'Tis the Season for Excuses

'Tis the Season for Excuses

Lost in the holiday shuffle this week was a little gem from Sheldon Brown, in which he indicated that the atmosphere around the Eagles was too tight before they were eliminated from the playoffs, and that it stemmed from the coaching staff and trickled down. As reported by Kevin Roberts:

"We all played tight -- you know what I mean?" Brown told reporters
Sunday. "The last two weeks it was like: Let's just go play ball. We
should have had that attitude from day one."

Someone asked Brown why that didn't happen.

"It's a trickle-down effect," Brown said. "If the coaches feel tight,
it trickles down to the players. They're like: Oh, I can't make a
mistake. I can't make a mistake.

"Now the coaches are relaxed, the players are relaxed and we're having
fun playing and that's how it's always been since I've been here. I
don't know why it wasn't that way from the beginning."

I don't think the coaching staff was by any means perfect this season, but this is a weak excuse for a team underperforming in key games, even if it's true. Worse than believing it, however, is saying it. Nothing good can ever come of blaming your coaching staff for losses (see: Giants 2006), and with what Big Red's been through this year, it's like rubbing salt in a pretty deep set of wounds. 

Some sobering stats after the jump. 

Also reported by Roberts:

The Eagles are the only NFL team to have outscored their opponents and
still have a losing record. The Eagles are one of only four teams
ranked in the top 10 in the NFL in both total offense and total defense
-- and they're the only one of the four not leading their respective
division.

Ouch.

>>Eagles cornerback points finger at coaching staff [Courier Post Online]

Phillies 2B prospect Valentin (shoulder) out; Kingery to stay at Double A for now

Phillies 2B prospect Valentin (shoulder) out; Kingery to stay at Double A for now

The Phillies' depth at second base has taken a hit.

Jesmuel Valentin, the starter at Triple A Lehigh Valley, is headed for surgery after dislocating his left shoulder. General manager Matt Klentak indicated that it was likely Valentin would miss the remainder of the season.

Valentin, 23, made a good showing in big-league spring training camp and, in fact, was the last position player cut from the 25-man roster. He had been off to a slow start at Lehigh Valley, hitting just .229 with a .573 OPS in his first 29 games.

With Valentin out, the Phillies could promote top second base prospect Scott Kingery from Double A to Triple A. While that is likely to happen at some point, nothing is imminent, Klentak said. The IronPigs will use veteran Pedro Florimon at second for the time being.

Kingery, 23, has been on a tear at Reading. He entered Monday leading the Eastern League in homers (13), extra-base hits (25) and slugging (.651). Overall, he was hitting .289 with a 1.018 OPS.

"Not imminent," Klentak said of a possible promotion for Kingery. "Very possible down the road. We've got more than enough infield coverage (at Triple A) to be fine and Kingery is good where he is."

Kingery, a 2015 draft pick, played just 37 games at the Double A level last season. He entered Monday having played in 37 games there this season.

Kingery on Monday was named the Eastern League player of the week for May 15-21. He went 9 for 30 with five homers, six RBIs, nine runs scored and an .833 OPS.

N.J. high school baseball player performs big-league worthy bat flip

N.J. high school baseball player performs big-league worthy bat flip

With all the bat flips going on in Major League Baseball by the likes of Odubel Herrera and Jose Bautista, it's a good bet that kids watching the game are taking notice.

Gloucester Catholic High School's Chris Turco has apparently seen the celebration.

In a game on Sunday, Turco launched the ball high above the wall in left field. However, he may have launched the bat even higher.

Look at this ridiculous bat flip.

According to Kevin Minnick of South Jersey Sports Digest, both of the next hitters were plunked and Turco's team lost.

Despite that, Turco is giving the pros a run for their money in the bat flip department.