Wednesday, July 14, 2004

The Quiet Before the Storm

Todd Zolecki talks about the Phillies' combined 0-3 contribution to yesterday's All-Star Game, where the big story was Roger Clemens getting rocked in the first inning, paving the way for the AL to win (thus securing World Series home field advantage), 9-4. Paul Hagen has quotes from Commissioner Bud Selig's annual "State of the Major League" address, if you will, where one of the topics addressed was possible playoff expansion. Here's what he had to say:
A year ago, I would have said I believed we would. But we've done a lot of work with the schedules and mathematicians and it's become obvious it might not be what I thought it would. We're going to stick with what we've got for a while unless some compelling reason comes along to change it.
Regarding the "This One Counts" theme first discussed yesterday, there seems to be differing opinions about this, even among the players. One player who has an opinion about everything, former Phillie Curt Schilling, was quoted by Jim Salisbury:
I didn't like it from Day One. I don't see why it's so difficult to be like everyone else and let the best record dictate home field. Home-field advantage is big. I'm sure it would be big in a place like Boston. But I still don't like this. It's Fox's game and they have a significant voice. I just don't think people outside the game should dictate something with as much impact as this.
On the other side of the fence is Jim Thome, who had a different take, according to Paul Hagen:
I think it's been good for baseball. They've experimented with it and I think the fans have enjoyed it. I don't know why the National League has had so much trouble winning lately, but we've just got to find a way to turn that around.
Interesting that Schilling (who opposes the idea) and the Red Sox, would benefit from the arrangement this year, whereas Thome and the Phillies would not.

Despite the up-and-down nature of the first half of their season, the Phillies are still one of the favorites to win the World Series (albeit at 5-1 odds, behind the Yankees and Red Sox), according to Vegas Vic.

Phil Jasner has the Sixers set to sign Brian Skinner today, the first official day teams can sign free agents. So this is what the Sixers get me for my birthday? Why do I feel like the kid who got a package of tube socks for Christmas? Stephen A. Smith begins to wonder about the very real possibility that Kobe Bryant will not be playing in the NBA for any team next year. Regarding the current soap opera surrounding the beleaguered star, an unnamed league executive is quoted in the article as saying, "Kobe really comes off looking bad."

Al Morganti wonders when poker became a sport (on TV at that). Rich Hofmann seems to wish it was 1943 again.

Last night on WIP, host Glen Macnow referred to this column by the Boston Herald's Michael Felger from a couple Sundays ago. He quoted Felger's opinion on the Eagles' off-season acquisitions:
Desperate to get over the NFC Championship game hump, the Eagles landed a huge name on each side of the ball. Here's the only problem: Kearse may have a good heart, but he no longer has the wheels. And while Owens is a physical marvel, he is one of the worst locker room influences in football. Prediction: Kearse and Owens won't be the difference and the Eagles still won't make the Super Bowl. The signings will remind the Eagles why they didn't like to spend money in the first place.
Agree? Disagree? Send your thoughts to Philly Sports using the link above.

The locals are off tonight.

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