Well, it’s about that time!

Posted in none with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 5, 2012 by KTroilo

It has been an good week and a half to two weeks since I’ve written anything new on here. I’ve been somewhat busy (well maybe) and the sports world hasn’t been overly exciting to me as of late. March Madness didn’t have me hooked as hard as it usually does. Our Sixers are fading faster than I’d bet the other side of a game Rue bet on. The Flyers, well, I’ll leave that one alone for now.

But today, on this beautiful April afternoon, the longest chase to a championship in sports begins. Opening Day in MLB is one of the most anticipated events of the entire sporting year. Okay, granted some people find baseball “boring” or “slow”. Screw them is all I’ve got to say. The entire feeling of baseball season is unlike any other. Cold beer, hot dogs, cheap tickets (okay not that cheap) compared to other sports, and just the overall feeling of being outside on a sunny, summer night. Ahh, it’s that time again.

Our Phillies kick off the season today with a 1:35 first pitch at the Pittsburgh Pirates. As weak as the Pirates historically are, the Phils are only 16-12 against them the past 4 seasons. Not saying that’s a bad number obviously but it’s not complete domination like some of you may have expected.

2010 Cy Young winner Roy Halladay gets the opening day start against the sudden journeyman Erik Bedard. God I hate when we start against lefties. I’ll give it til May before Bedard heads back to the DL. I was actually supposed to attend today’s game but ended up staying home to work. What was I thinking? I know how some of you like to overreact over early season happenings. It is going to take the Phillies a few weeks to adjust in my mind. Whether I like Utley or not, it is going to be an adjustment for a bit with him and Howard out of the middle of the order. I’ve seen multiple people actually predict Hunter Pence as their 2012 NL MVP. I guess we’ll see.

Anyways, enjoy the day and enjoy the season. I’ll be back to writing all the time with baseball about to kick into full swing. Let’s hope this season ends with a similar picture to what we see below. Go Phils!

 

 

Welcome to Philly, Demeco Ryans!

Posted in none with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 20, 2012 by KTroilo

The Eagles have just announced they have traded for former Houston Texans linebacker Demeco Ryans. They’ll send a 3rd and 4th round pick for the former Alabama Crimson Tide MLB. Plus they’ll take back Houston’s 3rd round pick. Sorry if that confused anyone.  Ryans won the NFL’s Defensive Rookie of the Year award in 2006 after registering 155 tackles. He made the Pro Bowl in 2007 and 2009.

He signed a 6 year, $48 million dollar extension which included $21.75 million guaranteed.  This will be restructured with the Eagles as time should tell. This is a great addition to a defense which struggled mightily last season to find itself. Ryans should have an immediate impact. His presence in the middle is an automatic upgrade from anything we saw on the field the entire last season. Using him as an every down player will create its skeptics from the start but only time will tell how this plays out. Either way, give it up for the front office on this one!

The loss of Chase isn’t as big of a deal as you may think

Posted in none with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 20, 2012 by KTroilo

I’m sure by now everyone has heard about Chase Utley hitting a “plateau” in his progress back to health. For me personally, this isn’t really news whatsoever. Utley has been on a plateau for 3 seasons now based on what I’ve watched. However for the general Philadelphia public who still worship and praise Chase (god only knows why), it may come as a bit of a bummer.

Let’s take a look at what Utley has really meant to this lineup over the last few years and see if we can’t come up with some way to fix it.

2008-159 G, 707 PA, 113 R, 177 H, 33 HR, 104 RBI, 14 SB, .292 AVG. Basically he had a monster season in 2008. This was the year the Phillies won the World Series.

2009- 156 G, 687 PA, 112 R, 161 H, 31 HR, 93 RBI, 23 SB, .282 AVG. Another solid year. I’m not going to say anything negative about these 2 seasons no matter how much I dislike Utley.

Now starts the steady, painful decline.

2010- 115 G, 511 PA, 75 R, 117 H, 16 HR, 65 RBI, 13 SB, .275 AVG. Not exactly superstar numbers.

2011-103 G, 454 PA, 54 R, 103 H, 11 HR, 44 RBI, 14 SB, .259 AVG. 44 RBI’s in 454 plate appearances? I’ll rest my case.

