Envy Us

Aces and catchers ladies and gentleman. Yes thats right, while the other 29 teams in baseball can talk about how their run of the mill ordinary pitchers and catchers are reporting to various spring training facilities in Arizona or Florida, the Phillies have four pitchers strolling in, all arguable number one starters on other teams in the majors. Fuck the Giants four, I’d bet a baby pledge that every GM in the majors would take our rotation over theirs. As we all know the Phillies are good, with the potential to be historically good this season. Now as 2009 and 2010 showed us, playing deep into the playoffs doesn’t cut it anymore, both Brad Lidge and Shane Victorino have acknowledge that this year it’s World Series or bust, and they are absolutely right, nothing will satisfy this city besides another parade down Broad and another timeless victory quote by Chase Utley. I expect big bounce back years from now healthy Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, and Ryan Howard. Domonic Brown and Ben Francisco will be a successful platoon in right for the beginning of the year. However as the season goes on I expect Brown to become a more regular everyday player, (don’t be surprised if the outfield consists of Brown, Victorino and Francisco by the end of the season).

Prediction:

Win 100 games and the World Series

P.S. Favorite stat ever: 404 – 48, that is the combined strikeout to walk ratio of Roy Hallady and Cliff Lee. (suck it)

See you on Broad Street in November

-JL

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5 Moves The Eagles Should Make

The Eagles will already be better next season, Michael Vick is now going to get a full offseason as the starter of the team. Andy and Marty can now spend the next 6 months designing an offensive scheme specifically tailored to suit Vick and hopefully Jamaal Jackson comes back healthy by training camp (as he’s indicating). Sprinkle in the best offensive line coach in the game and the scariest offense in the league becomes utterly terrifying. Furthermore say what you want about the Eagles moving longtime offensive line coach Juan Castillo to defensive coordinator but the fact is the additions of Howard Mudd, Tim Washburn and Johnnie Lynn make the coaching staff heading into next season considerably better than the one that entered last season. Taking all this into account I have compiled 5 moves that if done will make the Eagles one of the top 5 teams in the league next season.

Allow me to preface the remainder of this post by saying everything mentioned below is subject to the labor/CBA problems and the plan laid out below is assuming a new deal will not impact the offseason (start praying)

Move 1: Sign Nhamdi:

  • Self-explanatory, Asomugha will be 30 in July and is arguably the best cornerback in the league. Watching the trio of Ellis Hobbs, Dimitri Patterson and Julio Hanson get abused on the right side last year was nauseating. The ability to play man on man on the outsides will help every facet of this defense, specifically new Defensive Coordinator Juan Castillo’s emphasis on attacking the quarterback

Move 2: Draft Gabe Carimi (OT Wisconsin):

  • No surprise here, both Mel Kiper jr. and Todd McShay have the eagles selecting Carimi  in the first round. Carimi has been compared to former Eagles tackle Jon Runyan.
  • The one problem scouts seem to have with Carimi is that they doubt he will eventually be able to move to the more difficult left tackle position. However, in the Eagles case this doesn’t matter considering Michael Vick’s blindside is to his right.
  • If Howard Mudd can take an undrafted center who was working at an electrical supply company in Raleigh N.C. (Jeff Saturday) and make him a perennial pro-bowler imagine what he could do with a first round talent in Carimi…

Move 3: Draft a cornerback in round 2:

  • So why do we need a cornerback this early in the draft if we already have Nhamdi and Asante at this point you ask…simply put, look at this years Superbowl winner
  • As we all know, the NFL is continuously becoming more and more quarterback oriented, the Packers won a ring this year throwing the ball 70% of their offensive plays, the majority of which were out of 3 and 4 wide receiver sets.
  • It is no longer good enough to have just 2 good cornerbacks

Move 4: Draft a linebacker who can cover a tight end:

  • How many times as fans have we watched Jason Witten, Kevin Boss and Chris Cooley tear up the Eagles?
  • The answer eludes us, but I hope this is finally the year that Andy decides taking a linebacker before round 7 is a good idea

Move 5: Bring in Albert Haynesworth

  • Relax, don’t just go out and trade for him right now (if you reading Andy…) but 2 years ago Albert was being called the best defensive tackle in the league, talent like that just does not disappear, the fact is that although Haynesworth has shown he can be a fuckin applesauce pussy with all his whining, the Redskins are also at fault. Don’t sign a player for 100 million dollars and after one year decide to move him from his best position…(which reminds me, my dad always told me that being smart leads to getting money…..how’d Dan Snyder get his?)
  • Only sign him on our terms! Meaning do not acquire him with his presently outrageous contract, either re-negotiate or if he gets cut (cross your fingers) sign him to a team friendlier deal….
  • Talk to Jim Washburn, the man is a legendary defensive line coach and has a history with Albert, Haynesworth has even been quoted saying he’d take a pay cut to work with Washburn again. If Jim thinks he can get him close to his 2008-2009 form than take the risk.

