Sampling the World Series Preview Previews

Sampling the World Series Preview Previews

Since the Phillies and Red Sox will be playing in the 2011 World Series in October, we thought we'd do a quick round up of the previews of the preview to the World Series.

"Although the calendar says it's June and more than half the games
remain, this week's Red Sox-Phillies series is being billed as a World Series preview." -Rob Maaddi, Associated Press

"As the Boston Red Sox begin a series with the Philadelphia Phillies, it’s hard to escape the thought that it just might be a World Series preview." -Jeremy Lundblad, ESPN

"How times have changed. Now Red Sox-Phillies is the marquee
Interleague matchup - a World Series preview to many." -PATRICK BERKERY, Philly Burbs

"John Kruk recently had a thought about streamlining the season. "Can we
just end this quick and put the Phillies and the Red Sox in the World
Series and get this thing over with so we can have a nice summer
vacation?" the ESPN analyst, and former Phillies first baseman, asked
facetiously." -Paul Hagen, Daily News

"Josh Beckett and the Red Sox take on Cliff Lee
and the Phillies in the first game of a three-game mid-week set. Did we
mention that it's a possible World Series preview? It doesn't get
better than this." -Gethin Coolbaugh, SBN Boston

"While some are dubbing this Red Sox vs. Phillies series as a World
Series preview, we need to see a little more consistency first." -Charlie Saponara, Fire Brand AL

"So it's not just Amaro's preseason prediction that has generated buzz
about the three-game set between the Phillies and Red Sox that begins
tonight at Citizens Bank Park. Virtually everyone is looking at it as a
potential World Series preview." -David Hale, Delaware Online

"'In the back of your head,' Ortiz said, 'you're like, 'I might be facing these guys in the playoffs.' Make that the World Series." -Michael Sanserino, Inquirer

"Amaro said he is not that interested in seeing how his club stacks up
against one of the AL’s top teams. He’s not into all that potential
World Series preview hype." -Jim Salisbury, CSNPhilly

We gave up searching after a while because there were simply too many.

Sir Charles and Shaq made things personal last night and it was fantastic

Sir Charles and Shaq made things personal last night and it was fantastic

Shaq always has the trump card -- and by that we mean championship rings -- to throw in Charles Barkley's face. But with that said, Sir Charles is probably a much better trash talker and therefore has a superior mouth to defend himself with and throw barbs back in Shaq's direction.

The mouthy duo got into it a bit last night and it teetered between fun and lighthearted and a little personal.

Shaq attacks Chuck for only playing in one NBA Finals and therefore not really knowing what he was talking about. Charles claps back at Shaq for having ridden Kobe and Dwyane Wade's coattails. 

During an NBA playoffs that has been mostly boring, at least these two can still entertain us.

Fletcher Cox should be at Eagles OTAs, but absence likely meaningless

Fletcher Cox should be at Eagles OTAs, but absence likely meaningless

Fletcher Cox wasn’t at practice with the rest of his Eagles teammates on Tuesday -- well, 86 of them -- and that’s okay. It’s May, and participation in offseason training activities is strictly voluntary. Furthermore, if Cox wants to take a vacation, he is entitled to do so under the collective bargaining agreement.

Cox really should be at OTAs. The Eagles gave him a contract potentially worth over $100 million just last year, and with that comes an obligation. Cox arguably did not live up to that contract last season, too, so he could use the practice. And if he needed a vacation, why didn’t he take one during the three months he was off from work?

As far as I’m concerned, both takes are true. Cox is free to do as he wishes, and people with careers in sports should understand better than anybody the strain it places on families, so I can’t blame most of these guys for taking a little extra time. Then again, this drama with Cox seems like it was completely avoidable, and looks especially bad in light of his contract and disappointing season, so I can’t blame people for being angry, either.

Yet, Cox’s absence almost certainly will have no bearing on the outcome of any games this season. It’s not a sign of disrespect for Eagles coach Doug Pederson or that he’s losing the locker room. It’s not going to send a message to teammates that participation is not expected or important.

Cox missing OTAs on Tuesday was of no consequence to the Eagles at all. By training camp, it will be a forgotten footnote in the story of the 2017 season, only to be mentioned in future Mays whenever somebody else exercises the option to skip a voluntary practice.

Even then, there is clearly a double standard, because the reaction isn’t the same for everybody. When Brandon Graham missed last week while he was believed to be “holding out” for a new contract -- can’t hold out when it’s voluntary -- there were equal parts rage and support for the cause. Jason Peters and Donnie Jones are out this week, too, and while some displeasure has been voiced, those absences were largely met with apathy.

Marcus Smith was missing on Tuesday as well, and it’s not immediately clear why. Pederson made no mention of the former first-round draft pick, and practice was almost over before reporters bothered to notice. In theory, this is a huge mistake, because Smith is fighting for a roster spot. We also don’t know where he is -- perhaps there’s a reasonable explanation -- so it’s unreasonable to jump to conclusions or become outraged.

This is the part where once again we remind everybody that it’s May and these practices are non-contact. And while Cox going away for a week will still be indefensible to some, it never hurts to put yourself in another person’s shoes. Maybe, for whatever reason, he was literally unable to make the trip at a time that would not interfere with Eagles business. Maybe he was simply getting grief at home because he's away so much.

That undoubtedly will be impossible for some people to accept. And, hey, maybe Cox just doesn’t care. Regardless, the practices are voluntary, Cox is expected back next week, and absolutely nobody is going to be talking about this eight months from now, eight weeks from now, or even eight days from now.