Grin and Bear It: Andy Reid Here Until the Bitter End

Grin and Bear It: Andy Reid Here Until the Bitter End

Want Andy Reid gone? At the current rate, you'll get your wish soon enough. Then again, maybe it won't come quite soon enough for some of you.

After 14 years, Reid may very well be headed for a pink slip in the next two months. Don't expect the news to come down today though, nor this week or the next, probably no sooner than the end of the season. No matter how much you think he deserves it, there is simply no point in dumping the head coach at this stage, as some folks have already suggested.

Sure, such an announcement might bring fans a measure relief, but it doesn't change what the Eagles are with nine games left. After all, it's not like Jeffrey Lurie can go outside the current staff to find Reid's replacement in November.

That should be stating the obvious. Never mind the fact that most active coaches are currently, you know, employed -- though it stands to reason that might be a stumbling block. Who in their right mind is going to sign up to take over a sinking ship? Even if the task was somehow appealing (it's not), no outside candidate would or could work with a foreign staff.

Reid couldn't successfully transition a new defensive coordinator with an extra week to prepare, so it's probably safe to say Vince Lombardi couldn't overhaul an entire staff in six days, mid-season. And again, coaches are working right now, not applying for jobs.

Nobody is available.

That means the only answer is to promote an interim coach from the current staff. Well, since those guys are doing such bang-up jobs, who do you think should get the call? Todd Bowles deserves to keep flying up the ladder after Sunday's effort on defense, no? Have Marty Mornhinweg or Bobby April drawn rave reviews coaching the offense and special teams? Maybe under-performing line play will get Howard Mudd and Jim Washburn some looks, but I doubt they're willing.

This isn't a situation where there is a head coach-in-waiting in the building. When this regime ends, you want it to be finished once and for all, so it's not as if you're getting a look at a guy the organization would consider hiring.

Face it: Andy Reid is the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles for at least another month or two -- and there are still two more logical reasons why.

First, the Eagles' season is not over yet at 3-4. That's not a vote of confidence as much as it is acknowledging the remaining existing possibilities. As long as there isn't somebody better stepping in right away, Reid might as well have every opportunity to dig himself and his team out of this mess. It's their best chance for this year, and he's certainly surprised us in the past.

Second, you can make the case Reid's dismissal is long overdue, and it's a valid point. That said, as difficult as it may be to remember, there were a lot of great years under Reid, and it should earn him a modicum of respect. As long as there isn't an obvious replacement, he should be allowed to finish out the year.

Because what purpose does causing a scene serve other than to humiliate a man who led the Eagles to multiple appearances in the conference final, plus a trip to the Super Bowl?

It appears the end is near, but while it may seem like getting it over with is a thing to do, it's not. The Eagles won't be in any position to truly start over before January, so rather than hastily pull the plug on 2012, time's Reid's.

Vince Velasquez feels the heat in Phillies' Sunday loss to Pirates

Vince Velasquez feels the heat in Phillies' Sunday loss to Pirates

BOX SCORE

PITTSBURGH --- Vince Velasquez wasn’t able to stand the heat Sunday afternoon.

The game-time temperature was 89 degrees with humidity to match at PNC Park. The Phillies' right-hander admitted he didn’t handle the weather well.

"You're going to go through various conditions, and it's something that you've got to really take into consideration -- to really lock in, stay hydrated because it can mentally drain you,” Velasquez said. “It kind of took a toll on me but I have to make the best of what I've got.”

Velasquez wound up pitching six innings in the blistering heat but did not factor in the decision as the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Phillies 5-4 on pinch-hitter Adam Frazier’s leadoff home run in the seventh inning, his first in the major leagues, off fellow rookie Edubray Ramos (see Instant Replay).

Velasquez had his worst of his five starts since coming off the disabled list June 26, allowing four runs and seven hits while walking four and striking out five. He threw 107 pitches, 64 for strikes.

In his first four outings after begin activated, he was 3-0 with a 1.88 ERA to raise his record to 8-2.

