Section 247 Sports Blog

25Jun/15Off

Nola, Crawford Selected For Futures Game Roster

Phillies Prospect Aaron Nola is selected to the Futures Game Roster. c/o mlbtraderumors

Phillies Prospect Aaron Nola is selected to the Futures Game Roster. c/o mlbtraderumors

@Sec247Sports

The Phillies minor leaguers might have more of a presence than the big leaguers during the upcoming MLB All Star festivities in Cincinnati.  MLB has announces the rosters for the 2015 Futures Game and two Phils farmhands have made the cut.

Pitcher Aaron Nola and shortstop J.P. Crawford (think of Dan Baker announcing this name when reading) have been selected to represent the United States squad

Nola, the Phillies best pitching prospect, has a 9-3 record with a 1.91 ERA this season.  He was recently promoted to triple-A Lehigh Valley and could be ticketed for a big league debut in the very near future.

Crawford is batting .339 this season between time at single-A Clearwater and double-A Reading.  In addition to his high batting average, Crawford owns a 39-game on base streak and a .420 OBP.  Crawford is ranked as the Phillies top prospect, 14th overall in baseball, and is expected to fight for major league playing time next year.

8Jun/15Off

With the 10th Pick in the MLB First Year Player Draft, the Philadelphia Phillies Select…

15_DRAFT_LOGOBy Michael Lipinski     @MJL_52

The MLB First Year Player Draft starts tonight in BEAUTIFUL Secaucus, NJ.  Let me tell you there’s nothing better than spending a night in Secaucus or North Jersey in general.

Anyway, this year’s draft will prove to be a pivotal one of the Fightin’s who have the 10th overall pick and look to rebuild the disaster that Ruben Amaro, Jr. has created.  In addition to the 10th pick, the Phillies also have the 48th pick as well.  Actually they have a lot more but only the first two rounds are being done tonight so there!

This analysis on this draft is seemingly all over the place.  Some sites are high on the prep (high school/non-college) talent that’s going to be available this year.  Others not so much.  The same can be said for the college talent.  Some sites love’em and others hate ‘em.

The same can be said for the Phillies who will hold their first draft under new director of scouting Johnny Almaraz.  No one is really sure what direction the Phillies are going to go in.  Will they take another college arm that can be in the big leagues in a matter of a few years? Perhaps it will be a high upside high school player?  Either way we will know by around 11pm tonight.  Let’s hope that Ruben doesn’t ruin it!

Here are a few names that Phillies fans should keep their eyes on…

Prep Players

OF Kyle Tucker, Plant HS (Tampa, FL)

C Tyler Stephenson, Kennesaw Mountain HS (Georgia)

LHP Kolby Allard, San Clemente HS (California)

OF Trenton Clark, Richland Hills HS (Texas)

OF Daz Cameron, Eagle’s Landing Christian (McDonough, GA)

5Jun/15Off

Doc’s Diagnosis: Ring of Honor Finally Does It!

ROH-LogoThe Doc     @Sec247Sports

Well my friends business has certainly picked up!  A few weeks ago it looked as though TNA Impact Wrestling was on its deathbed (it still might be) and Destination America was going to bid farewell to professional wrestling.  Once again the landscape of wrestling would go from two major promotions, you know the promotions with national TV, back to one.  WWE was once again going to be the only true show in town.

But Ring of Honor had other plans!

Unless you’ve been living under a rock most wrestling fans have heard of or seen Ring of Honor (ROH) in some fashion.  Damn I miss those shows at the National Guard Armory in Northeast Philly!  Hell, ROH has been around longer than TNA stepping into the void that was left when ECW closed up shop.  That's a LONG TIME AGO people!

ROH, in its current form, has been syndicated nationally by their parent company Sinclair Broadcasting for the past 5-years or so.  As vast as the Sinclair network is they were never never able to gain TV in major cities, ROH strongholds, such as Philadelphia, LA, and New York.  This left them behind the eight ball in their chase to be the #2 company in professional wrestling (North America people! I know NJPW is BIG!)

