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DeSean Jackson Reportedly Has A "Done Deal" With Washington Redskins

DeSean_Catch

Former Philadelphia Eagles receive DeSean Jackson has not been a free agent for very long.   As many as nine teams were reportedly interested, but Jackson visited his very first team today.  Could Jackson already have a deal in place?   Tim McManus of 97.5 the Fanatic is reporting that Jackson and the Redskins have a "done deal".

McManus first tweeted:

Then this evening McManus reported that the two sides had a deal in place:

While this was Jackson's first free agent stop, the Redskins may have had some recruiting help even before Jackson traveled from Los Angeles to Washington.

TMZ reported that Redskins quarter back Robert Griffin III met with Jackson for a sales pitch back in Los Angeles before Jackson left:

Looks like the Redskins are serious about DeSean Jackson -- 'cause TMZ Sports has learned the WR hung out with RG3 in L.A. this weekend BEFORE he got on a plane to meet with the team in D.C. 

Sources tell us ... DJ and Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III "spent several hours" together in Los Angeles -- apparently things went well. 

Could Jackson have been happy enough with the meeting to not even meet with other teams?

It may be a little puzzling that Jackson would be willing to sign a deal so fast, not even giving other teams an opportunity to meet with him.  If Jackson signs with the Redskins, one thing is clear:  he will have plenty of opportunities to make the Eagles regret letting him go.

Dianna Marie Russini of NBC Washington reports that while the deal is not "done", Jackson's agent is sticking around:

Of course, Jackson's agent would not stay without good reason.  The deal could very well be close.

Stay tuned.


Former Phillies Catcher, Erik Kratz, Joins Twitter

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That's right, former Phillies' backup catcher from 2011 through 2013 has joined Twitter.  Kratz joins Roy Halladay (@RoyHalladay) as recently departing Phillies that have joined the well-utilized social media website.

Kratz joined the Phillies organization on November 12, 2010, signing as a free agent.  He spent most of 2011 with the Triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs, as Brian Schneider occupied the back-up role to Carlos Ruiz.  In 2012 and 2013, he earned his way onto the club's major league roster, hitting a combined 18 home runs and 52 runs batted in (9 home runs and 26 runs batted in each season).

This past offseason on December 3, 2013, Kratz was traded along with minor-leaguer Rob Rasmussen to the Toronto Blue Jays for RHP Brad Lincoln, who is currently on the Phillies' major-league roster.

At first, Kratz had not made the Blue Jays' Opening Day roster, however he was brought up on March 30 from Triple-A Buffalo after closer Casey Janssen was placed on the 15-day disabled list.  

He could not have picked a better day to join the "Twitter-sphere".  In a pinch-hit appearance this afternoon, Kratz hit a two-run home run in the 8th inning off of Rays' ace David Price.

Kratz rejoins the team that originally drafted him, Toronto, as he was selected by that franchise in the 29th round of the 2002 amateur draft.

--

Matt Rappa is a contributor to Philliedelphia. Follow him on Twitter @mattrappa


Hounded At Airport, DeSean Jackson Says Little

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Aside from the statement released by former Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson after his release, the free agent has yet to speak publicly.  Heading to the airport after meeting with the Washington Redskins, a host of reporters chased Jackson down looking for a comment.  Jackson, however, had little to say.

Channel 6 Action News boasted an "exclusive interview" in which Jeff Skversky of WPVI asks Jackson some questions while he was getting his iPhone ready to listen to some music.

As for the fans, Jackson felt that his supporters would keep supporting him and that he had no animosity toward Philadelphia or the Eagles.   "No comment", Jackson told Skversky when he asked Jackson about his alleged gang-related ties.

In terms of Washington's reporters, Jackson addressed finding a new team, as seen on CSN Washington:

"It's my agent's job, that's why I have an agent," Jackson said. "I'm excited about everything right now. It's a new beginning, new chances."

Jackson was asked if playing the Eagles twice a season would be something he looked forward to by CSN Washington's Chick Hernandez, and Jackson did not seem too phased.   Dianna Marie Russini of NBC Washington asked Jackson, "What's alluring about the Redskins?", but Jackson did not respond to the question.

Jackson reportedly has interest from as many as nine teams.  


Mets Sign Bobby Abreu to Minor League Deal

Abreu

Someone has pounced on outfielder Bobby Abreu. 

