Week (at least) that Joel Embiid is expected to miss due to left knee soreness

In a draft loaded with quality defensive prospects, the Eagles can’t afford to swing and miss in a “can’t miss” first round. Eric Fisher uses past drafts to illustrate the impact of making the right — or wrong — pick.

The time for talking about promise and potential is over. The Sixers’ progress should be measured in wins next season, and anything less than contending for a playoff berth should be deemed unacceptable.

Eric Fisher’s weekly column about a variety of topics. This week Eric serves up opinions on the dramatic change that can occur in a draft lottery, why rooting for Sidney Crosby — yes, Sidney Crosby — is OK under certain circumstances, and the impact of Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s retirement.

Archive for the ‘Phillies’ Category

Quite a catch

Posted by Eric Fisher On February - 7 - 2019 ADD COMMENTS

The Phillies made a major upgrade at catcher Thursday, acquiring J.T. Realmuto from the Marlins.

Phillies general manager Matt Klentak referred to Realmuto as “the best catcher in baseball.” That’s why the Phillies were willing to give up Sixto Sanchez, their top pitching prospect as part of the package sent to the Marlins. The Phillies also included catcher Jorge Alfaro, minor-league left-hander Willie Stewart and international bonus-pool money  as part of the deal.

Realmuto, who will turn 28 years old in March, batted .277 last season and established career highs in home runs (21) and RBI (74). Realmuto struck out 104 times, but that’s 34 fewer strikeouts last season than Alfaro, who played 17 fewer games. Realmuto should also be a defensive upgrade over Alfaro. He is only several years older than Alfaro.

Realmuto, who batted .303 for the Marlins in 2016, is the latest upgrade to a Phillies lineup that struggled last season. Shortstop Jean Segura and outfielder Andrew McCutchen, both acquired during the offseason, should both be upgrades at the plate.

The Phillies could still make a major upgrade by signing either outfielder Bryce Harper or infielder Manny Machado. However, with the addition of Realmuto, they may already have become a pennant contender.


Hall-aday weekend

Posted by Eric Fisher On January - 22 - 2019 ADD COMMENTS

It didn’t take long for Roy Halladay to be selected for the Baseball Hall of Fame. In his first year of eligibility, Halladay received 85.4 percent of the vote from the Baseball Writers Association of America.

The ceremony in Cooperstown, N.Y., on July 21 will be bittersweet, however, because Halladay died on Nov. 7, 2017, when the plane he was piloting crashed into the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Florida.

Halladay will be inducted along with reliever Mariano Rivera, starting pitcher Mike Mussina and designated hitter Edgar Martinez. Rivera became the first unanimous selection in the history of the Baseball Hall of Fame.  Reliever Lee Smith and outfielder/designated hitter Harold Baines, chosen by the Today’s Game Era Committee, will also be inducted on July 21.

Halladay spent most of his career with the Blue Jays, playing in the shadow of the Yankees and Red Sox in the American League East Division. He received his first opportunity to play in the postseason when he joined the Phillies in 2010. Halladay made the most of his opportunity, hurling a no-hitter against the Reds in his first playoff appearance. Halladay and Don Larsen are the only pitchers to throw a no-hitter during the playoffs. Earlier in that season, Halladay threw a perfect game against the Marlins.

Halladay won the National League Cy Young Award in 2010, giving him a Cy Young Award in each league. (He won the AL Cy Young Award with the Blue Jays in 2003.)

Halladay, who spent four seasons with the Phillies, finished his career with a record of 203-105. He threw 67 complete games and was an eight-time All-Star. But Halladay was renowned for how he did his job almost as much as for what he accomplished. Halladay was known for being a fierce competitor. He was usually the first player at the ballpark during spring training, and his workout routine was spoken of in awestruck tones.

After compiling records of 21-10 and 19-6 in his first two seasons with the Phillies, Halladay tailed off with record of 11-8 and 4-5 in his final two seasons.

Former Phillies pitcher Curt Schilling received 60.9 percent of the vote, short of the required 75 percent for induction but an increase from the 51.2 percent he received last year.

(click on logo above for 2012 season schedule)
Side angle of Cody Parkey's missed field goal