Disregard 2 posts ago, the game hasn't been decided yet! Bob Ryan actually agrees with my point that with Donovan McNabb on the field, his team always has the possibility of winning. Other than that he basically says the Eagles are chumps from the "junior conference." More typical New Englander talk. The only difference between Atlanta and Minesota talking up their game and New England.. The Pats have the coaching and players to back it up.
Link: Boston Globe: Bob Ryan: Superiority Will Shine Through
But the real story for Philadelphia is McNabb, who finally won the Big One. Always a class act off the field, he is now a superb, well-rounded, big-play quarterback worthy of immense respect. He gives the Iggles a chance Feb. 6 in Jacksonville. A chance. That's all, a chance. But the Patriots will be favored to make it three Super Bowls out of four, and why not? I mean, what more does anyone need to know about this team?
There are a whole bunch of good Inquirer articles today. I really enjoyed Dan Rubin's piece which focuses on the differences between Boston and Philly and demonstrates that the Patriots will always be second in Red Sox Nation. I've been saying Boston fans never really care about their football team till they were winning for years. I was up there when NE won their first championship, and their partying was mediocre at best. Even this past summer I questioned a long time Creedon Bostonian whether they would trade in their two Lombardi trophies for one Red Sox championship and he responded instantly "In a heartbeat." Pedro going to the Mets was a bigger story than the Pats beating the Colts in the playoffs. Boston is a baseball town. Philly bleeds green. Period.
Link: Inquirer: Super What? Boston as blase as Philly is frenzied over the game.
Philadelphians "live in a real city with real attractions, not an overblown college town adjacent to a set of nutty neighborhoods which no one has left for the past 100 years. We are sophisticated. Bostonians are just lucky to be in the midst of sophistication - but they are not part of it.
PITTSBURGH -- Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco, who was hit on the left wrist by a pitch on Friday night, is not in the starting lineup for Saturday’s game against the Pittsburgh Pirates (see lineup).
Franco was hit by a pitch from the Pirates’ Gerrit Cole in the first inning of the Phillies’ 4-0 victory then was removed after hitting a single in the third inning (see story).
“He’s still sore,” Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said Saturday. “He’s day to day. Maybe he will be back in the lineup (Sunday).
Franco suffered a fracture of the same wrist last August when he was hit by a pitch.
Andres Blanco is taking Franco’s place in the lineup after having two hits Friday night when he replaced the third baseman. Blanco is hitting .264 with three home runs in 73 games this season and is reportedly drawing some interest from contending teams looking to add bench help.
“I could see why he would be a desirable player,” Mackanin said. “We’re not going to give him away, though, if we do trade him. He’s played very well for us.”
It looks like the Flyers and Brayden Schenn are heading towards arbitration.
A source tells CSNPhilly.com Flyers Insider Tim Panaccio that the Flyers and Schenn's camp are at odds over the salary of Schenn's next contract.
Schenn turned down a two-year deal worth $4.25 million in the first year and $4.369 million in the second, according to the source, noting that Schenn is looking for a deal that would pay him $5.5 million this upcoming season.
Schenn is coming off a career year, setting career highs in goals (26) and points (59), and is now looking to cash in on his best season. Last season, Schenn earned $2.75 million.
General manager Ron Hextall has repeatedly said he believes a deal will get done, but at the moment nothing looks imminent.
Schenn's arbitration hearing is scheduled for Monday.
After being hit on the wrist by a pitch in Friday's win (see story), Maikel Franco will not play today. Instead, Andres Blanco will take his place, hitting third in the lineup. Blanco was 2 for 2 replacing Franco in the third inning on Friday, with an RBI and a run scored.
Blanco has been reliable when called upon this season, hitting .264 with a .317 OBP in mostly a utility role.
Other than that, the lineup remains the same as Friday.
Peter Bourjos will leadoff after going 0 for 5 last night, followed by Odubel Herrara. After an All-Star first half, Herrara has hit .211 in July, but seemed to get back on track with three hits on Friday, while scoring two runs.
After a brutal stretch of games and an extended All-Star break, Aaron Nola returned to form vs. the Marlins last week, tossing six shutout innings. Nola again looks to prove the doubters wrong again today vs. the Pirates, who he has never faced in his brief career.
Here is tonight's lineup:
1. Peter Bourjos RF
2. Odubel Herrera CF
3. Andres Blanco 3B
4. Tommy Joseph 1B
5. Cameron Rupp C
6. Cody Asche LF
7. Freddy Galvis SS
8. Cesar Hernandez 2B
9. Aaron Nola P