PPL Park Beverage Power Rankings (Oh, and a Big Union Game)

PPL Park Beverage Power Rankings (Oh, and a Big Union Game)

Photo and hand by Enrico

The new beer stand in Ashburn Alley at Citizens Bank Park might be the city's gold standard for sporting event beverage selection. But PPL Park is a close second, mostly because the Venn diagram comparing soccer "snobs" (like me) and beer "snobs" (also like me) has a rather large overlap.

So if you don't have plans this afternoon, head to Chester and try my rankings on for size (only if you have a designated driver, of course).

5. Bud Light from a vendor: If you need a quick beer and only have a minute before kickoff, the vendors do a nice job of parking in the middle of the concourse. Keep your ears open around the 65th minute, as well, when the same vendors roll through the sections at lightning speed to beat the 70th minute last call. UPSIDE: Fast and easy. DOWNSIDE: It's still Bud Light.

4. Victory HopDevil: I know there is one small kiosk near midfield on the south concourse, and I believe another on the north side. They're set up on the opposite side of the concession stands, closer to the field. UPSIDE: HopDevil is always outstanding. DOWNSIDE: Is it greedy to request Victory Summer Love during these hot-weather games?

3.  Snake & Shield: There's 2 of these permanent stands (one just inside the plaza on south side). Their selling point? Double-size beers. They're selection is somewhat limited to beers available in 24-ounce bottles, but the Blue Moon or Stella Artois is better than the Bud heavy, and with no stoppages until halftime for a refill, you'll appreciate the big cup. If you're a season-ticket holder, add some money to your card and use it to buy beer. A $14 "premium" beer becomes $12 and change.  UPSIDE: They even have gluten-free beer, if that's your thing. DOWNSIDE: On a hot day, you're left with warm beer at the end of the cup (drink faster).

2. Boddington's: There's at least one of these stands on the south side, and I assume another on the north. The guy working the tap knows how to properly pour it, and even (politely) corrected a customer in front of me last month who INSISTED that he should tilt the cup while pouring. UPSIDE: No beer screams "I'm at a soccer game!" like Boddington's. DOWNSIDE: The line can get a little long at halftime.

1. Parking Lot Beer: It's cheaper, it's colder and it's usually accompanied by grilled meat. I'm partial to Lot A myself, but if you're drinking beer in a parking lot with a river view on a summer day, you're doing something right. UPSIDE: Philly's best tailgating scene. Hands down. DOWNSIDE: Eventually, you'll actually have to go into the stadium.

TODAY'S GAME

Philadelphia Union (7-5-4, 25 points) vs. FC Dallas (8-3-5, 29 points), 5:30 p.m., NBC Sports Network

This will likely be the last game for Jack McInerney until August, after being called up to the U.S. National Team for the Gold Cup. The Union will miss his finishing touch, but if Sebastien Le Toux and Conor Casey keeps playing like they have been of late, the Union should be able to survive until his return. Expect McInerney to get a big send-off from the crowd today, and expect him to find the back of the net at least once.

Prediction Sure To Be Way Off:

McInerney gets at least one, and Casey gets another. Whether the Union can keep Dallas off the board will be the real question. But I think they do just enough to get stay hot heading into a tough mid-week game in Salt Lake City.

Union 2, FC Dallas 1.

Forget Cherry Hill's Bobby Ryan, Johnny Gaudreau wants to play for Flyers some day

usa-johnny-gardreau.jpg
USA Today Images

Forget Cherry Hill's Bobby Ryan, Johnny Gaudreau wants to play for Flyers some day

Forget about Cherry Hill's Bobby Ryan. (Forget about Millville too — sorry, Mike Trout.)

Another South Jersey star athlete has his eyes on playing for a Philadelphia franchise some day.

Yes, we're talking about Carneys Point, New Jersey's very own, Johnny Gaudreau of the Calgary Flames.

On a radio hit Friday with 94WIP's "Morning Show," Gaudreau expressed his interest in one day putting on the orange and black.

“It would be sweet to play [in Philadelphia] some day,” Gaudreau said. “You never know in sports, but it’s a lot of support back here in South Jersey and the Philly area.

