Thursday, July 15, 2004

Welcome Back, Trotter

That seems to be the theme in today's sports sections, begun yesterday by NBC's John Clark, who "remixed" the old TV show theme song from the 70s. As mentioned here late yesterday afternoon, the Eagles have signed a 1-year deal with former Eagle Jeremiah Trotter, who was cut by the Washington Redskins earlier in the summer. There seems to be some confusion as to what the deal is worth. All seem to agree that it is for the veteran minimum (which has positive salary cap ramifications for the club), but Bob Brookover says it's for around $660,000, Paul Domowitch says it's for $750,000, and Bob Grotz says the veteran minimum is $535,000. So which is it? And shouldn't it be fairly straighforward for NFL beat writers to find out what it is? Mark Eckel believes that "if Trotter is anywhere near the player he was when he left the team as a free agent after the 2001 season, he will be the starter by midseason or sooner." Rich Hofmann has this to say: "It is almost biblical, this story of Jeremiah Trotter, of the prodigal linebacker - except that this is a parable without either a lesson or an ending. Until January, anyway." True enough.

Todd Zolecki begins previewing the second half of the season for the Phillies, which will see them open with 19 of 24 games away from home. Zolecki notes that Jim Thome could be the first player in Phillies history to hit 50 homers in a season. Paul Hagen wonders if the trend of second half of the season collapses we've seen in recent years will continue. Marcus Hayes has the players believing that, for the injuries and pitching woes they've endured in the first half, they're not in bad shape. Dennis Deitch dreams up this wild trade scenario:
If there were no boundaries, the Phillies could have Nomar Garciaparra and Pedro Martinez (a hotly rumored deal that the Phillies can’t do has Boston offering those two to the Phillies in a three-way deal that would make Randy Johnson a Red Sox -- but the Phillies would have to unload Jimmy Rollins, Millwood and Cole Hamels).
Jack McCaffery wonders why the Phillies aren't participating in the Randy Johnson sweepstakes. He believes there's reasons the Phillies have to make this kind of move:
A five-star hotel lobby as a clubhouse in a breathtaking new ballpark, that’s why. Money -- the money the Phillies gather nightly from their ever-popular souvenir and concession stands -- that’s why. A rabid fan base that has created 26 sellouts, that’s why.
A hitter's ballpark, I might add. And while the Phillies can be rightly proud of 26 sellouts, one only has to venture a little northward to run into the rabid fan bases of the Yankees and Red Sox, which is why this pipe dream won't happen, Jack. Finally, Mike Olshin looks as the possibility of landing Boston's Derek Lowe:
Lowe might be the most intriguing of all the available pitchers. His ratio of groundouts to flyouts is 3.5-1, and even while struggling he has only given up nine homers in 93 2/3 innings - both ideal numbers for CBP. The Phillies play much better defense than the Red Sox and Lowe could benefit from the Phils' slow home infield. A trade involving Millwood or Polanco could benefit both teams.
Like I mentioned earlier, I think the starting rotation has enough troubles as it is, without venturing into these waters. Just ask Red Sox fans about the "Derek Lowe face," and that should be enough to tell you to run away from this deal, fast.

Billy King admits that letting Brian Skinner sign with the Milwaukee Bucks last summer was a "calculated mistake," according to Marc Narducci. During yesterday's press conference, Skinner also talked about how "frustrating" it was dealing with playing time during his previous stint here, under Larry Brown. He made this telling statement: "The bottom line is that I didn't get the minutes I felt I deserved, and it was a coaching decision." I guess I'm not overly disappointed that Skinner is returning, when I consider that the alternative was overpaying Mark Blount (his deal is about twice Skinner's) like the Celtics did. Phil Jasner has the Sixers being improved by about 8 games next year. He also mentions that in a meeting with season ticketholders yesterday, Jim O'Brien "indicated that it would be difficult for a shooting-challenged player to get many minutes." That's interesting, as that doesn't bode well for nearly everyone on the current roster, and yet this is the team O'Brien claims to "be very happy to go with...into training camp." Jasner also tells of how O'Brien caught up with Kenny Thomas on the golf course. Michael Walsh says O'Brien is "very excited about Willie Green...he can shoot it."

Things aren't looking good for Jeremy Roenick. Ed Moran says he's sitting out the World Cup of Hockey because his "health isn't great" and that he just doesn't feel good. "I tried to work out the other week and I did not feel well." The NHL released their 2004-05 schedule yesterday, assuming there is a season. Adam Kimelman notes that March 26, 2005 will be a historic day, because "on that day, for the first time in NHL history, all 30 teams will be in action." I was somewhat surprised by that.

CSN has Phillies-Mets at 7:10.

No comments: