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Philadelphia Sports Scene


April 6, 2010 12:28 PM

Fighting For The Spotlight

Philadelphia has a reputation of being a football crazed city, but with the recent success of the Phillies that is no longer the case. As Andy Reid conducted his press conference about the trading of his 33 year old, Franchise Quarterback Donovan McNabb I bet many of the Philadelphia faithful were thinking the same thing I was...Phillies opening day is tomorrow and Roy Halladay is pitching! DonovanMcnabb.jpg

The Eagles did their best to get the attention back on them, waiting until the best possible moment to steal the Phillies thunder but I don't think fans are buying it. The Eagles have seriously lost some luster on their roster. Look at the recent moves of trading, releasing, or not re-signing three legends...Brian Dawkins, Brian Westbrook, and now Donovan McNabb. Oh, and defensive starters Chris Gocong and Sheldon Brown were almost given away to the Browns. Time for fans to get used to a new crop of talent who may or may not have the ability to make the playoffs.

The organization has great faith in Kevin Kolb to lead the youngsters and it doesn't hurt that he comes at a major discounted price at the QB position. Put it this way: if Kolb doesn't succeed then you'll only have to watch him for one more season. Before you release or re-sign a QB though, you have to give him a chance and 2010-11 will be Kolb's audition. Andy Reid, Joe Banner, and crew have made the right moves in the past in recognizing when a players cost has outgrown their ability or when they can get greater value in return for a player past his prime. I trust they made another good move.

I just find it ironic that Donovan McNabb, who holds every major record at the Quarterback position for the Philadelphia Eagles, has always had to fight for the spotlight. From the day he arrived--to his peak season with T.O.--to his departure on Sunday. McNabb constantly competed with another star for the affection from the "Loving Cities" fans starting with Ricky Williams, coming to a head with Terrell Owens, and now Roy Halladay. The saddest part, McNabb's record in the "who do we love more contest" might be worse than his record in the NFC Championship game.

His lasting legacy when he retires will be, "The most underappreciated, great player in NFL history."

Take this article for example...that was my tribute to a six time Pro Bowl Quarterback. Now, I get to talk about how amazing Roy Halladay and the Phillies looked against the lowly Washington Nationals on Opening Day.

Here is Halladay's line from his debut:
GP 1 · W-L 1-0 · K 9 · ERA 1.29 · WHIP 1.14
roy-halladay-ap2.jpg

He eats innings up too, allowing the bullpen time to rest which I foresee as being a major need.

As for the offense: 11 runs on 13 hits...9 walks and 4 strikeouts. Every position player scored at least one run.
Yes, it was all against the worst team in baseball but the lineup has more balance than last year (speed, average, power, patience...everything). Placido Polanco will not have 6 RBI's in a game again but it is possible that the entire Phillies lineup from Opening Day, with the exception of Carlos Ruiz, makes the All-Star team. You'd watch the Phillies take on the American league wouldn't you?

Just get ready for another October. Bullpen and rotation issues and all, the Phillies will win the NL East by at least 10 games.

Predictions:
NL EAST

Phillies 101-61
Halladay wins 24 games this year and the Cy Young.
If you don't know, you better ask somebody.

Braves 89-73
Maybe the best pitching staff in the division and a lineup better than predicted. Also, they should give it their all for Bobby Cox in his last season. Possible Wild Card team.

Marlins 86-76
Like the Eagles, they have an amazing ability to recognize young talent and when older talent should be let go. This is not a team that you want to face down the stretch.

Mets 73-89
Overpaid and overrated players. Think the Yankees...without all the talent and wins.

Nationals 57-105
They may win less than 57 games. Ouch. Just wait for Stephen Strasburg, but that is just one piece to a very large puzzle.

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