Slow news day until this popped about 25 minutes ago:
The Philadelphia 76ers have been rebuffed in their attempt to hire away Houston's Daryl Morey to take over as their new general manager, @NYTSports has learned
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) July 16, 2018
Yeah, well, who wouldn’t want the NBA’s reigning Executive of the Year to run their team?
You’re probably familiar with Morey as the guy whom Sam Hinkie worked with before coming to Philadelphia. Both are known for being progressive, analytics-based player-personnel executives, to put it mildly.
Morey built a 65-win Rockets team that was a Chris Paul hamstring injury away from an NBA title this season, so I’m not sure why he’d jump ship to Philadelphia right now. Of course, if the Sixers wanted someone in Morey’s mold, they could simply re-approach Hinkie. That would go over very well with half of the fan base while being blasted into oblivion by the other half.
The Sixers have been without a general manager since parting with Bryan Colangelo on June 7th.
After weeks of promotion and hype, NBC Sports Philadelphia aired Sunday night its highly anticipated look back at the 2008 Phillies, entitled “World Champions: The Story of the ’08 Phillies.”
As the 10-year anniversary of the 2008 Phillies’ triumph approaches, now seems like the perfect time to chronicle the team that delivered the city of Philadelphia its first major professional sports championship in 25 years. With a natural narrative arc provided by a championship season backdrop that is supported by a beloved cast of eclectic characters given a decade’s time to grow, change, reflect, and gain perspective on their tremendous accomplishments, the program had what I felt were the perfect contextual ingredients for compelling storytelling.
What’s more, I found it encouraging that NBC Sports Philadelphia, a network that has undergone significant changes in personnel and programming in recent years, committed to such an ambitious project. I firmly believe this is the precise type of programming the network should both dedicate itself to and feature. Philadelphia sports fans want to immerse themselves in their teams and feel a connection to the players they come to love (or loathe). Insightful, smart, and anecdotal documentary-style television provides that opportunity, plus it’s a welcomed deviation from the mindless and manufactured quick-hit debate programming that plagues modern sports television.
And that’s why I was a bit underwhelmed by what I watched last night. It felt under-budgeted, underdeveloped, and incomplete.
Eagles training camp begins in 10 days, so it’s important to get life’s minor details out the way.
Carson Wentz got married this weekend at the Lakehouse Inn in East Rockhill Township:
— Steve Lindsay CBS (@SteveLindsayCBS) July 16, 2018
The Monday after the World Cup final is when most casual fans stop giving a shit about soccer.
Eagles training camp is 10 days away, the Phillies are rolling into the home run derby and All-Star Game, and some people actually go outside and enjoy the summer weather.
But if you found the World Cup entertaining and want to see more of the sport, there are a few ways to keep the momentum going into the fall:
1. Watch the English Premier League
The EPL starts on August 10th, so you really only have a little more than three weeks until the world’s most popular domestic league kicks off.
The great thing about the prem is that it’s very accessible, with games taking place on Saturday and Sunday mornings and existing outside of the typical viewing windows in which we watch American sports. For example, if you’re a 40-year-old parent with two kids, you can get up at 9 a.m. on Saturday, make your kids pancakes, and flip on Arsenal vs. Liverpool at 10 a.m. That then takes you into college football at noon and carries you throughout the day. Same thing on Sunday, when you can watch the Premier League as a lead-in to a 1 p.m. Eagles game or NFL Red Zone.
Crossing Broad Phillies writer BWCrossingBroad joins the pod to discuss the Phillies’ pursuit of Manny Machado, John Middleton’s commitment to winning, the Phillies’ minor league system, Zach Britton rumors, and NBCSN Philadelphia’s disappointing 2008 Phillies documentary.
Audio after the jump:
It was a mixed weekend for the Phillies, with plenty of good as well as some bad.
Let’s start with the on-field product in Miami, which featured Brad Lidge as a guest instructor. Friday was the best game of the Marlins series, which saw Jake Arrieta rebound in a big way with seven shutout innings in a 2-0 win. He gave up three hits and struck out three in the win, though the Phils only scored two runs on eight hits.
The Phillies got eight hits on Saturday, but Aaron Nola gave up the only two runs in the game in the first inning for a 2-0 loss. But the offense got hot yesterday afternoon… for one inning. The Phils had a great fourth inning, scoring all five of their runs off four hits to take a 5-0 lead. But Miami had an eight-run bottom of the fifth en route to a 10-5 loss. I guess Tommy Hunter is also bad.