Today, the Mets signed the 40-year old veteran to a minor league deal. Abreu, who was just cut by the Phillies last Wednesday, hit .244 in 41 AB this spring with his former Phillie team. The Phillies informed Abreu on Wednesday that he would not be making the Opening Day roster and they subsequently released him. 

Abreu will report to the Triple-A Las Vegas 51s where he will play and hope for a spot on the Mets' big league roster. 

I liked Abreu as a player when he was first with the Phillies and had liked the idea that he could he a bench player for the Phils this year. Hopefully he finds his way to Citi Field with the Mets this year.

Erik Seybold is a writer for Philliedelphia.com. Follow him on Twitter @ErikSeyboldPHI.


Game Preview: Sixers enter game not on historic losing streak

What happens in this game? They’ve prevented the losing streak, so what happens next?

That last win was for Brett Brown. He needed to feel good about his squad after a 26-game, two-month losing streak that plagued his team.

Surely, you would have to think a 26-game losing streak is a reflection of a coach’s team. When a team loses back-to-back games by 83 points, it’s a reflection of the coach. So Brett Brown had to be feeling the heat as many people, such as FOX 1’s Gary Payton, claimed the team quit on the Head Coach.

Their recent play showed that they still had a fighting spirit with them, and their 32-point lead showed they have not quit on their head coach after all. As the Sixers outplayed the Pistons and looked in infinitely more interested in winning the ball game, the effort reflected positively on their head coach. It showed they were still inspired, they were still interested in playing. When Brandon Jennings got himself ejected in the first quarter, it showed that the Pistons, not Brown’s losers of 26-straight, were the ones that quit.

Leaders Michael Carter-Williams and Thaddeus Young confirmed this thinking with showing their head coach, yes they do care They displayed pride for the Philadelphia name and showed they do in fact care to keep the name out of the record books. The duo combined to score a solid chunk of the points scored by Philadelphia, but the two most prominent players showed they do in fact play for Brown.

Seriously, the losing streak has been harder on him than anyone. After all, it originated from him showing up at Wing Bowl on Jan. 31. Following that appearance, the team went 1-26. But the team rallied enough to show they are still there, still fighting, and most importantly—still building.

Game Notes

  • The Sixers have struggled over their most recent chunk of games, going 1-26, but the Hawks have played poorly too. Atlanta has gone 6-29 since after the Sixers’ losing skid started.
  •  A key to snapping the skid for Philadelphia was making jump shots they should not have made. The Sixers had seven different players connect from three in the route, and nearly shot twice their season average from three.
  • The last time the Sixers won consecutive games was January 2 and 4. That final game, on the fourth, was the game day the Eagles were eliminated from the playoffs. It’s been that long.
  • The losing streak began against the Hawks. They will have a chance to resume it against Atlanta as well.

Starting Lineups:

Sixers:

PG Michael Carter-Williams

SG James Anderson

SF Hollis Thompson

PF Thaddeus Young

C Henry Sims

Hawks:

PG Jeff Teague

SG Shelvin Mack

SF DeMarre Carroll

PF Paul Millsap

C Pedro Antic

Injuries: Nerlens Noel and Jason Richardson are recovering from knee surgery and will not play. Byron Millens did not play Saturday and is day-to-day, unlikely to play. Former Sixer Kyle Korver (back) has missed the last six games and is uncertain to play on Monday.

Al Horford will not play, dealing with a pectoral injury and DeMarre Carroll (illness) is expected to return after missing one game for the Hawks.

Prediction: The Hawks start a new losing streak for the Sixers.

 


Phillies Score Two Touchdowns to Claim Opening Day Victory

AscheCody Asche finished today 3-for-4 with 2 RBI, 4 runs scored, and a HR
Photo Courtesy: Andrew Gillen

It cannot be overstated how glorious this day is. Whether your team is a contender or not, everyone starts tied for first place on Opening Day, and the excitement is at the highest of levels. Baseball fans around the world call out sick from work (or manage to get out early, in my case) to get a taste of their club hitting the field for the first time. As the dust of the pregame ceremonies finally settled, it was Tanner Scheppers making his starting debut for the Texas Rangers. Cliff Lee returned to his home from the conclusion of the 2010 season to lead the Phillies. After being held scoreless in their final three Spring Training contests, how would the team respond to the young hurler?

