What Roy Halladay Owes Philadelphia

What Roy Halladay Owes Philadelphia

The Sunday before last, Roy Halladay gave up nine runs in 2 and 1/3 innings to the awful Miami Marlins, bringing his ERA for the season to 8.65. After the game, Halladay admitted that his shoulder had been bothering him for awhile. Following a visit a few days later to Dr. Lewis Yocum -- because clearly, the Phils were too cheap to spring for Dr. James Andrews -- it was determined that the pitcher needed surgery, which will keep him out for several months.

While it's commendable that Halladay kept pitching through the pain -- and I'd have bashed him if he'd pulled a Bynum and sat out -- there's no excuse for going out there when you're not able to pitch effectively. Especially when the pitcher had to have known there was a terrible traffic jam outside, and a whole lot of fans -- Angelo Cataldi included arrived at the game with the Phils already losing 9-0.

Halladay also said there's "no timetable" for his return. Sound familiar, Sixers fans?

It's a repeat of last spring with Chase Utley: Halladay lied to the team, the team lied to Halladay, and both Halladay and the team lied to the fans. None of this would happen if the Phils would simply release every player's full and complete medical records, but then I guess they don't trust us lowly fans with such information.

All of this was bad enough, but then Halladay did the unthinkable: He apologized:

“You know, I don’t know,” he said. “I really want to get through this, come back and see how strong I can be and see how effective I can be, and see if I can help us. … I’m not going to make any decisions right now about down the road. I’m going to focus on the here and now and this process.

“I’ve always told you guys I love Philadelphia, love playing here. It’s a great place to be. But there’s a lot to be determined. I want to be effective. And I want to be a part of the team. I don’t want to be a hindrance.”

It's that second part that gets me. Because when Halladay was asked about his contract and refused to commit to staying with the Phillies on a hometown discount, I lost a lot of respect for him.

Roy Halladay and Philadelphia have a bond. Because of that, Roy should give the Phillies a break.

There's one way Halladay can make it up to us. He should announce, today, that as soon as he's done rehabbing and able to pitch again, he'll do it for a year, for the Phillies, for free. After all, Halladay's getting $20 million this year to barely pitch, so pitching next year for free would only be fair. After all that's happened since Halladay came to Philly -- two no-hitters in one year, two playoff appearances, three years as their ace, hundreds of innings pitched -- Halladay owes the team an arrangement in which he assumes all of the risk and they take on none.

And besides, Halladay's made about $80 million in his career. Isn't that enough?

Remember J.A. Happ? On the same day of Halladay's press conference, Happ, who's now with the Blue Jays, was hit in the face with a line drive. And even after he was hospitalized, he was home the next day and probably won't miss much time. Makes me think maybe all those fans a few years ago who demanded the Phils not give up Happ for Halladay had the right idea.

And apologies are one thing. But when will Halladay refund Angelo's money?

Other Philly sports takes:

What a disgrace that the Eagles, Flyers and Phillies desperately need new GMs, but only the Sixers get one. The hiring of Sam Hinkie, however, shows us once again what an invaluable voice  we have here in Marcus Hayes. In his Monday column, Hayes argued forcefully that there's no place in the NBA for intellectualism or rigorous statistical analysis. The argument has been made before, and much more skillfully and humorously, but still, good for Marcus.

Eagles minicamp started this week. Has the team shown us anything yet indicate that they're on the way to winning a Super Bowl? All I see is that they've eliminated Andy Reid's one worthwhile innovation, Taco Tuesday.

Speaking of Andy Reid, he said last week that he's been to 50 barbecue places since taking over as coach of the Chiefs. Since he was hired in early January, that averages out to a different barbecue place roughly every third day, and that's not even taking into account repeat business. I haven't had to do this type of calculation since Wilt Chamberlain's autobiography came out.

If I'm running the Eagles, I start Nick Foles, with Matt Barkley as the backup, and I bring back Trent Edwards third string. Then I trade Michael Vick for a first round pick or two. But I guess I'm not as smart as Howie Roseman.

I want to try out for next year's Wing Bowl with the gimmick "Eagles Punter Brad Wing."

Editor's Note: please look up at the byline and realize that this post was written by a guy named FakeWIPCaller. You can follow FakeWIPCaller on Twitter.

