In Bad News for Phillies Fans and Wishful Thinkers, Ryan Madson Still Wants to Close

In Bad News for Phillies Fans and Wishful Thinkers, Ryan Madson Still Wants to Close

Amongst the Phillies' clear offseason needs is an arm to own the eighth inning and set up a reliable bridge to closer Jonathan Papelbon.

None of the these options in 2012 — Chad Qualls, Antonio Bastardo, Michael Stutes, Michael Schwimmer, Joe Savery, Raul Valdes, Jake Diekman, Jeremy Horst, Justin De Fratus, Brian Sanches (if I forgot anyone, I'm sorry) — proved capable.

Jose Contreras spent most of the year on the DL and the Phillies declined his option.

Josh Lindblom came over in the Shane Victorino trade and was consistently erratic (4.63 ERA, 1.543 WHIP) in 26 appearances.

Phillipe Aumont has legitimate stuff if he can just learn to locate.

So the Phillies need someone to take over in the eighth, leading many a fan to ask, "What's Ryan Madson doing right about now?"

You remember Ryan — the tall kid with the fastball, changeup and cutter whose agent overreached in free agency, landing his client a one-year deal that proved potentially disastrous to his long-term security when he almost immediately blew his UCL and headed for Tommy John surgery. The guy the Phillies opted not to pay $50 mil to so they could give it to Papelbon. You remember.

He would seem like a great candidate for the job, if only he wanted it. Which, unfortunately for anyone looking to get him back in red pinstripes, it doesn't seem like he does.

Courtesy Bob Brookover in the Inqy:

If Ryan Madson and his agent, Scott Boras, get their way, the veteran reliever will not return to the Phillies in 2013.

Boras said Sunday that Madson wants to remain a closer and that "a lot of teams have already expressed interest" in him in that role.

That, of course, would erase Madson from the Phillies' plans because they already have Jonathan Papelbon in the closer's spot.

I'll just have to keep wearing my Madson t-shirt "ironically," I guess. Miss you, Mad Dog.

Any other eigth-inning names you'd like Ruben Amaro to throw against the wall? Or are you too consumed by the black hole at third base and the magic show in the outfield?

In defense their respective defenses, Kevin Frandsen is genuinely likable and Dom Brown is just so damn long, the latter of which matters when it's basketball season and you're scouting centerfielders.

Union midfielder Alejandro Bedoya's 1st MLS goal not enough in draw with Toronto FC

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Union midfielder Alejandro Bedoya's 1st MLS goal not enough in draw with Toronto FC

TORONTO -- Justin Morrow scored in the 70th minute and Toronto FC salvaged a point with a 1-1 draw with the Union on Saturday night.

Morrow made a run from his left back position, and midfielder Jonathan Osorio laid the ball off to Morrow for a tight-angle shot. Toronto (13-8-9) had its second straight home tie,

Alejandro Bedoya scored for Philadelphia (11-11-9) in the 25th minute. Bedoya took a pass from Fabian Herbers with his back to the Toronto goal, quickly spun past the Toronto back line and chipped a shot that looped over goalkeeper Clint Irwin.

Penn State routed by No. 4 Michigan at The Big House

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Penn State routed by No. 4 Michigan at The Big House

BOX SCORE

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- De'Veon Smith led an overwhelming ground game with 107 yards rushing and a touchdown and Karan Higdon ran for two scores and No. 4 Michigan routed Penn State 49-10 on Saturday in both teams' Big Ten opener.

The Wolverines scored six touchdowns on the ground as they finished with 326 yards rushing. Wilton Speight threw one touchdown pass.

Michigan (4-0) dominated both sides of the ball. Penn State (2-2) has lost three straight to the Wolverines.

Jabrill Peppers gave the fans an early thrill by returning Penn State's first punt to the 9, although a bench-interference penalty moved the ball to the Nittany Lions 24. Seven plays later, Khalid Hill dove in on 4th-and-goal from the 1.

The Wolverines also scored touchdowns on their next two drives. Penn State finally got a couple stops, but the Wolverines took a 28-0 halftime lead on Higdon's 2-yard run.

The Nittany Lions got on the board with a field goal early in the third, but Chris Evans made it 35-3 with a 3-yard run and the Wolverines cruised to the win.

The takeaway
Penn State: The Nittany Lions came into the Big House without any of their starting linebackers then lost Brandon Smith to a second-quarter targeting penalty. That left the Penn State defense helpless against Michigan's running game and short passes. The offense was even worse, putting up 50 yards in the first half. Saquon Barkley had 19 yards rushing and caught two passes for 47 yards, but the rest of the team combined for minus-16.

Michigan: The Wolverines dominated in the trenches, with their defensive line continuously overrunning Penn State's offensive line. They registered five sacks while building their first-half lead and Speight had all the time he needed.

Poll implications
Michigan: The Wolverines came in at No. 4 and there seems little chance that will change much with No. 1 Alabama winning earlier in the day in a blowout and No. 2 Ohio State on a bye.

Up next
Penn State: Returns to Happy Valley for the first of three straight home games. The Nittany Lions face Minnesota next Saturday in the Golden Gophers' first trip to Penn State since 2009.

Michigan: Plays its fifth-straight game at the Big House to open the season, but will have a tougher test against Wisconsin. The 11th-ranked Badgers routed No. 8 Michigan State 30-6 in East Lansing.