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'Breach of contract' ends Mike Richards tenure with Kings

Just when you think the Flyers pulled off the most unprecedented move in NHL history - trading Chris Pronger's contract to Arizona - the Los Angeles Kings are trying to do something even more unprecedented.

Former Flyers captain Mike Richards is no longer a member of the Kings. This much is known. But it's how the Kings parted ways with the veteran forward that is interesting.

Instead of a traditional buyout, the Kings cited a breach of contract on Richards part, allowing them to terminate the deal instead of buy Richards out.

Continue reading "'Breach of contract' ends Mike Richards tenure with Kings" »


Lucroy's big night at the plate lifts Brewers over Phillies in series opener

Final: Brewers 7, Phillies 4

WP: Jimmy Nelson (5-8, 4.48 ERA) LP: Sean O'Sullivan (1-6, 5.76 ERA) SV: Francisco Rodriguez (16)

Philadelphia, PA - The Philadelphia Phillies (27-51) came up short against the Milwaukee Brewers (30-48) tonight in the series opener of a four-game set.

Brewers' catcher Jonathan Lucroy had a four-hit, two-RBI night, which significantly contributed to the team's 15th road win of the season.

The Phillies are the last remaining team to yet win 30 games this season. They are just 13 games removed from the All-Star Game festivities in Cincinnati, which is the unofficial end to the first-half of the season.

Continue reading "Lucroy's big night at the plate lifts Brewers over Phillies in series opener" »


Joel Embiid is... Healthy?

 

Incredible how your body can change in such a short amount of time #THEYSLEEP #HardWork

A photo posted by Joel Hans Embiid (@joelembiid) on Jun 29, 2015 at 4:43pm PDT

Patrick Causey, on Twitter @PhillySportsJD

Joel. Don't you do this to me. Don't tease me with images of health and well-being. Don't let me dream of twin towers with you and Jahlil Okafor roaming the court, and Nerlens Noel coming off the bench to deliver a block party, party of one.

Joel Embiid just posted this to his Instagram account. So either he got back good news from the doctors about his foot's recovery, or he has the worst sense of self-awareness in the history of professional sports.

Here's hoping it's the former. My God I hope it's the former.


Sixers boost Sports Science capabilities by hiring Dr. Martin

Image result for embiid brown usa today

The infancy stages of any process are often the most crucial, as they tend to establish the stability of the foundation. Philadelphia has a big piece in the most infant of stages, Joel Embiid. As the No. 3 overall pick from a year ago recovers, the team wants to collect as much information as possible about his recovery and how to support. This would be the case for any player on their roster they see suffer an injury, as well as attempting to minimize injuries altogether.

 

To improve their chances of doing so and collecting the most educated opinions out there, they have hired Dr. David T. Martin as new Dir. of Performance Research & Development, the team announced today.

 

General Manager Sam Hinkie claims improving this department of the organization has been prioritized, alluding to the investments in players, namely Embiid, they have made.

 

“Building up our sport science capabilities has been an important focus of the Sixers under Josh Harris and David Blitzer,” said Sixers President of Basketball Operations and General Manager Sam Hinkie. “To give our players every opportunity to be healthy and remain healthy, while also allowing them to perform at their best, we have made many investments – adding staff and integrating outside experts, partnering with pioneers in sports science and technology, and adjusting our day-to-day training, practice and recovery plans.”

 

“But none like David Martin. He is a scientist. He is also a coach to some of the world’s highest performing, most resilient athletes and coaches. We are delighted to add someone of his immense talents to lead and grow our efforts.”

 

Hours before the hiring, Head Coach Brett Brown nearly announced the move himself, while adding perspective in specific areas it could help his very young team. Speaking to Sixers TV analyst Malik Rose on NBA SiriusXM radio, Brown, speaking before the hiring (and another one he alludes to) took place, noted how it could really help Embiid’s progress.

 

"I think people often don't understand," Brown said. "You take a whole year off, and Nerlens went through the same thing, you want to talk about the discipline of being perfect when you're not playing, it's kind of unfair in some ways. They are 19, 20 years old, they don't play basketball for 12 months, the buying-in stuff, he got it, because he's smart."

 

We can assume the “discipline” aspect he is talking about is getting Embiid committed to a recovery plan, which is understandably not easy for a young man just anxious to play ball.

 

Brown said the second hiring, in addition to the Martin one, would be an assistant. He concludes by saying the moves were made to reflect the values of the organization.

