29 06 2009


By John Leon

After listening to Mike Golic on ESPN’s Mike and Mike in the Morning radio show, I have to agree with his assessment of the 50 game suspension rules.

Section 8 Part B – Player tests positive for a Performance Enhancing Substance

  1. 1. 1st Positive Test Result – a 50 game suspension

So where in that very short, very to the point statement does it say start a rehab assignment during the suspension? I didn’t see it did you? But there is a catch in the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the Major League Baseball Owners and the Players Association.

Section 8 Part H – Suspensions

  1. 2. During the term of his suspension, a player may consent to an assignment to a Minor League affiliate of his Club…and shall not exceed 10 days (16 days for a pitcher) for a Player suspended for a period of 26-50 days.

Granted, they are suspended without pay, (big deal) but Manny Ramirez, J.C. Romero and others get essentially a 40 game suspension, do a rehab assignment for 10 then get plugged right back into the everyday Major League Lineup.

I absolutely think this is ridiculous. You get suspended for 50, do the time and THEN if the club wants to send you to a rehab gig, send them then. What’s the difference if it’s an injury assignment or suspension? Time is time and this is just another reason why the MLBPA is the strongest union around.

Donald Fehr may be retiring but if Bud Selig, who in my mind may be the Jimmy Carter of Commissioners (the absolute worst ever!), thinks that little gem is coming out of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, he is sadly mistaken.

“Our testing procedures are the strongest of any major sport,” said Selig.

Really? So how come, if it’s obvious to most if not all of us, that Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Mark McGwire (who I think is getting screwed royally), Brady Anderson, Lenny Dykstra, et al., were doing it, how come that addendum was put in the CBA so they could even think about testing?

Tradeoffs that’s why? The clamoring for testing was so strong that Fehr had no choice but to buckle under the weight of public scrutiny and still protect his players.

But getting back to my point, the 50 game suspensions should be just that, 50 games. No rehab during the suspension, not working out with club trainers, nothing until the sentence is completed. You want to work out, fine, do it on your own dime with your own trainers.

Look, I don’t think I’m being too harsh here. Pitchers get 6 games just for throwing at hitters, so does the crime fit the punishment? Not in this case, it sounds like time off for good behavior. Take the suspension and we’ll knock off some time so you can get back into playing shape.

All I’m saying is the rule stinks and should be changed. It won’t happen but it should.


Superstar Benchings: The Right Approach?

29 06 2009

by Michael DeLuca

Jimmy Rollins is not the only star player mired in a slump who’s been riding the pine lately. Yankees 3B Alex rollinRodriguez was also recently relegated to the bench for a brief time as well. Both teams’ claim the players need rest, some time to fend off mental fatigue.

Rollins, hitting just .211, will be back in the lineup and leading off on Tuesday “unless something really changes between now and then” according to Phils’ skipper Charlie Manuel. ESPN’s Eric Young believes that giving these players time off was the smart move, saying that slumping players tend to press and try too hard to break out of the slump. He concludes that because they are stars they would press even harder because they know what they are capable of. Young does go on to say though that the similarities end there for each players difficulties. A-Rod is believed to have returned too early from offseason hip surgery and also experienced a tumultuousAlex-Rodriguez offseason. Rollins, conversely, has simply not been fundamentally sound at the plate. Compounding the problem, is that Rollins has begun to have mental lapses in the field as well.

Whether or not benching these players is the right approach is certainly up for debate. Rodriguez seems to be in favor of the rest and acknowledges that he may have rushed back too soon. In Rollins’ case, he has always seemed to respond following any form of discipline or inactivity. For Phillies fans, let’s hope he does tonight.

Christmas Comes Early For 76ers

28 06 2009

by Michael DeLuca

If the Philadelphia 76ers held a second round pick in Thursday’s NBA draft, they most likely would have been Temple Massachusetts Basketballlooking for a shooting guard. Perhaps a local kid. Perhaps, Lutheran Christian (Philadelphia) graduate and Temple Owls star SG, Dionte Christmas. The Sixers, however, did not have a pick. Surprisingly, Christmas went undrafted and the Sixers phoned just hours later, offering him one of their four remaining spots for the summer pro league in Orlando next week. A team source confirmed that Christmas has accepted the invitation and will join the team’s first-round selection, Jrue Holiday, and second-year pro PF Marreese Speights when workouts commence on July 2. The team plans to announce the other three players to join the summer league team on Monday.

Christmas is the only Atlantic 10 player ever to lead the league in scoring three times, averaging 19.5 in 2009. He is just the fourth Temple player to score over 2,000 career points and set school records for both three-pointers in a season, with 107, and for his career, with 319. For the Sixers, the league’s worst 3 point shooting team in 2009, Christmas has definitely come early!

Carrasco Could be Called-Up

28 06 2009
Will Carrasco get the call?

