I’ve been working diligently on my 7-part baseball preview, so I’ve been a little lazy of late in terms of posting. But unless I want Dannie to take over the blog entirely – I figured I’d spend my 25th birthday with some quick hits on what’s on my mind in the Philly and National sports scene.
1. The Big-5 is in trouble – Since the creation of the NCAA tournament, 1 team from the Big-5 + Drexel has made the tournament every single year. Right now, it looks like our best bet is St. Joes, and they have lost 2 straight. ‘Nova looked like they would make it, but their very young team has looked, well, very young (and phantom fouls to end the games against NC State AND Georgetown don’t help either). Usually in these types of years, we could rely on Penn to win the Ivy, but they are struggling at 2-2 in the conference and 7-14 overall. Hopefully St. Joes can finish up their A-10 schedule tough and keep the streak alive.
2. That’s all it costs for the best pitcher in baseball? The Johan Santana trade was an absolute punch in the gut for Phillies’ fans. Before that trade, the Phils had made some solid, albeit small, upgrades and the Mets and Braves had done very little. We were the solid favorites to win the division. But, not only did the Mets get the best pitcher in baseball, but they got him for LESS that the Mariners gave up for Eric Bedard and lost NO ONE who was going to be of impact to their team in 2008. The real victims here are the Twins fans (who also lost fan-favorite Torii Hunter), who just watched a once in a lifetime pitcher leave for no other reason than they don’t live in New York or Boston. Phillies fans will moan your ear off that we don’t spend enough, but I can’t imagine being as passionate about baseball as I am and live in Kansas City, Minnesota or Pittsburgh right now.
3. The Sixers are a half game out of the what?? The recent 4-game home winning streak has put the Sixers in a position that neither their pre-season expectations, nor their 22-30 record would seem to indicate: 1/2 game out of a playoff spot. Part of the recent surge has been the outstanding play of Andre Miller (NBA player of the week) and energy of the young guys. In particular, Thaddeus Young, 19, has shown he may be special player. He had a great feel for the game, is an elite athlete, and is already showing some big time moves. Also, if you watched the Dallas game tonight, he completely shut down Dirk Nowitzki. Dannie will write more about him soon, but I’m excited about him (Young, not Dannie).
4. Pitchers and Catchers on Wednesday – Please no one get hurt, please no one get hurt, please no one get hurt, please no one get hurt, please no one get hurt, please no one get hurt, please no one get hurt, please no one get hurt, please no one get hurt, please no one get hurt, please no one get hurt, please no one get hurt, please no one get hurt, please no one get hurt, please no one get hurt.
5. Chad Johnson is ticked off – TRADE FOR HIM! I very much enjoyed the recent espn.com headling “Johnson’s agent says he will not sit out ’08″ for a couple reasons. First of all, I love the stories where they announce something isn’t going to happen that they never originally announced might happen. Something like “Bob Knight decides he will not go on a homicidal rampage” – wait, Bob Knight was going to go on a homicidal rampage? When did that happen? This is usually a big hint that ESPN is trying to make a non-story a story. The second reason I love this headline is because it means the rumors of Ocho-Cinco wanting out are true. With B-West getting McNabb’s back that we could use a big-time receiver, I still say you offer up an impressive package that the Bengals can’t resist.