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If Shohei Otani is baseball's Superman, the Phillies should make a push for him

If Shohei Otani is baseball's Superman, the Phillies should make a push for him

Is Shohei Otani baseball's Superman?

No, he cannot run faster than a locomotive or leap over tall buildings in a single bound.
 
But he throws 100-plus mph fastballs and hits bombs that have the power to break through a stadium roof (literally). And he’s only 22 years old.  
 
Here's some proof: Otani's home run that went through the roof at the Tokyo Dome.

And him pitching over 100 mph -- yes, he does look a bit like Yu Darvish when he pitches.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k7F7Ri1y_qQ

Unfortunately, Otani is currently on the other side of the Pacific Ocean. Jon Wertheim from CBS' 60 Minutes highlighted the Japanese superstar on Sunday night, deeming him the Japanese Babe Ruth because of his prowess as both a pitcher and a hitter.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y5XiobgdYoY

Should the Phillies make a push to get Otani? Why wouldn't they? Despite the fact that Otani would likely be better suited for an American League team where he could pitch every five days and hit as a DH on off days (if an AL team is open to such a unique arangement). The Phillies should still make a push because he would be relatively cheap at age 22 thanks to MLB’s new collective bargaining agreement.
 
Under MLB’s new CBA, any international player under the age of 25 is now capped at a $6 million signing bonus. However, Otani says he is not looking to wait three more years when the chance for a bigger pay day would open up.
 
"Personally, I don’t care how much I get paid or how much less I get paid because of this," Otani said through a translator in the 60 Minutes segment.

His numbers are astonishing.

Otani, who plays for the Nippon Fighting Hams, has thrown the fastest pitch in league history at 102.5 mph.

As a starting pitcher last season, he went 10-4 with a 1.86 ERA and averaged 11.9 strikeouts per nine innings.
 
His four-year pitching record for Nippon is 39-13 with a 2.49 ERA and 595 strikeouts.

The 2016 season was Otani’s best year at the plate. He hit .322 with 22 home runs and 67 RBIs. This performance earned him the league's MVP.
 
John Gibson, a reporter who has covered Japaneese baseball for over 20 years, told CBS that the 22-year-old is simply unbelievable.
 
"You think about a guy who throws 101 (mph) and then a guy who hits home runs and that's a comic-book character," Gibson said. "That's not somebody you're thinking about in real life. You know, nobody does that. Who does that?"

Jimmy Rollins has the house to beat in the East … and it can be yours

Jimmy Rollins has the house to beat in the East … and it can be yours

I guess if you were a member of the 2008 Phillies, it’s the summer to sell your house. Yesterday, we featured Cole Hamels' absolutely insane 10-bedroom Missouri mega-mansion, and today, it’s longtime Phillie and 2007 MLB MVP Jimmy Rollins, who recently put his Swedesboro, New Jersey, estate up for sale.

Rollins, who saw his 17-year career likely come to a close after a failed stint in Spring Training with the San Francisco Giants earlier this season, listed his five-bedroom, 3.5 bath house less than a month ago for $799,000, the same exact price he bought it for.

According to Realtor.com, Rollins moved into the home in 2005, well before he earned the vast majority of the near $100 million he would pull in during his career.

Especially for the price, roughly $9 million less than Hamels’ crib, this house is pretty sweet. It sits on 2.58 acres of land and is a total of 5,292 square feet. In addition to the eat-in kitchen and massive walk-in closets, the best part of this house has to be the backyard, which includes a pool with hot tub and a waterfall.

Other features of Rollins’ house include a detached three-car garage, a full finished basement, poker room and gym.

Here’s the entire listing, complete with photos and information.

Union top fan experience in Philly while Eagles come in last, study says

usa-union.jpg
USA Today Images

Union top fan experience in Philly while Eagles come in last, study says

Every Philly team has something unique and special about attending one of their games. And all fans have their own opinions so ranking them objectively is sure to prove challenging with results that will be disagreed with by many.

But J.D. Power attempted to rank the "fan experience" of Philadelphia's major sports teams using a set of objective criteria (see full study here).

Here's how they described the process:

Fan satisfaction is evaluated across seven factors (in order of importance): seating area and game experience; security and ushers; leaving the game; arriving at the game; food and beverage; ticket purchase; and souvenirs and merchandise. Satisfaction is measured on a 1,000-point scale. Additional factors that are measured but not included in the official ranking are loyalty and future intentions; team performance (on-field); and team image.

The Union scored highest of all the Philly teams while the Eagles came in last in our town.

If you ask me where the best time is had at a sporting event in Philly, I'm going with an Eagles game. But that's not really considering bang for your buck.

"This study is about finding out which teams are giving their fans the best experience for their dollar,” said Greg Truex, Senior Director, Sports Research at J.D. Power. 

And while the Sixers have been the worst team in the NBA for seasons now, they still make extra strides to provide a solid fan experience on the periphery. 

The Phillies came in second to the Union, followed by the Sixers with the Flyers and Birds rounding out the bottom.

Here are the key takeaways J.D. Power took for Philadelphia:

•  The Union rings the bell: The Union takes the top-scoring spot in the Philly market, aided by top performances in stadium arrival at the game, and seating area and game experience.

•  Another reason to boo: There was no road to victory for the E-A-G-L-E-S in this year’s study, whose score of 701 puts them in fifth. The next closest team in the Philadelphia market is the Flyers, which scores 51 points higher (752).

•  Trust the process: Despite years of tanking, the Sixers still score a respectable 759 points, proving it’s possible to provide fans with a good experience even in the face of on-court failures.