Enter Destination America.

The home of TNA Impact Wrestling is now the home of ROH and thus ROH now has national TV.  I firmly believe that DA will be giving TNA the double-finger Austin style in the next few months but we shall see. Either way, the addition of ROH to the DA portfolio has done something dramatic to the pro wrestling landscape.

It has made ROH the #2 company in professional wrestling.

That’s right ROH, the lead-in to TNA or is it TNA picking up after ROH, is now without question the #2 pro wrestling organization.

Say what?!?

Here’s why.

National TV

Many have considered ROH the bonafide # 2 for some time but it was hard to truly classify them as such without a national TV deal.  Sure with Sinclair they were broadcast around the country on various channels but in reality it was a syndication deal.  While a show would air every week it was on at different times in different markets.  If you lived in Poplar Bluff, MO you might be able to watch ROH at 11pm but Missoula, MT might get the show at 1am.  There was zero consistency and ZERO programming in Philadelphia, New York, or Los Angeles.

Until now.

4Jun/15Off

Wednesday Wrestling Report: Wednesday Night Wars!

By Michael Lipinski     @MJL_52

It’s not quite the “Monday Night War” but Wednesday has quickly become the must see night for professional wrestling.  NXT, Ring of Honor (ROH), and TNA Impact Wrestling now inhabit what was once a barren wasteland for wrestling fans.  Due to the influx of action we are proud to present the “Wednesday Wrestling Report (WWR),” a new feature that will inhabit this site on a weekly basis covering what Good Ol' JR has called the "Wednesday Night Wars."

The WWR will feature show results and commentary from our team of expert correspondents, really a bunch of 30-somethings who decided they didn’t want to grow up.

Enjoy.

c/o WWE

c/o WWE

NXT: Rose Returns, Regal Makes a Major Announcement, Rhyno vs. Balor

Quick Results:

Tyler Breeze def. Adam Rose

Total Divas star Eva Marie announces she will compete in NXT

William Regal announces Kevin Owens will defend the NXT title against Finn Balor on July 4 from Tokyo…live on the WWE Network!

Alexa Bliss def. Carmella

The Vaudevillians def. Marcus Louis & Jason Jordan

Finn Balor def. Rhyno

Analysis:  Yet another quality show from NXT.  Adam Rose dominated a good portion of his match with Tyler Breeze although he came up short in the end.  It looks as though it’s the beginning of a rebuild for Rose who at one time had a great following in NXT.  Perhaps NXT is where Rose needs to stay.

22May/15Off

Doc’s Diagnosis: Samoa Joe! Owens Fighting! TNA Done?!

By The Doc

Hello my loyal followers!  It’s been a while…too long in fact.  Mike and company asked me to make this a monthly column and I immediately balked at the request.  Monthly? Let’s do it weekly! You’re going to get my thoughts on the world of pro wrestling once a week.  Now that’s awesome!  Let’s get to it!

Samoa Joe Debuts at NXT Takeover. C/O WWE Network

Samoa Joe Debuts at NXT Takeover. C/O WWE Network

Joe! Joe! Joe!

Samoa Joe has finally made it to WWE or at least NXT and he’s apparently there as Samoa Joe which is awesome!  Depending on who you believe Joe may or may not have signed an exclusive deal with WWE.  Personally, I think that his independent bookings are a smoke screen similar to the way Daniel Bryan had bookings after he was fired many years ago.  Think about it for a second.  Do you think Vince McMahon, because he has to sign off on everything, would ever agree to a deal where Joe, or anyone else, could go elsewhere and make money off of WWE TV appearances?

No way.  Joe is now a WWE guy or at least a NXT guy and that’s awesome.

For the next few months, because who knows if Joe is going to go up to the main roster, the fans are going to be treated to something awesome.  First, Joe-Steen Owens….WOW.  After that…Joe vs. Balor, and then the possibilities are unlimited!

The NXT roster better be ready because “Joe is gonna kill you!”