Now for the off-field stuff, and it mainly involves Manny Machado. Which is good, because the Phillies need hitting. Over the weekend, the team increased their offer to the Orioles and became a clear-cut leader to land the shortstop. One reason for that is owner John Middleton becoming a “driving force” for landing a star. And a trade is pretty damn close:
Source indicated last Sunday his sense was that the Orioles were at the 35-yard-line and driving in the Machado trade conversations. Same source this Sunday: "10-yard-line." PHI, Brewers, Dodgers waiting for the goal line call. As mentioned yesterday, Orioles have narrowed focus.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) July 15, 2018
Speaking of Middleton, Andy MacPhail had similar thoughts on the team owner:
“John wants to win,” MacPhail said. “John wants to sustain winning. But John is not an ‘excite the town at any cost’ guy. My view is that he’s smart and he’s realistic. I think I’ve done a good job of explaining the importance of an organization and progress and he’s seen that. He’s not willing to give up too much of that just to make a splash. Someone wrote the other day that ownership wants to make a splash. Let me tell you something about John Middleton. He’s not a ‘splash’ guy for something that doesn’t make sense. I can promise you that.”
Cole Hamels is a former Phillie that was linked to a return to the city earlier in the season. That’s died down, but he’d love to return home:
“If something like that does happen, I think it would be a blessing,” Hamels said. “You do look back. And Philly has a great group of guys that they’re bringing up and the future of a world championship team. You just have to give it to them and give them their space. If it happens, it happens. But I can’t wish or long for something like that because I’m still trying to figure out how to pitch well in five days, six days.”
Overall, it’s not a bad first half at all. The Phillies are 53-42 and lead the NL East by a half-game. Who would’ve thought Gabe Kapler would be a Manager of the Year candidate?
Rhys Hoskins participates in the Home Run Derby tonight. That starts at 8 PM on ESPN.
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The Roundup: Continue Reading
NHL Twitter was ablaze Sunday afternoon with an unconfirmed report that former Flyers goalie Ray Emery passed away in what appears to have been a drowning.
Friends and first responders have identified victim in early morning drowning at the Hamilton Harbour as former @NHL goalie Ray Emery. Ray played the @ottawasenators, @NHLBlackhawks, @AnaheimDucks and the @NHLFlyers. He was swimming with several friends & never surfaced #HamOnt pic.twitter.com/QpD2tNwDzs
— Andrew Collins (@ACollinsPhoto) July 15, 2018
Well, it has unfortunately been confirmed:
At 2:50 pm, HPS recovered the body of former @NHL player Ray Emery, 35. Emery was reported missing just after 6:00 am in #HamOnt harbour. His body was recovered in close proximity to where he was last seen. Family has been notified. Cause of death to be confirmed pending a PM.
— Hamilton Police (@HamiltonPolice) July 15, 2018
Emery was a decent goalie for the Flyers (2009-2010, 2013-2015), though most of his success came as a member of the Ottawa Senators. He did, however win a Stanley cup with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2013, a season in which he shared the William M. Jennings Trophy with teammate Corey Crawford.
My favorite memory of Ray Emery’s time as a Flyer came from a blowout 7-0 loss to the Washington Capitals on November 1st, 2013.
Video after the jump:
I think these remarks from Phillies owner John Middleton found in this February piece from Todd Zolecki seem pretty relevant this Sunday afternoon:
I would tell you, whether we get it done before the start of the season or we do it during the season, I’m hoping we’re playing so damn well by early July that I get to look at Matt and say, ‘Matt [Klentak], we’re in the hunt now. What the hell are you going to do come Trading Deadline to get us over the hump?’ If we’re there, my guess is Matt will probably look at everything a little bit differently, as I think he should.
With the Phillies sputtering a bit this weekend in Miami, but still in sole possession of first-place in the NL East heading into the All-Star break, keep those words in mind as you check out this bit of information from ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick:
Owner John Middleton has emerged as a driving force in Philly. He's very aggressive and has no reservations about spending money. This is hard to fathom, but I've talked to people who think he might try to sign both Bryce Harper and Manny Machado as free agents this winter. https://t.co/kT9jzpul9M
— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) July 15, 2018
A driving force, you say? I believe it. It would seem that he has a pretty firm desire to win, so I can absolutely imagine the following scenario playing out in Klentak’s office:
Klentak and Andy MacPhail are sitting down to discuss a possible trade package for Machado as Middleton abruptly walks into the room and asks, “Did someone say package?” He then unfurls his, uh, metaphorical package, sternly demanding, “What the hell are you going to do come trading deadline to get us over the hump? Get it done.”
There’s also this follow-up tweet from Crasnick:
— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) July 15, 2018
A great owner smackdown? My money is on Middleton. Don’t know too much about Mark Attanasio, but if he wants to throw down, I suggest he be careful:
Don’t know how I missed this, but I’m 99% sure that’s Phillies owner John Middleton getting FIRED UP after the Torrey Smith TD on Sunday night. pic.twitter.com/dn5jSrIIoo
— BWanksCB (@BWCrossingBroad) January 24, 2018
Pure aggression. Wouldn’t mess with it.