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Thursday, August 4, 2016

Rob’s Rants on Sports: Trade Deadline, Talk Shows, Former Eagles Coaches, Ejecting Fans, and a Note on Pete Rose

Sports is just starting to rev up again as we crawl through the dog days of the sports calendar. But there were a few things I found worth ranting about.

  • Though I seem to be alone in my opinion, I was happy the Phillies didn’t make a move at the deadline. All I heard for two weeks before the deadline when a Phillies pitcher had a good performance was that the guy was increasing his trade value. How about increasing the value of the product on the field? Jeremy Hellickson is 29 years old. Vince Velasquez is 24. Both guys were rumored in trades. Along with Jerad Eickhoff and Zac Eflin, the Phillies have a fairly young pitching staff with potential. Yes, it’s only potential. But this is what everybody wanted—the Phillies to get young. Why not play it out? Unless the Phillies were getting back players they could plug-in right away who were going to be here for years, there’s no way they should have traded either Hellickson or Velasquez. I understand Hellickson will probably become a free agent next off-season, and the Phillies are going to get a draft pick as compensation. And people are convinced Velasquez will get hurt because of his history. When did we adopt the Sam Hinkie mentality? Trade anybody with any value, and in 10 years we’ll win! Woo-hoo. No thanks.

  • I’m a big sports talk fan. I generally whenever it won’t be a distraction. It was always a popular topic in my previous attempt at sports blogging. The hosts are almost, as I think Mike Missanelli has said, like a part of the family. I’m sworn them off, had Twitter exchanges—good and bad—with a few, and had the thrill of doing a podcast with Jon Marks about my novel. Among other things, doing that interview was a real eye-opener on another topic I’ve heard Missanelli discuss—the prospect of actually meeting people I’ve criticized. I’m sure they don’t care about my blog, but it really made me think. I went overboard once or twice on the old blog. Nothing horrendous. I’m not throwing myself at their mercy for forgiveness. But I wanted to acknowledge it as I continue sports blogging here. Sports talk is too big of a topic to ignore, and it will no doubt be a regular part of the Rants. I still won’t hold back, but I think I have a better perspective on the topic.
With that disclaimer out of the way . . . I love it when sports talk guys question the lack of interest in the Eagles. This week I heard more than one host talking about the drop-off from last year compared to this year’s first open practice. There was a wonder in their voices as if they were completely befuddled. Whenever they bring up the topic, I can’t help thinking they’re scared to death. I’ve said for years that hosts direct conversation. The Eagles are the bread and butter of both local sports talk stations. Obviously, WIP has the games. But The Fanatic and WIP both have a ton of programming around the Eagles and the NFL. Their argument in defense of always talking Eagles is that everybody else stinks, and they’re not worth talking about. But hosts constantly scoff at people who call about other teams. Right after the trade deadline for baseball, the only talk I heard about the Phillies from hosts was a brief, well, I can’t get into it because the Phillies stink. If the Eagles stunk for years—and, by the way, they kinda have—do you really think they’d stop talking Birds? Not a chance.

  • I listened to chatter about how happy Eagles veterans are as they returned for training camp, and it occurred to me how odd it is that the franchise’s fired head coaches seem to get hired almost immediately. It’s always felt like a slap in the face to Philadelphia. The fact that Chip Kelly is coaching in the NFL this season is a joke. Andy Reid seemed to orchestrate going to Kansas City before he cleaned out his office in the NovaCare Complex. I can go all the way back to Rich Kotite getting a job, and the media practically laughing at Philadelphia for letting go of that genius. I understand the NFL recycles coaches like soda cans, but Kelly imploded here after about a half. He has the most blatant college, it-will-never-work-in-the-NFL, system I’ve ever seen. I can’t wait for the backtracking in San Francisco.

  • It’s rare to applaud an umpire, but give Bob Davidson a hand for ejecting a fan Tuesday night for “repeatedly yelling a sexual innuendo and telling the Giants players that they ‘suck.’” I get the adage that if you buy a ticket, you get to say what you want. But I’m so tired of some Philly fans wearing their reputation as a badge of honor. I’ve been stuck in front of these types of fans plenty of times—and many thanks to the Phillies for adding counters behind accessible sections so guys can get drunk much easier while standing right behind us. These idiots think people paid to hear there oh-so-witty commentary for three hours. Baseball is a slow game. Part of the enjoyment is often getting out—literally, outside—for a few hours and enjoying the fresh air. It’s about time somebody cracked down on the losers who think it’s all about them yelling loud enough to get their voices on the television broadcast.

  • I couldn’t quite fit this into my initial Rants, but I’m thrilled Pete Rose had his jersey number, 14, retired by the Cincinnati Reds. I was a huge Rose fan when he was with the Phillies. He exemplified how to play the game, he’s still the Hit King (not Ichiro Suzuki), and I can only hope this is a stepping stone for Rose getting into the Hall of Fame.

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