@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.

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Larry Bowa on Jim Bunning: His words 'resonated throughout my career'

Larry Bowa on Jim Bunning: His words 'resonated throughout my career'

Beyond the center field wall at Citizens Bank Park, retired Phillies uniform No. 14 was draped in black cloth on Saturday afternoon.
 
Jim Bunning, who wore that number during six seasons with the club, died late Friday night at his home in Kentucky. The Hall of Fame pitcher, who went on to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate, was 85.
 
Bunning was a workhorse right-hander who pitched with smarts and competitiveness during his 17 seasons in the majors. He also pitched with the Detroit Tigers, Pittsburgh Pirates and Los Angeles Dodgers. He averaged 35 starts and won 89 games during his six seasons with the Phillies. He also authored one of the most iconic moments in club history when he pitched the franchise's first perfect game on a searing hot Father's Day in 1964 against the New York Mets at Shea Stadium.
 
Talking about a perfect game as it is unfolding is considered baseball taboo. To mention it is to risk jinxing it. But Bunning broke tradition and in the late innings of that game talked openly with teammates in the dugout about the possibility of finishing off the feat.
 
"Jim Bunning was way too practical of a man to worry about a jinx," former teammate Rick Wise once said. Wise pitched the second game of that Father's Day doubleheader. It started 20 minutes after Bunning completed his perfecto and Wise had trouble finding a ball and a catcher to warm him up because everyone was busy celebrating the perfect game.
 
Bunning went 224-184 with a 3.27 ERA in 591 career games. He led the American League with 20 wins in 1957. He led the league in innings twice and strikeouts three times. He was elected to the Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee in 1996 and went into Cooperstown as a Phillie.
 
Bunning had two tours with the Phillies, 1964-67 and 1970-71, and was a straight-laced competitor who expected effort and excellence from his teammates. During his second time through Philadelphia, as he was nearing the end of his career, he was a teammate of a young shortstop named Larry Bowa.
 
"I remember him coming up to me and saying, ‘Don’t ever, ever lose your energy. I don’t want to turn around and see your head dropping because you’re 0 for 3,’" Bowa recalled Saturday. "He said, ‘I don’t ever want to see that.’ He said, ‘You’ve got to be accountable. You’ve got to play with energy. You’ve got to play every inning of every game.
 
"I made an error one day and he turned around — I didn’t even want to make eye contact with him — he turned around and he was rubbing the ball and looked at me and I went, 'Yeah, I know I should have caught it.' He was just that intense."
 
Bunning had a mean streak on the mound. He led the league in hit batsman four times.
 
Bowa recalled the time Ron Hunt — a notorious plunkee — did not get out of the way of a Bunning breaking ball. As Hunt ran to first base, Bunning admonished him.
 
"He went over and said, 'Ron, if you want to get hit, I’ll hit you next time and it won’t be a breaking ball.' That’s what kind of competitor he was."
 
Bunning suffered a stroke last year.
 
"I knew he had been sick," Bowa said. "Tremendous, tremendous person who taught me a lot about the game in a short time.
 
"He always gave me good advice. He talked about self-evaluation with me all the time. He said you’ve got to be accountable in this game, no one gives you anything in this game. I never had a pitcher mentor me like he did. In spring training, he told me, ‘Keep your mouth shut and your eyes and ears open.’ It was that simple. I said, ‘Yes, sir.’
 
"When a guy like that takes the time with someone who is just starting, it’s, I mean, it resonated throughout my career."

MLB Notes: Tigers place 2B Ian Kinsler on 10-day disabled list

MLB Notes: Tigers place 2B Ian Kinsler on 10-day disabled list

CHICAGO -- The Detroit Tigers placed Ian Kinsler on the 10-day disabled list because of a strained left hamstring ahead of their doubleheader against the Chicago White Sox on Saturday.

Outfielder JaCoby Jones was recalled from Triple A Toledo to fill the roster spot. He was scheduled to start the first game of the twin bill in center field.

Kinsler sat out five games because of the same injury this month. He has a .239 batting average, four home runs and 11 RBIs in 41 games this season.

Also, the Tigers acquired the contract of pitcher Arcenio Leon and Chad Bell was optioned to Toledo. Bell pitched 2 1/3 innings on Friday. Pitcher William Cuevas was designated for assignment.

Leon spent the 2016 season in the Mexican League before signing as minor league free agent last winter. He'd be making his major league debut.

Indians: Ace starter Corey Kluber expected to rejoin rotation next week
CLEVELAND -- Corey Kluber, sidelined most of the month with a strained lower back, is expected to rejoin the Cleveland Indians rotation on Thursday against Oakland.

Cleveland's ace right-hander hasn't pitched since May 2 when he left his start against Detroit after three innings. He threw five scoreless innings for Double-A Akron on a minor league rehab assignment Friday.

Kluber is 3-2 with a 5.06 ERA in six starts. He pitched 249 1/3 innings last season, including 34 1/3 in the playoffs. Kluber also pitched on three days rest three times during the postseason, two coming against the Chicago Cubs in the World Series.

Kluber was 18-9 with a 3.14 ERA and two shutouts in the regular season and went 4-1 with a 1.83 ERA in six playoff starts. He won the AL Cy Young Award in 2014 and was third in the voting last season.

Indians manager Terry Francona didn't say whose spot Kluber will take in the rotation.

Padres: OF Manuel Margot placed on 10-day DL with calf strain
WASHINGTON -- The San Diego Padres placed Manuel Margot on the 10-day disabled list with a strained right calf before Saturday's game against the Washington Nationals.

The centerfielder left Wednesday's game with calf soreness. He was in a walking boot ahead of Friday's series opener.

Second on the team in at-bats, the 22-year-old Margot is batting .259 with four home runs and 13 RBIs.

"He's just sore right now," Padres manager Andy Green said. "He'll take off four-to-five days and keep the workload really minimum. After that, see how he progresses."

Outfielder Franchy Cordero was called up from Triple-A El Paso for his major league debut. He is expected to start Sunday and receive much of the playing time in center field.