Monthly Archives: December 2008

Hernandez a Phillie Again

Former Phillie Yoel Hernandez was recently signed to a minor-league deal along with ten others.  Hernandez was with the Phils throughout the 2007 season.  He finished the year with only 14 appearances, an 0-0 record, and 5.28 ERA.  Opponents were hitting over .300 against the right hander.

The bottom line:  Hernandez will likely spend the season with AAA Lehigh-Valley.  If there is a Major injury to a right handed reliever, Hernandez could spend a little time with the big club.  It is unlikely however, he will affect the orginization at all.  (Below are Hernandez’s 2007 Numbers with the Phillies)

Team G GS W L SV CG SHO IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP BAA
2007 PHI 14 0 0 0 0 0 0 15.1 20 9 9 2 1 13 5.28 1.37 .303

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Do the Eagles Deserve Their Playoff Spot?

I got in a heated debate today with a few writers at BleacherReport.com I made the argument that the Eagles don’t deserve their playoff spot when you look at all the opportunities they missed this year. You can view the entire article with the comments here. I was wondering what you thought on the issue?

And yes, this is a Phillies blog but it’s the off-season and the Eagles are in the middle of something special so we will put out a little coverage on them, including a Playoff Preview with Sam Donnellon of the Daily News later this week.

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Eagles in the Playoffs

Since I’m sure most of this sites regulars are Eagles fans, Phillie Phanatics is happy to congratulate the 2008 Philadelphia Eagles on clinching a post-season berth this evening.  To help prepare for the post-season Sam Donnellon of the Philadelphia Daily News will share his thoughts in a Birds Playoff Preview later this week.  Stay with the sight for expert opinions throughout the post-season.

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Interview: Sielski Talks Birds Playoff Hopes, Phils Baseball, and Philly Steaks

sielskiMike Sielski is the lead sports columnist at the Bucks County Courier Times.  He spoke with Shay Roddy on Saturday:

Hey Mike, How are you?
I’m great, Shay. Thanks for asking me to do this.

When did the thought of becoming a journalist first hit you?
High school. I knew I wanted to do something sports-related: broadcasting, writing, etc. — and I grew up reading Bill Lyon and Jayson Stark in the Philadelphia Inquirer and Phil Sheridan in the Intelligencer. I covered my high school football team for the student paper, wrote a little for a local weekly, and that was all it took. I was hooked.

What is your favorite sport to cover?
It’s a tie between college basketball and pro hockey. I love covering them for the same reasons. One, the athletes are accessible and willing to share their insights and stories with you. Two, there is no better sports atmosphere than there is at an important college basketball game or at an NHL playoff game.

Favorite person to interview?
Whoever can carry my column for me that day. Earlier this season, I asked Lorenzo Booker, a Florida State alum, about his alma mater, and he didn’t stop talking for 30 minutes. Talked about why he loved the place and why he thought the program had gone downhill. Gave me a story/angle no one else had. That’s what I mean when I use the phrase “carry my column,” ‘cause Lord knows, my back isn’t that strong.

One word to describe Andy Reid:
Reticent.

What are your thoughts on the Eagles pass-run ratio?
Ridiculous. I like teams that throw the football a lot as much as the next guy does, but for the sake of a quarterback’s safety and for an offense’s success, a coach/play-caller has to keep alive the threat of the run. The NFL is not the Big 12 or the WAC.

Any chance the Eagles make the playoffs?
There is exactly a 17.6 percent chance the Eagles will make the playoffs. I looked it up. In all seriousness, no.

If the Bucks win at 1:00 should the Eagles still play 100% of their starters against the Boys?
Yes. The fans in the stands paid to see the Eagles’ best effort. I invoke the Herm Edwards Rule: You. Play. To. Win. The. Game.

One stays one goes: Reid or McNabb?
If you’re asking who’s more likely to stay and who’s more likely to go, McNabb is more likely to go. The Eagles’ power people (i.e. Jeffrey Lurie and Joe Banner) have given no indication that they’re thinking of replacing Reid. If you’re asking who should stay and who should go, with a gun to my head, I’ll say Reid. (I’m not all that comfortable suggesting that someone should lose his/her job.) McNabb, with the right pieces and play-calling, can be effective, I think. I’m less sure about the way Andy runs his offense.

