Jatavis Brown Placed On Retired List

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By Paul Bowman, Sports Talk Philly Editor

The Eagles may have added depth at defensive end with the Vinny Curry signing earlier this week, but on Sunday they lost depth at linebacker.

In free agency, the Eagles made a single move to address the linebacker position by signing Jatavis Brown to a low-cost, low-risk deal that could pay off if he returned to the way he was playing just a few seasons ago.

Instead, it appears he will never don the Eagles uniform for a game as the team placed Brown on the reserve/retired list Sunday afternoon.

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The Outstanding Eagles Deliberation!

***EDIT***  Sadly our internet feed for our facebook connection cuts out right before the Eagles Deliberation so we will have to try to do this again down the road...

Our Philadelphia Flyers are the #1 seed. Great opening to #NHL playoffs. The #76ers are struggling... are they done? Ben Simmons is, due to his knee. #Phillies look like they are starting to gel and today we have Spencer Howard on the mound. Why/How are the Marlins leading the division?! Plus we’re talking the #XFL #WWE #TheRock and more. Also Bootch has put together a panel of our listeners to make a new segment, “The Outstanding Eagles Deliberation” where he’s trying to get a break down of the upcoming #NFL #Eagles season. So kick back and let us help distract you from the world right now with our shenanigans, a few beers and sports! #mustwatchradio


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By Mitch Nathanson, Historical Columnist 

We do it all the time, whenever we’re confronted with the bare facts of a reality we’d rather not confront.  Did you see Uncle Phil?  Wow, he looks terrible.  He really let himself go.  Man, he got old.  What a shame.  That’s what happens when you don’t take care of yourself.  And on and on. 

In fact, old Uncle Phil, if he’s old enough, represents something closer to the best-case scenario rather than the worst.  At least he made it that far along in life, not succumbing to illness or fatal injury before reaching his golden years.  Really, we ought to celebrate old Uncle Phil rather than denigrate him, no matter what he looks like now or what shape he’s in.  For in the grand scheme of things he won.  We should be so fortunate.

But we don’t because we struggle to accept the cold realities of aging, of life, of the world as it affected and pummeled poor old Uncle Phil.  We prefer to think that the world can’t touch us if we’re strong enough, if we’re vigilant, if we don’t let it.  We won’t get old, we like to tell ourselves.  We won’t end up like poor old Uncle Phil.

It’s that sort of pretzel logic that helps us make it through our days -- the belief that it’s in our power to remain forever untouched.  It’s comforting to believe this, even though deep down we know that it’s nonsense.

It’s also why we’re so quick to want Scott Kingery out of our sight right now.  His current stat line suggests that he’s earned a ticket to some serious time on the bench.  As of this morning he’s batting .071 with only two hits all season.  Following up on his second half slump in 2019 he appears to be a bust.  After getting all that money – six years and $24 million guaranteed, $66 million if all the options are picked up – he looks like a failed experiment.

And maybe he is.  But right now it’s impossible to tell because Scott Kingery is still, weeks later, dealing with the debilitating aftereffects of Covid-19.  He’s still struggling to breathe as freely as he once did after a particularly brutal battle with the virus that left him – a heretofore healthy 26-year-old world-class athlete – unable to get up and off his couch for three weeks. 

If Covid-19 can hammer someone as young and healthy as Scott Kingery, what can it possibly do to the rest of us?  Worse, once it’s ravaged the system and “recovery” has taken place, what damage might remain?  The possibility that Kingery might never fully recover from his infection is downright frightening.  We can comfort ourselves by saying that he didn’t die from having contracted Covid but it’s far less comforting to consider that he might battle it for the rest of his life.  Truth is, we just don’t know.  And that’s absolutely scary.  Scott Kingery’s reality is the reality we’re all confronting right now – the reality of the terrifying unknown.

So it’s no surprise that we’d prefer to focus on something else.  That the guy had a poor second half and that the Phils would have been better off keeping Cesar Hernandez around rather than entrust second base to the likes of Scott Kingery.  Clearly, we prefer to reassure ourselves with the notion that this is his fault.  He, and he alone, is responsible for his dreadful play up to now.  If he were a better player last year he’d be a better player this year as well.

