Monday, March 29, 2010

McNabb Theory

Some have him going to Oakland, some to Carolina, some to the CFL, some to the Vancouver Canucks. There are plenty of rumors surrounding where Donovan McNabb might land or should land. There are also about a million different opinions on McNabb and whether or not the Eagles should trade him. Well, one more couldn't hurt.

When it comes to trading Donovan McNabb, it all depends on where the Eagles are going. Philadelphia has done very little this offseason to improve last year's team, and they certainly haven't improved enough to overtake the Cowboys in the NFC East let alone become one of the top five teams in the NFL. It looks as though the Eagles aren't "going for it" this season, and that says something.

If the Eagles had made a big free agent signing (such as Julius Peppers), I'd say yea, keep McNabb for one more year and see what he can do with this team. Make the 2010/11 season his last chance with the Eagles to win a Super Bowl. But they didn't go that route.

The Eagles dumped a significant amount of salary this winter (possibly in preparation for the questions surrounding the salary cap and uncertainty of upcoming seasons) and didn't land that big free agent that many fans hoped they would. Their biggest addition this off season may have been Darryl Tapp. Who? Yea, exactly.

It seems like the Eagles may be on their way to a "rebuilding year" (although they would never call it that). And if that's the case, if Philadelphia doesn't plan on competing for a Super Bowl this year, then they should TRADE McNABB.

The Eagles have a large core of young offensive talent in Jeremy Maclin, LeSean McCoy, DeSean Jackson, and Brent Celek. If they want this team to be competitive for years to come, they should allow all of the young players, Kevin Kolb included, to grow together. If the Eagles are really looking towards the future and want this team to be successful, they need to let Kolb run the offense and mature as an NFL quarterback.

In the beginning when all these trade rumors first appeared, I said to allow McNabb to have one more chance with this team, but that is not the direction in which the team is heading. They are getting younger and faster, and Donovan McNabb doesn't fit into that equation.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Crush Time

If the trade deadline were tomorrow, the Flyers would be buying and selling and trading and waiving faster than a stock broker at Christmas time.

But alas it isn't. And the Flyers are stuck with the players they have now. They have a total of eight games left to right a ship that is severely off course and headed for what looks like a first round exit (or possibly not making the playoffs at all).

If they Flyers want to have any chance of winning even one game this postseason they need to find their scoring touch and their starting goalie. Brian Boucher looked absolutely atrocious in last night's game against the Wild. He let in a very weak goal to make the score 3-2 early in the third and let in another softie to clinch the win for Minnesota in overtime. Maybe it's time to try Johan Backlund in net. The Flyers have lost four straight and six out of their last seven. Something needs to be done and putting Backlund in net against the Pens on Saturday may be the answer.

The Flyers have not been scoring with any regularity or consistency lately and it is another reason why they can't seem to buy themselves a win. Simon Gagne has been on fire lately, but the rest of the team has gone flat cold. Scott Hartnell is hurting the team more than he is helping them, and I won't even begin to discuss the great young defenseman formerly known as Braydon Coburn.

Coach Peter Laviolette looks like he has tried everything in his power to get this team back on track. He has called early game timeouts and he has rotated the line combinations again and again, but it's not up to him anymore. It needs to be the players who take matters into their own hands and change the way the team is playing.

We saw what happened last season when the Flyers stumbled into the playoffs--it didn't end well. In hockey, a team has a better chance of succeeding in the postseason if they're playing well going in (See the 2009 Pittsburgh Penguins). If Philadelphia doesn't string a few wins together before the end of the regular season, their dreams of having an Orange Crush Wachovia Center may be, well, crushed.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Fantasy of Major League Baseball

Albert Pujols for Ryan Howard. Straight up. Sounds like the kind of blockbuster deal that's made during the second week of the fantasy baseball season or during the franchise mode in MLB 2K10. A report on ESPN had rumors swirling that the Phillies and Cardinals were shopping the idea of swapping the two former (and current) NL MVPs.

The statistics of the two superstars are both astounding. Pujols in 2009--.327 AVG, 47 HR, 135 RBI (64 SO and the league MVP). Howard in 2009--.279 AVG, 45 HR, 141 RBI (186 SO). Home runs are about the same, RBIs are about the same, but it's the strikeouts and batting average that stand out. Howard nearly tripled Pujols' strikeout total and had a .041 lower batting average. Pujols is the best position player in the game right now and is one of the greatest hitters of all time. Statistically speaking, this deal doesn't make sense.

One possible reason that the Cardinals may trade Pujols is the fact that he will be a free agent in 2011 and the Cards may not be able to afford him. People may be forgetting that Ryan Howard is due to be a free agent in 2011 as well and will command top dollar too. Now, Howard may not be looking for (or deserving of) a record-breaking contract like the one Pujols is expected to receive, but he certainly won't come cheap. If the Cardinals were looking for a cheap replacement for Pujols (which doesn't exist in any capacity, cheap or not) they're not going to find it in Howard.

Now, I love Ryan Howard. He is a great player and I'm proud to have him on my team, but if I were offered Albert Pujols, I would do it in a heartbeat, I'd be stupid not to. Phils GM Ruben Amaro Jr. is vehemently denying the reports, but he did the same thing with the speculation that he was looking at acquiring Roy Halladay, so I'm taking his denials with a grain of salt.

If this deal were to happen it would be, without question, the biggest deal in baseball history. But this isn't ESPN's fantasy baseball and even if it were, a smart fantasy owner would want slightly more for Fat Albert.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Flyers Trade Deadline Analysis

The 2010 NHL trade deadline came and went without the Flyers making a single move. A day or so before the deadline they did waive Riley Cote and Danny Syvret. So, I guess that does constitute a roster move, but not a trade.

The Flyers were simply too handcuffed by their lack of draft picks and lack of cap room, but more so by not having many picks. The Flyers may have have gotten Raffi Torres had they had the picks and the same goes for Dan Hamhuis. Both of whom would have made a nice depth addition to this team. The Flyers also looked to try to add Tomas Vokoun and Tomas Kaberle. The Panthers wanted Jeff Carter in exchange for Vokoun (thanks, but no thanks), and Kaberle makes $4.25 mil., a little too steep considering the Flyers' cap troubles.

With Michael Leighton stumbling last night, it looked as if the Flyers made the wrong decision in not obtaining a goalie. But the ones who were available--Tomas Vokoun, Marty Biron (been there, done that), Dwayne Roloson (ranked 32nd and 24th in the league in GAA and SV% respectively), and others--hadn't been playing nearly as well or as consistently as Leighton has been since he's gotten to Philadelphia (13-3-1 this season with a 2.33 GAA and a .933 SV% with the Flyers).

Would I have liked for the Flyers to have made a move...yea. Would the Flyers be better off had they made even a small a move...possibly. It's just hard for Paul Holmgren to argue against a five game win streak (before Wednesday's loss to Florida) and an 18-7-1 record since Dec. 23. It's way too soon to know if Holmgren's decision to stand pat will work out. I guess we'll find out come April and May.

stats c/o and

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