Former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick is still a rather polarizing figure and anytime his name appears in the news there are going to be those who believe he deserves zero chances to be an upstanding member of society ever again.
After Vick signed with the New York Jets last week, many of those people came out of the woodwork. Some were happy that Vick was no longer on their team, the Eagles, while others were outraged that the Jets would welcome a former criminal.
Thelma is one of the outraged and posted this rather humorous message on the Jets page on Facebook:
As you can read in the note above, it was the wrong Jets. Wrong league, wrong sport, wrong country, wrong Jets.
The screen cap comes from a site called BackPageFootball and as Bleacher Report points out, while the Newcastle Jets could have simply let the comment go, they offered a reasoned response. And they're probably right, Vick developed a reputation in Philly as a great guy to have around the locker room and on the practice field. Even when they were battling it out for the starting position, Nick Foles and Vick appeared to be best buds. Once he returned to the NFL following his stint away from the game, he had a much more dedicated work ethic. Those are all the kinds of things you want in a mentor on the football field.
Not really sure how good he'd be at soccer though.
Eagles fans, you don't have to worry about your young franchise quarterback getting an inflated ego after a hot start.
Carson Wentz is still the lovable North Dakota, cargo-wearing country kid you fell in love with this summer and who took your heart away during the Eagles' 3-0 start.
On Wednesday, Wentz tweeted a picture of himself with an 8-point buck he aparently shot with a bow and arrow, giving us a glimpse into what he's up to on the bye week.
This is of course the same quarterback that was hutning geese when he found out he would be the Eagles' starter earlier this season.
ATLANTA – After every Phillies road game, it’s customary for reporters to enter the clubhouse and stop into the manager’s office to collect a few observations from the ol' skipper.
On Wednesday night, Pete Mackanin, still in his uniform pants and red undershirt, took the unusual step of leaving the visiting clubhouse at Turner Field and approaching a group of reporters as they waited in the hallway outside the room.
Did the toilets overflow or something?
Well, in a sense, yes.
The stink of a 12-2 loss to the Atlanta Braves led some of the team’s elder statesmen to call a players-only team meeting (see Instant Replay). That meant Mackanin had to do his postmortems outside in the hallway.
“I don't know who called it, but it’s nice to see,” Mackanin said. “Somebody cares.”
Catcher Cameron Rupp revealed that the meeting was called by veterans Ryan Howard and A.J. Ellis. The Phillies have lost five of their last six games and given up a ridiculous 63 runs over that span. They lost, 17-0, Sunday in New York and blew a 6-0 lead in losing, 7-6, Tuesday night in Atlanta. Losing by a 10-spot on Wednesday night added to the embarrassment and dropped the Phillies to 70-88 with four games remaining in the season.
“We have some older guys, Howie and A.J. that have been around and they don’t want to see guys stumble to the finish line,” Rupp said. “Finish hard, finish strong. We’ve had a good year in a lot of guys’ eyes. We’ve improved on last year. There has been a lot of good things we can build off and that’s what the message was – continue to work and get better.
“There are four games left – don’t quit,” Rupp said. “Come to the ballpark expecting to win and see where it takes you. We got pushed around the last couple of nights and in New York. Stuff happens. It’s part of the game. But with four games left, there’s a lot that each player can prove.
“A lot can happen in four days. We can ruin somebody else’s season.”
The Phillies play their final game at Turner Field on Thursday night – the Braves will open a new stadium next year – then return home Friday night to play the Mets, who are locked in a tight race for the National League wild card.
The weekend series against the Mets will mark Howard’s last three days in a Phillies uniform.
He has swung the bat lately like a man who still has pride. His part in the team meeting reflected that pride.
“A.J. and I felt like having a quick meeting and that we did,” Howard said. “We need to refocus on these last four games. We got beat up tonight. We have to put a halt to that momentum and refocus on the last four games.
“It’s important to finish strong. It would be easy to cash it in, but we want to go out on a high note and we have four games to try to do that.”
Mackanin admitted the series in New York – three losses in four games to the Mets – “took the life out of everybody” and the malaise followed the Phillies to Atlanta.
“It's all about pitching,” Mackanin said. “Pitching keeps you in games. That's why we won 70 games. Now we're not getting the pitching.”
The Phillies have struggled to score runs all season. In fact, they are the only team in the majors not to reach 600 runs. (They have 599.) But recently, the pitching has gone downhill, especially in the bullpen.
Mackanin tried to give the bullpen a break on Wednesday night. That’s why he had Adam Morgan suck up five innings on a night when he didn’t have it. The lefty allowed 10 hits and nine runs in his final start of the season.
“It’s pretty bad,” Morgan said. “It’s not the way that I wanted to go out.”
Morgan made strides recently as he picked up a two-seam fastball and used his changeup more. But he is 2-11 with a 6.04 ERA.
“Below average,” said Mackanin, assessing Morgan’s season. “It wasn't a successful season for him. He has ability, but the numbers matter. If you want to go by the numbers, they're not good. It doesn't mean I don't like him. It doesn't mean he doesn't have a future. At some point, you have to put up numbers.”
Speaking of numbers, the Phillies have put up some awful numbers against the NL East. They are 16-35 against the NL East in their last 51 divisional games.
“I look at the team statistics,” Mackanin said. “When you're 13th, 14th and 15th in 10 of those categories, that tells you all you need to know.
“We're down at the bottom in hitting. We're sinking fast in pitching.
“As far as a yardstick to measure, I look at those stats. Numbers matter. They tell you the story.”
In four days, the story of the 2016 Phillies will be over. Maybe Wednesday night’s players-only meeting will inspire a couple of final wins.