Will Carrasco get the call?

By Mike Gill

With a low 90’s fastball that had plenty of good movement and a change-up that was making hitters look flat out goofy, it looks like Carlos Carrasco is finally tired of getting passed over when it comes to getting the call to the big league club. 

He’s tied together two good starts and I’m thinking now that he could be next up.  The Phillies might need someone to replace Antonio Bastrado and with the trade deadline about a month away, now could be the right time to showcase Carrasco and see if he can either a) pitch in the bigs or b) get enough attention with his stuff to fetch you back a top-tier, big-league ready pitcher, like say – Cliff Lee.

When Brett Myers went down, the Phils had to scramble for an arm.  They went with Bastrado who really has shown the abilty to master one big-league pitch, his fast ball.  But the Phils are desperate for another arm and what is consider to be the best, just might not be ready. 

Guys like Kyle Drabeck, Joe Savery and Vance Worley are popular names because they are young, and we all love the next young, top-flight name, but are they really ready to help a team win a world series now?

Andrew Caprenter, Kyle Kendrick and Rodrigo Lopez are all guys having nice seasons at the AAA-level, but they too wont get the trophy back in Philadelphia. 

If you want help from with-in, the guy to call on is Carrasco.  He has the best stuff and gives you the best shot to do a lot of things – win, trade and find out if you have a future ace all in one shot. 

So who do you think the Phillies should call-up if Bastrado has to miss anytime?

Did the Flyers Give Up to Much for Pronger?

27 06 2009
Can Chris Pronger bring the Cup to Philly?

Can Chris Pronger bring the Cup to Philly?

By Mike Gill

With a look at 2009-2010, the Flyers traded away 19-year old defender Luca Sbisa, forward Joffrey Lupal and two first round picks all for veteran blue-liner Chris Pronger.  While many fans of the orange and black were happy when they heard the news, one has to wonder – did they give up to much to get a 34-year old guy?

Consider that the Flyers not only gave up their first round selection this season, but next year as well, but they also gave up a young, talented defender and a guy who scored 25 gaols and had 25 total points. 

Meanwhile, the Flames acquired highly coveted defender Jay Bouwmeester from Florida for defensemen Jordan Leopold and a third round pick.    Leopold is a nice player, not a great player by any means and might not even be signed by the Panthers, who really want the draft pick and to shed salary.

You can argue that Pronger is the better player then Bouwmesster, but Bouwmeester is younger and apparently doesnt cost quite as much. Pronger is certinly a guy who can stop guys like Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and the rest of the Stanley Cup champion Penguins.

So if you are a Flyers fan who liked the Pronger deal at first, how do you feel now knowing that Bouwmeester cost about half the price?

Brett Myers: Ahead of Schedule

27 06 2009

by Michael DeLuca

The Camden Courier-Post is reporting that Brett Myers, who suffered what was expected to be a season ending hip injury, is already off crutches from last Thursday’s surgery. He believes that he’s ahead of schedule with his rehab and is destined to make it back to the mound this season.

Myers did say that if he is able return at some point in 09′, it will probably be in a relief role. Myers had served as the Phils’ closer for the majority of the 2007 season after struggling as a starter. The rehab for a return to the bullpen would be much less extensive.

Now and Later: Flyers Acquire D Pronger with eye towards 2009-2010

26 06 2009

by John Ryan

While the Philadelphia 76ers were still celebrating their drafting of Jrue Holiday, the Flyers made a strong move article_11927_2towards making a Cup run in 09-10 by acquiring stout defensemen Chris Pronger from Anaheim. The move was a cost cutting move for Anaheim who had to contend with defensemen Scott Niedermeyer deciding to return next season with the Ducks. The move was costly for the Flyers, however, as they had to give up Jofrey Lupul and Lucas Sbisa and two first round draft picks (2009 and 2010).

PCP Analysis: While I don’t profess to be an expert in hockey, I do like the move. Sbisa is going to be a terrific defensemen in the league for a long time in my opinion, but they sorely needed a guy like Pronger who can score, hit, and intimidate. Lupul also was a key loss. He has scored 49 goals the past two season. Some other ramifications to consider: The move leaves the Flyers approx. 2.5 million under the NHL salary cap. They still need a backup goalie, and maybe another defensemen and maybe another winger. They also stand to lose Mike Knuble, as some are speculating that Knuble will get his desired long term pact from the Penguins. He will be hard to replace in a lot of ways. They are closer to a cup, though. They still run forwards out there such as Mike Richards, Jeff Carter, Simon Gagne, Danny Briere, Claude Giroux, and Scott Hartnell. Key this year will be, as always though, the play of the defense and newly acquired Ray Emery. I still see a few missing pieces before they dethrone the Penguins. Meanwhile, the 76ers still seem a few years away from even cracking the top 4 in the suddenly “Beast” of the East.