Do you buy into the Conlin conspiracy theory for why the league moved the game to 4:00?
No, but that’s not the first time I’ve disagreed with Bill.

Ibanez in Burrell out, your thoughts?
Boy, that’s a lot of left-handed hitters in the middle of that lineup. But Ibanez is a good one, and it won’t hurt the Phillies’ offense that he doesn’t strike out as much as Burrell does.

Phillies fifth starter is…
J.A. Happ. I like what he showed them last season.

Best sports movie is…
Hoosiers. But Eight Men Out is right up there.

Best cheese-steak in Philly is…
Not to sound self-serving or nepotistic, but when I was in college (1993-97), I worked for my uncle Brian at his little deli/restaurant/grocery store, B.G.’s Deli. It was located in a strip mall at the corner of Castor and Shelmire in northeast Philadelphia. My uncle sold the place years ago, but I would put our steaks up against anybody’s.
That said, I’ll go with Pat’s. Have a few late-night memories there from college, including the night I watched a fraternity brother eat six cheese steaks in one sitting.

Favorite city to travel to with a team:
New Orleans. I would never live there because of the hurricanes and the humidity and the nightly bacchanalia, but for 2-3 days, with the food and the culture and my friends and colleagues, it’s wonderful.

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Interview: Glen Macnow Stops By

Macnow reviews his notes at Wing Bowl

Macnow reviews his notes at Wing Bowl

Glen Macnow has worked in every field of journalism: print as a columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer and as an author of many books including The Great Philadelphia Fan Book, and 12 Children’s books, television as co-host of a popular Philadelphia TV Show, The Great Sports Debate, and radio as host of The Glen Macnow show, The Ray Didinger Show, and now co-host of the Mid-day Show with Anthony Gargano and the host of the Eagles Pregame Show.

Macnow was dubbed “The Best Sports Writer in Philadelphia,” by Philadelphia Magazine in 1993.

He teaches journalism part-time at St, Josephs University in Philadelphia.

Shay Roddy caught up with him to discuss the Eagles, Raul Ibanez, Cheese-steaks, Rocky and everything in between.

SHAY RODDY: When did thoughts of being a journalist first strike you?
GLEN MACNOW: Back in college. It was the Watergate era and investigative reporters were
seen as really cool. I started writing for the college newspaper, and found
that I really enjoyed it.

You have written for the Philadelphia Inquirer, co-hosted a television show
“The Great Sports Debate,” written several books, and hosted radio shows
with NFL Hall of Fame journalists.  Which has been your favorite?

Tough to say, because I’ve enjoyed them all. Writing “The Great
Philadelphia Fan Book” with Anthony Gargano was really special, because we
thought it was a story that needed to be told. But I’ve enjoyed everything
I’ve done. I’ve had the chance to work with some terrifically talented
people — Anthony, Ray Didinger, Angelo Cataldi. How do you top that?


You still teach journalism, part time at St. Joes.  After establishing
yourself as a successful journalist why do you still find it important to
teach?

Because I want to pass it along. Plus, too many journalism courses are
taught by people who’ve never actually worked the job. They’ve been in
classrooms their entire careers. I’m trying to show what the profession is
really like.

You have had thousands of guests on your shows throughout your career. Who has been your favorite person to interview?
Ronald Reagan was pretty special — and I’m not even a Republican. You know
I’ve had the chance to talk to great athletes, politicians and show biz
types, but I think my favorite all-time interview was with a man named
Charlie Smith from Florida, who, at the time, was the world’s oldest man at
age 136.

On your radio shows you have had less sports oriented topics such as The Movie Club for Men, and the annual Food Hunt.  Why do you find it important to do this?

Because the show is aimed for guys who have interests beyond sports. There
are those days when not much is going on in the sports world. Every guy I
know likes to talk about food and movies — so why not make it part of the
show.

What has it been like working with Hall-of Famer Ray Didinger?

It’s a blast. Not just because Ray is smart and the world’s top football
authority, but also because Ray is funny and clever, which not enough people
know. Ray and I have become friends through working together. We’re writing
a book together that will be out next fall.


Have you ever had an interview that just went really bad or got really
awkward?

Oh sure. Too many. The all-time worst on air was with Derek Burgess, back
when he was with the Eagles. A good player, but the worst talker ever.

