Draft position for Flyers on Friday during 1st round of NHL Draft

Gordon Glantz employs some old-school math to evaluate the Eagles’ quarterback situation. His conclusion is that the Eagles’ best realistic option is to bring back Nick Foles as the starter.

The draft indicates Sixers fans will be asked to sit through another season of bad basketball. Eric Fisher wonders if we’ll still be waiting for the future in 2017.

Statistics indicate that Ryan Howard is having a decent season and Ben Revere is playing like an All-Star, but statistics can be misleading. Eric Fisher also examines Domonic Brown’s whining, the Owens Award winners and Vance Worley’s resurrection.

Archive for the ‘MLB’ Category

Cubs shake off curse

Posted by Eric Fisher On November - 3 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

When you’ve waited 108 years for a championship, what difference does another hour or so make?

The Cubs, trying to shake off the billy goat curse and a history of postseason futility, persevered through a rain delay and two Indians rallies to post an 8-7 victory in 10 innings in Game 7 of the World Series, clinching their first World Series title since 1908.

Teddy Roosevelt occupied the White House the last time the Cubs won a World Series. Harry S Truman was the president the last time the Cubs were even in the World Series before this season, which was 1945. Truman was also the president in 1948, which is the last time the Indians won a World Series.

One franchise’s drought had to end Wednesday night.

Ben Zobrist, who is accustomed to winning World Series, having won the World Series last season with the Royals, lined an opposite-field double to left field to drive in the go-ahead run in the top of the 10th inning. After an intentional walk loaded the bases, catcher Miguel Montero singled home an insurance run that turned out to be necessary when the Indians pushed across a run in the bottom of the 10th inning.

It didn’t appear that the Cubs would require 10th-inning heroics. They appeared comfortably on their way to a championship as they built a 5-1 lead. But then a series of events made long-suffering Cubs fans extremely nervous.

The curse didn’t die without a fight.

Two Cleveland runners scored on the same wild pitch in the fifth inning. That reduced the Cubs’ lead to 5-3.

The Cubs increased their lead to 6-3 in the top of the sixth on a solo home run by catcher David Ross, playing the final game of his career, off the mostly unhittable Andrew Miller. But true Cubs fans knew it was too early to celebrate.

The Indians scored 3 runs off Cubs closer Aroldis Chapman with two outs in the eighth inning. Brandon Guyer doubled home a run to reduce the deficit to 6-4. Rajai Davis followed by lining a two-run homer to left field, tying the game at 6-6.

The Cubs put a man on third base in the ninth inning with one out, but couldn’t get the run home.

What additional torture was in store for the Cubs?

After the game advanced to extra innings, the teams had to endure a rain delay, adding to the angst of fans of both teams.

Once the rain subsided, though, the Cubs made their move. Zobrist’s double put the Cubs ahead. Montero’s RBI single gave the Cubs a two-run cushion.

The second run was essential because the Indians – and the curse – weren’t done yet. Guyer walked and then moved into scoring position without a throw. Davis singled Guyer home, reducing the Indians’ deficit to one run and chasing pitcher Carl Edwards Jr. from the game.

Left-hander Mike Montgomery induced a groundout from former Phillie Michael Martinez, sealing the victory, completing the Cubs’ comeback from a 3-1 series deficit, and lifting the curse.

This is the second long championship drought ended by general manager Theo Epstein, who did the same thing with the Red Sox.

This is the first World Series title for manager Joe Maddon, who reached the 2008 World Series with the Rays, who lost to the Phillies. Zobrist was with the Rays that year, but this year he and Maddon can celebrate a championship – along with millions of long-suffering Cubs fans.

Meanwhile, the Indians’ misery continues. This was their first World Series appearance since 1997, when the Marlins scored two late runs, including one against closer Jose Mesa in the 9th inning, en route to an 11-inning triumph in Game 7.

Their misery was more prolonged this season. The Indians built a 3-1 series lead, only to be denied by the Cubs in three opportunities to clinch.

You can view Wednesday’s epic Game 7 as the lifting of a curse or the continuation of decades of misery.

It all depends on your perspective.


