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September 2016
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November 2016

Derek Holland could be interesting trade candidate for the Phillies

By Tim Kelly, Sports Talk Philly editor

The Philadelphia Phillies are nearing having to make a decision on whether to issue a qualifying offer to Jeremy Hellickson, but the team's 2016 Opening Day starter seems less than likely to return to the Phillies in 2017 given the lack of pitching depth available in free-agency this off-season. 

Whether the Phillies are able to retain Hellickson or not, they will need another veteran option. Aaron Nola is likely to be on an innings limit. The Phillies probably won't push Vince Velasquez's innings and he has a lengthy injury history. Jerad Eickhoff appears to be the rock of the rotation, but it wouldn't hurt the Phillies to have another veteran in their rotation. 

I've advocated for declining Charlie Morton's $9.5 million option for 2017 and attempting to re-sign him at a cheaper price, though Morton will likely garner other interest if he's allowed to hit free-agency and isn't a sure thing himself. 

Continue reading "Derek Holland could be interesting trade candidate for the Phillies" »


Phillies No. 13 prospect Scott Kingery named to Fall League All-Star team

By Josh Liddick, Sports Talk Philly Staff

Phillies No. 13 organizational prospect and top second baseman Scott Kingery has received an honor, coming in the offseason.

Kingery, who played the 2016 season in both Clearwater and Reading, was named to the East Division roster for the Arizona Fall League Fall Stars Game this upcoming Saturday, November 5.

Kingery has batted .214, with nine hits, two doubles, and a slugging percentage of .333. Kingery has impressed in the infield as well, committing zero errors at second base for the AFL's Scottsdale Scorpions.

The minor league standout will finish out winter ball and start to get ready for the 2017 season, where he will most likely start out in Reading, as he'll try to make his way up to Triple-A Lehigh Valley by season's end.

 


Pederson "Disappointed" by Agholor's Postgame Tirade

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 By Patrick Del Gaone, Sports Talk Philly staff writer 

At Monday's presser, Philadelphia Eagles' head coach Doug Pederson expressed his dismay pertaining to wideout Nelson Agholor's profanity-laced postgame interview last night.

The former first-round pick made headlines following Sunday night’s gut-wrenching 29-23 overtime loss to the Dallas Cowboys by dismissing questions about his critical redzone drop early in the game.

“That sh*t is nothing,” Agholor said. “I don’t look at no drops, none of that type of sh*t. I’m tired of hearing that, that sh*t is stupid. We play football. I dropped the first one, I ain’t drop one after that. What does that matter? I get it, certain plays could’ve helped, but there’s still four quarters of football to be played. We gotta win, you heard it from me, I don’t got time for that no more. I got time to win football games only. No statistics, no ‘who did this’… win. That’s all that matters.”

Agholor’s miscue cost the Eagles a first-and-goal, and resulted in the only incompletion of an otherwise flawless opening series from quarterback Carson Wentz.

This afternoon, Pederson was forthright in regard to the former USC Trojan’s controversial comments.

“I’m disappointed in the type of comments [Agholor made],” Pederson said. “I think each individual has to be responsible for their own job, obviously. And we’ve gotta make smart choices. Everybody’s mad and angry after tough losses, like we just came through, and cooler head prevail. We just have to bite our lip sometimes, and just suck it up, and get to work. That’s what we’ve gotta do this week.”

Had Agholor been accountable for his blunder during the postgame interview, the primary topic of conversation today would’ve been Pederson’s decision to call a swing pass to Darren Sproles on third down, a play that lost six yards and took Philly out of field goal range while leading by seven points in the fourth quarter.

“The third-and-eight play, I would’ve called the same thing again,” Pederson said. “It’s assignment football. It’s one of our basic fundamental plays that we’ve repped the entire season in a man situation, which we got. We busted one assignment, and [a] negative play happened. We have to own up to [it], it starts with me, and then each man on the team has to own up to their responsibility and make sure those negative plays don’t happen again.”

“You guys know football, I mean come on. Any play has the ability to go backwards. I know where we we were on the field. It is a relatively safe football play, it gets Darren Sproles out in space, in a man coverage look, that we have the ability to run some interference on some linebackers. We didn’t run the interference like we were supposed to. [If] we make that play, we are inside the 20-yard line.”

