Category: Writer/Editor: Kyle Scott (page 1 of 966)

Evan Mathis Continues to Excel at Social Media

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I laughed.

H/T to reader Will

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Crossing Streams (Episode 25): Sending My Manhood Into The Third Row

Crossing_streams_logo_ol’s Eliot Shorr-Parks joins me and Jim to discuss the Eagles, what’s eating Nick Foles, if culture actually wins football and if Chip Kelly will burn players out, sports teams on Twitter, Jerry Jones’ micromanagement, the Sixers’ new arena lighting, tanking, Scott O’Neil’s balling ability, Jim’s MONSTER BLOCK on Eliot, and, of course, Jim’s hipster sweatpants.

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Photo credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Photo credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Larry Brown has completely lost his marbles.

[Listen to both the Brown and O'Neil interviews.]

He called in to the Jon and Sean Show on 97.5 The Fanatic to impart his long, contradictory, back when I was in charge thoughts on why the Sixers are doing it all wrong. ALL WRONG, I tell you! He sounded drunk and sleepy, like Frank Langella’s Richard Nixon when he called David Frost late at night in Frost-Nixon– just all rambly and weird. I used to love cheeseburgers, but Dr. Lungren switched me to cottage cheese and pineapple instead. He calls it my Hawaiian burger. But they don’t taste like burgers at all, they taste like Styrofoam. You need a George Lynch. To be honest, I’m not sure what point Brown (or Nixon) was trying to make. He of course brought up Mr. Snider, Allen Iverson, Aaron McKie, George Lynch and Eric Snow, as though they are some deities against which all future NBA successes and failures should be measured. Basically, Brown hates analytics, hates how whom he perceives as non-basketball guys are running the Sixers, hates how there’s a seven-year plan, and hates that he wasn’t invited back for Iverson’s retirement ceremony.

Brown seems to think that the Sixers’ use of analytics is somehow different from his own prescribed strategies for success – high draft picks, young players, stars, teaching – when, really, it’s not. To their credit, Jon and Sean pushed back hard on Brown, who was basically talking in circles. The Sixers, at the moment, don’t have an Allen Iverson or anything even close to an Allen Iverson, and the only way to get one is to be really bad and cross your fingers that you luck into the top pick in the draft (which is what Iverson was, in case Brown forgets that part). Brown kept talking about trying to get better now and in the future. But it doesn’t work that way in the NBA. The Sixers tried that for years. It invariably leads to mediocrity. It leads to Chris Webber and shit. It leads to Andre Iguodala and Andre Miller. The only time it worked is when the Sixers had one of the top three players in the league and a patchwork of lightning-in-a-bottle defenders and glue guys. Statistically speaking, that 2001 team’s success was unlikely, and they weren’t in a conference with LeBron James.

Brown criticized trading Jrue Holiday and the ever-medicore Thaddeus Young, but failed to acknowledge how Holiday turned into Nerlens Noel and made way Michael Carter-Williams, the NBA Rookie of the Year. When Sean pointed that out to Brown, he responded by proclaiming that you get better by teaching players and lamenting that no one has a “five or six or seven or eight-year plan in the NBA.”

“You can have a plan, but that’s a plan to save your ass,” Brown said. “To give yourself time.”

He even, weirdly, took aim at the Sixers’ new planned Camden practice facility, saying that they’re a “Philly team” and that a facility in Jersey will make it tough for players to stay late at night because of the longer commute home (and, presumably, because Camden).

But here’s the crux of Brown’s beef with the current Sixers regime:

“Eric Snow and George Lynch work for me, right? [The Sixers] are retiring Allen’s jersey– you know how close Allen and I are. He’s family to me. Yeah, we’ve had differences, but nobody loves him more than me, and I think he feels the same way. And his two favorite players besides Aaron McKie are George Lynch and Eric Snow. [The Sixers] didn’t even invite us back to his retirment ceremony. How is that?”

You did a video…

“Yeah… video. Detroit’s having a reunion of the 2004 team, and I don’t know how many times they’ve called me to ask me what day I would be available to go.”

O’Neil called in to respond a short time later: Continue reading


The Flyers Are in Tampa to Play the Lightning, Which Means Party Time for Our Favorite Beat Writers

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The Core 4 – Panaccio, Carchidi, Dave Isaac, and now, back again, Randy Miller – love a sexy locale– be it Ocean City, a writer’s house in Ottawa, The Anchorage, poolside at a chain hotel, Laguna Beach, or now,  Indian Rocks Beach, Florida, with Mario Andretti. Life on the road is tough. Wonder if they were able to expense that dinner?


Larry Brown Has Gone Nuclear in His Sword Fight with Scott O’Neil

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I love it when Larry Brown gets riled up, because his outbursts are usually followed by bouts of uncontrollable reminiscing about Allen Iverson … oh, wait, he already did that yesterday?

“Can you imagine telling Allen Iverson that this is a rebuilding season so we’re going to be bad on purpose?” Brown continued. “I love [Nerlens] Noel, I love Joel [Embiid]. But you can’t put that stuff into them. Again, it boggles my mind. I understand you have to get assets to get better. You get assets by developing young players, draft picks, and moving contracts. But how much teaching is going on?”

I’m not sure where we go from here, but something tells me it involves O’Neil texting Brown a picture of his manhood… or, you know, his actual resume, which is pretty good:

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Villanovans are just born leaders.


