The people who REALLY Don't like Mike Vick are the Jets' problem now

The people who REALLY Don't like Mike Vick are the Jets' problem now

I was pretty surprised when Mike Vick first signed with the Philadelphia Eagles for a variety of reasons. One of the biggest was that the Eagles had a pretty great quarterback in Donovan McNabb at the time. Certainly chief among the others was the potential headache Vick's baggage could bring along with him seemed like an unnecessary risk for the organization to take.

We all know Vick committed some serious crimes against dogs and was sentenced to years in prison. He served 548 days at Leavenworth for his actions. He's worked pretty hard with the community in Philadelphia area and Virginia since then. Some still don't believe that was enough.

I held my judgment to see how Vick would act both on and off the field in Philadelphia. He may not have ever delivered a Super Bowl on it, but he did put in a lot of commendable work in the community.

A Change.org petition that went live earlier in the week believes Vick still deserves to pay. And that 548 days in prison is a "short sentence." The original petition writer is apparently not alone, with the current signers numbers approaching 12,000 as of this writing.

What is the angle the petition is taking? To plea to the SUNY campus that the New York Jets practice at:

I love SUNY Cortland, and cannot abide welcoming this sociopath onto our campus with open arms.  We need to stand by what is right as a university by barring him from the grounds.  I don't want him anywhere near my beloved college or community.  We MUST send the message that we won't be party to the torture of animals by conveniently forgetting what he has done.  If we welcome Vick onto our campus, we are complicit in his crimes.

While I think we can all agree the crimes committed were rather heinous, it's worth noting some of the things Vick has done in the time since serving those 548 days in prison.

Let's take a look at some of the notable moments from the Eagles media guide:

  • In 2011, Vick spent a day lobbying to Congress to help pass the Animal Fighting Spectacor Prohibition Act. "Too many kids get involved in dogfighting and it's time to break this cycle," said Vick. "Animal fighting is a dead-end road for young men."
  • Team Vick Foundation launched in 2012 with a $200,000 donation towards a football field for a little league team, the North Philadelphia Aztecs, as part of the Hunting Park Revitalization Project.

So why are we defending Michael Vick for his crimes here? We're not defending the crimes. We're just moving on and believing that Vick has the intentions to do good moving forward and perhaps even help curtail dogfighting in the future.

The Humane Society of the United States seems to deal with these sorts of backlash responses all the time, and even address the Vick situation specifically. I think their thoughts are worth ending on:

He served his time in prison, he admitted his wrongdoing, and his regret, and he determined to make amends. His work in reaching out to important audiences now buttresses that of the leading anti-dogfighting group in the nation in its broad efforts to attack the problem.

So sign your petitions if you want. Michael Vick and his detractors are no longer the problem of the Philadelphia Eagles. That said, I hope Vick continues to work to give back to the community and make up for the mistakes he's made in the past. I believe he will. I at least believe he deserves a chance to do so.

P.J. Carlesimo turns down Sixers' associate head coach job for 'family reasons'

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P.J. Carlesimo turns down Sixers' associate head coach job for 'family reasons'

Thirty-five years is more than enough time to get a sense of who a person is and how they do their job. That is how long Brett Brown has known P.J. Carlesimo, which made it easy for the Sixers' head coach to have interest in adding him to the staff. 

With Mike D’Antoni leaving to coach the Rockets, the Sixers had a vacancy at the associate head coach position. On Sunday, though, Carlesimo decided not to join the Sixers’ staff and remain a television analyst.

“He was a natural fit for me,” Brown said Monday following a pre-draft workout. “For family reasons, he just couldn’t do it. We talked a lot and it was an emotional thing from P.J.’s perspective. 

“P.J. is a very close friend of mine and he made that decision for family reasons and I understand it. The phone call really didn’t surprise me knowing what I know of him and how he views his family, having to travel across the country the whole time.”

Like D’Antoni, Carlesimo has a lengthy résumé on the NBA sidelines. He was a head coach for parts of nine seasons and worked five as an assistant coach. Brown called working with D’Antoni “a real learning experience,” and an ideal candidate would have similar experience to help both the staff and the young roster.

“That role will be filled with maybe that type of flavor,” Brown said. “I know this, we are still in a complete development mode. We still have a bunch of 20 year olds, guys that could be with us for a long time, but they’re not old, that we have to make sure that the city and me, we remember that. We still need people and teachers that can teach and coach and establish relationships. 

