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Michael Young Is Posting Some Silly Numbers in 2013

Michael Young Is Posting Some Silly Numbers in 2013

Let me preface this by admitting up front that I liked the addition of Michael Young to the Phillies during this offseason. The club had a hole at third base that the front office was able to fill temporarily with a seven-time All Star for the low-price of two minor-league relievers, while the Rangers are paying all but $6 million of his salary no less.

Young leads the team with a .392 on-base percentage – good for 12th in the National League – and he’s been better than advertised at the hot corner at well. But damn, has he hit into a ton of double plays, or what?

After Young grounded into his league-leading 11th GIDP on Sunday, Gary Matthews remarked during the Phillies telecast that the 14-year veteran has had his share of them in 2013. That’s not entirely accurate, Sarge. He’s hit into several players’ shares of double plays so far this season. Erik Kratz and Ben Revere are second in the clubhouse with five apiece, or one less than Young between the two of them.

The single-season record is 36, set by Hall of Fame Red Sox slugger Jim Rice in 1984. Young has 11 through 44 games, putting him on pace to shatter Rice’s mark by five with 41.

Of course, grounding into the occasional routine double play is nothing new to the 36 year old. He finished in the top 10 in the AL five times since 2005, including as high as second in ’06 and ’12, the latter of which was among Young’s worst seasons in the big leagues. That said, he’s nearly halfway to his career high of 27 already barely a quarter of the way through the current campaign.

Part of the problem has been Young’s waning power. His penchant for making contact has led to a solid .294 batting average, but with just nine extra base hits – including a lone home run – he’s posting a .385 slugging percentage that ranks 56th out of 77 qualifiers in the NL.

Given the information, it might be time if not long overdue for Charlie Manuel to reevaluate where Young bats in the order, which has been in the two-through-five spots up to this point. It’s not so much his lack of power that’s the issue, although yeah, but how many potential rallies must be laid to rest before Jay-Z’s Heart of the City drops to track six or seven on the Citizens Bank Park set list?

Or maybe Young should hit number two more often, where he’s only made three starts this season. From there he could sacrifice Jimmy Rollins, allowing Chase Utley and in particular Ryan Howard to get more chances with runners on. Manuel has avoided stacking the two lefties back-to-back, but it’s another option at least until Young begins driving the ball a bit more.

With the 27th-ranked offense in Major League Baseball, the Phillies have to figure out ways to get more consistent production at the plate. When you have a player in the middle of your lineup getting doubled up once every four games, that’s the kind of thing that is sapping offensive potential.

Young has gotten a little better of late. Prior to Sunday, he had made 10 straight appearances without a GIDP, his longest such stretch in ’13. However, it reared its ugly head again in the sixth inning while the Fightins were struggling once again to light up the scoreboard. One batter later, Utley singled to left, which likely would have been enough to plate the speedy Revere had he been moved to second.

Would sacrificing Young have been the right move? The third baseman himself has discussed the benefits of bunting runners over in the past, as recently as the past two weeks actually in a story at MLB.com.

"At the end of the day, the game is played by guys with heartbeats," Phillies third baseman Michael Young said. "And a sacrifice bunt puts pressure on the defense and the pitcher. Maybe it's not always the right move, but I have a problem with saying it's never the right move. There are no absolutes in this game. If you're playing against a team that's struggling and you put a runner in scoring position late in the game, they're going to feel it a little more."

Obviously he means situationally, but I would describe Young’s historic GIDP rate as a situation of sorts. And while I honestly don’t believe he is destined to keep the current pace over the full 162, it’s not some minor detail the Phillies should continue to overlook, either.

CSNPhilly Internship - Advertising/Sales

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CSNPhilly Internship - Advertising/Sales

Position Title: Intern
Department: Advertising/Sales
Company: Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia
# of hours / week: 10 – 20 hours

Deadline: November 20

Basic Function

This position will work closely with the Vice President of Sales in generating revenue through commercial advertisements and sponsorship sales. The intern will gain first-hand sales experience through working with Sales Assistants and AEs on pitches, sales-calls and recapping material.

Duties and Responsibilities

• Assist Account Executive on preparation of Sales Presentations
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• Assist as point of contact with sponsors on game night set up and pre-game hospitality elements.
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• Other various projects as assigned

Requirements

1. Good oral and written communication skills.
2. Knowledge of sports.
3. Ability to work non-traditional hours, weekends & holidays
4. Ability to work in a fast-paced, high-pressure environment
5. Must be 19 years of age or older
6. Must be a student in pursuit of an Associate, Bachelor, Master or Juris Doctor degree
7. Must have unrestricted authorization to work in the US
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9. Must have a 3.0 GPA

Interested students should apply here and specify they're interested in the ad/sales internship.

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Jake Elliott drills two field goals in game's final minute to push Eagles past Giants

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Jake Elliott drills two field goals in game's final minute to push Eagles past Giants

BOX SCORE

Jake Elliott is getting a free beer tonight. Anywhere in Philadelphia.

The Eagles' rookie kicker drilled a 61-yard field goal as the clock ran out to give the Eagles a 27-24 win at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday.

