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As we await today’s fresh set of rumors stoked by agenda-driven agents and front offices, Ken Rosenthal checks in with the structure of Andrew McCutchen’s new three-year deal with the Phillies, and I like what the team did here:
Per source, McCutchen deal with #Phillies is back-loaded: $10M in 2019, $17M in 2020, $20M in 2021, plus $15M club option or $3M buyout for 2022.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 13, 2018
The $10 million owed in the first year is pocket change, adding minimal obligation to an already modest 2019 payroll. In theory, it allows the Phils to make more aggressive short-term offers and front-load deals with prospective free agents, which certainly seems to be the organization’s goal. Look no further than their reported reluctance to go three years with J.A. Happ despite the obvious need for a reliable left-handed starter.
Quick update from Schefty:
Eagles’ QB Carson Wentz underwent a scan on his back Wednesday that was inconclusive and was scheduled to undergo an MRI today on his back to help diagnosis an issue that has plagued him for several weeks, per source. Wentz unlikely to play Sunday night vs. Rams.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 13, 2018
Doug Pederson will speak again tomorrow morning, so nothing official from the team until then. Load up Nick Foles in your fantasy league.
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Flyers General Manager Chuck Fletcher is only in his second week on the job and one thing has likely become abundantly clear to him – he needs to break up the way his team is constructed.
Quite simply, the Flyers are broken.
Repeated and excessive inconsistency is a fundamental flaw that likely has more to do with the makeup of the roster and how those pieces fit together than the systems they are playing.
That’s not to absolve the coaching staff for the sins of their players, or their former general manager. No, they need to own the fact that they can’t find a way to maximize what potential there is on the roster.
But these players need to take ownership for themselves. They can’t be fragile. They can’t “play scared” as Jake Voracek said after a recent game. They can’t crack under pressure. They can’t lose track of their fundamentals and have it blow up on them game after game after game.
There was no reason the Flyers should have lost to Calgary Wednesday, and yet they did, 6-5 in overtime, allowing two goals in the final 1:08 of regulation and the game-winner in the first minute of the extra session.
The frustration for fans is understandable. The Flyers are a team who is equally adept at overcoming a two-goal deficit as it is blowing a two-goal lead.
There is skill and talent on this team; it just doesn’t mesh. Maybe it’s because despite that skill, this team is not collectively smart.
I’ll explain after the jump:
I wouldn’t pin last night’s loss on any one thing specifically.
Start with the fact that the absences of Jimmy Butler and Mike Muscala forced Brett Brown into playing what essentially amounted to a seven-man rotation, with T.J. McConnell and Landry Shamet receiving 29 and 20 minutes, respectively.
That’s one thing.
Then you could go free-throw shooting, where the Sixers only hit at 75% on 16 trips to the line while Brooklyn shot 86% on 43 attempts. You can say that number might be bloated due to the late 4th quarter scramble, but it was lopsided well before then, with the Sixers still in single digit free throw attempts midway through the final period.
After that, you can look at Joel Embiid, who had 23 points on 10-15 shooting going into halftime, but put up only three more field goals in the second half.
You could make a note of JJ Redick’s 1-7 mark from three point range. Maybe jot down 17 turnovers in your notebook.
You could also spend some time talking about Brooklyn’s efficiency from the perimeter and about the constant struggles the Sixers have with this team.
Brown and his players touched on almost all of those subjects after the game, but before I go quote-heavy, I want to start with the two fourth quarter sequences that essentially put this one to bed.
What a day in Philly sports.
I guess we’ll go in chronological order. It began late in the morning when news first came out that Carson Wentz might not play this week against the Rams due to back problems. It sucks that it happened but honestly with how the Eagles have been, it might be fine in the short-term. Long-term, it’s a concern when your franchise quarterback is hurt yet again. Nick Foles could start the game and perhaps the rest of the season.
Shortly after, Buster Olney posted a story that mentioned a possible Phillies offseason doomsday that honestly wouldn’t be that surprising considering we’re Philadelphia:
From Buster Olney. This is fun. pic.twitter.com/ZBAAlTTA2W
— BWanksCB (@BWCrossingBroad) December 12, 2018
This also isn’t good:
Carson Wentz’s Sunday status is up in the air after it was revealed today he’s dealing with back soreness and tightness. Doug Pederson said his starting quarterback would not practice today while the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport does not expect Wentz to play this weekend and even suggested he may be done for the season.
A few more pieces of information are floating around out there, this one first from Rapoport and colleague Tom Pelissero, who used the word “chronic” to describe Wentz’s issue:
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 12, 2018
“It’s considered a chronic type of a back issue that Carson Wentz has to do some maintenance on.”
More after the jump, this via Adam Schefter:
Per one national guy and one local guy:
Miami DC Manny Diaz has emerged as top candidate at Temple, source told @WatchStadium
— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) December 12, 2018
Source: Temple and Miami DC Manny Diaz are having discussions about the head football job. More to come.
— Marc Narducci (@sjnard) December 12, 2018
Diaz has been at Miami since 2016 and was nominated for the Broyles award in his first season (nation’s top assistant), a year in which the Hurricanes went 9-4. They improved to 10-3 in 2017 and saw six defensive players selected in the NFL draft over those first two seasons. The Canes only went 7-5 this year but I’d blame the offense for those five losses much more than anything the defense did.
Geoff Collins is leaving Temple to take the Georgia Tech gig.
If you’ve ever wondered how interested Jimmy Butler was in joining the Sixers, what really happened at the now-infamous Minnesota Timberwolves practice, and what he thinks of Philadelphia now, you got your wish on the most recent episode of The JJ Redick Podcast.
Redick asked Butler if the Sixers were a team on his radar when he first requested a trade out of Minnesota.
When they were talking, Minnesota and Philly, they liked the deal that they were starting to get and then put together. So that’s when I became kinda aware that I could end up in Philly. Did I think this was gonna be where I ended up? I didn’t think so. And the only reason I didn’t think so was because it’s like, Philly is already a really, really good team. If you put me on there, I would like to think I’m a good enough player to add a little something and maybe get us to the hump of Eastern Conference finals, maybe even Finals.
At one point, Butler channeled his inner Allen Iverson when talking about the buildup to “The Practice”:
I would keep going into the office talking with management, talking with Thibs, and they would be like, “Hey, you need to come in and practice.” I was like, “Thibs, what I need to come in and practice for? Y’all gonna trade me.” What’s the point of practicing—going in there, getting up and down—and then I’m gonna be gone in a day. ’Cause it was always like: We almost got a deal, we almost got a deal, we almost got a deal.
Butler’s Sixers teammate drilled down on the reported details of the practice and how much of it was reported accurately, after the jump: Continue Reading