The Game: Neither team made much noise in the first frame of the 2014 campaign, with the Phillies going down on just 9 pitches. They would, however, open things up in a major way in the second inning. Ryan Howard led things off with a full count walk. Marlon Byrd and Domonic Brown would each record outs, making the chance of scoring look far off. However, with Howard having been moved up to second, and a two out walk to Carlos Ruiz, Cody Asche fought a ball off down the left field line for a double that brought home the season's first run. A walk by Tony Gwynn Jr. allowed Ben Revere to come to the plate with the bases loaded and single home Asche. Jimmy Rollins then had a chance with the bases loaded, and made the absolute most of it. J-Roll shot a ball into the jetstream in right field that would go down as not only a grand slam, but the 200th homerun of Rollins' career. When all was said and done, the Phillies were able to bat around open the score to 6-0.

Cliff Lee, normally known for his ability to shut down the opponent, could not do so in the bottom of the same inning. Adrian Beltre batted a double into left field with two strikes on him. Alex Rios was able to beat out a ground ball to Rollins at short, and a walk to J.P. Arencibia after a Mitch Moreland fly out loaded the bases with one away. Each runner was able to move up a base when Leonys Martin singled into right field. After a visit to the mound, Cliff Lee then surrendered a bases-clearing double to Josh Wilson that advanced the score to 6-4. Lee did retire the next two hitters to complete the inning. 

In the top of the third, the Phillies were able to get runners on both second and third with nobody out, but failed to bring either player home. That came back to haunt the team in the bottom half of said inning. Prince Fielder and Adrian Beltre each singled off of Lee to set up Alex Rios. Rios would eventually crush a ball into the left field seats for a three-run homerun that gave Texas the 7-6 lead. The next three batters would be set down in order, but the Rangers had their first lead of the afternoon.

With one away in the fourth inning, Ben Revere singled, then stole second base during the next at bat. Then with two outs, a base hit from Chase Utley let Revere round third and score to tie things back at 7 a side. They'd manage to score two more in the fifth inning, after a base hit by Chooch and a walk to Asche. John Mayberry Jr. would pinch hit for Tony Gwynn, doubling into center field and bringing in both runners. a 9-7 lead for Philadelphia. Lee continued to pitch into the fifth frame, allowing a double to Arencibia and a single to Martin that closed the gap to 9-8.

Scores would be recorded in the sixth inning as well. Utley grounded out, while Howard struck out to start that frame. Marlon Byrd then homered to put the Phillies into double digit scoring. A single by Brown and a walk to Ruiz gave Asche another opportunity to come up big. He rolled a ball over to Elvis Andrus at short that should have been the final out, but a botched play allowed Brown to score and Ruiz to advance. Mayberry followed with a walk that loaded the bases for Revere, who promptly singled to score Ruiz for the Phillies' fourth and final run of the inning, good for a 13-8 score.

Jake Diekman had pitched the sixth for Philly and came out for the seventh. But, after giving up a walk to Beltre and a single to Rios, he was replaced by B.J. Rosenberg. Michael Choice singled off Rosenberg to load the bases with nobody out. Fortunately, Arencibia then grounded a ball to Rollins that turned into a double play. A run did score though, and wasn't the last one. Martin would walk to put runners at the corners. Jim Aducci then pinch hit and singled to score Rios, making it 13-10. A walk to Shin Soo Choo loaded the bags, but a ground ball to Utley off Andrus' bat led to a force out and the end of the inning. 

A solo home run hugging the right field line by Cody Asche bumped the tally to 14-10. Jonathan Papelbon would then be called upon in the ninth to finish the game, and was able to quickly close things out and gave the Phillies win number one on Opening Day.

Impact: Well, the season has started with an unexpected, but welcomed, bang. 14 runs and 17 hits are much more than anyone would have predicted for such a sluggish offense. Ben Revere, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Marlon Byrd, and Cody Asche combined for 13 of the team's hits, with homeruns recorded by Rollins, Byrd, and Asche. With all of the superb offense we saw, it's easy to forget about some pitching struggles. Cliff Lee gave up eight runs for just the fourth time in his career, so it is not of major concern. Jake Diekman had a respectable outing, while B.J. Rosenberg and Antonio Bastardo looked shaky. It is the first game of the season, however, and nobody can panic just yet.

Up Next: Tomorrow night will be the first night game of the 2014 season. Making his regular season debut for Philadelphia will be A.J. Burnett, and he will take the mound against Texas' Martin Perez at 8:05 in Arlington, Texas. 


Rollins Makes It To Texas, Sets Milestone

JimmyGoldGLove

Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins, who had not traveled with the Phillies to be with pregnant wife Johari, has made it to Texas.   Rollins is scheduled to bat second this afternoon against the Texas Rangers.   With this Opening Day start, there are a couple important records.

