nets end 11-game skid by routing Pelicans

NEW ORLEANS -- Brook Lopez and Bojan Bogdanovic scored 23 points apiece and the Brooklyn Nets ended an 11-game losing streak, routing the New Orleans Pelicans 143-114 on Friday night.

Caris Levert added 17 points on 6-of-6 shooting for the Nets, who had seven players in double figures while beating their season high for points by 16. Their 29-point victory was 11 more than their previous largest. They also set season highs for points in the second quarter (37) and points in any quarter with 43 in the third.

Anthony Davis led New Orleans with 22 points and nine rebounds despite leaving in the third quarter with a leg injury. The defeat was a huge comedown for him and the Pelicans a day after he was named a starter for the NBA All-Star Game in New Orleans (see full story).

Warriors top Rockets to win 6th straight
HOUSTON -- Kevin Durant scored 32 points and the Golden State Warriors used a big third quarter to build a huge lead and coast to their sixth straight victory, 125-108 over the Houston Rockets on Friday night.

In a matchup of two of the best teams in the Western Conference and All-Star starting guards Stephen Curry and James Harden, the Rockets fell short. Houston, which entered the game leading the NBA with 667 3-pointers, was just 7 of 35 behind the arc. Harden went 0 for 5 and Eric Gordon, who entered the game leading the NBA with 160 3s, missed all seven attempts.

Clint Capela had 22 points and Harden added 17 points with 11 assists for the Rockets, who are third in the West behind Golden State and San Antonio (see full story).

Kemba Walker scores 32 to lead Hornets past Raptors
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Kemba Walker scored 32 points on 11-of-16 shooting, and the Charlotte Hornets beat the Toronto Raptors 113-78 on Friday night.

Walker, who came in averaging 23 points and looking to earn his first All-Star selection, scored 16 points in the pivotal third quarter, including a four-point play as the Hornets outscored the Raptors 33-15 to build a 25-point lead.

Walker didn't play at all in the fourth quarter after the Hornets stretched their lead to 30. He finished with eight assists.

Frank Kaminsky had a solid night off the bench for the second straight game, scoring 16 points and grabbing eight rebounds.

Kyle Lowry had 24 points and DeMar DeRozan added 23 points for the Raptors, who have lost two straight (see full story). 

Magic pull away for convincing win over Milwaukee
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Elfrid Payton scored 20 points, Jeff Green added 18 points and seven rebounds off the bench, and the Orlando Magic snapped a three-game losing streak by beating the Milwaukee Bucks 112-96 on Friday night.

The Magic, returning home from a 1-5 road trip, played with a small lineup for much of the night and it provided the offense they needed with two of their top scorers out. Orlando had six players in double figures, including starters Aaron Gordon (17), Serge Ibaka (13) and Nikola Vucevic (13).

Orlando shot 46 percent from the field while limiting the Bucks to 41 percent.Jabari Parker led Milwaukee with 25 points and Giannis Antetokounmpo contributed 17 points and 14 rebounds as the Bucks dropped their fourth straight game (see full story). 

Social media reacts to Mo Williams' career as a Sixer

Social media reacts to Mo Williams' career as a Sixer

It has been a crazy week for former Sixer Mo Williams.
 
Williams retired after last season, but was kept on the Cleveland Cavilers' roster in case his salary would be needed as part of a trade, and he has now been moving all across the NBA.
 
Williams, and the $2.2 million in payroll, was involved in the trade with the Atlanta Hawks for Kyle Korver, then traded to Denver before being waived. The Sixers then joined in and picked up Williams and waived him after less than an hour as they re-signed Chasson Randle to a second 10-day contract (see story)
 
Throughout all of this, social media chimed in on the career Williams had as a Sixer.
 

In 2015, before ultimately choosing the Indianapolis Colts, Frank Gore appeared headed to Philadelphia, so, fans settled the debate over who had a better career in Philly with this poll.