-JL

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About Losing

I go to school at The Ohio State University, hence a fair amount of my friends are from Cleveland and as we are all aware Cleveland is the heartbreak capital of the world, no one is better at losing than Clevelanders. Now, since they have so much experience sucking some of them seem to take they view that they are the undisputed experts on losing and feel that no other fan of any team from any city has a right to be upset when their team loses. An example of what I’m talking about:

Random Sports Fan: “I can’t believe we just blew that game, we fuckin suck!”

Cleveland Sports Fan: “You’re upset?! You suck?! how dare you say such a thing, I’m from Cleveland, do you realize what I’ve gone through my whole life? I expect to lose! Be happy with what you have!”

It’s the conversations like the one above that really annoy me (kinda like trying to fuck an eskimo in an igloo full of fire ants). What bothers me most about it is are two things; one, while they are yelling at you, you can usually hear a faint sense of pride about how shitty their teams are, and two, they actually think it’s a sound point they are making and that their shittyness is a sufficient reason for the other fan to not be upset. They couldn’t be more wrong, and Ill tell you why…

We get it Cleveland, you suck…pretty much sums it up, for the majority of my life your teams have been irrelevant, and on the times they were relevant nothing good came of it (see James, Lebron, Indians 2007 and Browns 2008). You’ve watched your teams be mediocre or suck most of the time but Cleveland, at least you don’t get teased….

When I say teased I mean what has happened in Philly in my life time…In case you were only paying attention to the losing in Cleveland for the past 20 years (which I guess is theoretically possible considering there is probably enough material for you to spend 20 years worth of time studying just Cleveland losing) I’ll recap…

Sixers:

  • 9 playoff appearances in my life time
  • Draft Allen Iverson in 1996
  • Watch one of the best natural scorers of all time play for 10 years and win no titles
  • Lose title to Lakers in 2001 (After winning game 1 in LA which was the only time the Lakers lost in the playoffs that year)

Flyers:

  • 14 playoff appearances in my life time (’94-’05, ’07-’10)
  • Made playoffs 1994-2005, never won the cup
  • Lose to New Jersey Devils in 1995 Eastern Conference Final, Devils go on to win The Stanley Cup
  • Lose to New Jersey Devils in 2000 Eastern Conference Final after being up 3-1, Devils go on to win The Stanley Cup (last time I actually cried after a loss)
  • Lose to Lightning in 2004 Eastern Conference Final, Lightning go on to win the Stanley Cup
  • Lose to Penguins in 2008 Eastern Conference Final
  • Lose to Detroit Red Wings in 1997 Stanley Cup
  • Lose to Chicago Blackhawks in 2010 Stanley Cup

Phillies:

  • 5 playoff appearances in my life time (’93,’07-’10)
  • Didn’t make playoffs from 1994-2006
  • Got swept in divisional series by Rockies in 2007
  • Lose 2010 NLCS to inferior Giants team (who later win World Series)
  • Lose 2009 World Series to New York Yankees
  • Lose 1993 World Series to Toronto Blue Jays (Joe Fuckin Carter (This qualifies as a historic loss, the definition of historic loss is being the team on the opposing side of a moment that is replayed over and over again, thanks Mitch)

Eagles: Where to begin….

  • 12 playoff appearances in my life time (’90,’92,’95,’96,’00-’04,’06,’08-’10)
  • Lose 2001 NFC championship to The St. Louis Rams
  • Lose 2002 NFC championship to The Tampa Bay Buccaneers (I was at this game), Bucs go on to blowout the Raiders 48-21 in Super Bowl XXXVII
  • Lose 2003 NFC championship to the Panthers (I was at this game too)
  • Lose 2004 Superbowl to the Patriots
  • Lose 2008 NFC championship game to Cardinals

Breath it in Cleveland Fans….this is my sporting history, I’ve been teased more times than a fat, ugly, retarded kid in 3rd grade. Now, I can already hear you complaining about the Phillies winning it all in 2008 and how that makes up for everything else. Trust me, it doesn’t, in fact it only makes the other teams’ failures seem worse. You gotta understand, the Phillies overall were the worst team in The City for 10 years and then allasudden in their 3rd playoff appearance of my life they go on to win it all…something that none of the other teams could do once in their combined 40 playoff appearances, I’m willing to bet my dick that there are a large amount of people who would agree with me that having a team lose sucks but having to watch your team come close so many times and never win can be even worse.

Moral of the story Cleveland fans is that a lot of people, not just you have been disappointed by their teams, and that disappointment is legitimate….so next time one of your out-of-town friends is upset about a loss….before you go into some self-pitying rant about how shitty your sports life is, take solace in the fact that at least your teams just suck year in and year out, instead of giving you hope and then tearing your heart out year after year like me….but don’t worry Cleveland, Philadelphia won a championship in 2008, so your city still remains the gold standard for losing.

-JL

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