Category: Writer/Editor: Kyle Scott (page 1 of 1060)

Today, We’re All “Cheater!” Guy

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No idea if the Phils won last night. Don’t care. But the guy yelling “cheater!” at Ryan Braun all night is my new hero.

Video after the jump.

H/T to reader Brian

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This Isn’t the First Time the Subject of Prescription Painkillers Has Come up Involving Mike Richards

May, 2011, Mike Richards, Jeff Carter, Claude Giroux, Ville Leino and Dan Carcillo take in a Union match at PPL Park. Richards had just had surgery on his wrist.

May, 2011, Mike Richards, Jeff Carter, Claude Giroux, Ville Leino and Dan Carcillo (not pictured) take in a Union match at PPL Park. Richards had just underwent surgery on his wrist. He and Carter would never play for the Flyers again. pic via anonymous tipster

Back in 2013, I had former Philly.com gossip columnist Dan Gross, who broke the Dry Island story, on the podcast, and he reprised comments he made on Puck Daddy Radio in 2011 that the real nut of the story involved prescription painkillers. Here’s what Gross told me [audio at 25:30 mark]:

“After [Richards and Carter] both left, we started hearing some things about why they were gone. And whether it had to do with excessive partying. And there was also a question that didn’t make my story, because it wasn’t to the level which we could say it definitively … it’s certainly accurate to say there were teammates of these guys who had believed that they were taking prescription painkillers in addition to drinking and partying. Now, were those painkillers prescribed due to injury? I’m sure they were– Carter had the broken foot and Richards had I’m sure other things going. So, I’m not about to say the guys were abusing drugs or anything like that. But I will say that there’s at least two teammates who were concerned that was the case.”

He also said that the Daily News was uncomfortable printing some of those details because they were unable to verify the claims, even though Gross felt they were at the heart of the Dry Island story:

“It was unfortunate that it didn’t get into the story. I kinda of thought that if you did have that in the story, it just made the whole thing sound a little more legit. Look, I knew it was legit, I knew what I reported was accurate. And there were people who were like ‘oh, we all know these guys drink but they don’t drink any more than this one or that one,’ and all of that seemed true. But what I think what was really instrumental in selling that story so-to-speak to the readers, was the idea of the Dry Island.”

None of this is particularly surprising, but it does demonstrate that these concerns regarding painkillers have swirled around Richards (and others…) for years now. It would make sense if the Kings had this as context for their decision to release Richards for a breach of contract following a border incident involving OxyContin.

Related: Here are more photos from that trip to PPL Park to see Becks, who wasn’t there

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Crossing Streams (Episode 38): Emerging From The Shadows

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Jim and I discuss John Middleton’s emergence, Andy MacPhail’s introduction, and the Phillies’ use of sabermetrics. The state of the Sixers’ plan, drafting Okafor, Embiid, and the rebuild. And finally, some praise for Ron Hextall. Continue reading

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Here’s Joel Embiid at a Bar, Dancing, Wearing His Own Name on a Personalized Soccer Jersey

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Photos via Redditororororororor Barch88

The caption on that photo: “Was out at a bar on Sunday, saw this guy with no boot dancing around.”

Not even gonna call out Embiid for going full Bynum here (you never go full Bynum!). Rather, let’s call attention to that customized Chelsea kit. There has to be a line somewhere in every professional sports contract that once you accept payment for playing a game, you’re thereby not allowed to wear any jersey in public – your own or otherwise – and especially customized jerseys with your own name on them, and especially when they’re Chelsea kits. Yuck. What, were they out of his size in Liverpool?

UPDATE: Big weekend for Embiid:

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via /r/Sixers

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Daily News Covers Are All Phillies

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The owner always gets the front page. Me thinks this was as much about introducing Middleton to the public as it was MacPhail.

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Mike Richards’ Contract Termination: It Was a Border Incident

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Uh oh.