“Just looking at his body language, he showed that he was struggling to find the strike zone,” Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. “He didn't have his best location. He did a good job; he just made a couple bad pitches when they scored the two runs. Obviously, he wasn't at his best, but he kept us in the game.”

While that kind of outing can breed confidence in a 24-year-old pitcher, Velasquez took no consolation in it. He was bothered about not being able to hold a 4-2 lead in the bottom of the sixth inning, giving up a tying two-run home run to Matt Joyce.

“I knew it was my last inning when I went out there and I have to be able to close it out there,” Velasquez said. “I’m disappointed in that. I need to be better in that situation.”

Joyce’s blast came on pitch after Starling Marte doubled on an 0-2 pitch. That, too, annoyed Velasquez.

“That's just a matter of finishing at-bats,” Velasquez said. “You've got to lock in on 0-2 counts when you're ahead. You've got to finish the at-bat. Knowing that that was my last inning, that's where you have to bear down and give it all you've got.”

Ramos then gave up the game-winning homer to Frazier an inning later, the first long ball given up by the 23-year-old right-hander in 14 career outings. The Phillies wound up losing two of three games in the series and are 3-7 since the All-Star break to drop to 10 games under .500 at 45-55 through 100 games.

“It’s a game we should have won but I put us in position to lose it,” Velasquez said.

Dallas Cowboys bus involved in fatal crash in Arizona

Dallas Cowboys bus involved in fatal crash in Arizona

KINGMAN, Ariz. -- Four people were killed Sunday when bus carrying Dallas Cowboys staffers but no players collided with a van on a northwestern Arizona highway.

The fatalities were passengers in the van, Arizona Department of Public Safety spokesman Quentin Mehr said. But the bus occupants emerged uninjured.

"All on the bus came through OK with some bumps and bruises," Cowboys spokesman Rich Dalrymple (DAHL'-rimp-ul) said in an email.

Dalrymple said the bus was only carrying members of the franchise's staff but would not say how many. There were no players on board.

The two vehicles collided in the afternoon on U.S. 93, about 30 miles north of the city of Kingman, according to DPS.

The crash shut down at least one lane of the highway that serves as the main route between Phoenix and Las Vegas.

The bus was on its way to a Dallas Cowboys fan event in Las Vegas. Charles Cooper, manager of GameWorks entertainment center in Vegas, said the session with 50 to 75 fans was scheduled for 3 p.m. PDT. People were already waiting when the president of a Las Vegas Cowboys fan club called to relay news of the accident. The event was subsequently canceled. Cooper says the team mascot was supposed to appear.

After the Las Vegas stop, the bus was scheduled to go on to Oxnard, California for the team's training camp. Members of the organization typically take a bus two weeks before the camp starts and make stops along the way.

Report: Phillies preparing for possible Jeremy Hellickson trade to Marlins

Report: Phillies preparing for possible Jeremy Hellickson trade to Marlins

Jeremy Hellickson may be staying in the NL East past the trade deadline. 

Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reported that the Phillies are scouting the Marlins' minor league teams in advance of a possible Hellickson deal. 

This comes on the heels of a report from a radio host in Miami that Marlins starter Wei-Yin Chen may need Tommy John surgery. Chen left with an elbow sprain during Wednesday's loss to the Phillies and was placed on the disabled list. Ironically, Chen was starting against Hellickson, who will face Jarred Cosart in place of Chen on Monday.

Hellickson's value rebounded significantly this season after struggling in Arizona and Tampa Bay the last few seasons. After dealing with a shoulder injury, Hellickson pitched to ERAs above 4.50 in each season from 2013-15, leading to the Diamondbacks trading him to the Phillies for limited value. 

However, in 20 starts, Hellickson, who will be a free agent after the year, has anchored the Phillies' rotation, bringing a 3.84 ERA over 119 ⅔ innings into Monday's scheduled start. He also has a nearly career-best strikeout rate and has regained his signature command that made him a strong performer with the Rays.

The Phillies are aided this trade deadline by a lack of starting pitching options available on the market. With many teams in contention looking for an additional starter, Hellickson is an attractive piece who could help a team in a pennant race.