World Series preview: Drought will end

Posted by Eric Fisher On October - 25 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

One certainty about this year’s World Series is that one franchise’s lengthy championship drought will end while another franchise’s long-suffering fans will feel as if they are cursed.

The Cubs, seeking to win the World Series for the first time in 108 years, are making their first appearance in the World Series since 1945. That’s three years before the Indians, who last appeared in the World Series in 1997, won their second World Series title.

The Cubs appear to be the better team on paper. The underdog Indians, however, have spent the entire postseason proving that series aren’t won on paper.

The Indians, of course, are trying to follow in the footsteps of LeBron James and the Cavaliers, whose NBA title in June represents Cleveland’s first sports championship since 1964.

Let’s take a look at the World Series opponents.


Pitching: Corey Kluber , who won the AL Cy Young Award in 2014, has flashed his old former during the postseason. Kluber will start Game 1. Injuries to Carlos Carrasco and Danny Salazar left the Indians short-handed, but Josh Tomlin and Trevor Bauer (12-8, 4.26 ERA) have picked up the slack – at least until Bauer bled all over the place in Game 3 of the ALCS after receiving stitches to repair an injury sustained while preparing a drone. Salazar is on the Indians’ World Series roster, although it’s not clear if he will start or be relegated to a relief role. The Indians’ bullpen doesn’t need much assistance. Andrew Miller, the ALCS MVP, has been fantastic. Miller has struck out 21 of the 41 batters he’s faced this postseason, limiting opponents to 5 hits and not allowing any runs. Miller and closer Cody Allen, who hasn’t allowed a run in 7 2/3 postseason innings this year, make the Indians extremely tough to beat if they take a lead into the seventh inning.

Lineup: The middle infield, consisting of second baseman Jason Kipis (25 home runs, .275 average) and shortstop Francisco Lindor, who has been tremendous during the postseason.  First baseman Mike Napoli and designated hitter Carlos Santana are the Indians’ prime power threats, although Kipnis and Lindor possess power. Third baseman Jose Ramirez also enjoyed a strong season. Catcher Roberto Perez has done a good job during the postseason. The Indians don’t have much punch in the outfield.


Pitching: The Cubs have an impressive starting rotation. Jon Lester (19-5, 2.44 ERA), co-MVP of the NLCS, starts Game 1. The rest of the rotation consists of Kyle Hendricks (16-8, 2.13 ERA), 2015 Cy Young Award winner Jake Arrieta (18-8, 3.10 ERA) and John Lackey (11-8, 3.35). Flame-throwing closer Aroldis Chapman blew a save against the Dodgers in the NLCS, but he’s one of the top closers in the game. Like their rotation, the Cubs have plenty of depth in the bullpen. Hector Rendon, Travis Wood, Mike Montgomery, Carl Edwards Jr. and Pedro Strop are all reliable options.

Lineup: The Cubs’ infield is scary good. Third baseman Kris Bryant and first baseman Anthony Rizzo both batted .292 during the regular season. Bryant hit 39 home runs and produced 102 RBI; Rizzo slammed 32 home runs and produced 109 RBI. Second baseman Javier Baez topped his clutch effect against the Giants during the NLDS by earning co-MVP honors during the NLCS. And don’t forget about outstanding young shortstop Addison Russell, who hit a big home run against the Dodgers. Center fielder Dexter Fowler, leads a mediocre outfield. Catcher Willson Contreras has been solid, both at the plate and behind it. The Cubs may receive a boost from the return of Kyle Schwarber, who has been sidelined since the start of the season with a knee injury. Schwarber begins the Series as a designated hitter. Schwarber may be rusty, but his potential is intriguing.

Prediction: The Indians weren’t intimidated by the Red Sox or Blue Jays, so don’t expect them to be intimidated by the Cubs. The key to this series is the Indians’ pitching against the Cubs’ lineup. If the Indians’ starters can limit the Cubs’ offense, they can turn the series into a battle of the bullpen. With Miller and Allen, the Indians have a late-game edge. . Former Phillies manager Terry Francona deserves a lot of credit for guiding the Indians to the World Series , but their starters have to be exceptional for them to hang in there with the Cubs. The Cubs have the pitching, the lineup, the defense and the manager (Joe Maddon) to end the 108-year championship drought. Cubs in 6





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