How do you prepare for your radio show with Anthony Gargano (610-WIP AM)?

We meet before the show, lay out our ideas and figure out what people want
to talk about. But you know what? A lot of it has to be sponteaneous.
Sometimes, you just need to let it flow.

Can someone who covers a team still be a true fan or does the fan get sucked out of you and replaced by a purely professional relationship with the teams?
Certainly, the closer you get, the less glamorous it looks. And I’ve learned
a lot by knowing people or viewing it close up that can turn me off. But I’m
still at heart, a fan. If you don’t love sports, why bother doing what we
do?

How hard is it to know something that every fan would die to know, but not be able to share it because it was “off the record?”
It’s difficult only when I think it’s something fans have the right to know.
If a player is cheating around on his wife, I don’t really think the fans
need to know. But if it’s something that affects the running of the team or
how a player is actually performing on the field, I have a temptation to get
it out. I always tell people not to tell me stuff that I can’t use. If you
take too much stuff off the record, you find yourself getting trapped.

What has it been like talking to the Philadelphia fans over the years?  Why do you think they get such a bad rap?
Well, that’s the biggest pleasure of my job. I love those people. And they
get a bad rap because that’s the easy cliché — the great unwashed and all
that. It’s just outsiders going for the easy knock.

Does the Phillies world championship overshadow some of the Eagles struggles?
Not really. The Phils win was terrific for the entire city. But the Eagles
are a separate franchise and need to be judged on their own.

Is Philadelphia still a “football town?”

Sure. That doesn’t mean it isn’t a great baseball town as well. But people
here will always live and breathe Eagles football.

How do you think the addition of Ibanez and the departure of Burrell will affect the Phillies?
It’s about a break-even. Ibanez is a good hitter — steadier than Burrell,
but doesn’t have the power. Neither runs too well and neither can field,
although Ibanez is slightly better at both. I’m a little worried about the
overload of left-handed hitters.

Do the Flyers have a shot to become the City’s second World Champ?

Yep. I’m wary about the goaltending, but the nucleus of young forwards is
good enough to get them there. Some of the young defensemen need to step it
up a bit.

What’s going on in Sixerland, they look like a total mess?
That about sums it up. I think Iguodala’s contract is going to prove to be a
real anchor on them.

What books are on your nightstand?
I just finished “How He Did It,” Newsweek’s coverage of the 2008 election.
And I’m reading a book recommended to me by Merrill Reese called, “The
Tender Bar.”

Better Cheese-steak: Geno’s or Pat’s?
Neither. Last year I tasted 45 cheesesteaks in 45 days and both of those
places finished near the bottom. Try the cheesesteak at John’s Roast Pork if
you really want the best in town. Or maybe Chink’s.

Best sports movie ever, Why?
Rocky. The perfect sports movie. Plus It’s shot in Philly.

_______________________________________

Reminder: In early January Shay will interview Michael Barkann of CSN Philadelphia, so be sure to check back with the site.

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Happy Holidays

Merry Christmas everyone!  Hopefully you and your family have a terrific holiday.  I leave you with the Phanata Clause lighting up the ballpark:

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Phillies Agree to Terms With RHP Majewski

The newest Phillie, RHP Gary Majewski (image courtesy of Beerleaguer)

The newest Phillie, RHP Gary Majewski (image courtesy of Beerleaguer)

The Philadelphia Phillies have agreed terms with relief pitcher Gary Majewski, signing him to a minor league contract. Majewski, who will be 29 this coming season, divided last season between the Cinncinati Reds and the AAA Louisville Bats. He posted an ineffective 6.53 ERA in 37 appearances for the Reds last season forcing them to send him down to their AAA Affiliate the Louisville Bats. (yeah, I know) With the Bats he posted a .347 ERA. He gave the Philies some trouble when he was with the Expos/ Nationals but then went under the knife for arm surgery and hasn’t been the same since.

Weitzel at Beerleaguer wrote, “He’ll only turn 29 next season and will be two years removed from arm surgery, so there’s cause for optimism and little reason to scoff at a minor league flier on a battle-tested reliever. The days when the Phillies sold themselves short on decent bullpen depth appear to be over. Majewski, along with fellow minor-league signing Mike Koplove, will have opportunities if they can step up and impress Charlie Manuel in spring training.”

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