The Phillies will be making their way back to Philadelphia this eve aboard a Delta 757. I love how their plane made the two-minute trip from Tampa to Clearwater to pick them up.
Welcome back, baseball.
Sports Betting Updates
36 people are reported dead today after a charter flight carrying Lokomitv of the KHL crashed in Russia. Former Flyer Brad McCrimmon was their coach.
via Puck Daddy:
A terrible tragedy in Russia this morning. A Yak-42 charter plane carrying KHL's Lokomotiv crashed on take off. There were 37 people on board. At this time there are reports of only one survivor. The search and rescue operation is underway.
Witnesses are reporting that the plane was reduced to a pile of charred metal. It is reported that the plane broke off in two and one half fell into water and another one on the ground.
McCrimmon was a Flyer from 1982 to 1987. He finished his playing career with the Coyotes in 1997.
UPDATE: There were 42 passengers, only two possible survivors. Awful.
Multiple reports now confirm McCrimmon is one of the dead.
Other sad Flyers news: On a slightly more upbeat note, you can send well wishes to Paul Holmgren on the Flyers' website. Be nice.
Last night, Phillies beat writers reported that Chase Utley was likely playing his last game in Clearwater and could return to the big league lineup as early as Monday. That certainly looks like the case.
Here's the Facebook status of Robert Duran, an apparent limo driver from Tampa who has previously updated his status to say: "Who else could say that on a friday night they're driving around bj upton nobody but me that's what's up."
Here's his status, updated just before 8 A.M. today:
Thresher teammate Jiwan James confirmed that Utley left the team last night:
See you soon, Chase.
UPDATE: Jim Salisbury reports that Chase Utley is in Philly. Boom.
In further evidence that Boston is full of assholes, the guy who tried to open the door of a Delta A320 flying from Florida to Boston was Robert Hershey, a Bruins fan. [BBC]
Mr Hersey was charged on Tuesday night with interfering with the operation of an aircraft.
Passengers told local media that Mr Hersey, who was wearing a shirt supporting the Boston Bruins hockey team, was foul-mouthed, intoxicated and unhappy the flight was late.
He tried to open the exit door on the Airbus 320 about halfway between Orlando, in Florida, and Boston, Massachusetts, passengers told the Boston Globe.
Bail was set at $1,000 by the court in Boston.
Bruins fans: Terrorists.
Meanwhile, in sports mediocrity, one eyebrow raising detail in the accusations brought against the Mets clubhouse attendant, Charlie Samuels, who was arrested today, was that he received $50,000 in checks from Jeff Francoeur. Samuels, who admittedly placed bets on the team and has ties to "mobbed-up" bookies, cashed $35,000 worth of those checks – one of which was made out to Francoeur – so Francouer could buy his parents a new car without them seeing how much he paid for it (they usually help pay his bills when he's away).
"I wrote him a $35,000 check and he gave me cash for it and I bought a car for my mom and dad. And that's what it was all about. That's the whole thing," Francoeur said. "My parents help pay our bills and stuff while we're away during the season. I didn't want them to see what I paid for the car.
"Here in New York there are people who can cash a check like that," he said. "He did that for me so I could buy the gift. . . . So when (law enforcement) got involved it looked like I gave him $50,000 instead of just $15,000. There was nothing out of order about it . . . but I was pretty shocked when someone texted me at a football game in the fall that some FBI investigation showed $50,000 from me to Charlie."
The other $15,000 was "a tip" for Samuels and other clubhouse attendants.
The tip part is plausible, but it's odd that a multi-millionaire would need an $80,000 a year employee to cash a check for him. As Craig Calcaterra points out, there's banks that do that.
Of course, this was a cash transaction, so we'll likely never know what either side did with the money. But Francoeur couldn't possibly be dumb enough to place bets using a check, right? Right?!
The Amazin' Mets, folks.