Katie Strang, reporting for ESPN about the Kings releasing Mike Richards for a breach of contract:

Several sources told ESPN.com the Kings were made aware of the situation Friday, approximately an hour after the first round of the 2015 NHL draft had begun.

The team was already in the process of trying to trade him — discussions were in place with both the Edmonton Oilers and the Calgary Flames — but Kings general manager Dean Lombardi immediately informed both teams upon learning about the situation that he had no prior knowledge of the incident and halted those talks, according to a source.

Oh, juicy. So, what do we got?

TSN’s Eric Macramalla, echoing other reports that it was a border incident:  Continue reading

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Joel Embiid Puts out Fantastically Cryptic Instagram Post

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This would… almost appear to be good news. Or his foot fell off.

Just in case, I’m co-™-ing Sixers Skyline™ with reader Dave (@TheGrapevine120).

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My Takeaways from the Andy MacPhail Press Conference

Photo credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Middleton has great billionaire hair, photo credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

So the way I see it there are a few themes to come out of the press conference, including numerous reasons to be upbeat about the MacPhail hiring, and many reasons to be skeptical. Let’s break them all down.

 

John Middleton’s power move

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SO THAT’S WHAT HE LOOKS LIKE!

  • This is pretty much the first time John Middleton has made anything even remotely resembling a public appearance representing the franchise. On one hand, you’ve got to give credit to Howard Eskin for reporting last year that Middleton wanted to take a more active ownership role… on the other, Middleton called Eskin’s report – that he was seeking a majority ownership stake – “erroneous” and said he has a great working relationship with the other, faceless owners. Whether you believe him or not is up to you, but it’s clear that Middleton is becoming the owner of record when the question “Hey, who owns the Phillies?” pops up. Previously that role had been held by Bill Giles and David Montgomery, both of whom had ownership stakes.
  • Why today for Middleton’s coming out party? He said he thought it was important for there to be a face to hold accountable for the hiring of a president. No argument there. But it is strange to see Middleton-MacPhail-Gillick as the power structure, when just a year ago this would’ve been Montgomery and Amaro.
  • Somewhat impressively, Middleton kicked off the press conference with about 4-5 minutes of off-the-cuff remarks, with no notes, during which he mentioned the desire for the organization to better use analytics.
  • Billionaire has a sense of humor. At one point, when Jim Salisbury introduced himself to MacPhail, the new president said, “So you’re the one who broke the story!” Middleton laughed and remarked that Salisbury got him. I like it when billionaires laugh.

 

MacPhail positives

  • MacPhail seems like a genuinely nice man. Like, I want to have lemonade and crumpets with him on a front porch or assorted stoop somewhere. We’d talk about baseball, life, and probably the birds. Not the Eagles– just birds in general.
  • For real, he seems highly approachable, reserved, humble (maybe too much so) and analytical. I made fun of Jerry Crasnick before, but MacPhail truly does seem like a guy who you’d want to work for. He mentions that he’s spent the last three years away from the game with his then-ailing father and traveling the world.
  • As President, it’ll be his job to make the right hires and delegate tasks. From these initial impressions, he seems like the type of guy who would be good at that sort of thing. He talked about patience and how building a team is “like planting a garden– first it leaps, then it creeps, then it leaps.” He also talked a lot about listening. He doesn’t want to just hear you, he wants to listen. I can’t tell if he’d make a better lover or granddad.
  • Most importantly, he talked about embracing advanced statistics. Though he admitted he doesn’t always fully understand them (that’s fine– it’ll be the GM’s job), he said he was responsible for the Orioles’ “greatly expanded use of sabermetrics and statistics in player evaluations.” He believes you have to look at everything and should never leave a stone unturned, and that you have to balance advanced statistics with human intelligence. No argument there. “You hire people, have the young kids come in and explain it to you.”
  • Of using every possible angle, he said he was “amazed that people don’t do this stuff.” Ruben Amaro, who was in the room but not allowed to sit at the big kids’ table, presumably cried at this point.

 

MacPhail concerns

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