The Phillies Never Bridged The Madison Bumgarner Gap

Photo credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

Photo credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

In 2010, just hours after the Phillies shocked the baseball world by delivering Cliffmas to Philadelphia, CSN Bay Area scriber Ray Ratto wrote that the team’s decision to sign Cliff Lee was an attempt to bridge the Madison Bumgarner gap– to bring the Phillies’ staff up to par with the Giants’. I, of course, mocked Ratto and now look like an idiot. I wrote:

I have no idea what Mr. Ratto just said, but the reason the Phillies signed Cliff Lee has nothing to do with Madison Bumgarner.  The Giants were a genetic grab bag of luck that found its way into the playoffs thanks to a late season Phillies sweep of the Padres.  Somewhere between Brian Wilson’s dumb beard and Cody Ross’ rodeo clown aspirations they pulled a World Series ring out of their collective asses.  Please.

Please… let me take that back.

It gets worse still.

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That following summer, on August 4, before Bumgarner and the Giants were scheduled to face off against Lee and the Phillies, I again mocked Ratto, as the Phils and their shiny new toy, Hunter Pence, were riding high:

Well, problem fixed. I’d argue that the acquistion of Hunter Pence is more likely to close any imagined gap between the Phillies and Giants, however.

So far this season, Bumgarner is 6-10 with a 3.80 ERA. Lee is 10-7 with a 3.14 ERA. I’d say bridge construction is coming along nicely.

Shortly afterward, the bridge collapsed into a puddle of my tears, and your tears, too. Pence, The Next Great Phillie, is now a two-time World Champion as the spiritual leader of the Giants (he’s also 16-for-41 with one home run, six RBIs, and a .996 OPS in 11 World Series games). Bumgarner just turned in one of the greatest World Series performances of all-time, collecting three wins and a Chevy with technology and stuff. And, at the moment, Lee is trying to work his way back from a highly concerning elbow injury, Ruben Amaro is slumming it on airport floors, and the Phillies are years away from contending again. Which is to say: the Madison Bumgarner Gap has never been bridged, and it probably never will. I’m so ashamed.


Larry Brown and Scott O’Neil Are in a Public Pissing Match over Tanking

If there’s one thing you learn from playing basketball with Scott O’Neil, it’s don’t get in Scott O’Neil’s way (and also don’t try to take him off the bounce). Right now, he’s headed backwards, intentionally, and he isn’t going to be stopped by recent comments made by the old-timey Larry Brown.

First, here’s Brown yelling at a cloud:

“I hate what’s going on in Philly,” the Hall of Fame coach said Wednesday. “They don’t have a basketball person in the organization. It makes me sick to my stomach.”

“These analytics, they don’t mean squat to me,” Brown said. “Throw it up against the wall and see if it sticks. To say that these analytics guys have the answer is crazy. It doesn’t apply to basketball. Everybody uses the data you get, but that’s what coaching is. Maybe it will work, I don’t know. But it’s a shame what those fans are going through waiting to see if it will.”

Brown’s been here before. In June, he told the WIP Morning Show that advanced analytics are ruining sports. Maybe they are. But they also seem to be working for a lot of teams, in many sports. The Tampa Bay Rays are probably the best example of a team that used Wall Street philosophies to have sports success (read The Extra 2%– it’s great). They didn’t win the World Series (smirks), but they managed to improbably finish ahead of the Yankees or Red Sox, or both, four times since 2008. The same tactic hasn’t quite been proven in basketball, but there’s little reason to doubt that it can work, at least in theory. And that’s what the Sixers are doing– looking for inefficiencies in the system and exploiting them.

O’Neil, of course, is not just going to let those comments about his team float out there unanswered. Angelo Cataldi brought up Brown’s comments on his WIP Morning Show today, forcing O’Neil to call in and respond, viciously:

“You know, after seeing Larry Brown’s SMU team in the Final Four this year it was tough to hear those kind of comments. Was he in the Final Four this year? … You know, I think it’s hard for people not in the market to understand what we’re and how we’re doing it. I think the good thing about Philadelphia is that the fans certainly get it.”

You can shit talk many people in basketball, but Larry Brown is close to untouchable — but only “close to,” and O’Neil was right to defend his team’s strategy. In yesterday’s edition of the Crossing Streams podcast, we discussed (with Eliot Shorr-Parks, who broke down his own reaction to this here) the idea of taking emotion out of the equation and running a team like a business. It’s still yet to be seen if that is going to work for the Sixers, but the organization is at least taking a run (a long run, but a run) at the top of the league instead of trying to coach their way to the middle. But to defend Coach Brown, SMU was 27–10 last year, made it to the NIT Finals, and was ranked in the AP Poll for the first time in 30 years.

The full audio of O’Neil’s call is after the jump.

Continue reading


The Giants Won the World Series Last Night and San Franciscans Celebrated by Shooting Each Other

From WGAL:

Police said at least two people were shot and one more stabbed in San Francisco’s Mission District amid celebrations for the Giants’ victory over the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday night.

Both shooting victims are expected to survive.

Large crowds filled the streets, with occasional bonfires set.

The ruckus on the streets got so rowdy that Muni, the city’s public transit system, was temporarily suspended due to safety concerns and blocked traffic, CNN affiliate KRON said. Some Muni buses were damaged.

From CBS News:

Fans also set fire to a couch in the Mission District and set other bonfires. In some places, people climbed on top of buses, cars and street signs. Firecrackers were set off.

There were reports of bottles being thrown at officers in some instances. Police were seen in riot gear in the Mission District and on Market Street, says CBS SF Bay Area.

After the team won the Series in 2012, vandals caused widespread damage in the city, including setting a city bus on fire.

It is on days like this where we should pause and reflect on the tragedy that was a rag-tag Santa getting pelted with snow balls. This is our cross to bear.

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