Let’s start this one with an exercise:
Name a big play Mychal Kendricks made this past season. It can be a forced fumble, interception, sack, stuff, anything.
Yeah. Nothing really comes to mind.
That’s not to say I dislike Kendricks, because I thought he really was excellent this year, finishing second on the team with 77 tackles behind Nigel Bradham and admirably absorbing the workload of Jordan Hicks, who went down on October 23rd with a season-ending Achilles injury.
Kendricks was a solid tackler, a disciplined and steady and reliable linebacker who attacked anything that made it through the Birds’ defensive line. I don’t know if he was a playmaker, though, with 0 forced fumbles, 0 interceptions, 2 sacks, and 6 stuffs over the past two seasons. There weren’t a lot highlight-reel plays to choose from and he wasn’t the same player who showed flashes of brilliance during the early part of his Eagles career.
The on-field stuff is what it is, but the decision to release Kendricks almost certainly had to do with money. He was set to hit the cap at $7.6 million this year, which would have made him the 7th-most costly player on the roster. League-wide, Kendricks would have been the 29th most expensive linebacker, nestled in the Thomas Davis/Jabaal Sheard/K.J. Wright ballpark. The Birds signed Bradham to a new contract and need to look ahead to 2019, when Hicks will require a new contract and Carson Wentz will need to be taken care of. Brandon Graham is probably in the same boat.
So when Bradham, Hicks, and free agent signing Corey Nelson are locks to make the team alongside special teams ace Kamu Grugier-Hill, Kendricks’ contract just doesn’t make a ton of sense. You’ve also got Nate Gerry, Joe Walker, and Kyle Wilson to go along with the now-injured Paul Worrilow, so the Birds are rolling with their two main guys, Bradham and Hicks, and hoping someone grabs the WILL role by the horns.
Sounds like a home run to me.
The former Sixers President and General Manager is resurfacing with Detroit on a three-year contract to become a “senior adviser responsible for overhauling the franchise’s basketball operations,” according to ESPN:
“I’m going to Detroit to meet with all the employees, and I am going to listen to all their thoughts and visions,” Stefanski told ESPN. “And then I am going to give advice to our owner, Tom Gores, on how we are going to structure things going forward. The big thing right now, though, is that we need a head coach and a GM. Those will be two items that we will probably do simultaneously.”
The Pistons’ top target in the coaching search is former Toronto Raptors coach Dwane Casey, according to league sources. Stefanski, 64, is regarded as a well-connected and energetic executive — with a Wharton School of Business background.”
Detroit parted ways with Stan Van Gundy a few weeks back.
Stefanski was the Sixers’ GM from 2007 to 2011, steering the franchise to a pair of .500 records and first round playoff exits. His best move was probably the #17 overall selection of Jrue Holiday in the 2009 draft, though he also presided over the Evan Turner pick in 2010 and took Marreese Speights in 2008. He fired Mo Cheeks, hired Eddie Jordan and Doug Collins, and extended Andre Iguodala and Lou Williams. He made a big free agent splash for Elton Brand and brought back Allen Iverson.
You can relive the magic of his Sixers’ tenure over at Basketball Reference, which lists every single personnel move he made.
Stefanski was relieved of his duties when Josh Harris and company took control of the Sixers back in 2011.
The Ringer published an article on Wednesday called “Offseason Fantasy Island,” a collection of some theoretical NBA offseason trades and free agent signings.
There’s some Sixers-related stuff in there, including this entry from Jason Concepcion:
“The Sixers Trade Markelle Fultz and Dario Saric to the Bucks for Delly and a 2018 First-Round Pick”
Lemme read that again:
“The Sixers Trade Markelle Fultz and Dario Saric to the Bucks for Delly and a 2018 First-Round Pick”
Alright then, I’ll continue reading. I’m not big on doing theoretical offseason moves, which inherently include some elements of nonsense, but I guess it can be fun to play the “what if” game and just sort of piss around with different scenarios.
I read the description from the article three times in a row and I’m 99.9% sure this is satire. If not, God have mercy on his soul:
Former Philadelphia Inquirer writer Phil Sheridan is going through some incredibly difficult times.
This popped up on my timeline yesterday from Daily News layout editor Mark Perner:
Phil Sheridan, a truly man, has fallen on hard times. He's had heart issues, diagnosed with leukemia, laid off by ESPN and now his house burned down. A gofundme account has been started for the Sheridans. Please find it in your heart to donate. Thanks. https://t.co/3qB7rHAgHy
— Mark Perner (@MarkPerner) May 23, 2018
Here’s the description on the GoFundMe page, written by his daughter Jennifer:
“Hello! Thanks for clicking – unfortunately, my dad and family came home to a fire Wednesday evening resulting in a lot of loss and damage to the home. Fortunately, no one was injured, except for the sweet pup Cocoa who didn’t make it. Everyone who knows him knows Phil as the friendly, funny, genuine and extremely humble guy that he is – some of you might know him as a reputable writer… I know him as the best dad there is – knows it is not ideal for him to be asking for help in a situation like this – so I am! As some of you know, life has thrown him a couple health scares over the last few years that have meant him being forced to take time away from work for more than a year for treatment and healing. Despite bravely overcoming those things, he and his family are now faced with another unexpected scenario. Any donation and/or share that you can offer to get the house restored would be so greatly appreciated. Thank you!!!”