Will Rollins get an opportunity to tie Ripken next season?   Much could depend on Rollins' health in 2014.  If Rollins reaches 440 plate appearances, his $11 million option will vest for 2015.


Around the Net March 31, 2014: Flyers lose in OT against Bruins; look to rebound in St.Louis

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Welcome to Around the Net, a bi-weekly look through linkage at the Philadelphia Flyers and other news from around the NHL.We look back at the OT loss to the Boston Bruins, Shayne Gostisbehere gets ready to play for Union in the NCAA Frozen Four and more.

Continue reading "Around the Net March 31, 2014: Flyers lose in OT against Bruins; look to rebound in St.Louis" »


Morning After: Same result, but Flyers have come far

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Tuukka Rask makes one of his four saves in the shootout, stopping Jake Voracek. The Bruins beat the Flyers in a shootout, 4-3, on Sunday. (Photo by Amy Irvin/38Photography)

If you were nervous about how the Flyers would perform against the NHL's best on Sunday, you weren't alone. The last time the two teams had met, the Flyers were crushed, 6-1.

That of course did start the Flyers playoff push, as their recent success has all but guaranteed them a playoff spot in eight more games.

The result was the same on Sunday - as the Boston Bruins prevailed, 4-3, in a shootout - but the Flyers showed just how far they had come from that January blowout.

Continue reading "Morning After: Same result, but Flyers have come far" »


Opening Day: Cliff Lee Starts To Kick Off 2014 Season Against Rangers

Cliffleeopeningday(Photo: Philliedelphia.com/Steve Trapani)

Happy Opening Day, everybody! 

The best day of the year is here. The grass is freshly-cut, the hot dogs are cooking on the rollers, the beer is on tap and the entire country is celebrating. Opening Day is upon us and we here at Philliedelphia are ready and we hope you are too!

The Phillies will begin their 2014 season against the Texas Rangers in a three game series in Arlington. Today, Cliff Lee (2013: 14-8, 2.87 ERA) will make his first Opening Day start as a Phillie as he takes on his former Rangers club. On the hill for the opposition will be Tanner Scheppers (2013: 6-2, 1.88 ERA), who will be making his first career start on Opening Day start in place of Yu Darvish (neck).

Cliff Lee had a strong spring this past month. In six starts, Lee held opponents to a .217 batting average along with allowing just seven earned runs in 24 2/3 frames. As the Phillies number-one starter for the year, Lee is looking to make a statement as the Phillies look to kick off the season on a strong note. In his career against Texas, Cliff Lee owns a 7-3 record accompanied by a 4.91 ERA (38 ER in 69 2/3 IP).

Tanner Scheppers will begin the 2014 season in the rotation as he makes his first career start on Opening Day. The righty Scheppers was a solid relief man for the Rangers last year, holding opponents to a .214 average in 76 games. This spring, Scheppers yielded just 11 hits in four games and struck out 14 against 3 walks. Scheppers is facing the Phillies for the first time in his career today.

Game Notes:

  • Happy Opening Day!
  • Tanner Scheppers is the first pitcher since Fernando Valenzuela in 1981 to make his first career start on Opening Day.
  • Jimmy Rollins, who is a father again, will be in today's lineup.   

Opening Day Lineups:

Phillies lineup:

  1. Ben Revere CF
  2. Jimmy Rollins SS
  3. Chase Utley 2B
  4. Ryan Howard 1B
  5. Marlon Byrd RF
  6. Domonic Brown DH
  7. Carlos Ruiz C
  8. Cody Asche 3B
  9. Tony Gwynn Jr. LF

Cliff Lee will start today's game against the Rangers.

Rangers lineup:

  1. Shin-Soo Choo LF
  2. Elvis Andrus SS
  3. Prince Fielder 1B
  4. Adrian Beltre 3B
  5. Alex Rios RF
  6. Mitch Moreland DH
  7. J.P. Arencibia C
  8. Leonys Martin CF
  9. Josh Wilson 2B

Tanner Scheppers will start today's game against the Phillies.

First Pitch: 2:05 PM ET
Location: Globe Life Park in Arlington, Arlington, Texas
Weather: 81° - Windy - 10% Precip
TV: CSN

Erik Seybold is a writer for Philliedelphia.com. Follow him on Twitter @ErikSeyboldPHI.