19May/15Off

Sixers Still Winners After Draft Lottery

Courtesy of sixers.debats-sports.com

Courtesy of sixers.debats-sports.com

Decided to do a special blog post since it's an exciting night for Sixers fans who have trusted every shrewd move Sam Hinkie has made to resurrect this franchise.  Sixers fans for so long were tired of just making the playoffs, usually as the seventh or eighth seed to get destroyed by a top seed, then have a middle first round pick that would not take the team to the next level.  It was agonizing.

Then the new ownership and new CEO Scott O'Neil handed the keys to Sam Hinkie after the Andrew Bynum disaster thanks to former CEO Adam Aron and former Sixer great (player, but not talent evaluator and executive) Doug Collins.

Right from the get go, Hinkie made it known that the current roster was not good enough, he would implode it and start it from scratch as he wasted no time at his first draft as GM in 2013 trading Jrue Holiday coming off an All-Star season for Nerlens Noel and the pick that landed Dario Saric in 2014.

Hinkie then turned his wrath to what was left of the roster.  He unloaded maligned former No. 2 overall pick Evan Turner, Spencer Hawes (who is now stealing money/a salary cap anchor on the Clippers), and Thaddeus Young (unfortunate, but necessary).  Hinkie also got rid of players he hand-picked such as MCW and K.J. McDaniels, two picks that have talent and blossomed but probably will not have as high a ceiling as the players soon mentioned below.

Every time a moron national analyst rips the Sixers process, it is often comical how they tend to dismiss and forget how teams such as Oklahoma City, Golden State and in a way, the Spurs did to become the powerhouses they are now.  What these teams all have in common is they sacrificed a few years of trying to contend in order to build home-grown talent through the draft since they are not in an extremely lucrative market such as LA, New York or even Miami.  These teams then filled their other holes second tier players with lower cap hits and take smart, calculated risks in bringing in a high echelon free agent.

That's exactly the position the Sixers are in now after tonight's Draft Lottery.

While the Sixers did not get the three potential first round picks they had a shot at, they still came away with the No. 3 overall pick.  Here's why this is fantastic going forward:

  • It means the Sixers will likely get D'Angelo Russell.  Russell has the size that Hinkie and his analytics team covet.  He is 6'3 without shoes and already weighs close to 200 pounds.  He shot 44.9 percent from the field last year, including 41.1 percent from behind the arc.  He also fills a position of need as a true starting guard that can hopefully build chemistry with a healthy returning Tony Wroten (FWIW, Ish Smith would still be a solid depth guard).
  • The East is weak.  When fans talk about the NBA, it's always the same teams:  Spurs, Thunder (when healthy), whatever team has LeBron and the Lakers (how overrated or truly laughably bad they are).  If Joel "Coach" Embiid is healthy next season, Russell is the Sixers' pick, Noel has another great season and some solid role players are added, the Sixers all of a sudden are at minimum competitive in the middle of the pack in the East (perhaps just a bit better in comparison to Milwaukee this past season).
  • The Sixers still have picks and help coming.  Remember, Saric is not here yet (likely 2016 season he will make the jump).  This along with the possibility of four more first round picks next year (check out Liberty Ballers for a solid breakdown) and the potential to hand out max contracts in free agency is going to make this a really fun team to watch by the 2016-17 season.

So for the first time in a long time, imagine this just without any free agent signings (and assume Russell is this year's pick) what the 2016-17 roster could feature:  D'Angelo Russell, Tony Wroten, Dario Saric, Nerlens Noel and Joel Embiid.  #ThisStartsNow

Courtesy of giphy.com

 

Filed under: Bob Sharpe Comments Off
18May/15Off

Mike’s Musings Part 1: Flyers Hire North Dakota’s Dave Hakstol

c/o College Hockey News

c/o College Hockey News

Musings from @MJL_52

I would like to thank the Philadelphia Flyers for totally destroying my “Morning Musings” "Mike's Musings" and forcing me to rewrite the whole damn thing!

