Roy Halladay Pitches Tonight, But Has He Lost the Magic?

Roy Halladay Pitches Tonight, But Has He Lost the Magic?

Many words have been written about Roy Halladay and his bummer of a spring. But it was a line from CSN's Jim Salisbury, not surprisingly, in a piece yesterday examining Doc's first start tonight that we thought captured the situation rather well.

Halladay’s transition from pitching wizard to muggle began last season
when he was plagued by injury, a flagging fastball and ineffectiveness.

I had to copy, paste, and Google that one. From Wikipedia:

In the fictional world of J. K. Rowling's book series Harry Potter, a muggle
is a person who lacks any sort of magical ability and was not born into
the magical world. Muggles also do not have any magical blood. It
differs from the term Squib,
which refers to a person with one or more magical parents yet without
any magical ability, and from the term Muggle-born (or the more
offensive mudblood), which refers to a person with magical abilities but without magical parents.

Now, tonight's start is clearly a big one in terms of building initial confidence in your favorite baseball team. But let's not forget Halladay is still basically finishing up his spring training. After that pesky virus set him back last month, he never really got in all of the work he seemingly would have liked to in order to be where he wanted to for his first regular season start. So tonight is not Roy at the top of his game now, whatever that may be. At least he says he feels good, though.

Halladay was just okay in his final spring tune up. Not very good, but not awful. If he puts in even a solid performance tonight, I think it should be viewed as encouraging. A win tonight would be the 200th of his career.

His decline seems to be one of those sad realities that fans are just going to have to stomach. The days of bloggers and penguins freaking out (in a good and glorious way) every fifth day when Doc is set to pitch are over. No more photoshops of Roy as half man, half machine.

But I'm not giving up on the guy just yet. Surely there's still some magic hidden somewhere up the sleeve of his throwing arm?

Tonight is just one outing, but it's likely going to have a huge bearing on how many people are going to feel about this Phillies season.

>>Anxiety, uncertainty surround Halladay's first start [CSN]

Video of Marcus Vick running from the cops, getting captured at gunpoint is bonkers

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Video of Marcus Vick running from the cops, getting captured at gunpoint is bonkers

You have to give Marcus Vick credit, he still has that breakaway speed. But it's not exactly "getaway" speed as he demonstrated in his failed attempt to allude police in an incident that took place back in April. 

TMZ posted video of Vick's attempt to allude the law on Tuesday. Here's how the Washington Post described the incident back in April:

The incident occurred at Onelife Fitness when a police officer tried to arrest him on an outstanding contempt of court charge in Montgomery County, Va., and Vick ran, according to the police report obtained by WAVY.com, damaging a door as he did so. As the officer tried to grab him, Vick pushed him and, after a brief chase on foot, he was taken into custody. Online arrest records originally indicated that he was charged with a hate crime, but Newport News Police spokesman Lou Thurston told WAVY that was an error.

Vick, 32, was charged with one count each of resisting arrest, obstruction of justice, destruction of property and felony assault on a law enforcement officer. 

The video ends with Vick on the ground and the police officer whose camera caught the whole chase with his weapon drawn. Scary and strange stuff for the brother of former Eagles quarterback Mike Vick.

MLB Notes: Nationals place Stephen Drew on DL

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USA Today Images

MLB Notes: Nationals place Stephen Drew on DL

CLEVELAND -- Unable to figure out what's making Stephen Drew dizzy, the Washington Nationals placed the veteran infielder on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday.

Drew has played just once in the past week, delivering a walk-off triple to give Washington a win over San Diego on Saturday. Manager Dusty Baker said the 33-year-old Drew has been experiencing vertigo-like symptoms and the team is sending him back to Washington for more medical tests.

"He wasn't getting any better," Baker said before the Nationals concluded their two-game interleague series with the Indians. "He was dizzy. He was kind of worried and didn't know what it was because he's had two concussions, but he hadn't had anything that would have caused another concussion. Whenever you feel woozy and dizzy and don't get any better, that's a pretty good indication that something's wrong."

Drew sat out several days last week because he was feeling ill. He's in his first season with the Nationals, who signed him as a free agent in January (see full story).

Padres: Solarte placed on family leave list
TORONTO -- The San Diego Padres made a few roster moves before Wednesday's game against the Blue Jays, recalling utilityman Alexi Amarista and left-hander Buddy Baumann from Triple-A El Paso.

The newcomers replace outfielder Melvin Upton Jr., who was traded to Toronto on Tuesday, and third baseman Yangervis Solarte, who was placed on the family leave list and will miss from three to seven days.

Solarte is batting .290 with 10 home runs and 40 RBIs.

This is Amarista's fourth stint with the Padres this season. The six-year veteran is batting .239 with no homers and seven RBIs in 45 games.

Baumann joins the Padres for the second time. He made his major league debut with 1-3 of an inning against San Francisco on July 16, retiring Brandon Crawford on one pitch.

NHL Notes: Predators sign Calle Jarnkrok to 6-year, $12 million contract

NHL Notes: Predators sign Calle Jarnkrok to 6-year, $12 million contract

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Nashville Predators have signed forward Calle Jarnkrok to a six-year, $12 million contract through 2021-22.

Under the deal announced by the Predators on Wednesday, Jarnkrok will earn $1.7 million this season rising to $2.2 million in both 2019-20 and 2020-2021 before dipping to $2 million in the final year.

The 24-year-old Jarnkrok played in 71 games last season and scored a career-high 16 goals with 30 points. The native of Gavle, Sweden, was second on the team with four game-winning goals last season.

The 51st pick overall by Detroit in the 2010 entry draft, Jarnkrok was traded to Nashville on March 5, 2014, and was a restricted free agent.

The Predators also promised on Twitter the announcement of another signing later Wednesday.

Hurricanes: Head coach Bill Peters extended 3 years
RALEIGH, N.C. -- The Carolina Hurricanes signed coach Bill Peters to a contract extension through the 2018-19 season, general manager Ron Francis said Wednesday.

Peters has a record of 65-72-27 in two seasons while leading the Hurricanes' rebuilding project. They finished this season sixth in the Metropolitan Division with a 35-31-16 record, but earned 86 points -- their most since 2010-11, and a 15-point improvement from Peters' first year.

"We knew it wasn't going to be a quick turnaround," Peters said. "It takes time. ... I just like the direction we're headed in, and we're headed in that direction for a long period of time."

The Hurricanes used three rookies in the rotation on defense, and mounted a last-gasp -- but ultimately unsuccessful -- push for their first playoff appearance since 2009 by earning points in 12 of the 14 games that came after trading captain and franchise face Eric Staal to the New York Rangers.

Terms of Peters' extension were not disclosed. Peters was entering the final year of a three-year contract he signed in June 2014, when he was hired to take over for the fired Kirk Muller.

"You've got a head coach heading into the last year of his deal," Francis said. "It's important that if you like him and you want to have him around, you get this done."

The Hurricanes have reached the playoffs just once since winning the Stanley Cup in 2006. Carolina's seven-year postseason drought is the longest among Eastern Conference teams.

"Professionally, it's the right thing for me, and I want to see this thing through, and I want to get in the playoffs, and I want to get on a run," Peters said.