With the Labor Day weekend now behind us, we can now say that summer is (un)officially over. Of course, for the local "boys of summer," the Phillies, summer seemed to end somewhere after the All-Star break. But let's not be picky. The local nine dropped yet another to the Bravers yesterday, 3-1. Todd Zolecki, Marcus Hayes and Dennis Deitch have the game stories. Zolecki's notebook reports that Kevin Milwood wants to return to the rotation as soon as possible. Well, not entirely for the benefit of the Phillies, but more likely to boost his free agent stock. Nice. Rob Parent says that what's wrong with the Phillies is that "the management leaders are followers of a philosophy that begs patience but doesn’t exude confidence or competence."
Bob Brookover has a look at Brian Westbrook's key role in the running game this year, and hints at the possibility that Dorsey Levens will be back (even though he was cut in the initial roster trimming to 53 players). Shannon Ryan has a look at the coach of the Eagles' first real opponent this year, their division rival NY Giants, and their coach, the stoic-faced Tom Coughlin. Rich Hofmann wonders about the "law of unintended consequences" striking with the NFL's new "point of emphasis" (illegal defensive contact), and whether that will mean open season on quarterbacks, as defenses make their inevitable adjustments. Bob Grotz writes that the Eagles will go as far as Donovan McNabb takes them, and has Brian Dawkins seconding that thought by saying "this is still Big 5's team." Tom McNichol says Eagles fans are ready for yet another Superbowl-or-bust bandwagon ride. Mark Eckel has some AFC insiders still questioning how Jevon Kearse will hold up this season for the Eagles. Mark also gets a quote from Jim Mora, who says, "the fact that T.O. actively pursued Philly spells trouble for the rest of the league." At least Eagles fans hope so. Phil Sheridan hopes that both the players and management have learned something over the past couple of years, with the current theme of "Reunited" (reminding me of the late 70s song):
Maybe the players can learn that they're not showing the Eagles anything by finding suckers elsewhere. Maybe the Eagles can learn to prevent things from reaching the point where players feel they have to leave to prove anything.Mark Eckel also provides his previews of both the AFC and NFC (Eagles fans beware: he doesn't have them getting to the big dance, again). On a better note, ESPN.com has posted its preseason power rankings, and as expected, the Eagles are prominently featured.
Phil Jasner reports that Greg Buckner's agent is hoping the Sixers either trade or buy out his client. I'd like to be the first to offer to drive him to Philly International. John Smallwood is appalled at the audacity of the damn Yankees (as if baseball fans needed another reason to cheer against the Evil Empire).
Have a look below at an email exchange between myself and Boston Sports Media Watch's Dave Scott.
CSN has Phillies-Braves at 7:35.