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Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Rob’s Rants: Eagles Hard to Analyze; Phillies Say Goodbye to Ruiz; Soul Win ArenaBowl

It’s a strange week when a fake sports talk caller is probably the biggest story in Philly sports, but I decided to keep my attention on the field.

  • I really planned to write most of this post about the Eagles “dress rehearsal,” a.k.a. the third preseason in which the starters play into the third quarter. But with the Colts resting most of their defensive starters, there was little to take from the game. The Colts did play starting quarterback Andrew Luck for the first half, and the Birds defense held Indianapolis to a field goal in the first two quarters. Overall, I continue to think Sam Bradford is underrated even though not much has changed in my expectations of a mediocre team.

  • The long goodbye to the 2008 Phillies World Series championship team—can’t believe it’s almost 8 years since they won it—continued as Carlos Ruiz was traded to the Dodgers. I’m surprised the Dodgers are reportedly looking for Ruiz to bolster their offense, as most people thought he would be dealt to a team looking for a sage catcher to guide a pitching staff through the playoffs. No doubt the Dodgers hope for that, too. At least Phillies fans have a potential rooting interest in the playoffs as the catcher joins Chase Utley in Los Angeles. (And Joe Blanton. Who knew?) Former Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay summed up “Chooch,” as Ruiz is affectionately known, to CSNPhilly: “It was nothing short of miraculous that he could handle so many different personalities and approaches on a day-to-day basis the way that he did. He was the best catcher I’ve ever thrown to and, in my opinion, the best catcher in baseball in the years I was with him.” See the link for the whole quote.

  • Once again, Philadelphia has a professional football champion—the Philadelphia Soul. With co-owner Ron Jaworski at the helm, the Soul won their second ArenaBowl title Friday night. I’m not about to compare the Soul’s victory to a major sports franchise winning a title. I used to click onto Arena League games on a Friday or Saturday night on a country music station, I think, and it was akin to finding a good, old movie to fill some time. I wish I could get into it as a major sport, but it just feels like a tease for real football. That said, I believe there’s a piece of every Eagles fan—maybe a big piece—that wishes Jaworski was running the NFL franchise in town. In fact, if it were possible to have a second NFL team move to Philadelphia along with the Birds—it’s not, but consider it a hypothetical—I bet a whole lotta Eagles fans would happily dawn new colors and leave Jeff Lurie behind.

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