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January 2021
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Phillies: Spending Middleton’s Money for 2021

 

By Tal Venada, Sports Talk Philly Contributor

In November, the Philadelphia Phillies faithful believed the franchise was a self-driving car going around in circles with little hope of addressing their needs. Furthermore, managing partner John Middleton claimed losses of up to $150 million and projected a lower payroll. Sacrebleu!

 

Harvested Pitching:

Some Phillies fans have no difficulty spending above the CBT (competitive-balance threshold), as if the pandemic and global financial problems are cinematic. Previously, their shopping list included two mid-rotation arms, an entirely new relief corps with a stud closer, and re-signing JT Realmuto and Didi Gregorius before December.  

IN OTHER WORDS:

“That most delicious of all privileges -- spending other people's money.” - John Randolph of Roanoke

Behind the virtual front-office door, the higher-ups realized Realmuto and Gregorius were not going to quickly sign anywhere --especially the All-Star catcher. So, their strategy was to re-sign them and pick from a large pool of pitching bargains even before the hiring of Dave Dombrowski, president of baseball operations.    

In fact, president Andy MacPhail even said they would be late free-agent buyers on October 31, but it was one sentence within an entire interview. And either writers or fans didn’t hear or read MacPhail’s remarks at the time --like me-- or their views muted the comment if they noticed it.                                  

Even though the Fightins have committed $201.7 million AAV (average annual value), they will also be responsible for roughly another $6 million when Tony Watson and Brandon Kintzler make the Opening Day 26. But those two hurlers will increase the monetary total to only cover 21 roster slots.     

Continue reading "Phillies: Spending Middleton’s Money for 2021" »


Flyers Rebound with Win Over Rangers

By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor 

For the last two games, the Flyers had to press on without their captain due to his presence on the NHL's COVID list. Claude Giroux made his return to the ice on Tuesday for practice and to the lineup on Wednesday. He looked as motivated as ever.

Giroux had three assists as the Flyers struck for two goals in the first and second periods, holding off the Rangers in a 4-3 win on Wednesday night at Wells Fargo Center.

Continue reading "Flyers Rebound with Win Over Rangers" »


NBC Sports Philadelphia Announces Phillies Spring Television Schedule

Phillies fans have been eager for the return of action.  Leaving 2020 season on a sour note and stuck at home around COVID-19 restrictions, Phillies Spring Training is the turning of the page to Spring and hopefully, a subsiding pandemic.

On Wednesday, the Phillies released their Spring Training schedule.  All but two games will be broadcast.  Here is a rundown of the schedule:

  • March 1 vs. Orioles (NBCSP+)
  • March 4 vs. Yankees (NBCSP+)
  • March 5 vs. Pirates (NBCSP+)
  • March 10 vs. Tigers (NBCSP+)
  • March 11 vs. Yankees (NBCSP+)
  • March 13 vs. Tigers (NBCSP)
  • March 17 vs. Tigers (NBCSP+)
  • March 20 vs. Blue Jays (NBCSP)
  • March 21 vs. Tigers (NBCSP)
  • March 25 vs. Yankees (NBCSP+)
  • March 28 vs. Yankees (NBCSP)
  • March 29 vs. Blue Jays (NBCSP+)

The away games are a different story.  Teams have generally only broadcast their own Spring games and not hit the road for a television broadcast.  If you are looking to follow the following, the MLB.tv app can stream a television broadcast or the audio from the opposing teams in their ballparks.

Here is a rundown on those games:

  • February 28 at Tigers (Tigers radio broadcast)
  • March 2 at Tigers (Tigers radio)
  • March 7 at Yankees (Yankees television/YES Network)
  • March 15 at Yankees (Yankees television/YES Network)
  • March 19 at Yankees television (Yankees/YES Network)
  • March 22 at Yankees television (Yankees/YES Network)
  • March 24 at Tigers (Tigers television)
  • March 27 at Tigers (Tigers radio) 

Blue Jays, Orioles and Pirates broadcast schedules are pending, should they carry any games.


Why Phillies Fans Should Be Energized for a Dombrowski-Run Ball Club

By Ben Ballier, Sports Talk Philly Staff

Upon being hired by the Phillies in December, President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski instantly became the catalyst for hope and change in a Phillies organization that was sputtering. In what was trending towards an offseason to forget, one where the Phillies hinted towards taking a step backward, Dombrowski seemingly sold himself to owner John Middleton.

It was a REMARKABLE turn of events.

Continue reading "Why Phillies Fans Should Be Energized for a Dombrowski-Run Ball Club" »


Flyers-Rangers: Game 16 Preview

By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor 

The trip to Lake Tahoe provided a memorable setting for a game, but far from a memorable result for the Flyers. The 7-3 defeat to the Bruins marked the fifth time Boston has defeated the Flyers already this season, a third of the results on the 2020-21 season. Lucky for the Flyers, they don't have another meeting with Boston for over a month.

The Flyers are also getting some reinforcements back in the lineup. Claude Giroux returned to practice on Tuesday and was the first of the players on the COVID list to return. More will follow in the coming days. For now, Giroux and the rest of the team continue their season, facing the New York Rangers on Wednesday night.

Game time is at 7 p.m.

Continue reading "Flyers-Rangers: Game 16 Preview" »


Korkmaz erupts in Sixers' victory over Raptors

By Kevin McCormick, Sports Talk Philly Editor

The Sixers would be back in action for part two of their mini-series against the Toronto Raptors. Despite Joel Embiid struggling from the floor, the Sixers' supporting cast would pick up the slack and help carry the load.

Six different Sixers would break double-figures in this game as the Sixers would walk away with a 109-102 victory, splitting the series. This win was their first victory over the Raptors on the road since 2012.

