The Pretty Blonde in Front of You Might Be the Player You Ripped On's Fiancee

The Pretty Blonde in Front of You Might Be the Player You Ripped On's Fiancee

James Clark, a staff writer for the Press of Atlantic City, took in Freddy Adu's Union debut at PPL Park on Saturday night and like most passionate Philly sports fans he and his buddies showed their support for the club in the form of some witty criticism.

After Carlos Valdes' brain fart and subsequent Dallas goal to put them up 1-0, one of Clark's buddies cracked a line about how you'd expect to see that kind of goal against Union keeper Chris Seitz last season. Yep. Pretty much.

But that's when "a blonde,
twentysomething woman turn around from the seats directly in front
of us and defend former Union keeper Seitz ... now a back-up on FC
Dallas' roster ... with a passion."

Ahh, you hate to see the fiancee of the guy you're ripping on sitting directly in front of you. Next to Brek Shea's ladyfriend to boot. I'm sure there were a few cracks about Shea's hair too. It's certainly much easier to make fun of than his game.

For as many sporting events as authors and readers of this site go to, I'm a bit surprised you don't hear about these sorts of encounters more often.

It's only happened to me once.

A handful of years ago, I found myself in a suite at Citizens Bank Park, along for the ride of a company sponsored outing of baseball and beers.

The guy on the mound was Jon Lieber, who we were programmed to believe was the ace of the Phillies staff that year (at least he started opening day in 2005 and 2006). Lieber's lasting legacy as a Phillie may have been that giant frickin' truck he rode to spring training rather than anything he did on the hill.

Anyway, Lieber was having a rough go of it on that particular day at the bank, and I let out some standard criticism for those within earshot to hear. It wasn't anything particularly mean or offensive, perhaps something about the guy being overpaid and sucking on that day. Both pretty hard to argue with. I instantly felt some eyeballs in the suite to our left locking in on me in an uncomfortable fashion. I looked over and noticed a suite full of nice looking family people all wearing Jon Lieber jerseys.

Boy did I feel like a dick.

My urge to go snack on some soft pretzels and enjoy the view of the TV inside of the suite instantly skyrocketed.

*

Have you ever ripped on an athlete ever to have Mrs. Iverson turn around in the seat in front of you to let you have it? There has to be more tales of this out there.

*

>>As Adu made his Union debut on the field Saturday, there was even more drama in the stands [Press of AC]

Today's lineup: Phillies try to salvage game against struggling Anibal Sanchez

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Today's lineup: Phillies try to salvage game against struggling Anibal Sanchez

Justin Verlander mowed down the Phillies last night in a 3-1 Tigers victory, but the Phils have a chance to strike back this afternoon against a struggling pitcher who hasn't had much career success against them.

Anibal Sanchez will take the hill for the Tigers and oppose Aaron Nola in today's series finale (1:10 p.m. on CSN). To say Sanchez hasn't had a great start to his season would be an understatement. He's 3-5 with a 6.32 ERA and opponents are batting .270 against him.

In his career against the Phillies, Sanchez is just 4-8 with a 4.94 ERA. Granted, most of those numbers came in the early part of his career with the Florida Marlins, when he regularly faced powerful Phillies lineups. As one might expect, Ryan Howard, who is again in the lineup today as the designated hitter and batting fifth, has seen Sanchez plenty of times. His 42 at-bats against Sanchez are tied for third-most against the 32-year-old righty. Howard's done OK against Sanchez — 9 for 31 (.290 average) with two homers and four RBI. Maybe some familiarity will finally lead to a breakout game for Howard. But, if his massive slump is any indication, maybe not.

For as poor as Sanchez's start to the season has been, Aaron Nola's first six weeks of 2016 have been at the other end of the spectrum.

Today's Phillies starter is 3-3 with a 2.85 ERA. But he's been better than those numbers show.

His .900 WHIP is third in the NL, as is his 5.82 strikeout-to-walk ratio. His 6.45 hits allowed per nine innings is fourth in the NL, as is his 1.65 walks per nine innings. His 64 strikeouts rank eighth in the NL. Imagine if he got more than the 2.89 runs of support he's been getting in his starts.

As for the rest of the Phillies' lineup today, the only changes see Andres Blanco getting the start for Cesar Hernandez, batting seventh and Cameron Rupp behind the plate, batting sixth.

Phillies
1. Odubel Herrera CF
2. Freddy Galvis SS
3. Maikel Franco 3B
4. Tommy Joseph 1B
5. Ryan Howard DH
6. Cameron Rupp C
7. Andres Blanco 2B
8. Tyler Goeddell LF
9. Peter Bourjos 1B

Tigers
1. Cameron Maybin CF
2. J.D. Martinez RF
3. Miguel Cabrera DH
4. Victor Martinez 1B
5. Nick Castellanos 3B
6. Steven Moya LF
7. James McCann C
8. Mike Aviles 2B
9. Jose Iglesias SS

Watch: Miguel Cabrera gives Jeremy Hellickson thumbs up for fooling him on nasty pitch

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Watch: Miguel Cabrera gives Jeremy Hellickson thumbs up for fooling him on nasty pitch

The Phillies once again couldn't find much offense and fell to the Tigers in Detroit last night by a final of 3-1.

But at least the pitching showed something.

There was a fun moment between Jeremy Hellickson and Miguel Cabrera after Hellickson threw quite a nice pitch that fooled Miggy.

Here's how Jim Salisbury described the fun battle:

Hellickson served up a down-the-middle fastball to Miguel Cabrera in the first inning and Cabrera swatted it for an RBI double. He has four RBIs in the first two games against the Phillies.
 
In the third inning, Hellickson struck Cabrera out on a nasty changeup for the third out. The pitch was so good that Cabrera flashed Hellickson a thumbs-up before spiking his helmet to the ground.
 
Hellickson’s changeup has been very good lately.
 
“I really feel comfortable with it right now and I’m throwing it for a lot of strikes,” he said.

And here's the thumbs up:

Eagles 2016 training camp schedule features 2 open practices

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Eagles 2016 training camp schedule features 2 open practices

Eagles rookies, quarterbacks, and select veterans will report to training camp on Monday, July 25. 

The rest of the veterans will report on July 27, with the first full-team practice of training camp taking place on Thursday, July 28 at 3:30 p.m., the team announced Wednesday. 

The majority of training camp practices this summer under Doug Pederson will take place at the NovaCare Complex, beginning at 8:15 a.m., which is earlier than the team practiced during camp under former head coach Chip Kelly. The early practices hark back to training camps under Andy Reid at Lehigh, although now the team will have its walkthroughs in the afternoon. 

The Eagles will have two practices open to fans at Lincoln Financial Field: Sunday, July 31 at 10 a.m. and Sunday, Aug. 14 at 7 p.m. Both open practices are free and don't require tickets. Seating will be on a first-come, first-serve basis. 

The Eagles will have several off days throughout camp: Aug. 2, Aug. 9, Aug. 12. And camp ends on Aug. 16, with the preseason opener vs. the Tampa Bay Bucs in the middle, on Aug. 11.