“I’ve got a ton of family here, all my friends. All my friends come back here, all my good friends and kids that I’ve played with my whole life are from South Jersey.”

The problem is, "Johnny Hockey" has five years left on his six-year, $40.5 million contract extension he signed with Calgary signed before last season. 

In the final year of his contract, 2021-22, Gaudreau has a modified no-trade clause … and yep, the Flyers are reportedly on that list too.

Gaudreau, who turns 24 on Aug. 13, scored 18 goals and 61 points in 72 games last season with the Flames. The 5-foot-9, 157-pound Gaudreau has 73 goals and 204 points in 232 career games in Calgary.

The former Hobey Baker Award winner will be turning 29 when he's able to reach unrestricted free agency.

Could he be what Jeff Carter was to the Kings in 2012 to the Flyers in 2022?

Only time will tell.

H/t to Sportsnet.

MLB Notes: Mariners send top prospect Tyler O'Neill to Cardinals

usa-tyler-oneill.jpg
USA Today Images

MLB Notes: Mariners send top prospect Tyler O'Neill to Cardinals

SEATTLE -- The Seattle Mariners have acquired young left-hander Marco Gonzales from the St. Louis Cardinals in exchange for top outfield prospect Tyler O'Neill.

The clubs pulled off the surprising deal Friday, the second move to add pitching help in as many days for the Mariners. Seattle acquired veteran reliever David Phelps from Miami on Thursday.

This time, Seattle added a young starter who will have a number of seasons of club control but paid a hefty price.

O'Neill was considered one of the top prospects in Seattle's farm system and had been on a tear of late at Triple-A Tacoma. The 22-year-old O'Neill had 19 home runs in 93 games at Triple-A.

Gonzales, 25, is still working his way back from missing all the 2016 season due to elbow surgery. He pitched in one major league game this season for the Cardinals.

Cubs: 3B Bryant sidelined by sprained finger
CHICAGO -- Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant is out of the starting lineup after he sprained his left little finger on a headfirst slide.

Bryant got hurt in the first inning of Chicago's 8-2 victory at Atlanta on Wednesday. X-rays were negative, and he is considered day to day.

The 25-year-old Bryant is hitting .275 with 19 homers and 40 RBIs in 88 games. He won the NL MVP award last year, helping the Cubs to their first World Series title since 1908.

Javier Baez got the start at third for Chicago's series opener against St. Louis on Friday at Wrigley Field.

Athletics: Carter signed to minor league deal, Montas, Olson promoted
NEW YORK -- The Oakland Athletics have signed free agent slugger Chris Carter to a minor league deal and promoted right-hander Frankie Montas and first baseman/outfielder Matt Olson to the majors.

The A's made the moves before playing the New York Mets on Friday night.

Carter was recently cut by the New York Yankees after hitting .201 with eight home runs and 26 RBIs. He tied for the NL lead with 41 homers for Milwaukee last year but struggled as a first baseman and designated hitter for the Yankees.

Carter was assigned to Triple-A Nashville. He played for Oakland in 2010-12 and hit 19 home runs.

Montas was 1-1 with a 6.91 ERA in 21 relief appearances for Oakland before being sent down on June 11.

Olson is joining Oakland for the fifth time this season. He hit .184 with four homers and nine RBIs in his previous four stints.

Cardinals: OF Grichuk, LHP Duke activated from DL
CHICAGO -- The St. Louis Cardinals have activated outfielder Randal Grichuk and reliever Zach Duke from the disabled list and recalled catching prospect Carson Kelly from Triple-A Memphis.

St. Louis also acquired minor league outfielder Tyler O'Neill in a trade with Seattle for left-hander Marco Gonzales, and designated catcher Eric Fryer for assignment before Friday's game against the Chicago Cubs. Right-hander Sam Tuivailala and outfielder Magneuris Sierra were optioned to the minors after Thursday's 3-2 loss to the New York Mets.

Grichuk was sidelined by a lower back injury. He made a rehab appearance with Double-A Springfield on Wednesday and went 1 for 4 with a three-run homer.

The 34-year-old Duke is coming back from Tommy John surgery last October. He went 2-1 with a 2.36 ERA in 81 games last season for St. Louis and the Chicago White Sox.