@FakeWIPCaller's Ten Best (And Ten Worst) Philadelphia Sports Moments of 2013

@FakeWIPCaller's Ten Best (And Ten Worst) Philadelphia Sports Moments of 2013

The year 2013 got off to a pretty good start for Philadelphia sports fans, with the firing on New Years' Eve of Andy Reid. Unfortunately, nothing else good happened for quite awhile, with the Phillies, Sixers and Flyers all turning in awful seasons. It was another year without a local championship, just like all of them except for '80, '83 and '08.

But there were happy developments too, even a few that didn't involve Nick Foles. Here are the ten best and ten worst things that happened in local sports this year:

Best:

1. That Flyers line brawl, in which Ray Emery skated the length of the ice in order to deck the Capitals' goalie, hereby kicking off one of the best weeks in Philadelphia sports history. Emery should never have to buy a drink in this town again.

2. Chip Kelly's appearance at Wing Bowl. Sure, the season itself has been pretty exciting, too. But wasn't that just awesome?

3. Nick Foles' emergence as the best Eagles quarterback ever, or at least since Jeff Garcia.

4. Riley Cooper's complete and total redemption. After all those touchdowns, no one can ever say a bad word about him again.

5. No longer in Philadelphia: Andy Reid, Andrew Bynum, Nnamdi Asomugha,  Ilya Bryzgalov, Jason Babin, Juan Castillo, JIm Washburn, Delmon Young, Kwame Brown.

6. The Sixers finally discovered, years too late, that you have to lose to win.

7. The Redskins and Giants both suffered major, highly embarrassing franchise collapses. Your turn, Cowboys.

8. Chase Utley finally wrote back to Mac.

9. Bernie Parent's surprising emergence as America's leading sex advice columnist.

10. This.

And the worst:

1. The Eagles retiring Donovan McNabb's number. A.J. Feeley was much more deserving.

2. Sam Hinkie's outrageous refusal to give talk radio interviews during the offseason.

3. Sports Illustrated putting Nick Foles on the cover. It's like they're trying to destroy us on purpose.

4. The Sixers hiring a new coach without even considering Allen Iverson.

5. Ilya Bryzgalov giving an interview in which he praised Stalin and, even worse, criticized Philadelphia.

6. The Phillies, continuing to hang on to their own expensive veteran players and not even lifting a finger to sign away other teams' expensive veteran players.

7. Philadelphia was rejected as the host city for Wrestlemania in 2015, because apparently we're "not friendly enough." For Wrestlemania.

8. Nick Foles narrowly lost out to Pope Francis for Time's Person of the Year.

9. Cary Williams on sconses.

10. Cary Williams on the field.

Other Philly sports takes:

- Awesome win for the Eagles Sunday night against the Bears. But it's concerning to me that they couldn't get to 60 points. I'm afraid that might come back to bite them.

- I hear Festivus was earlier in the week, although for me, every day is the Airing of the Grievances.

- Comcast this week showed Ruben Amaro talking on his BlackBerry. Yes, he still uses a BlackBerry.

- Welcome, Josh Innes. Looking forward to speaking with you.

Merry Christmas, everyone! It's the one week out of the year when Santa Claus isn't associated primarily with irate Eagles fans.

Follow @FakeWIPCaller on Twitter.

Yankees 9, Phillies 4: Cameron Perkins comes out swinging

Yankees 9, Phillies 4: Cameron Perkins comes out swinging

TAMPA -- The Phillies’ bats were slow getting started in the Grapefruit League opener Friday afternoon. The Phils did not have a baserunner through the first six innings in a 9-4 loss to the New York Yankees at Steinbrenner Field.

“First game, I’m just happy we got at-bats because the pitching is always ahead of the hitting this early,” Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said afterward.

Outfielder Cameron Perkins had the Phillies’ first hit, a single up the middle in the seventh inning. He added a solo homer in the ninth inning.

Perkins, 26, was the Phillies’ sixth-round pick in the 2012 draft out of Purdue University. He graduated from Southport High School in Indianapolis, the same school that produced Phillies great and Hall of Famer Chuck Klein.

A right-hander hitter who eschews batting gloves, Perkins hit .292 with eight homers and 47 RBIs at Triple A Lehigh Valley last season. He is not on the 40-man roster but was invited to camp for a look-see. He is considered a longshot to win a spot on the Phillies’ bench, but will certainly improve his chances if he keeps swinging it like he did Friday.

“I don’t think about it,” Perkins said of his bid to make the club. “All I can do is what I did today -- get my opportunity and make the most of it.”

Brock Stassi, another candidate for a job on the Phillies’ bench, also homered.

On the pitching side
Right-hander Alec Asher, who projects to open in the Triple A rotation, started for the Phils. He pitched two innings, allowed a home run to Didi Gregorius and struck out two.

Asher made big strides with his sinker last season. He’s added a cutter now.