While the first-year head coach doesn’t anticipate the team trading for an offensive weapon before tomorrow’s deadline, as has been rumored, his final remark of the afternoon about the defensive approach teams have taken against Philadelphia could be interpreted as an informal request to acquire a playmaker.

“I think there might be a little bit to that,” Pederson said. “Are they gonna focus on Darren? Yeah, they’re gonna focus on Darren a little bit. Might focus on our tight ends a little bit in coverage. But what we’ve seen the last couple of weeks is, they’re just playing their defense. Teams that are executing their defense and not necessarily taking one aspect away from our offense.”

You can watch the full press conference from Pederson below.


Embiid won't travel with Sixers to Charlotte, Okafor to sit on Tuesday

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By Brandon Apter, Sports Talk Philly Editor  

The Philadelphia 76ers were back at practice on Monday following a blowout loss at the hands of the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday afternoon. The team is back in action against the 0-3 Orlando Magic on Tuesday and will travel to Charlotte for the second half of a back-to-back on Wednesday. Following Monday's practice, Sixers head coach Brett Brown said that the plan is for Jahlil Okafor not to play on Tuesday and Embiid won't travel with them on Wednesday. Entering the season, Brown made it known that Embiid would not play in both games of back-to-backs. 

There isn't anything to be concerned with here in what will be rest days for both big men. Moore goes on to say that the expectation is for Embiid to have a 24-minute limit on Tuesday with the same restriction for Okafor on Wednesday. We could even get to see Dario Saric get some time at center, according to Moore. Brown mentioned that the Croatian forward has been pressing a bit with his shots coming up short for the most part, but isn't too worried.

With Okafor sitting Tuesday and Embiid out on Wednesday, we'll get a much longer look at Richaun Holmes, who has been impressive through two games this season. He's shooting 70 percent from the floor and has three blocks as well in just 31 minutes of playing time. The second-year man out of Bowling Green brings a spark of energy whenever he steps on the court and offers both offensive and defensive upside as a center off of the bench.

 


Top 25 Phillies of All-Time: No. 19 - Cole Hamels

By: Matthew Shinkle, Sports Talk Philly writer

Although sometimes overshadowed during his time in Philadelphia by the likes of Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee, who were both chasing a World Series ring, Cole Hamels was the original ace of the Philadelphia Phillies teams that won five consecutive National League East pennants from 2007 to 2011, and the 2008 World Series. 

Highly regarded in high school out of San Diego, California, Hamels had a fastball clocked at 94 mph, with some other advanced pitches as well. However, many teams seemingly lost interest in him after his sophomore season, when he broke his left humerus - the long bone that runs from the shoulder to the elbow. In the 2002 Major League Baseball draft, the Phillies drafted the young pitcher that would help turn around the franchise with the 17th overall selection. 

From the start, Hamels showed glimpses of greatness. Splitting time between the Class A Lakewood BlueClaws and Class A-Advanced Clearwater Thrashers in his first year of professional baseball in 2003, Hamels went 6-3 with a 1.34 ERA while striking out 147 and allowing just 61 hits. His efforts earned him the Paul Owens award at the end of the year, for being the best pitcher in the Phillies' minor league system. 

However, the next two years were not as bright for the young pitcher. He started a combined 10 games between both years after suffering from elbow tendinitis, chronic back spasms, and a bar fight where he broke broke his pitching hand. 

Despite these set backs in the minors, it took just eight games between three minor league clubs when he came back healthy during the 2006 season to prove he was ready for the majors, including three games with the Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons when he struck out 36 batters whilst allowing just one run. 

After making his major league debut in 2006 with the Phillies, Hamels developed into a National League All-Star just a season later, one of three appearences he would make on the team during his run with the club.  

Hamels received the nickname "Hollywood" during his time in the minors with Ryan Howard after he saw Hamels wearing surfer shorts and flip flops one day. "Hollywood" would eventually become one of the most iconic Phillies of all-time, along with his aforementioned minor league teammate. 


Career accomplishments  

Hamels ranks third in Phillies franchise history in strikeouts (1844), fourth in games started (294) and sixth in wins (114). From 2007 to 2012, he won 10 games or more each season, and boasted a cumulative 3.30 ERA with the club.

