Avalanche Win Stanley Cup by Trusting the Process

By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor 

Winning a Stanley Cup is never an individual achievement. Even with the Conn Smythe Trophy awarded to the most valuable player in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, there are usually multiple candidates for the award over the four playoff series it takes to reach the summit of the hockey world.

For the Colorado Avalanche, who claimed the Stanley Cup in the 2021-22 season by dethroning the reigning back-to-back champion Tampa Bay Lightning, it’s an achievement that comes from top to bottom. 

It’s an achievement that is a long time coming, a process that played out with a franchise icon leading the way at the top and started with another behind the bench, only to be placed in the hands of a hockey journeyman who rose through the coaching ranks. It’s also an achievement for the players who were around for the entire process, which included as many low points as it did the highest moments that were reached in this championship season.

Continue reading "Avalanche Win Stanley Cup by Trusting the Process" »


Phillies: 2022’s Rare Conclusions

 

By Tal Venada, Sports Talk Philly Contributor

The Philadelphia Phillies faithful make snap judgements about their stars, management and expectations for the immediate future, plus they react after each game. Mostly negative! Despite contradictory evidence, though, many conclude the team is how they are playing at any given time: good or bad.                   

 

Instant Answers:

Phillies fans –like their counterparts rooting for other major league franchises– reach immediate conclusions as if there’s only one possible answer. Realistically, there are many factors involved because baseball, sports and life are complex. But, unfortunately, many conclusions are emotional, not mental.  

Put Another Way:

“For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.” - H. L. Mencken

Basically, it takes six months to play a full 162, and it’s nearly impossible to win two of every three contests. Granted, some clubs in baseball history have, but a titanic majority hasn’t. No, seasons contain ups and downs: periods of winning, .500 ball and losing. And the Fightins have done all three this summer.        

In April, the Phils were a .500 team with an 11-11 mark. And this record indicates their rotation, bullpen and offense had victories because these three components complemented each other. Though, at least, one part failed and led to defeats in half of them.   

Losing means one element or more failed: 65 percent for the red pinstripes in May. Thus, they had only 10 triumphs out of 28 games. But, unfortunately, some locals gave up on them and probably believe the real ‘22 Phillies played in May.                        

Even though the Fightins are 18-6 in June, doubting Thomases will probably find any reason to discount their current success: easier competition, luck, and playing a good club having a rough patch. However, the opposite –a tougher schedule– with bad breaks is irrelevant to them.      

For players, being hot is due to confidence gained from success, but this is a double-edged sword because failing causes doubts. And negative thinking creates a subliminal overreaction resulting in a slump. Basically, to compete at this level requires precise mechanics in a relaxed state.

Continue reading "Phillies: 2022’s Rare Conclusions" »


Powder Blue Podcast: Harper Goes Down; Can Phillies Stay Up?

Powder Blue

In this latest Powder Blue Phillies podcast, Geoff Mosher welcomes Greg Hall while Frank Klose is out of town.  They discuss:

  • Phillies take 3 from 4 from Padres but lose 2021 NL MVP Bryce Harper indefinitely to a broken finger
  • Nick Castellanos heating up with Braves, Cards on deck
  • Bullpen shines as Mark Appel gets his call-up

This and much more!

Check out Greg Hall on We Podcast and Know Things talking television, comedy, movies, and more!


Powder Blue Podcast: Harper Goes Down; Can Phillies Stay Up?

Powder Blue

In this latest Powder Blue Phillies podcast, Geoff Mosher welcomes Greg Hall while Frank Klose is out of town.  They discuss:

  • Phillies take 3 from 4 from Padres but lose 2021 NL MVP Bryce Harper indefinitely to a broken finger
  • Nick Castellanos heating up with Braves, Cards on deck
  • Bullpen shines as Mark Appel gets his call-up

This and much more!

Check out Greg Hall on We Podcast and Know Things talking television, comedy, movies, and more!


The Sixers' Draft-Night Trade Was a Good Start. How Much Flexibility Does the Team Have Heading Into Free Agency?

By Matt Gregan, Sports Talk Philly 76ers Editor

The Philadelphia 76ers were bounced out of the playoffs in the second round in what has become a familiar occurrence in recent team history. Many of the team's weaknesses were exposed, leaving president of basketball operations Daryl Morey with a sizable laundry list of things to improve throughout the roster.

However, the Sixers came into the offseason with their options very limited by the salary cap, effectively leaving Morey not much wiggle room to make any significant moves to the roster.

Despite not having many avenues for improvement this offseason, the team came away from the NBA Draft, the first major event of the offseason, with an acquisition who can help them win now. The team pulled the trigger on a draft-night trade bringing Memphis Grizzlies' reserve guard De'Anthony Melton to Philadelphia.

Melton is a scrappy guard who, while being undersized at 6-foot-2, is capable of defending either guard position while also providing solid 3-point shooting (37.4% on 5.1 attempts per game last season). The 24-year-old is owed $8.25 million for the upcoming season and $8 million for the 2023-24 season. Only $1.5 million of his 2023-24 salary is guaranteed, although there is likely no chance the team will waive him.

Acquiring Melton cost the Sixers veteran wing player Danny Green, whose $10 million salary for next season was non-guaranteed, and the No. 23 overall pick in the NBA Draft (which turned into David Roddy). The move will certainly help improve the Sixers' roster, but it is just a good start and more improvements are still needed, especially at the wing positions.

Continue reading "The Sixers' Draft-Night Trade Was a Good Start. How Much Flexibility Does the Team Have Heading Into Free Agency?" »