Right-hander Nick Pivetta debuted with two scoreless innings. He gave up a hit, walked one and struck out three. The Phillies acquired Pivetta from Washington from Jonathan Papelbon in July 2015. He projects to open in the Triple A rotation, but first will pitch for Team Canada in the WBC in March.

“It’s a lifelong dream for me, right up there with whenever it is that I get my first start with the Phillies,” Pivetta said.

The bullpen
Mackanin has said he’d like to have two left-handed relievers in his bullpen. The Phillies have just one -- Joely Rodriguez -- on their 40-man roster, although it’s possible that Adam Morgan could be shifted from starter to reliever later in camp.

The Phils have brought two veteran lefties -- Sean Burnett and Cesar Ramos -- into camp on minor-league deals to compete for a job. Burnett made his debut Friday and gave up a triple, a sacrifice fly and a home run in his inning of work.

Luis Garcia was tagged for four hits and three runs in his spring debut.

Up next
The Phillies host the Yankees in Clearwater on Saturday afternoon. Morgan will start for the Phils against right-hander Adam Warren.

A Q & A with Siera Santos

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A Q & A with Siera Santos

What experience had the biggest impact on your life and career in sports and why? 
I’m often asked why I chose to be in sports broadcasting and the answer is not exactly brief. Most people aren’t familiar with my backstory. While I prefer to tell it face-to-face, here it is in a nutshell: Throughout high school, I had a lot of “problems” (that’s the gentle way of putting it). I didn’t graduate and instead got my GED while I was in a treatment center in Utah. That summer when I returned home to Arizona, I needed a healthy distraction and, although I had always been a casual Arizona Diamondbacks and Phoenix Suns fan, I started watching games every day and reading the sports section with my dad over our morning cup of coffee.

When the NBA season started, I begged my dad for season tickets. This was the Nash/Stoudemire/Marion era and tickets were incredibly expensive. While we didn’t get season tickets that year, we went to several regular season and playoff games. Next season rolled around and, once again, I pleaded with my dad to get us season tickets. He finally broke down and bought a half-season package. We went to nearly every other game. I knew at that point that I wanted to go to games for the rest of my life. I enrolled in community college for the spring with my heart set on getting a degree in broadcast journalism. Not only did Suns games change the course of my future, but they also repaired my relationship with my dad. 

Who’s had the biggest impact and why?  
It’s difficult to single out one person. Obviously my parents' unwavering support got me where I am today. If I had to name someone who is currently a mentor-figure in my life, it would definitely be Jesse Sanchez from MLB Network. He always checks in to make sure I’m OK (in both my career and personal life), and he’s given me invaluable feedback and advice. There aren’t many Latinos working in sports media at national level and he encourages me to embrace who I am. 

What are some of the funniest moments you’ve experienced as a woman in sports?
When I tell people I’m a sports broadcaster, the immediate follow-up question tends to be: “Oh, so you like sports?” It’s tough to not respond with something sarcastic so I usually say, “Nope! I hate them!” I just don’t think it’s a question that you would ask a man in sports broadcasting. 

What was the most negative moment you’ve experienced ... the one that got you fired up or perhaps made you think about quitting?
Overall, most of my interactions are very positive and the majority of athletes are professionals. But I did have an issue with one player who was unbelievably disrespectful. He had been inappropriate on two previous occasions and I dreaded having to crowd around his locker to do interviews with him after games. I stopped asking him questions and after one of the scrums, he said: “If you’re not going to ask any questions, move your ass to the back.” My cameraman was still rolling and the mic was still hot. It was caught on video. Eventually, the issue was resolved with the support of my superiors. However, the entire ordeal was embarrassing and made my job more difficult. 
 
Have you had any teachable moments, i.e. someone made an ignorant comment, but had no idea you were offended – until you said something?
Double-checking the pronunciation of names that I’m not familiar with has been a priority. If you slip-up on a name, viewers will crucify you. Most male broadcasters will be forgiven for a mispronunciation, but it’s not necessarily the same for women. 

Any awkward moments?  
Whenever an athlete crosses the line and tries to be flirtatious or ask for a date. It doesn’t happen as often as you’d think, but it’s still uncomfortable. 

What are you most proud of?
I’m often asked “Well, what’s next?” The truth is I’m very happy with where I am. My end goal was to be a team reporter for a regional sports network and that’s exactly what I’m doing. I live in an amazing city and I love what I do. After I dropped out of high school, I never thought I would make it this far, much less graduate college. I’m incredibly grateful to be here and I’m proud of where I am.

A lot of girls look up to you and aspire to be on TV covering sports. What is the most important message you want to send to them?
Be someone that people enjoy working with and being around. Always be open to feedback. Don’t be afraid to ask questions if you’re not 100 percent sure. Oh, and don’t post anything on social media that you wouldn’t want your grandma to see.