As of publication, donors have contributed $20,598, shattering the $2,000 goal. If you want to help out Phil and his family, click on the link below:
WE BEAT THE BRAVES IN A SERIES!
Thank God. Imagine if it was a sweep. That would’ve been perfect, heading into the weekend a game and a half up on Atlanta in the NL East.
But back to the game. Jake Arrieta pitched a gem, allowing no runs on just seven hits and striking out seven batters en route to a 4-0 shutout. He hasn’t allowed a run in his last 15 innings inside Citizens Bank Park, and his ERA is 0.84 in three games at home, winning all three of them.
The Phils scored a run in three consecutive innings, thanks to RBIs from Carlos Santana, Cesar Hernandez (who extended his on-base streak to 27 games), and Maikel Franco.
Odubel Herrera also extended his “games he’s made it to at least first base no matter what the MLB says” streak to 49 games.
They’re off today, but start a weekend series with Toronto on Friday.
Elsewhere, Coggin got a chance to talk to the new Phillies’ batting practice pitcher, Shawn Senior.
One of the biggest sources of success? Pitching coach Rick Kranitz.
The Roundup: Continue Reading
Phil and Russ discuss:
- Previewing the Champion’s League Final (1:00)
- Phil and Russ give their Starting XI predictions (3:00)
- Zidane’s tactics (7:00)
- Ronaldo/Bale (10:00)
- FA Cup Final (16:00)
- Playing for Mourinho/Klopp (22:00)
- Bundesliga Promotion/Relegation Playoff (26:00)
- English Championship Playoff (32:00)
- Emery to Arsenal, Pellegrini to West Ham (37:00)
- Vardy to Atlético, Mahrez to City, Buffon to PSG, Lewandowski to Chelsea? (41:00)
- The Brandi Chastain plaque (54:30)
- Zlatan’s slap (57:00)
- MLS introducing YTF (59:00)
- Alexi Lalas on El Tri (1:02:00)
Audio after the jump: Continue Reading
“Last night I almost hit Herrera,” Shawn Senior, 46, the newest member of the Phillies organization told me less than 24-hours after making his debut as the team’s new left-handed batting practice pitcher.
Beaning Odubel Herrera in the bowels of Citizens Bank Park the first day of your newest position would not be the best way to start your career with a major league franchise.
“The ball clipped the L-Screen as I was throwing past it, It was going towards him and it actually went behind him. I would hope I won’t hit anyone, but I’m sure if I throw enough one or two will fly. I’m sure I won’t be the first or the last person to do it,” he said.
And so went Senior’s debut at the big league level, albeit a different one he likely dreamed of when he graduated from Cherry Hill West in 1990 and N.C. State in 1993 as a star pitcher.
The new NFL national anthem policy doesn’t change a thing.
Players who stay off the field will be criticized for staying off the field. Liberals will still think Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid are being blackballed. Conservatives will still think the demonstrators hate America.
This does nothing but reignite a divisive issue that was slowly fading, just like Occupy Philadelphia, which started as a meaningful and peaceful protest and devolved into some blob of bitching and whining that literally had nothing do with anything specific by the time protesters were kicked out of Dilworth Plaza.
And it’s not like the different approaches to the anthem had any partitioning effect on the Eagles’ locker room. You had some black players raise a fist and lock arms with white teammates, while others observed the anthem in their own way. The team ended up winning the Super Bowl, so if there were internal fractures, I can’t imagine they were very large. Then you had more than a million people of different ages/genders/skin tones come down to Broad Street to celebrate their achievement.
Now the league is fanning the flames of conflict just 13 days before the Birds are supposed to travel to Washington to meet with President Trump.
Me, personally, I enjoy the anthem at games. Is it necessary? No, I don’t think so, but I see it as a moment to kind of stop and look around and be grateful for what we have in this country. I see Ron Brooks doing his thing at Sixers games and think, “Hey, I appreciate being an American, I appreciate the opportunities I was given.” Sometimes writers are fumbling around on their computers or some guy forgets to take his hat off, or some lady is at the concession stand buying a $7 hot dog, but I don’t get pissed off at those people and think they’re being disrespectful. You wanna know what’s un-American? It’s un-American to tell people how to behave or what to think. This country was founded by dissidents who certainly weren’t perfect, but valued differences of opinion.