Again, that may be true.  But, given all we are just starting to understand about Covid and its aftereffects, we're just guessing.  True, young, previously healthy people tend to survive their infections and far fewer of them require hospitalization than unhealthy and/or older victims.  But beyond that we have no idea what the lingering toll of Covid might be. 

It may very well turn out that despite everything we do, Covid can not only touch us but beat us into submission.  Maybe not immediately but eventually.  Scott Kingery is a red-pinstriped representation of that cold, hard reality staring us in the face.  As young as he is, as strong as he is, it took him out and continues to batter him even though we like to tell ourselves that he’s fully recovered.  In fact, he may never recover.

We ought to celebrate the return of Kingery to a big league ballpark.  Just to make it back given what he’s been through and continues to battle is, like poor old Uncle Phil’s, closer to the best outcome rather than the worst.  He “beat” Covid but even so remains at war with it.  This is, as we understand the virus today, the significantly less exhilarating definition of “winning.”

But we’d rather he go away.  We’d rather believe he just isn’t very good.  We’d rather tell ourselves this is just about baseball, nothing else.  Because if it isn’t, it's a helluva lot more difficult to get up in the morning.

Mitch Nathanson's biography of Jim Bouton is out now.  Stay home and read it.

Things to watch: Sixers versus Trail Blazers

By Kevin McCormick, Sports Talk Philly Editor

The Sixers will kick off the second half of their seeding games Sunday against the Portland Trail Blazers. This game will arguably be the Sixers' biggest challenge yet. Here are some things to watch ahead of the matchup. 

Who wins the size battle 

A common theme against the Sixers' first four opponents was they typically ran small lineups, that will not be the case in this game. The Blazers run a big frontcourt with Jusuf Nurkic and Zach Collins that will have the size to match the Sixers. 

Joel Embiid has had his way with just about every player an opponent has thrown at him so far in Orlando. He is going to have his hands full down low in this one with multiple bigs being thrown at him. It will be interesting to see if Embiid can sustain his dominance and if he and Horford can win the battle of the bigs down low. 

Containing Lillard and McCollum

If the Sixers want to walk away with the win in this game, this needs to be the main point of emphasis. Portland's backcourt is one of the top-scoring duos in the league and will bury you if you give them the chance. Containing them is one of the biggest keys to victory. 

Shake Milton and Josh Richardson are going to have their hands full chasing these two around. They have the length to contest their shots, the focus should be to defend with energy and make them earn every basket. 

Shake Milton the facilitator 

One of the main things the Sixers are losing in Ben Simmons is his ability to run the offense. Simmons was one of the league leaders in assists per game this season and is a big hole the Sixers need to fill in his absence. Through one game, Shake Milton seems to be up for the challenge. 

After a rough start in the first seeding game, Milton has locked in. Milton has not only been taking care of the basketball but he is only showing he can be a facilitator when called upon. In the team's last three games he has picked up 15 assists to just two turnovers, including eight assists in the team's last game against the Magic.

With more opportunity for Milton on offense, he is going to be called up more to be the primary ball-handler. Hopefully, Milton can continue to grow as a facilitator and show he can run the offense. 


Top Seed Locked Up, Flyers ‘Ready to Go Dancing’

By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor 

In late May, the NHL outlined the return to play plan that ultimately came to fruition. That was the first we heard of the NHL’s plan for the top four teams in each conference and the opportunity to advance. 

The Flyers had nothing to lose in the format. They were the fourth seed and could rise to the top seed. It was as simple as winning all three games in the Round Robin.

Of course, winning all three games of the Round Robin would come after nearly five months off from game play. Trying to flip the switch on the level of play was easier said than done. But the Flyers reeled off three straight wins, each one bigger than the next. 

They survived the first period against Boston, took the lead in the second and locked it down in the third. They were very much in control of the entire game against Washington, and again, locked down a third-period lead. Against Tampa, it was a tougher test and there was a lot more of a challenge, but they stormed out to the lead and never looked back.

At no point in the Round Robin did the Flyers trail in a game. They outscored the three top teams in the conference from before the pause, 11-3, in the three games.

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