Cole Hamels was a three time NL All-Star with the Phillies in 2007, 2011, and 2012, and was named the NLCS MVP and World Series MVP in 2008. 

Hamels was part of a combined no-hitter on Labor Day at the end of the 2014 season, pitching the first six innings on September 1st against the Atlanta Braves. After racking up 108 pitches, three relievers game in to finish the game for Hamels. In his last career start with the Phillies, Hamels threw a no-hitter against the Chicago Cubs, striking out 13 batters in the effort. 

Continue reading "Top 25 Phillies of All-Time: No. 19 - Cole Hamels" »


Sixers Six Pack: Observations from the first week of play

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By Brandon Apter, Sports Talk Philly Editor  

The Philadelphia 76ers began their season with a close loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Opening Night before getting blown out by the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday in what was too familiar of a site for any Sixers fan that has watched the team during the past three seasons. As much as it may be hard to admit for some, this is another building year to see what pieces fit for the future. That is exciting for some and getting old for others, but with Joel Embiid showing signs of stardom through two NBA games, one can believe that the Sixers are growing towards something better in the coming years. 

Here are six observations from the Sixers first two games last week:

Continue reading "Sixers Six Pack: Observations from the first week of play" »


NBA D-League draft nets Brannen Greene, three others for Sevens

By Brandon Apter, Sports Talk Philly Editor  

The Philadelphia 76ers kicked off their season last week and there are plenty of bright spots through two games. Meanwhile, the Delaware 87ers, D-League affiliate of the Sixers, don't start for another couple of weeks, but the league had their annual draft this past weekend and the Sevens selected four players. They selected Brannen Greene (Kansas) seventh overall and also picked Benito Santiago Jr., Grandy Glaze and Christian Macauley in the later rounds.

Greene averaged 5.4 points and 2.1 rebounds per game last season at Kansas, shooting 52.4 percent overall and just under 50 percent from three point range. Over his college career, he went 31-for-63 from beyond the arc and hit 87 percent of his shots from the free throw line. 

Santiago Jr. spent the last two seasons overseas with Atleticos de San German in the Puerto Rican BSN, averging 14 points and three rebounds per game during the 2015-16 season.

Glaze, a native of Toronto, Ontario, spent his four-year college career at Grand Canyon University. In his final season there, he averaged 14 points on 59.6 percent shooting to go along with 8.8 rebounds per game. 

Macauley averaged nine points and six rebounds per game in his final season at Texas A&M Commerce during the 2014-15 season after spending two seasons at St. Mary's College of Maryland, where he earned two all-region selections and conference Rookie of the Year.

Along with the recent draftees, the Sevens have 13 players in addition that are headed to training camp, which will take place from November 1-9 at the Bob Carpenter Center on the campus of the University of Delaware.

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The Sevens play host to the Westchester Knicks for an exhibition game on November 6 at The Coliseum in Voorhees.


Eagles Armchair: Pederson's Warts Show in Primetime Loss

By Tucker Bagley, Sports Talk Philly staff writer 

There were plenty of rookies who could have made an impact on the Eagles game against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday night. Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott had their moments. Carson Wentz wasn't bad either.

But the rookie everyone should be talking about it first-year head coach Doug Pederson, who will shoulder a lot of the blame for Sunday's loss.

Continue reading "Eagles Armchair: Pederson's Warts Show in Primetime Loss" »


Eagles Report Card: A Disaster of a 4th Quarter Dooms Eagles

By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor 

Up by 10 in the first quarter, the Eagles looked like they were on their way to an important win against a division rival. The Cowboys had other ideas.

Dallas stormed back, tied the game and won in overtime, 29-23, bringing the Eagles record to 4-3 on the season.

Here are this week's grades.

Continue reading "Eagles Report Card: A Disaster of a 4th Quarter Dooms Eagles" »


Cowboys Erase 10-Point Deficit, Down Eagles in OT

By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor 

For the second straight season, the Eagles trip to Dallas required overtime, even after the Eagles held a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter. This time, it ended in bitter defeat for the Eagles.

The Cowboys ran 12 plays in overtime, capped by Dak Prescott's five-yard touchdown pass to Jason Witten as the Cowboys erased the deficit to take a 29-23 win over the Eagles on Sunday night in Dallas.

Continue reading "Cowboys Erase 10-Point Deficit, Down Eagles in OT" »