Les Bowen reports that the Eagles have agreed to terms with Saverio Rocca, a 33-year-old Australian Football player. Bowen points out that the Birds often pick up a second punter for camp, but there’s already a lot of buzz about this guy, likely due to the success of other Aussies like Mat McBriar and Darren Bennett. Les has put together some good background on Rocca, how the other Aussies have faired in the League, and what the impact could be on the Eagles roster, so I think his article is a must read.
The Eagles overpaid Dirk Johnson before this season, and he had a pretty rough year to reward them for their generosity. I guess if Sav doesn’t work out, at least he’ll be a sign to Johnson that the Eagles will cut him if he doesn’t improve. Personally, I’d love to see this Aussie crazer put on Eagle green and learn to punt in the NFL. It’d make for some excitement, especially if some unfortunate rookie punt returner decides to break one and gets laid out in the open field.
Whatever happens, it looks like the Rocca is ready to compete:
"It's mixed feelings, because it's quite exciting if you make it and go all the way," Rocca, known to fans as "Sav," told the news show. "That environment, for the family, it's a bit hectic, because we're just not sure how far we're going to go... They can terminate the contract after 1 day if they want to. I've got to get over there and show 'em that I'm fairly good and I can kick just as good as, if not better than, who they've got there at the moment."
Some YouTube highlights… When you watch this video, it's clear that the NFL likely shells out a lot more cash than the Australian league. It looks like he's adored there, but he's willing to give it all up to take one of the most underappreciated positions in football in the States. Then again, he's 33, and punting-only duties are a lot easier on the body than taking the beating of Aussie rules football. Sorry for the lame song…
(Photo from footywire.com)
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The Phillies continue to make baseball fun as they head toward the finish line of their fifth straight losing season.
They rallied for their eighth win in the last 10 games in beating the Los Angeles Dodgers, 7-5, at Citizens Bank Park on Wednesday night.
The Phillies have taken the first three games of the series against the team with baseball's best record. All three wins have been come-from-behind efforts.
Aaron Altherr, the hero of Monday night's win against three-time Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw, was a key contributor again in this one. He drove in four runs late in the game with a two-run homer in the seventh and a tie-breaking, two-run single in the eighth inning.
• The Phillies' bullpen, which had been so good lately, blew leads of 2-1 and 5-4, but the offense overcame those issues.
• Despite having the second-worst record in the majors, the Phillies are 32-33 since the All-Star break.
• The game ended with Phillies centerfielder Odubel Herrera making a tremendous leaping catch at the wall on a bullet by Yasiel Puig.
• Cesar Hernandez started the Phillies' eighth-inning rally by working a walk against Luis Avilan. Avilan then made an errant throw to help set up Altherr's big single.
• Hector Neris pitched for the third night in a row and earned his second save of the series.
• The Dodgers rallied for three runs against the Phillies' bullpen to take a 4-2 lead in the top of the seventh. The Phillies got the runs back quickly in the bottom of the inning. Rhys Hoskins continued to do things to help the team win when he led off with a walk against right-hander Ross Stripling. Stripling then threw two hanging curveballs and Altherr and Tommy Joseph deposited them in the left-field seats to give the Phillies the lead. Joseph, pushed into the background by Hoskins' emergence, had a two-RBI night.
• Phillies starter Jake Thompson gave up just one run but was not economical enough with his pitches to get past the fifth inning. Thompson allowed six base runners on three hits and three walks and got outs on several long fly balls. He walked two batters in the fifth, got a visit from pitching coach Bob McClure then got the final two outs on a pair of groundballs. He hung a full-count slider to Justin Turner with two outs, but Turner grounded it to short for the third out. Thompson survived and exited the game with a 2-1 lead.
• Chase Utley did not start for the Dodgers, but he entered the game as a pinch-hitter in the top of the seventh with the Dodgers behind, 2-1. Facing rookie right-hander Victor Arano, Utley showed that famous short, chop swing in lacing a triple off the center-field wall.
• Arano was originally Dodgers' property. He came over to the Phillies late in the 2014 season in a trade for pitcher Roberto Hernandez. After Utley tripled, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts sent up left-handed hitting Andre Ethier to bat in the pitcher's spot. Pete Mackanin responded by waving lefty Hoby Milner into the game. Roberts went back to his bench and replaced Ethier with Kike Hernandez, a right-handed bat. Milner is a side-armer who struggles against right-handed bats (they were 19 for 46 against him while lefty hitters were 9 for 54). The results were predictable; Hernandez doubled home Ultey with the tying run. Milner did get to face a lefty hitter later in the inning and NL Rookie of the Year slam dunk Cody Bellinger broke the tie with a two-run double. Despite the difficult inning, Milner has made a nice showing and put himself on the map this season. He had not allowed a run in 21 straight appearances before being charged with two.
• The series concludes with a Thursday matinee. Mark Leiter Jr. (3-6, 4.93) pitches for the Phillies against Dodgers right-hander Kenta Maeda (12-6, 4.91).