Danny Amendola is a Dolphin.
The 32-year-old receiver signed a two year deal worth $12 million this offseason, moving from sunny and bright Foxborough to sunny and bright Miami.
One thing that wasn’t really sunny and bright was playing for Bill Belichick, which Amendola discussed on a recent appearance on Barstool’s Comeback SZN podcast, comparing his former head coach to Miami’s Adam Gase:
“Coach Gase is one of the guys. He’s our leader, he’s our head coach, but he’s also our boy. It’s cool, it’s refreshing to have that kind of relationship with a coach, something I haven’t had in a long time. I Facetimed coach Gase yesterday just to talk with him, just to bullshit with him. I was talking to his kids, I have a relationship with him that’s really unique, something I haven’t had in a while. So it’s cool to be a part of. He’s a coach I want to play hard for.
…back in New England, it’s almost like you had a principal and a principal’s office and shit like that; in a good way and a bad way, too. Much respect to all of the coaches that have given me the opportunity to play for their team and I’m obviously excited for where I’m at in the future…”
Amendola won a pair of Super Bowls under Belichick and did later describe him as “one of the best of all time.”
But it feels like another example of the rigid culture that Lane Johnson spoke of months ago, characterizing the Patriots as a “fear-based” organization and labeling their players as “robots”
Larry Fedora, who wears a visor, gave a weird press conference at the Atlantic Coast Conference’s football media day.
The North Carolina head ball coach was asked about a variety of topics and spun off on a stream-of-consciousness discussion about the state of the game in the United States.
From Raleigh’s ABC11:
Fedora also spoke specifically about how rule changes in college football are changing the game, and not for the better. As football goes, Fedora said, so goes our country.
“Our game is under attack,” Fedora said. “I fear that the game will be pushed so far from what we know that we won’t recognize it 10 years from now. And if it does, our country will go down, too.”
Fedora also relayed the following anecdote: He spoke with a general – military branch unknown – and asked what made America’s forces the strongest in the world. It’s because the U.S. is the only country that plays football, the general replied, per Fedora.
“I think because of the lessons you learn in the game of football relate to everything you’re going to do for the rest of your life,” Fedora said. “When we stop learning those lessons, we’re going to struggle.
Okay, well, I agree that football teaches life lessons, but it’s certainly not the only source of wisdom and knowledge. You could probably learn the same lessons from basketball or baseball or marching band or debate club. And I don’t know if our military is the strongest in the world because we play football, it could also be that we spend 600 billion dollars on it.
Kyle isn’t here right now, or else he’d probably want this post.
Here’s the Villanova basketball team doing their best Frankie Beverly at last night’s ESPY Awards:
— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) July 19, 2018
Not bad, not bad. Just a little off-key, but that’s okay.
Here’s the original so you can compare the two versions and decide who did it better:
Millville native Mike Trout is a simple person.
He plays baseball, enjoys Philadelphia sports, spends time with his family, and doesn’t seem all that interested in the spotlight.
If he did, he might be a superstar beyond what he does on the field, which includes two American League MVP awards, seven straight All-Star Game appearances, and a .983 career OPS. But he’s twice turned down invitations to play in the World Baseball Classic and has never participated in the Home Run Derby, telling media last week that he’d “rather just have that night with my family, spend time with them.” He doesn’t say outrageous stuff on social media or talk trash. If LaVar Ball has a polar opposite, it’s probably Mike Trout.
So the topic of Trout’s marketability came up during All Star week, resulting in two key quotes from commissioner Rob Manfred:
“Mike is a great great player, and a really nice person, but he’s made certain decisions with what he wants to do and what he doesn’t want to do, and how he wants to spend his free time and how he doesn’t want to spend his free time,” Manfred said. “That’s up to him. If he wants to engage and be more active in that area, I think we could help him make his brand really really big, but he has to make a decision that he’s prepared to engage in that area. It takes time and effort.”
And this is the one that apparently angered some people:
“Player marketing requires one thing, for sure: the player. You cannot market a player passively. You can’t market anything passively. You need people to engage with those to whom are trying to market in order to have effective marketing.”
That seems pretty innocuous to me. I mean, Manfred literally says, “that’s up to him” in the first quote above. I don’t see anything that makes it feel like Manfred is pissed off or that he’s tapping his foot waiting for Trout to budge.
I also don’t sense that here, not in the specific words or the tone or body language:
Yeah, maybe he could have chosen his words more carefully. You always can. He could have also hammered home the point that marketing is up to the player himself, but it doesn’t feel like we’re nearing some irate ultimatum coming down from MLB headquarters. It feels as though Manfred is simply saying, “the ball is in your court.”
Last week, as Vince Velasquez took the mound for the Phillies in their series finale against the Mets, Ken Giles was packing his bags for Fresno. Giles, the erstwhile Phillies closer who was shipped to Houston prior to the 2016 season for a package of pitchers that included Velasquez, had been demoted to the minor leagues by the Astros organization.