 

It’s obvious to those who know baseball that Utley hasn’t been completely healthy since the start of the 2010 season. And that’s not always directly his fault. Some guys it just happens to. But there’s no way anyone can say with a straight face that those 2010 and 2011 numbers can’t be replaced with someone else. Nothing about those two seasons stands out as special.

I have my doubts that Utley will ever play again at this point. Being doubtful for opening day already is a sign of serious problems to come. But, as the title says, he IS replaceable. Okay, I understand that he’s a fan favorite and that maybe some of his intangibles and clubhouse leadership is going to be difficult to match. That’s why you have 3 of the top 10 pitchers in baseball on the mound every 12 days. Halladay is as fierce a competitor as they come.

Take a step back and look what Utley has really contributed to the overall good of the team over the last two seasons and then determine the level of concern.

DJAX! DJAX!

Posted in none with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 14, 2012 by KTroilo

The Eagles hadn’t done much in terms of big splashes in free agency. At least not until now. The Birds locked up Desean Jackson through the 2016 season with a 5 year/$51 million extension. Just a few weeks after franchise tagging their often criticized yet undeniably talented WR, it’s official Jackson is here to stay.This is very similar to what the front office did with Michael Vick just last year. And even more so like Vick’s deal, Desean will be paid based off his performance, more or less. Howie Roseman knows how to cover his tracks.

Whether or not you like the idea of keeping Desean or agree with the amount of money he was given, it is a solid and necessary deal. Keeping your homegrown talent is something people love to see and this is a prime example of that. After Vincent Jackson and Pierre Garcon signed yesterday for a respected 11 and ~8 million dollars a year it makes sense to see Desean get 10. Remember, it’s all about the market when you sign a deal, not what you’re actually worth. Worth is a relative term that doesn’t matter in sports. It’s all about time.

Desean or the Eagles haven’t made any comments yet but I will keep this up to date as they do. Try to get this one out of your head Eagles fans:

Well, someone had to go…

Posted in none with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 14, 2012 by KTroilo

Carmelo or D’Antoni. It was only a matter of time until one of the two weren’t wearing Knicks gear. Carmelo just got here last summer. Carmelo is also considered the “star” in a player driven league. And for those of you who might’ve forgotten, the Knicks do play in the biggest market in the nation.

Sure as day, Mike D’Antoni bit the bullet and got the short end of the stick.

Nice relationship, eh?

Actually depending on who you ask they might consider that the longer end. Either way, he’s out of a job and Carmelo is laughing somewhere in the locker room, knowing he got his way. I read a blog on here earlier by one of my better follows about how Carmelo was “Feeling sick to his stomach.”

Gimme’ a break man. Carmelo is an overpaid, wanna-be Kobe or Lebron. The ONLY thing that Carmelo has on a lot of players in the league is that he won a National Title at Syracuse. Most sane people’s answer to that would to stop living 8 years in the past. I’m not going to lie, it has pretty fun watching the Knicks and the Mets go through such turmoil year in and year out. What Philadelphia fan wouldn’t love this?

Lin-sanity has died down and the Garden is back to being a weak ticket. Just the way I like it.

Where in “Evan” name has this been?

Posted in none with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 14, 2012 by KTroilo

That’s a good look for Evan Turner. That whole “ball in his hands” thing. Was it possible that ET was really nothing more than an overrated college player from the Big 10? It sure looked like it for the first year and a half of his career. That is, until now. It’s like I’m watching a different player. A different guy altogether.

Turner was pretty much the whole offense at THE Ohio State his senior year. Which obviously meant one thing. He often had the ball in his hands. The superstar senior year we saw from him was a product of just this. He played the point steadily and everything started and ended with him. And with the ball in his hands.

None of us really thought that ET and Iguodala would coexist very well. But over the last 4 games, they truly have. Turner started his first game of the season, and only the 14th of his career, on March 5th at Milwaukee. Okay fine. 1 for 12 with 2 points wasn’t the best showing. But he did have 12 rebounds and 4 assists playing the point. Not bad. In the three games since that night in Milwaukee, Turner has totaled 66 points, 36 rebounds, 10 assists, and only 10 turnovers. It had taken him nearly 15 games to total this numbers before becoming a starter. That’s pretty serious evidence of a positive change in the lineup if you ask me.

