Friday, September 10, 2004

The Strangest Home Run You'll Ever See

The Phillies somehow managed to win three straight against the Atlanta Braves yesterday, winning 9-4, in a game that featured one of the most bizarre home runs you will ever see. Todd Zolecki, Marcus Hayes, and Dennis Deitch have the game stories. Teammates were ragging on Jason Michaels, who was already asking the SportsCenter folks to go easy on him after the game. Paul Hagen reports that MLB commissioner Bud Selig says fans are very happy with the current wild card setup, and also finds an interesting "Phillies doormat" for sale on MLB.com.

Bob Brookover anticipates the unveiling of the Eagles' defense on Sunday, right along with Brian Dawkins. Sam Donnellon says that if some of the interference calls that were called in the preseason are called now that the games that count have started, it'll be "arena football in the fall." Rich Hofmann writes that one thing you can always count on Andy Reid's teams doing is show up (unless it's an NFC championship game at home; then, all bets are off). Les Bowen says Brian Westbrook will only occasionally be used for punt returns, as Reno Mahe will be featured in that role (along with serving as J.R. Reed's lead blocker on kickoff returns). Shannon Ryan looks at the Giants' Ron Dayne's weight loss, and how he will figure in Sunday's matchup. Bob Grotz captures Jim Johnson's thoughts about this. "I think they want to use Dayne a lot more than they did last year," Johnson said. "Of course, if they play him at all it will be a lot more than last year." Dick Jerardi takes a look back at the many stops on the resume of Giants' new head coach Tom Coughlin, and has him eagerly anticipating being back on the sidelines this year. Paul Domowitch writes about the league's "points of emphasis" on illegal defensive contact this year. He includes this great quote from one of the Oakland Raiders, Ray Buchanan: "Right now, they're treating the wide receivers like sissies. You're running down the field, you turn back and look at the ball, and if you have bad breath, they throw the flag." He also includes quotes in there from a member of the NFL Competition Committee, who expressed concerns that the "overly aggressive" defensive schemes of recent years was causing NFL games to get bogged down like the NBA (which itself has tried recent measures to boost scoring). I missed this yesterday, but Rich Hofmann predicts the Eagles will go 10-6 this year. Jack McCaffery looks at the Vegas over/under line of Eagles wins (10 1/2), and somehow employs new math while pulling out the crystal ball and predicting a "10-6-1" season (unless I'm missing an awful attempt at humor).

Well, Howard Eskin made page 1 of today's Inquirer and Metro, and not in a good way. Don Steinberg's article (linked to late yesterday) on Howard Eskin's suspension appears in today's edition of the Inquirer, with the added information that "attempts to reach Eskin for comment yesterday were not successful." Apparently, Dan Gross of the Daily News was slighly more successful in getting in touch with Howard, as he does have a meaningless 2 sentence quote from him that is the equivalent of "no comment." There are some very interesting quotes ("highlights") in that article from Eskin's despositions related to this case that demonstrate Eskin's ego, as well as his hypocritical stance on lawyers. The Daily News also ran the text of the on-air apologies of both Eskin, and WIP's VP and GM Marc Rayfield, which are being played during Eskin's time slot, which has been temporarily taken over by the reputable Glen Macnow. This leads to the question, why can't Macnow become the permanent replacement in this time slot? According to a philly.com poll originally linked to here last night, over 71% of the nearly 4,000 participants have said they don't want Howard back on the air.

Steinberg also says the Eagles history will sson be available on a DVD collector's set, and also notes that Stephen A. Smith will serve as a judge in ESPN's Dream Job, along with Denver Post columnist Woody Paige. What is Stephen A.'s mindset going into this gig? "I'm not going to be cruel, but I'm not interested in showing sympathy to anybody, either," he says. "My obligation is to the viewers, just like when I'm writing a column it is to my readers. And that is to call it like I see it." Ray Parillo reports on St. Joe's "outdoing" the Eagles signing Andy Reid yesterday through 2010 by extending Phil Martelli's contract through the year 2012. As usual, I have no idea what Harvey Yavener is trying to say. He says "that just as there is a formula for winning, there's also one for losing." Apparently, there's also one for writing columns that confuse the reader by the second paragraph.

CSN has Phillies-Mets starting at 7:10.

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