On the Freeh Report and PSU

On the Freeh Report and PSU

So a few of you noticed The700Level
did not mention Joe Paterno or Penn State University on Thursday. You
deserve to know we discussed it, and ultimately decided not to touch on
it in the moment.

Most
people already had their minds made up before the facts came out
anyway. Those of us with any ties to the university whatsoever who were
still clinging to the notion Joe Paterno could not have been part of a
cover-up were proven wrong. Personally, I am still unsure of the extent
to which the head coach was involved, but he was involved to some
extent, and that is more than enough.

Still, there are plenty of places
to go if you want to read nothing but damnation of an entire institution
for what a handful of depraved individuals chose to do. We would
describe the scandal as sad, but the fear is that might come off as
deflecting from the true sin here, which is there are victims who have
to live with the heinous crimes inflicted upon them for the rest of
their lives.

But we do discuss sports here, so while something
much larger is at stake, the only part of the story I am truly qualified
to speak on is where we go from here. And since we occasionally cover
PSU football from time to time, yes, I have wondered how we might
approach the upcoming season. I'm here to tell you that I don't have the
answer to that question, but I'm pretty sure there will be football at
Penn State, because more people than just the Paternos are depending on
it.

A massive number of folks in this region and around the
country have earned degrees from Penn State, and thousands more eager,
young minds continue their studies. Others simply spent their lifetimes
cheering for the Nittany Lions. These people had nothing to do with
the sickening events that transpired.

This is not to say it's okay for us --
and by us I mean anybody from any walk of life -- to bury our heads in
the sand either, but the school isn't just going to disappear. Neither
is the football program for that matter, which would be punishing all of
the wrong people anyway -- you know, the hundred or so student athletes
who committed to State College, and the local, non-university economy
that thrives on gamedays.

These men and women did nothing, and
not in the same sense that JoePa did nothing. They actually had zero
involvement. Should a professional pull their degree off of the wall
because it came from Penn State? Should all of the students and student
athletes uproot their lives and transfer? Should hard-working people in
the area quit their jobs, close their businesses, and move away from
their homes over events that were completely out of their hands?

I
suppose it's selfish to think of the impact this scandal has on
ordinary, everyday people, but they seem completely lost in the
equation. Joe Paterno and his ilk deserve every inch of criticism
written about them over the past 24 hours, every sentence handed down by a
jury of their peers, and the university deserves to be sued out the ass.
Everybody else deserves to live their lives with some sense of normalcy
when classes resume in the Fall.

Instant Replay: Nationals 4, Phillies 0

Instant Replay: Nationals 4, Phillies 0

BOX SCORE

The Phillies were beaten, 4-0, by the Washington Nationals on Monday night, but wins and losses don’t matter as much as development in a rebuilding season, so there was a bright spot: Rookie right-hander Jake Thompson finally broke through with a good start in holding the Nats to two runs over seven innings.
 
The Phillies’ offense was not good. It produced just four hits on the night.
 
Washington got all the offense it needed when Jayson Werth, the second batter of the game, homered off Thompson in the first inning.

The Nats lead the NL East at 76-55. The Phils are 60-71.
 
The crowd of 16,056 was the smallest of the season at Citizens Bank Park.
 
Starting pitching report
Thompson had struggled in four starts — 9.78 ERA — since arriving from Triple A and there were questions whether he’d even make this start. But he put together a nice outing. After giving up two runs in the first inning, he pitched six straight scoreless innings, finishing his outing with three strikeouts, the last of which came on his 111th pitch when he froze Trea Turner with a breaking ball with two men on base. Thompson allowed seven hits — four in the first three innings — and walked one.
 
Washington right-hander Tanner Roark pitched seven shutout innings to improve to 14-7. He held the Phils to four hits and a walk and struck out five.

Roark is 3-0 with a 0.64 ERA (two earned runs in 28 innings) in four starts against the Phillies this season. The Nats are 15-4 in his last 19 starts.

Bullpen report
Frank Herrmann gave up two runs in the ninth.
 
At the plate
Odubel Herrera had two of the Phillies’ four hits.
 
Werth’s homer in the top of the first was his 19th. Anthony Rendon drove in a run with a two-out single in that inning. Clint Robinson and Turner had RBI singles in the ninth to push the Nats’ lead to 4-0.
 
ICYMI
Herrera is staying in center field for the remainder of the season, Pete Mackanin said (see story).
 
Up next
The series continues on Tuesday night. Jerad Eickhoff (9-12, 3.87) pitches against Washington right-hander Max Scherzer (14-7, 2.92).

Eagles sign Soul DT Jake Metz following workout

Eagles sign Soul DT Jake Metz following workout

Jake Metz has gone from the Soul to the Eagles.

Soul majority owner Ron Jaworski on Monday night tweeted a congratulatory message about the defensive tackle signing with the Eagles.

Metz and Soul wide receiver Darius Reynolds, fresh off an ArenaBowl title last Friday, worked out for the Eagles this afternoon before practice. Metz is the 74th player on the roster, which means the team is still below the next cut line — which is Tuesday at 4 p.m. — of 75. The Eagles' roster has to be at 53 by 4 p.m. on Sept. 3.

Metz, 25, graduated from Souderton Area High School and played his college ball at Shippensburg University. For the Arena Football League champions, Metz posted Soul highs in sacks (eight) and tackles for loss (10).

Pete Mackanin says Odubel Herrera will stay in CF this season — but beyond?

Pete Mackanin says Odubel Herrera will stay in CF this season — but beyond?

A couple of weeks ago in Los Angeles, Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said there was a chance he could look at Odubel Herrera in a corner outfield spot over the final weeks of the season.

Scrub that idea.

“Not this year,” Mackanin said Monday. “If we decide we're going to do that, we'll encourage him to play a corner in winter ball and then in spring training, if that's what we decide to do.

“I thought about doing that. But I don't know if we want to do that now. We’ll just let him get back on track offensively. I won't say it won't happen here or there. But we're not going to make that move right now.

“Let's try to keep his mind as uncluttered as possible right now. It looks a little cluttered.”

The Phillies have thought about moving Herrera to a corner spot because they have a top center field prospect in Roman Quinn. Also, Aaron Altherr is an excellent defender in center.

Quinn seemed to be on target for a call up after the Eastern League playoffs, but that could be in doubt now that he’s on the disabled list with a concussion.

Still, Quinn may be this club’s centerfielder of the future. And behind him is Mickey Moniak, this year’s top draft pick. He’s a ways away. But it’s worth wondering if the Phillies believe Herrera’s future is at a corner outfield spot. Or whether Herrera will be wintertime trade bait.

Mackanin was asked if he believed Herrera’s future would be in a corner spot.

“You know, I'd rather not really even comment on that,” he said. “I don't want him to think that we're not pleased with him. I just want to keep him confident the rest of the season.”

Herrera’s defense in center field has slipped this season.

“He was better last year defensively,” Mackanin said. “He's made a lot of mistakes this year. I think we've all seen that. But that doesn't mean he's not going to play center field anymore. There's another month left to see what happens.”

Herrera was the Phillies’ lone representative in the All-Star Game. He hit .294 with a .378 on-base percentage and a .427 slugging percentage before the All-Star break. Since then, however, he was hitting .252 with a .314 on-base percentage and a .378 slugging percentage entering play Monday night.