The Phillies continued to self-destruct as August turns to September, as they lost to the team that will win their 13th straight division title this year, the Atlanta Braves, by a score of 5-3. Todd Zolecki and Mike Olshin have the game stories. Dennis Deitch includes a free bonus haiku in his game story. Marcus Hayes talks about a "cocky" Gavin Floyd making his way through the Phillies locker room. Deitch compares Floyd to "Leon" from the Budweiser commercials (Welcome to Philly, Gavin! -- Love, The Media) Both Hayes and Zolecki mentioned that Allen Iverson was booed while making an appearance at Citizens Bank Park last night. Zolecki's notebook also mentions Floyd's call-up, and says Ryan Howard will also seem some action in September. Is this a sign that Ed Wade has officially waved the white flag on this season? Not so fast, says Rob Parent. He quotes Ed Wade as saying, "anybody who can predict what it's going to take to win the division or the wildcard is probably kidding themselves a little bit." Ed, who's kidding who?
Bob Brookover covers the Hugh Douglas signing. While Douglas was looking for more than a one-year deal, as he learned with Jacksonville, "I signed a five-year deal..., and that turned into a one-year deal." Rich Hofmann quotes Joe Banner saying that Andy Reid "isn't different, but he also isn't exactly the same." OK, raise your hand if you're a bit confused after that one. Les Bowen also reports on the Douglas signing, and has Hugh really missing Philadelphia, especially the pre-game "Rocky" music. Apparently it beats the "Sweet Home Alabama" that Jacksonville would play before its games. Les also mentions that Brandon Whiting could be yet another ex-Eagle to rejoin his former team, if he doesn't pass his physical with the San Francisco. The original deadline for that was today, but the Eagles website has a statement from the 49ers GM saying that the teams have mutually agreed to extend this until Sunday "in order to explorer possibilities...to make the trade equitable in light of [Whiting's] situation" (he's still recovering from shoulder surgery). Bob Grotz mentions the unusual "greeting" that the Eagles' chief of security Butch Buchanico gave Hugh Douglas upon his return to the NovaCare Complex. Grotz' notebook says Koy Detmer will play the first half of the final exhibition game on Friday. Brookover's notebook says its pretty significant that many of Andy Reid's players want to come back and play for him. Continuing the "Super Bowl or Bust" theme, Al Morganti has this to say today:
The Eagles management expects to reach the Super Bowl. This is the opposite of what had been perceived as an indifference to winning it all when the Eagles were allowing veterans to walk away. As it turned out, the Eagles had good reasons and used good reasoning when they parted ways with players such as Douglas, Trotter and so many others. But the fact that Douglas and Trotter came back is a clear sign that they know the system in Philadelphia works and they know that this is the best spot for them to win a championship.Bill Conlin submits one of his "when I'm King of the World" pieces and chimes in on A.I.'s performance at the Olympics:
It appears Athens could turn into a career epiphany for Allen Iverson, whose play and bearing was commendable in every way. That can only translate into good news for 76ers coach Jim O'Brien. While A.I. was coming up big, however, his former coach, Larry Brown, had a few layers stripped away from his legend status. The man was a coaching embarrassment, and it was good to see NBA commissioner David Stern voice his displeasure with Brown in no uncertain terms.Matthew P. Blanchard talks about the backlash in Lower Merion over that school district's plans to enter a marketing agreement with Nike to sell Kobe Bryant's high school jersey, especially while said player is on trial for rape.
CSN has Braves-Phillies at 7:05.