Thursday, June 24, 2004

Hopefully the Start of Something Good

Kevin Millwood finally notched a win yesterday and the Phillies were able to beat the Expos 5-2. Todd Zolecki and Marcus Hayes have the game stories. Millwood says he "couldn't remember the last time I got a win." Jim Thome continues to be on a tear, and tied the franchise record for homers in a month last night. He now has until next Wednesday to break that record. He's also on place to break the Phils' record for homers in a single season. Jim Salisbury has a look at Rheal Cormier's quest for American citizenship, and has a look back at Manny Ramirez of the Red Sox becoming a citizen not too long ago. In his first appearance after reciting the oath, Ramirez took the field at Fenway Park carrying an American flag, which Cormier thought "was awesome." Zolecki's notebook has a look at Paul Abbott's unenviable task of facing Pedro Martinez tomorrow night in Boston. Hayes tells us why Ricky Ledee will miss at least the rest of the current road trip. As far as reliever Elizardo Ramirez joining the team after a visa snafu, Dennis Deitch has Ed Wade promising, "the paperwork is supposed to come by FedEx in the morning."

Stephen A. Smith has a look at the confusion surrounding the league as tonight's NBA draft approaches. Billy King says, "it's crazy." Joe Juliano has Jim O'Brien engaging, perhaps, in a bit of "liar's poker." Phil Jasner looks at O'Brien's approch going into next season, which will likely involve Iverson playing more at point guard, and will feature a "more intricate and demanding" defense. Rich Hofmann thinks anybody who watches tonight's draft tonight thinking the Sixers will be able to land an impact player are "suckers." He suggests "you're better off watching CSI - because, at least on that show, they can always identify the stiffs within an hour." John Smallwood looks at the littany of excuses used by Andris Biedrins in blowing off his scheduled interview with the Sixers on Tuesday: "My leg was a little bit trouble." Or, "I didn't feel comfortable to travel." Terry Toohey also chimes in about the draft:
The bottom line is that for the NBA to get better, league owners, general managers and coaches have to stop taking fliers on high school kids or players from Latvia with names no one can pronounce and start drafting smart. The NBA is not a training ground. That's the job of NBDL, the CBA, the USBL and the European leagues. The NBA is for the best not just those with the best potential.
Jon Marks has his guesses about who the Sixers will wind up with, and won't be surprised if King picks up another draft pick along the way. The Boston Globe's Peter May mentions (and I don't believe I've seen this anywhere else) that "the Sixers supposedly made a commitment to [high school senior Josh Smith], who is the best athlete in the draft." Ray Parrillo says Jameer Nelson has been preparing for life on the road in the NBA for quite awhile now. "I have to get used to it because it's going to be my job," says Nelson. Rob Knox reveals the playful side of Jameer, and adds that he was showing off his cell phone's screen saver, which was "a picture of him going in for a lay-up." Knox also has the city of Chester ready to celebrate tonight. "When Nelson walks across the stage this evening flashing his trademark smile, the entire city will be strolling beside him."

Harvey Yavener takes exception to an article, which was linked to by this site, by Sam Donnellon (without mentioning his name) earlier this week. He says he's "nuts." Interestingly, he adds, "Maybe David Stern is a lot of fluff, a lot of P.R., but the guy who runs the NBA is a real commissioner." Funny, when I linked to this article, I also made the assertion that Stern was on a different level than Bud Selig. You don't think members of the media are reading here, do you? Naah. Kevin Mulligan tells the story of a charity event this week in which, among the many things up for auction were a lunch with Howard Eskin. "'I'll bid $350 not to go,' someone yelled." Classic. Paul Domowitch looks at the correlation between footwear and injuries in the NFL, to which my only response is, "it's gotta be the shoes."

Finally, Ed Barkowitz had a sitdown roundtable with sports broadcasters in the area. The Daily News has quick bios of the participants in the discussion: Harry Kalas, Bill Campbell, Merrill Reese, Tom McGinnis, and Jim Jackson.

Sorry the links didn't get posted until after the Phils lost to the Expos this afternoon, 3-2. They now prepare to meet the Red Sox starting tomorrow night. Catch the NBA draft on ESPN, starting at 7 (if you like to watch more pre-draft chatter). Orlando goes on the clock for the #1 pick beginning at 7:30.

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