 

“It's a double-edged powerful asset that we're going to deliver to the market place soon. It's all pointed to the health of our players, bottom line. Next year we're going into a $75 million practice facility. I think we're last in pro sports. We always said, 'if we're going to be last, we better be best.' And best we will be. You've got to fill the chairs, fill the people in the offices who can mirror the values of the club. Wellness and sports science is number one with development of the players a close second. These hires will make a real statement confirming those goals."

 

You can listen to the full Brown interview here.

 

No word on if Allen Iverson, currently being pushed on the Sixers by Larry Brown, was considered for the position. I would assume not.


Flyers re-sign Chris VandeVelde to multi-year deal

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Two players on the 2014-15 Flyers roster were shipped out in the last 48 hours, including one on Monday afternoon in Zac Rinaldo. On the other end of the spectrum, one player's place on the Flyers was solidified.

Forward Chris VandeVelde will return to the Flyers after signing a multi-year deal, the team announced Monday evening. It is a two-year deal worth $1.425 million. VandeVelde will make $700,000 in the 2015-16 season.

Continue reading "Flyers re-sign Chris VandeVelde to multi-year deal" »


Former Flyer captain Chris Pronger elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame

 Two days after his contract was traded to the Arizona Coyotes, former Flyer captain Chris Pronger was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame. Pronger played 18 seasons in the NHL with the Hartford Whalers, St. Louis Blues, Edmonton Oilers, Anaheim Ducks and the Flyers.

He won the Stanley Cup in 2007 with Anaheim and also went to the Final twice, once with the Oilers in 2006 and again here in Philly in 2010. He enters the HHOF with Sergei Federov, Nicklas Lindstrom, Phil Housley, Angela Ruggiero, Peter Karmanos and Bill Hey.


Phillies open four game series against fellow bottom dweller Brewers

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While it's hard to imagine a team that is having a worse season than the Phillies in the win/loss columns, here come the Milwaukee Brewers who are in the mix to be choosing quite early in next year's draft as well. 

Starting Pitching Matchup:

Milwaukee Brewers (29-48)Philadelphia Phillies (27-50)
RHP Jimmy Nelson RHP Sean O'Sullivan
(4-8,  4.34 ERA) (1-5, 5.34 ERA)

Jimmy Nelson of Milwaukee is having a fairly decent season for the struggling Brewers. While known to throw a few clunkers this season, Nelson is coming off a really strong outing where he held the Mets to two hits over eight innings of one run ball last week. 

Sean O'Sullivan is coming off a poor outing last week in Yankee Stadium where he was tagged for six runs over 4.1 innings. While any team that has any interest in contending probably wouldn't have O'Sullivan in their starting rotation and with Chad Billingsley coming back, his spot on the roster could be jeopardy, he has filled in the number five spot as well as can be expected. 

It's a fairly standard line up for the Phillies tonight.


Starting Lineups:

Milwaukee Brewers (29-48)Philadelphia Phillies (27-50)
  Position Player Bats   Position Player Bats
1 LF   Gerardo Parra L 1  CF  Ben Revere L
2 C        Jonathan Lucroy 2  2B  Cesar Hernandez S
3 RF  Ryan Braun 3  3B  Maikel Franco
4 1B  Adam Lind 4  1B  Ryan Howard L
5 CF  Carlos Gomez R 5  RF  Domonic Brown
6 SS  Jean Segura 6  LF  Cody Asche
7 2B   Scooter Gennett 7  C  Cameron Rupp   
8 3B   Hernan Perez 8  SS     Freddy Galvis S
9  Jimmy Nelson 9  Sean O'Sullivan  R

Broadcast Information:

  • First-pitch: 7:05 pm EST
  • TV: CSN
  • Radio: 94 WIP, 1210 WPHT, 1680 WTTM

What's Next:

Tuesday, June 30, 2015: vs. Milwaukee Brewers, 7:05 pm

  • RHP Taylor Jungmann (2-1, 2.74 ERA) vs. LHP Cole Hamels (5-6, 3.26 ERA)
  • TV: CSN; Radio: 94 WIP, 1210 WPHT, 1680 WTTM

Greg Vince (@GregVince) of Philliedelphia.com.


Pete Mackanin is the Phillies manager, but for how much longer?

 
When Ryne Sandberg stepped down as manager of the Phillies last Friday, it was Pete Mackanin that was given the role, albeit with the interim tag. Mackanin has experience with this sort of situation, as he's been an interim manager twice before in his career (2005 with the Pirates and 2007 with the Reds). Since he was brought in to be a coach and not the manager, Mackanin's new role as the team leader is set to be short-lived. But, just how long will it be until a permanent decision is made?