Furkan Korkmaz would be the breakout player for the Sixers in this game. He would get the chance to start in place of an injured Seth Curry and made the most of the opportunity.

Korkmaz would erupt from three to start the game en route to finishing as the team's second-lead scorer with 19 points. With a performance like this, he appears to be breaking out of his recent cold spell.

Before tonight's tip-off, the reserves for both All-Star teams would be announced. Ben Simmons would be named to his third straight All-Star team, while Tobias Harris would be left off. Harris would come out in this one and show why he was one of the snubs to not get a nomination this year.

He would start the game off slow but would hit multiple shots late in the game to help secure the win for the Sixers. In all, he would finish with 23 points (team-high), seven rebounds, and five assists. Harris would also get back to his efficient shooting, making eight of his 12 shot attempts and shooting 3-4 from beyond the arc.

Simmons put on another solid performance since missing two games due to illness. He would go on and rack up 15 points, nine rebounds, and seven assists. His impressive shooting from the foul line would also continue, hitting five of his six attempts.

Joel Embiid did a nice job handling the traps and double teams Nick Nurse threw at him in game one of this matchup, but the same can not be said for game two. The All-Star starter would still go on to score 18 points and grab 12 rebounds, but the defense would do a much better job containing him the second time around.

Three-point shooting was a major factor that led to the Sixers dropping Sunday's game. That would not be the case the second time around as they would be able to capitalize on the open looks they were generating.

As a team the Sixers would shoot 44.7% from deep, hitting 17 of their 38 attempts. What is most impressive about this stellar shooting night is that they did it without their best shooter in Seth Curry.

Looking ahead, the Sixers head back home for a four-game homestand to finish off the first half of the schedule. First up is a matchup against Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks.

Sixerdelphia


Flyers Notes: The Captain Returns, More Dates Rescheduled

By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor 

After a trip to Lake Tahoe and a second game without most of their regular lineup, the Flyers are starting to turn the corner when it comes to available players. Captain Claude Giroux was back on the ice for the first time since going on the COVID list on Feb. 9, leading to the postponement of that night’s game against the Washington Capitals.

Giroux had some added energy at practice, and it doesn’t appear there will be an easing in process for him. Giroux skated on a line with Kevin Hayes and Nolan Patrick, and assuming he feels well enough following a brief skate on Wednesday morning, he will return to the lineup against the Rangers.

Alain Vigneault called Giroux a game-time decision.

Continue reading "Flyers Notes: The Captain Returns, More Dates Rescheduled" »


Report: Phillies "Likely" to Have Fans in Stands in 2021

2020-07-14 15.22.55

Last time the Phillies had fans at Citizens Bank Park was September 29, 2019.  Gabe Kapler was still Phillies manager.  Maikel Franco, Cesar Hernandez and Sean Rodriguez started in the Phillies infield.  It feels like it was a lifetime ago.  But after a briefing with Philadelphia's Health Commissioner on Tuesday, it appears fans will once again be able to watch a Phillies game in Philadelphia.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that Philadelphia Health Commissioner Thomas Farley expressed optimism that fans will be in the stands in the near future:

“I can say that it’s likely that there would be some fans in the stands at the Phillies’ home opener but how many is going to depend not just on us, but what the state decides,” Farley said.

The report states that restrictions enacted by Major Jim Kenney are set to expire March 1.

Moving forward, the City, in conjunction with state rules, will make a determination as to the appropriate level of fans and other health precautions necessary for such events.  Phillies Spring Training is operating with 2200 fans in attendance.

In that final game of the 2019 season, Brad Miller went 4 for 5.  Miller is headed back to Philadelphia.  So will be Phillies fans.


Flyers Prospect Corner: Wisdom Continues AHL Dominance, NCAA Prospect Have a Winning Week

By Siobhan Nolan, Sports Talk Philly Contributing Writer

The Lehigh Valley Phantoms continued their stellar run in the AHL, once again owing a large part of their most recent victory to Zayde Wisdom and Zane McIntyre. While in the NCAA, Flyers prospects were all involved in wins this past week. Let’s recap.

The Phantoms faced off against the Binghamton Devils on Feb. 20, and it was all about Wisdom and McIntyre. Wisdom collected two goals, with a third being scored by Max Willman, and McIntyre boasted 25 saves in the 3-0 shutout of the Devils.

Over in the NCAA:

Cam York (D)—University of Michigan

  • Feb. 20 - 1 assist in a 6-0 win over Ohio State University

Jack St. Ivany (D)—Boston College

  • Feb. 19 - 1 assist in a 4-2 win against the University of Maine

Jay O’Brien (C)—Boston University

  • Feb. 20 - 1 goal, 1 assist in a 3-2 OT win over the University of Connecticut

Flyers 5: Takeaways from Sunday’s Flyers-Bruins Game

By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor 

If the Flyers were satisfied to take a point given the circumstances in Thursday’s game against the Rangers, they were handed a result that was essentially expected based on the lineups on paper on Sunday in Lake Tahoe. 

Through 20 minutes, the Flyers managed to remain competitive with the Bruins, even leading in the game for a few brief moments. But as was anticipated, the Bruins lineup did their damage as the game wore on, and in the closing stages of the second, put the game out of reach.

While it may have been an expected result given the circumstances, there were things on display where the lineup didn’t really matter. The Bruins have had the Flyers number all season. So has David Pastrnak. That wasn’t changing no matter who was on the ice.

Here are five takeaways from Sunday’s 7-3 Flyers loss to the Bruins.

Continue reading "Flyers 5: Takeaways from Sunday’s Flyers-Bruins Game" »