The Phillies continued on the winning side of things last night by beating the Padres, 7-5, remaining 4 1/2 games behind the Braves, who also won. Todd Zolecki and Marcus Hayes have the game stories. Todd Zolecki has two notes columns, one on Marlon Byrd's "fresh start," and another one mentioning that Pat Burrell could be headed for the disabled list. Jim Salisbury writes that, while there's enough blame to go around for the Phillies' woes between Larry Bowa and Ed Wade, don't forget that it's the players who either do or don't get the job done on the field. He closes with a hint of optimism, sort of:
There is still time to turn around this season, and by the time the Phils return home Monday, we'll know if Bowa will get the chance to do that, or if someone else will.Marcus Hayes chronicles the batting woes of Placido Palanco, Jim Thome and Mike Lieberthal with runners in scoring position, and calls this one of the key reasons "why the Phillies are mired near mediocrity." Bill Conlin believes that Ed Wade should have done his homework before trading for Felix Rodriguez, who apparently did not get along well with Tim Worrell when they were teammates in San Francisco. He refers to an article in the San Francisco Chronicle from about three years ago where Rodriguez apparently demanded a trade because of "a personal disagreement with a teammate."
Kevin Mulligan writes that Terrell Owens was the big hit yesterday as autograph seekers lined up more than 24 hours in advance to get the "T.O." scribbled on various items. Not everybody went home happy, however, as one fan drove 22 hours from Orlando, got to Lehigh at 9:30, but couldn't get his #81 jersey signed because he didn't have a wristband. Owens has also made it clear (through the media) that "he does not sign anything from San Francisco, including old 49ers football cards." Bob Brookover notes that Donovan McNabb seemed to have a bit of fun at Owens' expense yesterday:
One guy held up a sign that said, "Marry me, T.O." That was awesome. We ragged on him for a while about that one. That just shows the love that they have for him in Philly.McNabb was sure to widen his eyes while emphasizing the "love" when he said this, which seemed to get a chuckle out of the gathered reporters. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Brookover reports Brian Dawkins will miss a week of camp after injuring his knee yesterday. Bob Grotz reports that Dawkins is out "indefinitely," while Mark Eckel notes that the official word is "a week," but speculates the injury may be more serious and that he could be out longer, since "Dawkins had no comment on the injury, according to an Eagles spokesman." Jack McCaffery has a further look at Jeff Lurie's "State of the Eagles" address on Tuesday, and gives him kudos for supporting the aggressive off-season moves that Andy Reid made. Bob Grotz says ESPN's Mike Ditka paid a visit to Lehigh yesterday. Ditka says the Eagles are the favorites in the NFC, but still gives the nod to the Patriots as "the team to beat."
Mark Lelinwalla has an article discussing yesterday's trade between the Sixers and Pistons, in which Billy King was able to acquire Corliss Williamson, while ridding himself of Derrick Coleman, who did not figure into the team's plans anyway. Phil Jasner writes that his Pistons sources say that neither Coleman nor Amal McCaskill, also included in the trade, are likely to suit up for the team. Meanwhile, Allen Iverson was busy hitting the first buzzer-beating game-winning shot of his career (hard to believe, isn't it?), as Team USA barely squeaked out an 80-77 win over non-Athens-bound Germany. Caryl Kauffman says Jim O'Brien "loved" seeing Iverson hit the game-winner, and that "the fact that one of our guys was the one that hit the shot feels great." At the press conference announcing yesterday's trade, Billy King said, "I just spoke to Allen about an hour ago and he was ecstatic about hitting the shot."
Ray Parillo says the Big Ten will be the first conference to adopt a video review system this year. Finally, the Dallas Morning News has former Cowboy's quarterback Quincy Carter defending his name from rumors of cocaine abuse being the reason he was released from the team yesterday:
I'm shocked. I'm at a loss for words. The one thing I know and the people who have been around me all my life know is that cocaine has never been an issue for me. It never will be. And it's disturbing that a rumor like that would come out. I have not one bad thing to say about the Dallas Cowboys, Bill Parcells or Jerry Jones. I have a lot of friends on that team. I just want my teammates and fans to know that cocaine rumor is ridiculous.CSN has the concluding game of Phillies-Padres at 10:05, with the Phils going for the sweep.