The obvious loser in all this Turner madness has to be Jrue Holiday. With ET playing the point, Jrue has to move more or less. I’ll be the first to admit that I was huge on Jrue over the past year. I thought we were ready to see a star emerge. That hasn’t quite been the case. Jrue is what he is. He struggles shooting the jumper for the most part. He’ll have his nights here and there don’t get me wrong. But at this point I don’t think we’re looking at anything more than an average guard with potential to improve.

Back to Turner. I think if I can see that this was a positive change, obviously Doug Collins can. Don’t expect the suddenly red-hot starter to find his way back to the bench any time soon. Just keep the ball in his hands.

A wild first day in NFL free agency

Posted in none with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 14, 2012 by KTroilo

Who would’ve thought I’d go to work for 9 hours and miss so much first day action. If it weren’t for Twitter I wouldn’t have had any idea what was going on in the world of sports. It was definitely a huge day for Wide Receivers landing big deals. Some maybe even too big. But that’s something that will be debated throughout the deals.

The Bears were obviously huge early winners with the trade to add Brandon Marshall. Whether or not you like him, Marshall IS a true #1 receiver. He is exactly what the Bears have lacked for so many years. The Cutler-to-Marshall combo thrived while it was alive in Denver. Personally I don’t see any reason why it can’t again in Chicago. The Bears just got scary good very fast in my opinion. Easily squeezed into the top 5 throughout the NFL in terms of a complete team. The signing of backup QB Jason Campbell isn’t bad either. We all saw how bad Caleb Hanie was last season and Cutler has been known to get nicked up fairly easily (see NFC title game a few years back).

I was somewhat shocked when I saw that Vincent Jackson signed in Tampa Bay. But it does make sense in a way. Mike Williams took a huge step back last season after showing signs of stardom in 2010. Much like the Bears, Tampa Bay needs a #1 WR before they can actually compete on a serious level. Is VJax that guy? My guess is as good as yours. He has the talent to be a superstar, don’t get me wrong. But up until this point he really hasn’t put it all together at the same time. Sure he has his 8 catch, 120 yard, 2 TD games. But the week after he has his 3 catch, 42 yard games. You can’t do that as a #1 on a team. I knew someone would pay him huge money. Now let’s see if he can show he’s worth it.

Then there’s the Redskins. First they traded away THREE 1st round picks in order to lock up their future, RGIII. Whether or not you agree with this deal isn’t important. They had to get themselves a QB of the future one way or another. This hopefully (well hopefully not in Eagles fans case) does it. What better way to welcome Griffin to the NFL than line him up with some talent on the outside. Pierre Garcon is a solid #2 in my eyes. I’m anxious to see how he plays being “that guy”. $8 million a year isn’t pocket change. People seem to think that he’s a serious deep threat for whatever reason. He only caught 6 long balls last year. He has the speed but hasn’t ever been put in this spot. We’ll see. The signings of Josh Morgan and Eddie Royal aren’t really able be too sought into yet. They both have their weeks, good and bad. Royal is a really good return man however.

Our Eagles kept Todd Herremans locked up on the line. The deal that has him signed through the 2016 season is a great one in my eyes. He’s easily the best lineman on the team behind Jason Peters. I also read that they’re looking to lock up DE Trent Cole long term. Rumors of him talking to New England started to stir for a few hours but I wouldn’t buy much into that. I also don’t expect the Eagles to do what they did last year via free agency. There has been a lot of talk about the addition of a linebacker (when isn’t there). Dan Connor has been linked to rumors on the internet and could be a solid fit. He’s from Delaware County and graduated from Penn State. He was above average in Carolina before injuries hit him hard. Plus my cousin has known him his whole life, so that’s pretty cool. Then again that has nothing to do with anything. Sorry. They passed up on Stephen Tulloch last season. Let’s see if this story plays out with a different ending.

By the way, I hope the Bills sign Mario Williams to that deal. Overpaid is all I have to answer to that. Let me know how that works out in the long run.

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