So did you hear the Flyers hired a new coach and he’s not named Babcock?  Well, they did!

In a surprise move, the Flyers officially named 47-year old Dave Hakstol as the 19th coach in franchise history.  Hakstol has been the head coach at the University of North Dakota for the past 11-seasons leading the Fightin’ Sioux UND to seven Frozen Four appearances including one Frozen Final.  He has never coached or played in the NHL.

Frankly, it doesn’t matter whether Hakstol has or has not played in the NHL.  Scotty Bowman never played a game in the NHL and went on to be one of the best, perhaps the best, coaches in league history.  This is a great move that shows that Hextall, not to be confused with Hakstol, is clearly at the helm of the ship in South Philadelphia.

Hextall had the opportunity to see Hakstol up close at UND when Brett Hextall played for the team formerly known as the Fightin’ Sioux (I hate you NCAA!!!).  So it’s safe to assume that this wasn’t some fly off the cuff type of hiring.  Hexy easily had enough to know what he was getting in Hakstol.  In addition to coaching the younger Hextall, Hakstol has developed 20 NHL players including Jonathan Toews & T.J. Oshie.

At first glance this is a really refreshing move from the Flyers.

CHECK THE LINKS BELOW FOR MORE ON THE NEW COACH

1May/15Off

Today in Sports History: Rickey Slides into the Record Books, Ryan Express Says No-No, Philles & Mets Fans Unite

By @Sec247Sports Staff

May 1 has proven to be a HUGE day for Major League Baseball. Here are a few things that took place this day in sports history.

YouTube Preview Image

May 1, 1991: Rickey Henderson Steals #939 & Nolan Ryan Throws No-No #7

May 1, 1991 was a great night to be a fan of baseball.  It was on this night that the great Rickey Henderson, with a steal third base, passed Lou Brock to become baseball's all-time base thief.  Henderson would go on to finish his career with a remarkable 1406 steals.

But that's not all that happened that night.

Not to be out done by Rickey's thievery was 44-year old Nolan Ryan.  Ryan, behind 16 K's and only two walks, became the oldest pitcher to throw a no hitter in Major League history.  It would mark the seventh and final time that Ryan would throw a no-no.

YouTube Preview Image

May 1 2011: Barack Obama Announces the US Navy SEALs have Killed Osama Bin Laden

During a nationally televised ESPN Sunday Night Baseball game between the Mets and the Phillies news broke that US Navy SEALs shot and killed 9/11 mastermind Osama Bin Laden.  The news slowly trickeled through the stands of Citizens Bank Park and in a display of unity Mets fans and Phillies fans began chanting "USA, USA, USA!"  The sellout crowd of 45,000+ caught the players off guard as they had no idea what had occurred.

I don't like to give Philadelphia fans too much credit, but they got this one right. I guess it's a proud moment to stand out there and you've 45-50,000 [fans] chanting That was pretty special.

-David Wright, New York Mets 3B

The Mets would go on to defeat the Phillies 2-1 in 14-innings but the game really didn't matter after the display of patriotism.

Our Michael Lipinski was there that night.  Here's how he remembers the events unfolding:

I was at this game, I refer to it as the "Bin Laden game."  It was a surreal moment, hell the whole game was surreal.  You have to remember that this is the height of the Phillies run and the rivalry between the Phils & Mets.  There were a lot of New Yorker's in the house and you know how they can be...just moronic.  I remember getting a message on my phone that the President was going to speak about a matter of national security.

It was bone-chilling to read that because you're sitting in a stadium with 45,000 people and there's a national security concern.  What was it? Are we safe?Those are the things that run through your mind.

1May/15Off

Morning Musings: NFL Draft Edition

By Michael Lipinski @MJL_52

Well that was fun wasn't it! All the ballyhoo and bullshit about the Eagles trading up to land Marcus Mariota proved to be nothing.  Actually it was a whole lot of something that was sabotaged by a former Eagles coach who may or may not like a cheeseburger or two!  No that’s not a fat joke it’s fact.  Big Red loves cheeseburgers.  Anyway, let’s get on to this late afternoon edition of the “Morning Musings.”

