4

Sacks in 3 seasons for 2014 1st-round pick Marcus Smith, cut by Eagles on Wednesday

The Kings and Spurs won championships after almost being eliminated in the first round. Eric Fisher also uses other examples to demonstrate the slim margin between success and disappointment.

Eric Fisher’s weekly column on a variety of topics. This week Eric serves up opinions on the Phillies finally admitting they need to rebuild, the awful officiating during the Penn State-Ohio State game and the PGA taking political correctness to ridiculous levels.

We provide five areas that could determine whether the Sixers have a bad season or an awful season.

First-and-10

A quick look at 10 sports stories in the news…  

1. Changing of the guard Eagles offensive coordinator Frank Reich says second-year pro Isaac Seumalo is starting left guard; team trades 10-year veteran Allen Barbre, former starter at left guard, to Broncos for conditional 2019 draft pick. Barbre would have counted $2.1 million against salary cap. Stefen Wisniewski, Chance Warmack also competing for roster spots, playing time at guard.

2. Eagles release Marcus Smith Eagles release defensive end Marcus Smith, their 1st-round pick in 2014 NFL Draft. Eagles selected Smith 26th overall after trading down from No. 22. Smith finishes 3-year Eagles career with 4 sacks, 24 tackles and 0 starts. Smith did not attend OTAs this year. By cutting Smith, Eagles save $1.48 million in salary cap space. Eagles re-sign LB Steven Daniels.

3. Eagles training camp begins Eagles open training camp with rookies, QBs and select veterans. First practice was Monday. First full squad practice is today. First practice open to public is Saturday (10 a.m.) at Lincoln Financial Field. Eagles release CB Dwayne Gratz, place DT Beau Allen (pectoral), rookie CB Sidney Jones (Achilles tendon) on active/non-football injury list. Neither is expected to be ready during training camp, although they could be activated if cleared to play. Eagles sign Canadian rugby star Adam Zaruba (6-5, 265), who hasn’t played competitive football since high school. Dane Evans, undrafted free agent from Tulsa, as 4th QB.

4. Pederson: Matthews may be limited Receiver Jordan Matthews, who was limited during OTAs and mini-camps as he recovered from knee injury, might still be limited during training camp, according to head coach Doug Pederson. Pederson also revealed that LB Jordan Hicks had “minor procedure” during offseason to fix broken bone in right hand, which Hicks reveals occurred after he slipped at a pool during his honeymoon, and might be limited during training camp; that veteran CB Ron Brooks is starter in slot; and that RB Ryan Mathews, who is expected to be released when he’s healthy, will continue to rehab injury on his own.

5. Phillies trade Neshek to Rockies Phillies trade reliever Pat Neshek to Rockies, who occupy 2nd wild card spot in National League, for 3 Class A prospects. Neshek, the best of GM Matt Klentak’s offseason acquisitions, had 1.12 ERA in 40 1/3 innings, giving up runs in just 2 of his appearances. He struck out 45 and allowed walked 5. In return, Phillies receive shortstop Jose Gomez, starting pitcher Alejandro Requena, reliever J.D. Hammer. All excelled with Class A Asheville this season, with Hammer being promoted Rockies’ higher Class A-level team in June. Non-waiver trade deadline is Monday.

6. Nola, Phillies shut down Astros Aaron Nola strikes out 10 in 6 shutout innings as Phillies avoid sweep by posting 9-0 triumph over visiting Astros. Nola (8-6) is 5-1 with 1.49 ERA in his last 7 starts. Cameron Rupp powers offense with pair of 2-run homers. Maikel Franco also homers. Tommy Joseph delivers 3 hits, including pair of doubles, and 2 RBI. Howie Kendrick, a prime candidate to be traded before Monday’s non-waiver trade deadline, leaves game with sore left hand after being hit by pitch. Phillies off Thursday, open 4-game series with visiting Braves on Friday (7 p.m.).

7. Mackanin yanks Herrera After Odubel Herrera doesn’t run out dropped third strike, manager Pete Mackanin removes him from Tuesday’s 5-0 loss to Astros as part of double switch. Herrera also didn’t run hard, and did his “bat flip,” on fly ball to center field that was caught at wall. Herrera has history of not hustling and disregarding instructions on bases, but he has been among team’s best hitters and is only Phillie signed to long-term contract. Herrera replaced in center field in Wednesday’s lineup by Aaron Altherr, who comes off disabled list (hamstring). Daniel Nava, a veteran who could have trade value before Monday’s non-waiver trade deadline, goes on DL with hamstring injury to make room for Altherr on roster.

8. U.S. strikes gold; Blake injured Jordan Morris scores in 88th minute to lift U.S. past Jamaica, 2-1, in championship game of CONCACAF Gold Cup at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. Jozy Altidore gives U.S. lead at end of 1st half, but Jamaica scores early in 2nd half to tie score. Union goalie Andre Blake, star of Jamaica’s run to final, leaves game with hand or finger injury after making spectacular save on Altidore and rebound attempt.

9. Sapong, Union avenge loss C.J. Sapong scores career-high 10th goal, sets up 2 others as Union avenge loss at Columbus last Saturday with 3-0 victory in 2nd half of home-and-home series. Victory  brings Union (7-9-5) within reasonable distance of Columbus (10-11-1), which occupies final playoff position in Eastern Conference. Ilsinho start scoring. Marcus Epps scores his 1st MLS goal in 81st minute. Crew played more than half the game shorthanded due to red cards, finishing the game with 9 players. Union visit New England on Saturday (7:30 p.m.).

10. Streaky Freedoms lose to Lasers Freedoms win all 3 doubles matches, but lose both singles matches in convincing fashion during 22-18 loss to visiting Springfield. After losing first 2 games of season and then winning 4 straight, Freedoms lose 3rd straight match. Freedoms host Orange County (Calif.) on Friday (7 p.m.) at Saint Joseph’s Hagan Arena.

(To listen to past PhillyPhanatics.com’s Blog Talk Radio shows, please click here.)

LOCAL SCHEDULE

Monday
Astros 13, Phillies 4
Washington 20, Freedoms 15

Tuesday
Astros 5, Phillies 0
New York 25, Freedoms 18

Wednesday
Phillies 9, Astros 0
Springfield 22, Freedoms 18
Union 3, Columbus 0
CONCACAF Gold Cup
Finals

U.S. 2, Jamaica 1

Thursday
No games scheduled

Friday
Braves at Phillies, 7 p.m.
Orange County (Calif.) at Freedoms, 7 p.m.

Saturday
Braves at Phillies, 7 p.m.
Soul at Baltimore, 1 p.m.
San Diego at Freedoms, 7 p.m.
Union at New England, 7:30 p.m.

Sunday
Braves at Phillies, 1:30 p.m.
Freedoms at Springfield, 7 p.m.

FOR LEAGUE-WIDE SCORES AND STANDINGS, CLICK ON THE LINKS UNDER THE “STANDINGS” HEADING IN THE SIDEBAR TO THE RIGHT, OR IN THE HEADING AT THE UPPER-RIGHT OF THIS PAGE

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