Phillies Drop Season Opener, Nobody is Shocked

Phillies Drop Season Opener, Nobody is Shocked

Phillies Opening Day Ceremony 2007, originally uploaded by stksave27

The Crowd.  A great showing by Philly's baseball faithful.  CBP was packed and loud the entire day.  Granted, nobody listened to my plea to lay off Pat and the majority of the park was booing Burrell after his first at bat.  Thankfully, I did not hear an Eagles chant the entire day.  The park was a mob scene and lines for everything were ridiculous.  I ended up only eating ice cream out of a min baseball hat -- Graham Slam! -- because it was the only place with no line.  There was an amazingly wide array of fans at this game.  From an infant with his dad, to an old guy who looked like this was his 50th opening day, from business men in suits, to 400 pound drunks, this game truly ran the gamut of fandom.

The Weather.  It felt like August and I'm willing to bet most fans have the farmer's tan to prove it.  Perfect weather to watch the start of a new season.  Far and away a much better day than last year when it was cold, rainy, and miserable.

The Game.  Disappointing, yet not surprising.  We've seen it too many times before to be upset by it.  The Phils simply didn't capitalize on their opportunities at the plate; the second and third with no outs was particularly tough to watch.  Brett Myers made a bad pitch to let the Braves back in it and Ryan Madson pressed the panic button among fans and their desire to complain about the bullpen.  Did Manuel make the wrong move in keeping his ace in there a few pitches too many?  Howard batting third was certainly interesting.  It was opening day, we'll write this one off as bad luck.

Random Anecdote.  We sat in right field where a group of very vocal rowdies got on Jeff Francoeur for the better part of 3 innings.  Fairly entertaining to mildly annoying, a good effort none the less.  But Francoeur took it well, and even gave his hecklers a nice acknowledgment.  After the acknowledgment, the crew changed tones from commenting about Francoeur's wife (I believe he isn't married yet, but is engaged) to chanting he belonged in the Hall of Fame.  Only in Philly.

The Day.  All in all a great day in South Philly.  The weather couldn't have been better, the Phils got a new season started and while they certainly disappointed on the day, it's a marathon.. yada, yada.  There were things to be excited about and there were things to be worried about for sure.  We're used to worrying.  The 2007 Phils are finally here.  Now go out and get a win on Wednesday for crying out loud.  Personally, I'm exhausted.  That sun, some beverages, camera troubles.. I need another day off just to recover.

Only 161 more to go.

5 Eagles to watch on offense and defense at OTAs

5 Eagles to watch on offense and defense at OTAs

Tuesday is a big day in the progression of the 2017 Eagles

The team is finally all together as OTAs kick off at the NovaCare Complex. We've already looked at the biggest storylines of the week (see story), but how about the individual players? 

Well, let's look at five offensive and five defensive players to watch this week, leaving out Carson Wentz. Yeah, we're going to watch the QB. 


Alshon Jeffery
Jeffery won't be hard to spot. The 6-foot-3, 218-pound receiver was brought in on a one-year deal this offseason. He's been in Philly working out, but this will be his first time at a real practice with his new team. Maybe we'll quickly get a sense of his chemistry with Wentz. 

Torrey Smith
At his introductory press conference in March, Smith was asked about his speed and responded by jokingly challenging a reporter to a race. While that never happened, it's fair to wonder what the Eagles are getting in Smith. He wasn't the same player in San Francisco, so we'll get to see if he has some gas left in the tank. 

Donnel Pumphrey
We already got a glimpse of Pumphrey during rookie camp, but didn't get a long time to watch practice. At OTAs, we'll see everything. The biggest thing that stood out about Pumphrey a couple weeks ago was his size — or lack of size. How will Doug Pederson use his new weapon? We might get some hints this week. 

LeGarrette Blount
Pumphrey and Blount technically play the same position, yet Blount is 74 pounds heavier. To put that in perspective, 74 pounds is about the weight of an average 10-year-old. Blount has been in the league for nearly a decade, but he's in a new offense in Philly (without a true tight end), so we'll see where he is in a short time with the team.  

Taylor Hart
Normally we wouldn't put an offensive lineman on a list of guys to watch in shorts, but Hart is transitioning from defensive tackle to offensive tackle and this is the first chance to see him on offense. Worth watching. He was pretty excited about the switch in January (see story).


Timmy Jernigan
Honestly, it's harder to evaluate defensive players during OTAs because there's no hitting, and it's even harder to evaluate linemen. Jernigan, though, is worth watching because he's replacing Bennie Logan. 

Rasul Douglas
We've already seen Douglas at rookie camp, but he was really looking forward to lining up against some veterans like Jeffery. Douglas was a third-rounder, but he might be more important to the team in 2017 than any other rookie simply because of his position. 

Patrick Robinson
Speaking of the cornerback position, this week is the first of seeing Robinson, who signed a one-year deal that's mostly gone forgotten. The 29-year-old former first-round pick is coming off a rough yearlong stint with the Colts, but was much better in 2015 with the Chargers. He's on a prove-it deal, so who knows if he'll be the Eagles' best option. 

Ron Brooks
One of the biggest losses the Eagles suffered during the 2016 season was when Brooks went down with a bad leg injury. No, Brooks wasn't great before the injury, but he was the team's slot corner, which kept Malcolm Jenkins at safety. Not sure where Brooks is in his recovery, but don't forget about him. Jim Schwartz clearly likes Brooks. 

Joe Walker
Walker is recovering from an ACL tear from last preseason. He was lining up to be the team's backup middle linebacker before the injury and the 2016 seventh-round pick will probably have the inside track to win that job this year ... as long as he regains his form from before the injury. 

NBA Playoffs: Warriors sweep their way to 3rd straight NBA Finals

NBA Playoffs: Warriors sweep their way to 3rd straight NBA Finals


SAN ANTONIO -- Stephen Curry scored 36 points as the Golden State Warriors closed out the Western Conference Final against the injury-ravaged San Antonio Spurs with a 129-115 victory Monday night, becoming the first team in league history to start the playoffs 12-0.

Golden State led by as many as 22 points in cruising to its third straight NBA Finals. The Warriors await a possible third straight championship matchup with Cleveland, which leads Boston 2-1 in the East finals.

"It's great to be one of the last two teams standing, we'll see how it goes," said Kevin Durant, who had 29 points and 12 rebounds.

San Antonio's only lead came on the opening possession when Manu Ginobili tossed in a left-handed scoop shot. The Spurs started Ginobili in what could be his final game with the team. The 39-year-old had maintained he will not ponder whether to retire or return until after the season.

Unsure if the beloved veteran will return, the crowd serenaded Ginobili with "Manu, Manu" chants as the game came to a close.

"An amazing competitor, even more fun playing against him," Durant said of Ginobili. "He was phenomenal this series."

Kyle Anderson scored 20 points to lead the Spurs, who were without Kawhi Leonard, Tony Parker and David Lee. San Antonio didn't go down without a fight despite the injuries.

Anderson dove on the court for a loose ball that the Spurs had tipped away defensively, pushing the ball upcourt to Patty Mills who fed Ginobili for a 3-pointer that pulled San Antonio to 108-94 with 7 minutes remaining.

The effort made Spurs coach Gregg Popovich smile and clap at times, but the Warriors' depth and talent proved too much for short-handed San Antonio.

Golden State shot 56 percent and were 14 for 39 on 3-pointers.

Draymond Green had 16 points, eight rebounds and eight assists for the Warriors.

Spurs forward LaMarcus Aldridge closed out a disappointing series with his second eight-point effort against the Warriors.

Ginobili finished with 15 points in 32 minutes.