Drexel alum Ken Tribbett enjoys 'special' week for Union

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Drexel alum Ken Tribbett enjoys 'special' week for Union

CHESTER, Pa. — For more than a month, Union center back Ken Tribbett waited patiently on the sidelines, hoping to get the starting spot back that he had and then lost.

Last week, he indeed got back on the field … and then some.

After Joshua Yaro separated his shoulder in Orlando on Wednesday, Tribbett proceeded to notch his first MLS goal and assist, before playing the full 90 minutes in front of 30 family members in his home state of Colorado on Saturday.

It was quite the eventful week for someone who wasn’t expected to play at all during the road trip, let alone accomplish a couple of emotional milestones.

“It’s an unbelievable feeling,” Tribbett told reporters from Tuesday’s training session after the Union returned home following hard-fought road draws vs. Orlando City SC and the Colorado Rapids. “For me, being out a month, mentally I had to make sure I stayed tuned in. And when I got my chance, I stepped in and was ready to go.”

Even if you are mentally prepared, it’s still not an easy thing to step in at center back in the middle of a game, considering that’s a position that rarely gets changed. Making things even more difficult was the fact that Yaro, who took over starting duties after Tribbett rolled his ankle in April, had been looking every bit like the No. 2 pick in this year’s draft.

“Josh was playing a great game in Orlando,” Union head coach Jim Curtin said. “If you go back and watch the tape, he was one of our top performers. Ken stepped in at the end of the first half, which is challenging at center back — not a position you like to sub at all. But Ken came in pretty seamlessly and got the goal, which is a bonus, obviously.”

You can call it a really big bonus.

Tribbett was never expected to even be in MLS this year after failing to get much notice following a standout career at Drexel.

And he certainly wasn’t expected to log much playing time this season with the Union, who added Yaro and Anderson, a Brazilian, to a position that already featured a rising star in Richie Marquez.

So surprises are nothing new for Tribbett, who started the first five games of the year after soaring up the depth chart in the preseason and now has a goal to add to his unlikely MLS resume.

But it’s no surprise to him.

“I don’t think shock is the right word because I expect a lot of myself and I expect to score a couple of goals this year,” Tribbett said. “So it was just more relief to get the first one out of the way. Any time you score, it’s jubilation, so that was awesome. And to tie the game in Orlando after going down 2-1 was really good for the team, so everything about it was just a special moment.”

Tribbett, who also had a secondary assist in Orlando, enjoyed another “special moment” just three days later when he got to play in the Denver area where he grew up. That was not something he could have imagined after his circuitous journey took him from Colorado to Drexel to the USL’s Harrisburg City Islanders and now to the Union.

“That was probably a moment I won’t ever forget,” Tribbett said. “I had about 20 or 30 family members there, and for a lot of them it was the first time they’ve seen me play professionally. So being back home in Colorado was a special feeling.”

Although the Union backline stayed organized and surrendered only a couple of shots on target in Colorado, Curtin did say it wasn’t the best performance from Tribbett. But the Union coach is ready to lean on him again for Wednesday’s game vs. the Columbus Crew at Talen Energy Stadium (7 p.m./TCN) while Yaro gets an MRI on his shoulder.

“He did fatigue at the end and I talked to him about it,” Curtin said of Tribbett. “He had a couple of little mistakes toward the end of the game. Part of that is your legs starting to fade. But it’s good for him that’s under his belt. He’ll be ready to go now [Wednesday] for the full 90 minutes.”

With the Union idle for two weeks following Wednesday’s game because of a Copa America layoff — and Tribbett’s place in the lineup uncertain from there — the Drexel alum is certainly excited to get back on the field for his first home game since April 8.

“It’s a very important game,” Tribbett said. “We want to go into the break with certain goals for ourselves. We want to be at the top of the conference, and if we win, we’ll achieve that goal. We want to keep one goal per game [allowed]. Right now, we’re one off that, so if we get a shutout tomorrow, we’ll be right back on track.”

Pete Mackanin sends Cesar Hernandez a message

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The Associated Press

Pete Mackanin sends Cesar Hernandez a message

Pete Mackanin dropped second baseman Cesar Hernandez to eighth in the batting order for Tuesday night’s game against the Washington Nationals.

“If you want to call it a message you can call it a message,” Mackanin said.

Hernandez entered the game hitting .255 with a .616 OPS. Last year, he hit .272 with and .687 OPS.

