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Friday, May 20, 2011

Rapid Fire Week-in-Review: Phillies, Utley, Trade an Ace? more

They say the end is near, so I’ll make this quick:

• Am I the only one wondering how the Phillies got to the point of being absolutely anemic at the plate? The roster is frightening. The infielders are currently listed as Ross Gload, Ryan Howard, Pete Orr, Placido Polanco, Jimmy Rollins, and Wilson Valdez. The outfield is Ben Francisco, Raul Ibanez, Michael Martinez, John Mayberry, and Shane Victorino. Rollins looks old, Victorino is headed to the DL, and Ryan Howard may not see a good pitch until Chase Utley gets back. Who else is there? Ibanez caught lightning in a bottle for a while. Polanco is nothing special in a bad lineup. Mayberry is still a huge question mark. The rest of the guys are barley worth mentioning.

• Utley has reportedly played nine innings in the minors and still feels ok. So, why is he still in the minors? The Phillies are doing nothing offensively – nothing. Whatever Utley needs to work out, let him do it on the active roster.

• I would say the same thing about Dominic Brown. I wasn’t ready to bury Francisco before this week, but after seeing some of his throws to home this week I’m on board with those ripping him.

• I might try to flesh this out some other time, but I’m already wondering if it’s time to trade one of the “Four Aces.” Worse, I’m not sure they could trade one of the pitchers for a bat right now. I have to figure Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee are untouchable. Roy Oswalt is just back from injury. And other GMs, I bet, lowball the Phils on Cole Hamels as their “fourth” starter.

• Are we still debating interleague play? It’s fine. It might detract from the All-Star Game, but that lost something anyway.

• Mr. Passive Aggressive strikes again. Donovan McNabb responded to others questioning whether or not he’ll start for Washington saying, “Maybe I’ll play for the Nationals.” As long as it’s not the Eagles, Donnie, play for whoever you want.

• Finally an NBA executive has openly questioned whether or not the Draft Lottery is fixed. While David Stern works to castrate the guy, the rest of us should be checking out the officiating. The league’s “habit” of producing good story lines doesn’t end with lottery balls.

• The dumbest thing I heard from an ESPN taking head this week was from Tony Kornheiser, who said fixing the lottery would be just fine with him. He doesn’t even have the excuse that he’s only on the station because he’s a former athlete and expecting intelligent commentary from him isn’t really fair.

• Jalen Rose offered the second dumbest thing I heard this week from ESPN. Filling in for Mike Golic this morning, Rose was being tossed the usual softballs from Mike Greenberg. Toward the end of the show Rose ends up saying that every player is on the phone with his agent or whomever after a game in which the “superstar” misses a buzzer beater saying he should have been taking the shot. No way that’s true. Just because Rose would have done that, he shouldn’t sell out everybody else as a dope.

• I’d like to rip Kevin Durant for apparently signing autographs during a game, but when the league has those stupid in-game coach’s interviews it’s a little tough.

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