Eric Fisher’s weekly column on a variety of topics. This week Eric serves up opinions on the fervor surrounding Eagles training camp, the Soul’s chances in their playoff opener and the Freedoms’ tough break.
A quick look at 10 sports stories in the news…
1. Eagles display fighting spirit One day after LB Trent Cole, RB LeSean McCoy engage in scuffle, CB Bradley Fletcher, WR Jeremy Maclin square off during Eagles’ open practice at Lincoln Financial Field today. Only other open practice that doesn’t require tickets will be at Linc on Sunday (Aug. 3). Allen Barbre, starting at right tackle in place of Lane Johnson, who is suspended for season’s 1st 4 games, taking first-team reps. First day storylines included guard Evan Mathis explaining why he decided not to be a holdout — and how close he came to holding out — and QB Nick Foles defending himself against criticism (after Gordon Glantz did the same thing in his column, which is on this page, just below the top story).
2. Hamels, Utley slam Mets Cole Hamels hurls 8 shutout innings, Chase Utley blasts grand slam homer in 7th as Phillies crush host Mets, 6-0. Hamels strikes out 8, scatters 6 hits while picking up his 3rd straight victory. Hamels retires final 13 batters he faces. Ken Giles pitches 9th inning. Jimmy Rollins, Grady Sizemore stake Hamels to early lead with solo homers in 3rd and 4th inning, respectively. Phillies wrap up series with Mets on Wednesday (12:10 p.m.).
3. Fierro talks Eagles on Blog Talk Radio Listen to special guest Nick Fierro, who covers Eagles for Morning Call, discuss issues facing Eagles during training camp on PhillyPhanatics.com’s Blog Talk Radio show. Nick answers questions from Eric Fisher and Ron Opher, and then Ron and Eric discuss the Phillies’ options as trade deadline approaches. To listen to the show, please click here. (To listen to past shows, click here)
4. Trade deadline approaching Major League Baseball’s non-waiver trade deadline is Thursday at 4 p.m. Phillies have veterans to trade, will attempt to acquire prospects in return. Pitchers Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels are top attractions, although Phillies may not get enough in return to part with them. Outfielder Marlon Byrd, reliever Jonathan Papelbon, starting pitchers A.J. Burnett and Kyle Kendrick more likely to be traded. Infielders Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley would have to agree to waive no-trade clauses if Phillies were to consider deal involving them. Giants acquire pitcher Jake Peavy from Red Sox for pair of minor-league pitching prospects. Market for Papelbon closing as Tigers acquire Rangers closer Joakim Soria for 2 prospects and Angels acquire closer Huston Street from Padres in 6-player deal mostly consisting of prospects. Mariners, reportedly interested in Byrd, acquire Kendrys Morales, a switch-hitting first baseman/DH, from Twins.
5. Phillies release Gwynn Phillies release outfielder Tony Gwynn Jr., 31, after designating him for assignment last week. He batted .163 with Phillies. Reports say Phillies will hold private workout for Cuban defector Rusney Castillo, who is an outfielder. Castillo held a workout attended by representatives of most major-league teams on Saturday.
6. Soul lose, but make playoffs Pittsburgh Power pound visiting Soul, 64-34, for 12th straight win, but Soul (9-9) qualify for playoffs because Cleveland defeats Tampa Bay, 56-49, leaving Storm with 8-10 record. As fourth seed in American Conference playoffs, Soul will visit first-place Cleveland on Saturday (7 p.m.) in first round of playoffs.
7. Home of the Braves An estimated crowd of nearly 50,000 comes to Cooperstown to see former Atlanta Braves pitchers Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux and former long-time Braves manager Bobby Cox inducted into Baseball Hall of Fame. Other mangers inducted include former Yankees manager Joe Torre and former Cardinals, A’s and White Sox manager Tony La Russa. White Sox first baseman/DH Frank Thomas also in star-studded Hall of Fame class.
8. Gordon wins at Brickyard Jeff Gordon takes lead away from Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kasey Kahne on restart and hangs on for 5th career victory at Brickyard 400 and his first win there since 2004. Gordon, an Indiana native, won on Jeff Gordon Day in Indianapolis. With 2 wins, Gordon, the overall points leader, clinches berth in Chase for Sprint Cup. Kyle Busch finishes second, followed by Denny Hamlin, Matt Kenseth and Kahne. NASCAR comes to Pocono next Sunday for GoBowling.com 400.
9. Edwards leaving Roush Fenway Roush Fenway Racing announces its 2015 lineup, which does not include Carl Edwards. Greg Biffle, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Trevor Bayne will represent Roush Fenway next year. Statement form Ford Racing director Jamie Allison makes it clear that it was Edwards’ decision to leave. Edwards says he has deal in place for next season, but can’t announce it until all details are worked out.
10. Nibali wins Tour de France Italy’s Vincenzo Nibali captures Tour de France. Nibali won 4 individual stages during Tour de France.
(Listen live to PhillyPhanatics.com’s weekly Internet Blog Talk Radio program this Sunday from 6:30-7 p.m. — or call in to express your opinion or ask a question — by calling 805-727-7014. To listen to past shows, click here)
Phillies 9, Diamondbacks 5
Crystal Palace 1, Union 0
Diamondbacks 10, Phillies 6 (10 inngs.)
Pittsburgh 64, Soul 34
Phillies 4, Diamondbacks 2
Mets 7, Phillies 1
Phillies 6, Mets 0
Phillies at Mets, 12:10 p.m.
Phillies at Nationals, 7 p.m.
Phillies at Nationals, 7 p.m.
Union at Sporting KC, 8 p.m.
Phillies at Nationals, 7 p.m.
Arena Football playoffs
Union at Cleveland, 7 p.m.
Phillies at Nationals, 1:30 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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Eric Fisher’s weekly column on a variety of topics. This week Eric serves up opinions on fans’ limited access to Eagles training camp, a trade that could benefit the Sixers and Flyers, and Tiger Woods’ British Open woes.