“So you tick boxes on relationships, teaching, development, those still rule the day. If you can do that with some veteran wisdom and some type of experiences like Mike’s, say, or P.J. had, well then you’re really knocking it out of the park.”

Coaching vacancies are coveted at this level. With the No. 1 pick in the draft, a revamped front office, and a 125,000-square foot training facility under construction, the Sixers have enhanced the appeal of the role. 

"My phone is very active, as you can imagine," Brown said. "I think it’s a highly attractive position. … Like our draft picks, I too spend a lot of time studying who will be the best fit for me and our program."

Tonight's Lineup: Ryan Howard (surprisingly) starts at 1B

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Tonight's Lineup: Ryan Howard (surprisingly) starts at 1B

So much for trimming Ryan Howard's playing time.

One day after Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said he plans on giving 24-year-old Tommy Joseph more starts against right-handed pitchers, Mackanin flipped the switch Monday.

Howard is penciled in as the starting first baseman for the Phils' series-opener against the Nationals on Monday night at Citizens Bank Park against Tanner Roark (3-4, 2.71).

After the Phillies were clobbered by the MLB-best Chicago Cubs on Sunday — and the weekend, really — Mackanin said the Phils have to get a longer look at Joseph.

"We brought up Joseph up here for a reason, to get a look at him," the manager said after the Phillies' 7-2 on Sunday afternoon (see story). "I can't let him stagnate on the bench like (Darin) Ruf ended up doing, so he's going to face some right-handed pitchers to keep his timing."

Joseph will have to wait another day to get in the lineup. To be fair, Joseph did face five righties last week, but three of those came with the designated hitter in play.

For Howard, however, the club icon is in a major rut that has had many outsiders calling for him to retire or for the team to release him. He's hitting .154 with eight home runs and 18RBs in 136 at-bats and is 6 for 62 (.097) with 25 strikeouts in May.

Here's the silver lining, however. Howard is a career .333 hitter in 12 at-bats against Roark, who he's taken deep once and has six RBIs against.

The Phillies turn to Jeremy Hellickson (4-3, 3.97) to snap their three-game skid. He's faced the Nationals twice this season, allowing six — five earned — runs over 10⅓ innings.

Here are today's full lineups:

Phillies
1. Odubel Herrera, CF
2. Freddy Galvis, SS
3. Maikel Franco, 3B
4. Ryan Howard, 1B
5. Carlos Ruiz, C
6. Cesar Hernandez, 2B
7. Tyler Goeddel, LF
8. Jeremy Hellickson, P
9. Peter Bourjos, RF

For more on tonight's game, check out Steven Tyding's game notes.

MLB Notes: Mets' manager Terry Collins worried David Wright might be headed for DL

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MLB Notes: Mets' manager Terry Collins worried David Wright might be headed for DL

NEW YORK -- Mets manager Terry Collins is worried David Wright may wind up on the disabled list because of a neck injury.

New York's captain and third baseman was out of the starting lineup for the third straight day Monday because of his neck. He was given anti-inflammatory medicine over the weekend.

Now 33, Wright was on the disabled list from April 15 to Aug. 24 last year when he strained his right hamstring and then developed spinal stenosis. He has a lengthy physical therapy routine he must go through before each game.

Wright homered in three straight games last week before getting hurt. He is batting .226 with seven homers, 14 RBIs and 55 strikeouts in 137 at-bats.

White Sox: Shuck called up with Jackson injured
NEW YORK -- With Austin Jackson bothered by turf toe, the Chicago White Sox recalled outfielder J.B. Shuck from Charlotte and optioned right-hander Tommy Kahnle to the Triple-A farm team.

Jackson left Sunday's game in the eighth inning because of his left foot.

White Sox manager Robin Ventura said before Monday's series opener against the New York Mets that he doesn't think Jackson's injury at this point merits a move to the disabled list. He adds that the team does not "necessarily want to lose him for two weeks right away."

Shuck was batting fifth and playing center field Monday. He was 0 for 9 with the White Sox before he was sent down April 18 when Chicago needed to add a pitcher. He is hitting .299 at Charlotte with two homers and 17 RBIs.

Kahnle is 0-1 with a 2.70 ERA in four games over three stints with Chicago this season.