Ugly doesn't begin to describe the Phillies continuing woes in Florida, as they lost yesterday to the Marlins on the road, 10-1 for an unprecedented 14th time in a row. Todd Zolecki and Marcus Hayes have the game stories. Hayes says it got so bad the fans at Pro Player Stadium got excited and started chanting "we want doughnuts," since fans get a free Krispy Kreme dozen when the Marlins get 12 hits. Jim Salisbury says it got so bad the organ player even joined in to accompany the chant. Zolecki's notebook believes the Phils are seriously interested in the Yankee's Kenny Lofton. Hayes says that, with the trade deadline fast approaching, "the Phillies find themselves wallflowers at the dance."
Rich Hofmann quotes Ed Wade the GM:
It's better that everybody just figures it out, that we don't get bogged down in a four-game losing streak in Florida, or the fact that we're 3 ½ games out now, or that we're tied with the Marlins. We can't lose sight of the fact that this journey still has a lot of mileage left to it.Regarding continuing speculation that Larry Bowa is on the hot seat, Wade said, "I don't think, all of a sudden, that people have to do daily job-status reports just because issues like this occur." Meanwhile, Dennis Deitch continues to add fuel to this fire, by citing:
Two sources within the organization said that a gathering of general manager Ed Wade and his brain trust in Clearwater, Fla., this week has involved more than phone calls and powwows discussing potential trades as Saturday afternoon's non-waiver deadline approaches. Apparently the topics at the table include a plan to replace Bowa as manager. This takes the speculation of Bowa's potential firing to a dangerous level.To this, Bowa replied, "When you write articles like that, no, it doesn't worry me. I don't care." Deitch also chimes in on the miserable trip to Florida:
This wasn't a sweep. It was an epitaph. The Phillies weren't merely swept by the Marlins at Pro Player Stadium. They were buried, eviscerated, humiliated. Thursday's grand finale to the four-game folly was the most insulting, most blatant example of a team that has decided it has better things to do than give a damn. If one of those better things to do involves getting the manager fired, then at least they are on their way to accomplishing something.In his Phillies Scoop, Deitch talks about speculation involving a three-way trade that would send Ricky Ledee to Boston, Derek Lowe to San Diego, and Jay Payton to the Phillies.
Meanwhile, Eagles' training camp will start seriously heating up this weekend. One of the bigger stories (or non-stories) is whether Corey Simon will show up (as expected). Bob Brookover writes about this, and had Simon wondering whether he'll go the way of Jeremiah Trotter (before he returned this year), Troy Vincent, and Hugh Douglas. Bob Grotz chats with Simon's buddy Paul Grasmanis, who admits, "I've talked to him quite a bit. I mean, I've been living in his house, for Pete's sake, mooching off him while my house was being fixed up." When Les Bowen pressed him for further details about Simon, he said, "I plead the Fifth." Brookover's notebook says Jerome McDougle will likely miss a few more weeks of camp than Andy Reid initially indicated. Les Bowen looks at Camden standout Jamaal Green facing an uphill battle trying to make the Eagles' roster this year. Mark Eckel reports that rookie Dexter Wynn will have the first crack at being the special teams punt returner. Eckel also writes about Kori Dickerson's efforts to make the team.
Phil Sheridan wonders what we really mean when we say "Super Bowl or bust." He writes:
So here we are (again). This is the year (again). It's Super Bowl or bust (again). Nothing less will be acceptable (again). Here's where it stands. The Eagles have an excellent chance to win it all this year. For all the media alarmist talk that the window of opportunity was slamming shut, the truth is that the Eagles will have a chance as long as Andy Reid is the coach and Donovan McNabb is the quarterback. Just as the New England Patriots will have a chance to win it all as long as Bill Belichick is the coach and Tom Brady is the quarterback.Paul Domowitch continues a big theme of this week's articles, the "what if the Eagles had selected Ricky Williams" scenario. He starts off the column by quoting former Eagles VP of football operations Tom Modrak, who often had fans telling him they absolutely had to draft Williams. Meanwhile, the article reveals some of the reasons (besides Reid's insistence that they build around a franchise quarterback) why the Eagles' braintrust went with McNabb. "A guy has to be wired right to fit in here," Reid said. "You know you're going to have ups and downs, and get scrutinized and praised. You have be able to handle both and keep it all in perspective." And this, "Andy knew this was a tough city to compete in," Eagles president Joe Banner said. "He knew we weren't going to be good from the first minute he got here. He needed somebody who could grow through all of that."
Don Steinberg says Comcast has agreed to carry the College Sports Television network. The channel will likely be available to digital subscribers only.
CSN has Phillies-Cubs at 3:20. ESPN.com reports that the Cubs received the all-clear from the city of Chicago after installing netting under Wrigley Field's upper deck.