After giving fans heart attacks throughout the Delaware Valley, the Eagles pulled off a tight win on Sunday afternoon at the Linc.

The Eagles let the Giants back into the game, but were able to take them down 27-24.

With the win, the Eagles improve to 2-1 on the season and are 2-0 in the division. Meanwhile, the Giants are off to a disastrous start at 0-3.

The Giants came into the weekend against the ropes and the Eagles might have delivered the knockout punch. Although it wasn't pretty. It'll be extremely tough for the Giants to rebound from an 0-3 start.

The Eagles defense was pitching a shutout until the fourth quarter and they were doing it without four starters on defense. They didn't have Rodney McLeod or Ronald Darby and then they lost Fletcher Cox and Jordan Hicks during the game.

The Giants were shutout on their first seven drives but put up 21 points in less than six minutes in the fourth quarter.

On offense, Doug Pederson actually called running plays and they worked. LeGarrette Blount led the way and the Eagles were able to make big gains on the ground against the Giants' talented front four.

Turning point
The field goal. Duh.

Key stat
The 61-yarder from Elliott is a franchise record.

Key plays
•Alshon Jeffery caught a 19-yard pass to put the Eagles in field goal range and Elliott came through.

•Elliott hit a 46-yard field goal to tie the game at 24-24 with 51 seconds left.

•Malcolm Jenkins was called for a pass interference that led to the Giants' field goal that put them up 24-21.

•Torrey Smith was able to draw a huge 36-yard defensive pass interference and rookie Corey Clement ran for a 15-yard touchdown on the next play to tie the score at 21-21.

•Sterling Shepard caught a quick slant in front of Patrick Robinson and Chris Maragos couldn't make the play as Shepard went for a 77-yard touchdown to give the Giants a 21-14 lead.

•Odell Beckham Jr. made a ridiculous one-handed catch in the end zone to tie the game at 14-14. Jalen Mills had tight coverage but it didn't matter.

•Zach Ertz caught a quick pass but then fumbled the ball away to give the Giants great field position at the Eagles' 33-yard line.

•The Giants broke the shutout early in the fourth quarter, when Eli Manning hit Beckham Jr. for a 10-yard touchdown. After the play, Beckham was flagged for his celebration. He acted like a dog and fake urinated on the field.

•The Eagles stopped the Giants on 4th-and-2 late in the third quarter. They made it down to the Eagles' 13-yard line before the stop. Tim Jernigan provided the pressure and Patrick Robinson broke up the pass. The play before, Mills had a great PBU.

•On a broken play, Wentz tried to hit Jeffery deep but Eli Apple tackled him before the ball got there. That 41-yard pass interference penalty set up the second touchdown of the game and helped the Eagles go up 14-0.

•Mychal Kendricks tipped up a Manning pass and Robinson pulled in an interception. It was their second of the day.

•Elliott missed a 52-yarder that would have given them a two-score game early in the third quarter. He had plenty of leg but pulled it left.

•The Eagles dropped running back Orleans Darkwa for a one-yard loss on 4th-and-goal from the 1-yard line late in the second quarter. Vinny Curry blew up the play and Joe Walker helped take Darkwa down.

•On the play before the goal line stand, Shepard should have had a touchdown but he couldn't complete the catch to the ground. The Eagles got away with one there.

•The Giants had a short field to work with on their near-touchdown drive because of an over-aggressive play call from Doug Pederson. The Eagles' head coach went for it on 4th-and-8 at the Giants' 43-yard line. Wentz was sacked for a loss. The Eagles could have punted and tried to pin the feeble Giants offense deep.

•Rasul Douglas got his first career interception in the second quarter when Manning tried to hit Brandon Marshall deep down the left side of the field. The rookie high-pointed the ball and brought it down.

•It wasn't really a play but the Eagles' 18-play, 90-yard drive in the first half was a beauty. They took 9:34 off the clock before LeGarrette Blount punched in a one-yard touchdown.

•During that drive, Wentz pulled off another crazy Houdini move on third down. He somehow slipped away from would-be tacklers and scrambled for an 11-yard gain and a first down to keep it going.

Offensive stud
Maybe Blount got a chance to introduce himself to Pederson this week. After not getting a single carry last week, Blount had a big game against the Giants.

Offensive dud
Chance Warmack started the game at left guard, gave up a sack and was then pulled for Stefen Wisniewski. He returned but didn't do much.

And Ertz just can't fumble the ball in that situation.

Defensive stud
Mychal Kendricks had a big game. He had the assist on the interception and a big run stuff later.

Defensive dud
It's hard to give this to Mills, but we'll have to. He actually had a pretty good game but couldn't stop Beckham Jr. on the two touchdowns. It's fair to say there aren't many who would have been able to stop him, though.

Injuries
The Eagles were without Rodney McLeod (hamstring), Jaylen Watkins (hamstring), Corey Graham (hamstring), Ronald Darby (ankle) and Destiny Vaeao (wrist) for the game.

Fletcher Cox (calf), Jordan Hicks (ankle) and Darren Sproles (wrist) left the game in the first half and did not return.

Up next
The Eagles will be in Los Angeles next week to take on the Chargers. It'll be the first of two trips to LA this season.