Marcus Mariota in his awesome throwback Oregon uni! Photo: Bleacher Report

Marcus Mariota in his awesome throwback Oregon uni! Photo: Bleacher Report

“With the 2nd pick in the NFL draft…”

I really though the Eagles were going to trade up to #2 and snag Marcus Mariota to be their next franchise quarterback.  If you, like me, believe what’s been reported than the Eagles did everything in their power to do just that only to be screwed, once again, by Andy Reid.

Let's recap.

Chip decides to offer a bunch of picks, a few players, Howie Roseman, and Cole Hamels to the Titans in exchange for the #2 pick. It seems like it’s going to be the Eagles at #2.  It’s going to be the Eagles at #2 until Andy decides to tell some story about Mike Ditka and the 1999 draft (BOOOOOOO!!!!! #5 will always love you!) to our friends in Nashville.

Poof! What was once ours is now gone.  Just like that in the blink of an eye.  Marcus is no longer coming to Philadelphia.

It sucks.

But after sleeping on it, I've come to the conclusion that it’s okay.  I like that Chip Kelly has decided to rebuild his defense during this off season.  Giving up Fletcher Cox, Mychal Kendricks (who may be traded regardless) and whoever else would've been too much.  When you look at history it’s still defenses that win championships.

Now moving on the offense, I believe that the Eagles, as present constituted, will have an offense that is more than capable of scoring points.   It would've been great to have Mariota and Chip doing their thing but it just wasn't meant to be.  Besides the Eagles have a few too many holes that they need to fill and right now they have a QB (HAHAHA!)

Former USC WR Nelson Agholor. #20 overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. Photo: Rant Sports

Former USC WR Nelson Agholor. #20 overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. Photo: Rant Sports

“With the 20th pick in the NFL Draft…”

I watch a lot of college football so I've seen my fair share of USC games.  In fact, I really miss those old Thursday night WAC games between Boise State and Fresno State.  Those games were great.  They started at 10, which was a perfect nightcap after then WWF SmackDown!, and each team would score 60+ points.  Good times.

Moving on. I really like the Nelson Agholor pick.

27Apr/15Off

Morning Musings: NFL Draft, Ryan Howard, Hamels Trade Rumors, & the DH

musingsBy @MJL_52

Happy NFL Draft week everybody! By this time next week we will know if Chip Kelly has the set of gonads that everyone says he does.  Will the Eagles mortgage the future to get Marcus Mariota? Will they take a wide receiver or a defensive back?  Please God tell me they didn’t draft a lineman! Anyway, all that ballyhoo and banter will be done and over with shortly…I hope. I digress…here’s the Morning Musings.

Marcus Mariota in his awesome throwback Oregon uni! Photo: Bleacher Report

Marcus Mariota in his awesome throwback Oregon uni! Photo: Bleacher Report

What should the Eagles do in the draft?  I think they need to make every effort to get Marcus Mariota and I think that’s exactly what they’re trying to do.  Can it be done?  Maybe.  Maybe not.  The game is changing a bit so perhaps two first round picks (this year & next year), a player or two, and some later round picks will get it done.  As someone who follows the college game closely I wouldn’t be too upset if they don’t get Mariota because this draft is fairly stocked with DB’s and WR’s.  The Eagles could certainly use help at both positions. Stay tuned.

 

Photo: CheesesteakswithBarkley

Photo: CheesesteakswithBarkley

It seems as though Ryan Howard has found his power stroke again and that is a great thing for the Phillies.  The Big Piece has hit three homers and driven in five RBIs in the last five games.  Hopefully Howard can keep up this pace for the next month or so and ultimately allow the Phillies to trade him for something more than a bag of balls.  I don’t’ care what everyone says the Phillies need to bring up Maikel Franco and they need to do it soon. Speaking of trades…