David Murphy examines the four biggest questions for the Phillies coming into this season, and declares one month later, they are still exactly the same. We've seen the best of Cole Hamels, and the worst, while Brad Lidge and J.C. Romero have been on the field very sparingly. With the injuries continuing to mount, they'll likely need all three to bounce back to keep this season on track. Antonio Bastardo though? If they were relying on this guy in a spot, they had greater problems than I anticipated. [High Cheese]
The times are official from the annual Broad Street Run... even if they're not. 17 runners complained that a new time keeping system failed to record their times correctly. A chip is normally placed in the runner's shoe which signals when they've crossed the finish line, but this year it was embedded in their race number bibs. Seems organizers are sorting out the errors though. [NBC Philadelphia]
Speaking of Broad Street, a new documentary airing on HBO tonight at 10 p.m. pays homage to the Bullies who once occupied it. "Broad Street Bullies" features interviews from Ed Snider and the players who made up the scoundrels of lore that won Stanley Cups in '74 and '75, punishing their opponents along the way. “There’s nothing like driving somebody’s head through the boards to make you feel good.” Indeed. [NY Times]
Mini-camp reports! Are the Eagles switching to a 3-4 defense? Ray Didinger discusses the front office's tendency to draft the type of undersized pass rushers who are frequently utilized as outside linebackers in those schemes, and suggests some possible alignments with their current personnel. The coaches maintain the base defense is still a 4-3, and while they do tend to find players on the smaller side, guys like Brandon Graham (6-1, 270) and Daniel Te'o-Nesheim (6-3, 260) don't necessarily fit that description in my opinion. [CSN]
Are the young Eagles experiencing a "new life" in their first post-McNabb mini-camp? Maybe, maybe not, but things are certainly different. Many photos of Donovan at the Nova Care Complex have been removed, his locker now belongs to Mike Kafka, and Andy Reid is talking about the energy at camp. [Inquirer]
All things being equal, not all of the reports emanating from Eagles mini-camp were positive. Garry Cobb reports the new Kevin Kolb offense was not always firing on all cylinders, as the quarterback forced passes and missed opportunities while receivers dropped balls or failed to get open. Of course it's not unusual for the defense to be ahead of the offense this time of year, and it obviously doesn't mean much in May, but you might like to know not every practice report filed was gold. [GCobb.com]
NBA teams are losing money. Like, all of them. Several franchises are for sale, and Charlotte's Bobcats recently sold for a woefully low figure. The Cleveland Cavaliers require a strong playoff run just to beak even. Is it a sign of the times? There's no doubt the economy isn't helping, but I think it speaks to a larger problem with the Association.
Putting it in local context, the Sixers' attendance problems can mostly be attributed to a lack of interest resulting from their inability to build anything even close to resembling a contender. Poor decision making is partly to blame, but the inflexibility in the system prevents the club from moving bad contracts, making it virtually impossible to rebound quickly. How many teams around the league are in a similar position, with no hope of a significant improvement for years to come?
Granted that doesn't explain why even quality franchises aren't seeing a return on their investments, but how do the Utah Jazz convince fans to come out to see Andre Iguodala when he's in town? A solid business plan like the ones being discussed will only take these individual organizations so far. For any league to thrive financially through this period, a greater percentage of its members has to experience some success, otherwise it risks losing entire markets. [True Hoop]