Initial reports pointed to the idea that Mackanin would remain on for the rest of the season, and for the new leadership group to make the final decision in the offseason. During today's press conference to introduce Andy MacPhail as team president, current president Pat Gillick may have thrown a wrench into that idea.

When asked about Mackanin's role, Gillick said that a decision would be announced within the next week. Very likely, this means the team will formally announce the "interim" tag becoming a "rest of season" tag instead. Very often, the hiring of long-term managers comes in the offseason, when leadership groups have time to evaluate not only their own staff, but the available personnel around the league. As it stand now, though, there are a plethora of names available with previous major league managing experience. A couple of those names include:

Bud Black - Hired in 2006, Black was let go from his role as manager of the Padres earlier this season. Black is well-respected around the league in this position, and has had some past success (World Championship as a player and pitching coach, 2010 National League Manager of the Year). Plus, Jerry Crasnick of ESPN and Baseball America tweeted about Black's perception around the league.

 

 

Ron Gardenhire - Ron Gardenhire's managerial career has taken a similar path to Black's. Over a thirteen year period, Gardenhire was the manager of the Minnesota Twins. Coincidentally, he won the American League's version of the Manager of the Year award in the same season as Black, 2010. Gardenhire has not managed since being let go at the end of the 2014 season, but he is one of only 60 managers with 1,000 wins or more. Crasnick also sees Gardenhire as a good fit.

 

 

Eric Wedge - With ten years of managerial experience, Wedge certainly has the ability to bring some expertise to the role. Though he hasn't been in the league since 2013, Wedge has led both the Cleveland Indians and the Seattle Mariners, and was the recipient of the 2007 American League Manager of the Year award.

Raul Ibañez - Recently retired from the game, Raul Ibañez is plenty familiar with both the game itself and the city of Philadelphia, having played here from 2009 to 2011. Despite his lack of experience, Ibañez was one of the final candidates for the role of the manager of the Rays, with the position eventually being filled by Kevin Cash.

Other candidates include, but are not limited to, Dusty Baker, Ron Washington, Mickey Morandini, and Manny Acta. 

These names are obviously interesting to think about, but first, we will need to find out the final decision of Pete Mackanin. Expect an announcement within the next week or so.

Andrew Gillen, Managing Editor of Philliedelphia.com


Flyers deal Zac Rinaldo to the Boston Bruins

Flyers general manager Ron Hextall continued his rebuild of the Philadelphia Flyers with another deal.  Zac Rinaldo, a member of the Flyers since being drafted by the team in 2008, has been traded to the Boston Bruins.  The Flyers will receive a third round draft pick in return.

The Flyers broke the news themselves:

Bill Meltzer notes that Rinaldo does not represent a large cap hit, but the team acquires an asset in return.

Rinaldo made his Flyers debut in 2011.  Hextall signed Rinaldo to a two-year contract extension back in September.   So, the free agent-to-be netted the Flyers a third-round pick instead of walking away altogether.  Well done, Hextall.


Andy MacPhail will become Phillies president at the end of 2015 season

AndyMacPhail

The announcement today the Phillies made was the one expected: Andy MacPhail will indeed become president of the Philadelphia Phillies.   However, the move will not occur on the timeline that we might have expected.   John Middleton, speaking on behalf of the Phillies ownership group, announced in a Monday afternoon press conference that MacPhail will assume the role of club president following the 2015 season.

Pat Gillick, who took control of the Phillies when David Montgomery took a health leave in August of the 2014 season, will maintain control through the 2015 season.  MacPhail will be working alongside Gillick, as will general manager Ruben Amaro, Jr.   Amaro was not present for the press conference; only MacPhail, Middleton, and Gillick.

Middleton called MacPhail the perfect candidate, one with  a "rare combination of old school experience and new age thinking".  Middleton spoke of MacPhail's experience in the "old school" way in building winning teams in Minnesota and in Chicago, as well as use of Sabermetrics in Baltimore.  MacPhail said that he will leave "no stone unturned" on the topic of the use of Sabermetrics

MacPhail said that his three main goals this season were to read, to watch, and to listen as the 2015 season concludes.   MacPhail said he would "be a fool" to ignore the gifts that outgoing president Pat Gillick brings to the table during their time working together.  

Gillick said that ownership did a great job in selecting the new president, citing his relationship with MacPhail during the last 30 years.  Gillick believes that MacPhail is an "information gatherer", and said Sabermetrics or any other information is important to be in the deal.  Gillick said that MacPhail's hire is the "right step" for the organization.

In the time before MacPhail takes over, Gillick and general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. will make all decisions, including trades at the 2015 trade deadline.