Today in Philly Sports History: The End of the Sal Fasano Era

Today in Philly Sports History: The End of the Sal Fasano Era

The numbers that Sal Fasano put up while serving as the backup backstop for our Philadelphia Phillies were not particularly gaudy. In most cases, few tears would be shed in the City of Brotherly Love over the loss of a player with a .243 batting average, four home runs and a .669 OPS over 50 games. However, if there are two things that the Phillie Phaithful love as much as big numbers, it's hard work and huge moustaches, both of which Fasano brought in spades. So there might've been a couple of misty eyes in the house on July 22nd, 2006, when the well-liked but only third-rated Phils catcher was designated for assignment, eventually to be traded to the New York Yankees for scrub Hector Made.

Fasano's popularity in Phialdelphia ballooned with the creation of Sal's Pals, a group of Phils fans who wore fake Fu Manchu 'staches and catchers helmets to honor Fasano. As the group largened, Fasano took notice, and famously sent 20 free pizzas to them in thanks during one of his starts, which of course endeared fans to him further. Nonetheless, the Phils had elected midway through the season not to carry on with three catchers, and with Chris Coste and a suddenly healthy Mike Lieberthal in tow, Fasano was jettisoned. He's since bounced around to the Yankees, Blue Jays, Braves, Indians, and most recently, the Rockies, but it's relatively safe to say that he'll never get another reception quite like the one he got as a member of the Fightins.

"It's a sad day for mustached men everywhere," our very own Enrico wrote of the occasion. "So long, Sal, you will be missed."

Report: Eagles expected to hire Mike Groh as receivers coach

Report: Eagles expected to hire Mike Groh as receivers coach

It look like the Eagles have found their replacement for Greg Lewis.

According to ESPN's Adam Caplan, the Eagles are expected to hire Rams receivers/passing game coordinator Mike Groh.

The news that the Eagles fired Lewis came out on Jan. 9 and the team has been looking for a replacement. They reportedly interviewed Groh and Bills receivers coach Sanjay Lal.

Groh, 45, spent the 2016 season with the Rams after three years as the Bears' receivers coach. Groh is available because the Rams switched head coaches, bringing in Sean McVay.

Before coming to the NFL, Groh was a longtime coach at the college level. He is the son of former Virginia head coach Al Groh and eventually became an offensive coordinator under his father before bouncing from Alabama to Louisville and then back to Alabama before heading to the NFL. 

Groh was actually the quarterback at Virginia in the 90s before his father ever coached there. Groh's first coaching job was under his father as assistant coach with the Jets in 2000, when Al Groh was named their head coach for the season. 

If the Eagles are looking to sign a big-name free agent at wide receiver, there could be a reunion of sorts in Philly. During his four seasons as an NFL receivers coach, Groh has worked with Alshon Jeffery and Kenny Britt, who are two of the top receivers who will be available.

The Eagles started their season with a first-round pick, two second-round picks and a third-round pick at wide receiver, but their unit was one of the worst in the NFL. Jordan Matthews was consistent, but tight end Zach Ertz was the team's leading receiver.

It's unlikely Groh will have the same unit to work with as Lewis did in 2016, but it is likely Groh will be expected to get more out of his group in 2017.