“I expect more out of him,” Mackanin said. “I think he's a better hitter than he's shown. I think he's a .280 hitter and I think he's at .250. I want to see improvement. We need him to get back up to .280, where I think he belongs. He’s got to make adjustments. We need offense.”

Mackanin pointed to Hernandez’ double-play partner, shortstop Freddy Galvis, as an example of a player who has made improvements.

Galvis entered Tuesday night hitting .257 with a .696 OPS. But in the month of May, he was hitting .277 with a .708 OPS.

“Freddy is starting to come on,” Mackanin said. “He’s starting to make adjustments.”

Galvis has also played excellent defense.

The Phillies are a rebuilding club with a number of potential big-league contributors rounding out their development in the minors. The team’s top prospect is a shortstop – J.P. Crawford – and he’s in Triple A now. It’s not out of the question that he will be the team’s opening day shortstop next season.

Crawford’s eventual ascension impacts both Galvis and Hernandez. Galvis can also play second base. Whether Hernandez or Galvis becomes the second baseman when Crawford arrives could be determined by who hits. This is the time to make impressions.

“That's basically what it boils down to,” Mackanin said. “I've even talked to them about that — 'It's an important year for both of you because there are people who want to be in the big leagues that are in the minor leagues and want to take your job.' You have to approach it that way. You can't let down. You have to stay focused and work hard.”

While all signs point to Crawford taking over at shortstop in the future, Mackanin said Galvis’ defense should not be taken for granted.

“As well as Freddy is playing shortstop, you'd hate to move a guy like that out of that position,” Mackanin said. “It's a defensive position and he's been so good at it.”

Galvis entered Tuesday night with just two errors in 50 games. His .990 fielding percentage trailed only San Francisco’s Brandon Crawford and Detroit’s Jose Iglesias, both .995.

National champion Villanova honored by President Obama

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National champion Villanova honored by President Obama

WASHINGTON — For the most successful senior class in the history of Villanova basketball, Tuesday's trip to the White House was the culmination of a championship season and quite possibly the final time the 2016 National Championship team will be together as one.

President Barack Obama praised their poise, which was epitomized by the final play when Ryan Arcidiacono fed Kris Jenkins for the buzzer-beating, championship-winning three-pointer.

"A lot of teams would have had their spirit broken — the Wildcats, they took control, they responded," Obama said. "And on a play called ' 'Nova,' Kris took a pass from Arch and pulled up a few steps behind the line and shot this team into basketball lore. That was a good shot. It was like Christian Laettner-good. It was like a Jimmy-V-running-up-and-down-the-court shot. Charles Barkley apparently jumped out of his seat, which — (laughter) — he doesn’t do very often these days." 

In what has become customary for a championship team's visit, head coach Jay Wright presented the 44th President of the United States with a Wildcat jersey and the number "44." The Wildcats wore the uniform when they played Oklahoma on Dec. 7 of last year in Obama's home state of Hawaii.

"This was an amazing day for us," Wright said. "We not only presented him with the jersey, but with a picture of him that mirrored Kris Jenkins hitting that game-winning shot, because we've got a lot of respect for him as a great leader."

While gracious as guests at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., it was the Wildcats who spoiled Obama's tournament bracket when they knocked off the president's pre-tournament pick, Kansas, in the Elite Eight on their way to the Final Four. At the time he made his picks back in March, Obama mentioned Wright's Wildcats, telling ESPN, "I know eventually they're going to break through." He just wasn't confident enough to see the 'Cats win it all roughly three and a half weeks later.

Obama on Tuesday confirmed he should have listened to his second-in-command, "Joe (Biden) wanted me to remind you that he picked 'Nova to win it all. This is the type of wise counsel that you are looking for from a vice president. Unfortunately, I didn’t follow his counsel and so my bracket was busted.

Wearing a stars-and-stripes bow tie, junior Josh Hart, who decided last week to return to Villanova for his senior season, attended nearby Sidwell Friends School, where he was a classmate with President Obama's oldest daughter Malia.

"We talked a little, not too much," Hart said. "I try to give her some space. She's busy with senior projects and graduation and stuff."

Now Hart will refocus on guiding Villanova to become the first school since the Florida Gators in 2006-07 to win back-to-back National titles, and with that, a return trip to the White House.