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!
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!”
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.”
“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.
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.
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!)
“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.
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.
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.
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…
Good morning every….body! Sorry I just had to do it! If you’ve listened into the “new” 97.5 The Fanatic that is the greeting you now get from Anthony Gargano. I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with The Cuz so I’m not going to jump to judgement on the new show just yet. I’ll give it another few weeks and then I’ll share my thoughts with the 2 people that read the site. Now let’s move on to the important stuff…the “Morning Musings.”
I’ve finally settled into a new job and it will allow me to do a lot of different things such as actually contributing to my own site! Morning Musings will focus on really just about anything but will still focus mainly on Philadelphia sports and of course some pro ‘rasslin’! Right now I’m thinking about a Monday, Wednesday, Friday type of thing but we shall see. Anyway, let’s do it!
Rock Bottom! Rock Bottom! Rock Bottom!
17,097. Look at that figure, take it in, take a deep breathe, does it make you as angry as it makes me? That’s the attendance from yesterday’s 9-1 Phillies loss at Citizens Bank Park. It’s also the lowest crowd in the history of CBP and the lowest since June, 4 2003 (I’m pretty sure I was at this game with my buddy Jay) when the Phils had a whopping 16,232 at the Vet. Three seasons ago this team was averaging 40,000-plus per game and now it’s all gone to shit. Way to go guys! I’m looking at you RAJ and company. How does a “large market” team allow this to happen?! It’s disgraceful.
What’s the big deal about signing Tim Tebow? If Tebow is the Eagles starting quarterback at any point this upcoming season then the Birds are dead in the water. He’s obviously here because Chip Kelly see’s something in Tebow that a lot of other teams didn't. It’s the intangibles that you don’t see on the field. Tebow has been a winner at every level and by all accounts is a vocal locker room leader. Football teams need guys like that. The Eagles need that! They haven't since Brian Dawkins, who still hasn't been replaced at safety! Call it the Rudy-effect if you would. If Tebow busts his ass in practice, the weight room, and the playbook it will show. Stuff like that rubs off on other players. Frankly, I get it and I’m on board...for now.
The day before the Super Bowl, the culmination of the National Football League’s season, I stopped into a local supermarket, and was pleasantly surprised to see a sign of things to come:
A fantasy baseball magazine.
558 Scouting Reports! Ballpark Power Index! Sleepers! Busts! Mock Draft! Mike Trout #1 Pick! It was in those 148 pages of awesomeness!
Now that this football nonsense is over, it’s time to get serious about sports.
In less than two weeks, equipment trucks filled with gloves, jerseys, sunflower seeds, and jock straps will hit the road, foul lines will be sprayed on, bleacher lights will shine, and pitchers and catchers will report to Florida and Arizona, a spring training prelude to the 2015 Major League Baseball season.
And, in the next few weeks, as I have done for over 10 years, I will sit down with my dad, and cousins, and draft players for my fantasy team, Musial’s Men.
I have never come close to winning my league, but this year, it’s my year. I can feel it.
As we do an auction draft, we have so much money to draft players, so it’s important to spend wisely: do I splurge on Clayton Kershaw, or try to get two lesser starting pitchers for the same amount of money, say, James Shields and Michael Wacha? Do I build around an ace pitcher like Kershaw, or do I go for the home run/RBI/stolen base potential of Trout?
For the last few years, my family league has instituted a Keeper system, meaning that we can retain so many players from the previous year. This year, I have decisions to make: do I keep 2nd baseman Jason Kipnis, who had a rough, injury-laden year but is still in the top four at his position? Will outfielder Yoenis Cespedes play well in Detroit? Will Jose Abreu add to his Rookie of the Year 2014 season, or endure a sophomore slump?
What about Corey Kluber, who won 18 games, had a 1.44 ERA, and struck out 269 en route to the American League Cy Young?
As I’m not sure if any of my competitors are reading this, even though I hope they are, because, support (hi, cousin Mike and aunt Carolina!), I will not divulge any of my intentions for this year.
But I’m getting ready. The war room of Musial’s Men is preparing for the draft.
But, the draft is just a small part of my excitement. Baseball’s coming back, ladies and gentleman!
Happy Royal Rumble weekend mothas! This is one of the best weekends on the wrestling calendar because of all the surprise that usually abound with the Rumble match itself. We’re winding down the guys that I, The Doc, want to see in the Rumble match. I’ve changed things up a bit and will give you my #1 & #2 choices combined tomorrow. Why did I change things up?!? Well, WWE threw a curveball by announcing that WrestleMania 32 will be held in Dallas. With Trips in charge you can tell that WWE is thinking about things in advance. But are they thinking a year-plus in advance? I don’t know but one can hope! That leads me into the #3 guy I want to see in the Royal Rumble. Hell, I want to see this guy back on WWE in some capacity but a Royal Rumble appearance in a big time PRO WRESTLING city would just be awesome. WHAT? I said it would be awesome! What?
The Royal Rumble match is about getting cheap pops just as much as it is about getting a guy into the main event spot for WrestleMania. Part of the allure to the match is seeing who is going to come back and where WWE can take them after they do. Since WWE announced that next year’s ‘Mania is going to be in Dallas they better start booking now. They’re going to have to bring fire power to JerryWorld to get 100,000 people in the joint. Bring this guy in this year and build out to something awesome next year!