If the Phillies get swept by the Astros, and nobody's paying attention anymore, do they still make a sound? Apparently, not much of one. Yesterday's 7-4 loss continued the Phils toward their inevitable path toward mathematical elimination. Todd Zolecki and Dennis Deitch have the game stories. Zolecki's notebook manages to compare Chase Utley with Barry Bonds and Scott Rolen with an creative use of statistics. Marcus Hayes writes that next year, pitchers and hitters need to "ignore the bandbox nature of Citizens Bank Park," and maybe that will help. "Maybe next year" seems to be the mantra already, and August isn't even over yet.
Onto more meaningful sports, Bob Brookover reports that, with Correll Buckhalter already out with a season-ending injury, Brian Westbrook is likely to see little playing time in tonight's exhibition game at the Linc. Meanwhile, Les Bowen has Corey Simon proclaiming, "I'll be reading to go Opening Day." Mark Eckel wonders if that will be good enough, since "he would have played zero preseason snaps before he is asked to chase whomever the Giants have at quarterback and stuff running back Ron Dayne." Bob Grotz is the master of 20/20 hindsight today, as he writes:
Buckhalter's loss to a torn patellar tendon planting the right leg opened the Eagles up to second-guessing. Why, for instance, didn't the Eagles add a big veteran running back until 34-year-old veteran Dorsey Levens was about the only capable body left? At various times, Eddie George, Corey Dillon and Antowain Smith were on the market.Ron Goldwyn writes that, in their ineptitude, not only on the field, but in managing their responsibilities around the Sports Complex, the Phillies have managed to screw up things even for the Eagles. Stephen A. Smith says Team USA will win the gold, despite the negativity of the naysayers. The New York Post's Mike Vaccaro has Allen Iverson saying that if he "had the chance to do it again and represent my country, I would."
ESPN has preseason Steelers-Eagles at 8.