Eric Fisher’s weekly column about a variety of topics. This week Eric serves up opinions on the attention devoted to Eagles training camp, the Flyers and Brayden Schenn avoiding arbitration and the NBA and WNBA entering the political arena.
A quick look at 10 sports stories in the news…
1. Eagles sign Sproles Eagles sign RB Darren Sproles to 1-year extension, keeping under contract through 2017. As veterans report to training camp Wednesday, Eagles place RB Ryan Mathews on non-football injury list due to ankle injury sustained last week while training, according to Eagles. Mathews, right guard Brandon Brooks (hamstring) sit out first full-squad practice Thursday and Friday’s practice. Eagles sign WR David Watford, release LB Travis Long, who was attempting comeback after multiple ACL injuries.
2. Eagles LB Bradham arrested Nigel Bradham, expected to start at LB for Eagles, arrested for aggravated battery over alleged incident at beach area of Miami hotel last week. According to arrest report, Bradham’s group of 6 people became upset with speed at which umbrella they rented was brought to them, and that Bradham punched the hotel employee in the face, knocking him to the ground. Head coach Doug Pederson says Bradham will take part in practices. Bradham says he expects his name to be cleared.
3. Listen to Kracz on Eagles Listen as special guest Ed Kracz, Eagles beat writer for Calkins Media, joins Josh Landsburg and Eric Fisher to discuss storylines to watch as Eagles training camp begins during PhillyPhanatics.com’s Blog Talk Radio show. To listen to show, please click here. (To listen to past shows, please click here.)
4. Altherr sparks Phillies Outfielder Aaron Altherr, making his season debut after 4 months on DL due to wrist injury, goes 3 for 4 with home run to boost Phillies past host Braves, 7-5. Phillies use back-to-back homers from Maikel Franco, Tommy Joseph to jump out to 5-0 lead in 1st inning. Altherr’s 2-run homer in 5th inning increases lead to 7-0. Aaron Nola (8 hits, 3 walks, 3 runs) allows 3 runs in 5th inning before being lifted after throwing 95 pitches, but earns 1st win in nearly 2 months. Vince Velasquez pitches tonight (7:30 p.m.) as Phillies continue series with Braves.
5. Trade deadline approaching Starting pitcher Jeremy Hellickson appears to be Phillie most likely to be traded before Monday’s non-waiver trade deadline. Hellickson, who could become free agent after this season, has pitched at least 6 innings in 9 straight starts. Closer Jeanmar Gomez, outfielder Peter Bourjos, catchers Cameron Rupp and Carlos Ruiz among other possibilities to be traded, but Bourjos on DL with shoulder injury. Bourjos is 2nd veteran trade option to get hurt this week. Key reserve Andres Blanco had surgery Wednesday to repair fractured left index finger, likely to miss 6 weeks. Blanco injured finger during Sunday’s loss to Pirates while applying tag at third base.
6. Gordon returns to Pocono Jeff Gordon, who has won 6 times at Pocono, will drive Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s No. 88 on Sunday at Pennsylvania 400. Earnhardt Jr. recovering from concussion-like symptoms. Gordon came out of retirement last week, finishing 13th at Brickyard 400 in Earnhardt’s car. Just 6 races left to qualify before Chase for Sprint Cup begins.
7. Flyers, Schenn avoid arbitration Flyers, forward Brayden Schenn agree to 4-year contract reportedly worth $20.5 million, avoiding salary arbitration just before Monday morning’s scheduled hearing. Schenn, who was a restricted free agent, made $2.75 million last season. Schenn, who will turn 25 in August, had career highs in goals (26) and assists (33) last season. Defenseman Brandon Manning, Flyers’ last restricted free agent, avoids arbitration hearing by signing 2-year contract reportedly worth $1.95 million.
8. Battle for first place Soul visit Orlando on Saturday (7:30 p.m.) in showdown for first place in American Conference. Both teams 13-3 as they enter regular-season finale. Soul will open playoffs Sat., Aug. 6 at PPL Arena in Allentown.
9. Arsenal defeats MLS stars Union goalie Andre Blake, defender Keegan Rosenberry play 1st half, with Blake making 3 saves, as MSL All-Stars lose to Arsenal FC of English Premier League in San Jose. Union (8-7-6) return to action Sunday (7 p.m.) against visiting Real Salt Lake.
10. Dy-no-mite! Jimmy Walker leads PGA Jimmy Walker shoots 5-under-par 65 to take 1st-round lead in PGA Championship at Baltusrol Golf Club in New Jersey. Martin Kaymer, Ross Fisher, Emiliano Grillo 1 stroke behind. British Open champion Henrik Stenson among 4 players 2 strokes off lead.
(Listen live to PhillyPhanatics.com’s weekly Internet Blog Talk Radio program on Sundays 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, please click here.)
Phillies 4, Miami 0
Miami 5, Phillies 0
Miami 11, Phillies 1
Phillies 7, Atlanta 5
Phillies at Atlanta, 7:30 p.m.
Phillies at Atlanta, 7:10 p.m.
Soul at Orlando, 7:30 p.m.
(ends regular season)
Phillies at Atlanta, 1:30 p.m.
Real Salt Lake at Union, 7 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
Should the Phillies only seek trades involving veterans with expiring contracts, such as Jeremy Hellickson and Peter Bourjos? Should they listen to offers for reliever Jeanmar Gomez? What about catcher Cameron Rupp? Let your opinion be known through Voice of the Phanatics.
Starting pitcher Jeremy Hellickson seems to be the most likely Phillie to be on the move by the trade deadline, but there are other intriguing trade possibilities the Phillies could explore. Eric Fisher also examines Aaron Nola’s successful return and the Phillies’ struggling offense.
The Greek God of Wrestling provides expert (his words) analysis of WWE’s draft. Achilles Heel also reminds us of the accuracy of his mock draft, previews Sunday’s Battleground and tells you where and when Roman Reigns returned to WWE.
Expectations shape perceptions. Eagles head coach Doug Pederson faces higher expectations than Brett Brown, Dave Hakstol and Pete Mackanin did during their first seasons at the helm. But the most pressure will be on Brown, who must deal with much higher expectations this season.
Eric Fisher’s weekly column about a variety of topics. This week Eric serves up opinions on how the Dario Saric signing puts pressure on head coach Brett Brown, the forgotten legacy of Marion Campbell and how Jeff Gordon’s possible NASCAR return produced a candidate for quote of the year.
The Greek God of Wrestling presents his mock draft for Tuesday’s Raw and Smackdown draft. Achilles Heel also provides a preview of Ring of Honor’s television taping at 2300 Arena, praises TNA , WWE’s Cruiserweight Classic and John Cena, and runs down the complete Battleground card.
After two years playing for a Turkish team, Croatian forward Dario Saric signs contract with 76ers. The Sixers acquired Saric, a 6-foot-10 forward from Croatia, from the Magic in a draft-night trade in 2014. Saric has spent the past two seasons playing for a Turkish team.