Astros brass had cited Giles’ lackluster performance as the reason for the roster move, but the fiery reliever’s temper may have been his most unforgivable sin. In his last outing before the demotion, Giles had entered a 4-0 game and promptly conceded three consecutive hits. With a run across and the lead evaporating, Houston manager A.J. Hinch walked to the mound to remove Giles. Giles was less than thrilled with his skipper’s decision:
Pretty sure he said “f you man” to Hinch on his way out pic.twitter.com/13DkLs3klO
— Scott Marvin (@ScottEMarvin) July 11, 2018
While Giles was doing his best to burn his bridges in Houston, Velasquez was lighting up the Mets. The Phillies righthander returned from a short stint on the disabled list to toss six shutout innings of two-hit baseball. He left the game after throwing just 85 pitches.
From today’s vantage point, it certainly seems that the Phillies have emerged as the clear winner of the Ken Giles trade. Yet, I am reminded of something that I told the students in my history class back in my teaching days: hindsight is a powerful tool. The light it provides can blind just as easily as it can illuminate.
Besides, I am more interested in the lessons we can learn from the transaction while the Phillies approach the trade deadline as potential buyers for the first time in five seasons. Although Philadelphia lost the Manny Machado sweepstakes, Matt Klentak and company have signaled their willingness to pursue high-impact rental players for a potential postseason push.
The front office has the support of an aggressive owner looking to make a splash. Moreover, the organization can exploit the financial flexibility afforded to it courtesy of a lucrative television rights deal with Comcast. The Phillies have methodically rebuilt their once-barren farm system, which is now ranked the fifth best in the league. Most importantly, the team sits in first place in the National League East as the unofficial second half of the season is set to begin.
The Phillies have played solid baseball, but the roster has holes that, at this point in the season, only an astute general manager can fix. Thanks to an overachieving club and a deep prospect pool, Klentak has the motive and the means, but should he seize the opportunity? Although an analysis of one trade will not provide all the answers, it can produce some insights.
We’re at the dead period where there’s nothing really going on in sports. The ESPYs were last night (Nick Foles won for Best Championship Performance), but outside of Jim Kelly and the 141 women who were victims of Larry Nassar’s sexual abuse, you shouldn’t really care. It’s not the end of the world if Philly Special lost to a buzzer beater in the women’s basketball National Championship.
The big stories that happened yesterday were the trades. Finally. After a small snag in physicals, Manny Machado was traded to the Dodgers for five prospects. Despite the Phillies reportedly being aggressive, John Middleton and company could not land him. In fact, the Brewers were considered the second best offer. So much for being bold.
Out of nowhere, Kawhi Leonard was traded to Toronto, of all places. The offer of DeMar DeRozan, Jakob Poeltl, and a protected 2019 first-round pick could have easily been beaten by the Sixers, who are still without a GM.
But despite both teams not getting big stars, it was probably the right thing to not trade for either guy. The Phillies can get better with other trades, and they need help nearly everywhere, but especially in the bullpen. They’re already exceeding expectations by leading the NL East at the All-Star break.
As for the Sixers, they still have young talent that will improve from last season and remain one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference. Nemanja Bjelica would’ve been nice, but he’s deciding whether to go to Sacramento after he thought he was being devalued at $4.4 million, despite verbally agreeing to a deal. What they really need is a GM.
Both teams are fine. The world is not ending (yet), and there’s still plenty of time left. Trades can happen any minute and opinion can be easily swayed to more optimism.
Check out a brand new episode of the Crossing Broadcast as well that discusses the trades and other things.
The Roundup: Continue Reading
So the Nemanja Bjelica blip is slowly morphing into the Nemanja Bjelica saga.
Yesterday, it was revealed that the 30-year-old Serbian power forward would not be signing for the Sixers after verbally agreeing to a one-year deal worth $4.4 million dollars. It was understood that Bjelica was having second thoughts when it came to moving his family and instead wanted to stay in Europe. That’s contrary to local reports that Bjelica was unable to complete a physical in Camden due to visa issues, which seems strange to me since he’s lived in the United States for the last three years while playing for the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Today Shams Charania reported that Bjelica might play in the NBA after all, just not for the Sixers:
Forward Nemanja Bjelica and the Kings plan to begin discussing potential deal, league sources tell Yahoo Sports. Bjelica represents a shooter on the wing/frontcourt, and a long-term fit makes sense.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 18, 2018
It makes Bjelica look like a waffler and makes the Sixers look not great, either, even if this might not be their fault.
Kyle and Russ recap Manny Machado and Kawhi Leonard going elsewhere, if fans should feel disappointed, sports radio host rumors, what Kyle’s been working on for the past few months, and the NBCSN Philly story posted on Wednesday.
Audio after the jump: