Picture Of The Day

Picture Of The Day
Flyers Stanley Cup Champions Parade From The '70s

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

This Guy Was One Popular Flyer

Peter Zezel was one heck of a member of the Orange and Black in the mid to late-80s. He became a Flyer at the age of 19 and was a member of their 1985 and 1987 Wales Conference Championship teams. In the '87 season, he scored 33 goals, handed out 33 assists and collected 72 points.

While his game was pretty good, he is also remembered for his image. The ladies lovvvvvved Zezel. They liked his looks and the whole young persona he brought to the team. In the Flyers 40th Anniversary DVD, Steve Coates quoted Zezel as a " 'Superstar.' " And while Zezel was a great player and team figure, he was also an outstanding human being. During the late-90s his niece was terminally ill with cancer and he wanted to be traded to the East from Vancouver to be close to her in Toronto. But callously, they traded him to Anaheim and thus he decided to retire early. He also ran many hockey and soccer camps. This morning on the 610 WIP Morning Show, Al Morganti, who used to cover hockey for The Philadelphia Inquirer, called Zezel "a good kid."

Sadly, Zezel died of a blood disorder and in fact, this disorder called hemolyptic anemia almost took his life in 2001. Fortunately, he recovered then. Unfortunately, he had complications this time around and went into a coma. Yesterday, he was taken off of life support. During the treatment to try and make him get through this, he had his spleen removed and went through chemotherapy.

Rest in peace Peter Zezel. You will never be forgotten.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Peter Zezel

As I'm sure a lot of you have heard, Peter Zezel passed away today at the young age of 44. As I mentioned before, I was planning on making a post on the former Flyer before, but it's 11:30 p.m. and I have to get up in less than four hours to go into my internship tomorrow. Without question, there will be a post about this great man tomorrow. Without question.

Awful News For Philly Sports Fans

It has been reported that former Flyer Peter Zezel, 44, is near death in a Toronto hospital due to a blood disease. Shortly after that was reported, Glen Macnow of 610 WIP said on air that he found information saying Zezel will be taken off of life support.

This is horrible news because first of all and most importantly, Zezel is a human being and second of all, he is one of the most loved Flyers of all time. I'm at the station right now and about to go home. Then, I have to do some things before I go to my job tonight. But, there will definitely be more on Zezel later.

Once again, it crushes me that this transpired.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Poll Results For Week Of 5/10/09

The question was which Eagles move over the summer was the most exciting. The results went as followed:

Drafting of Jeremy Maclin: 2 votes
Trading For Jason Peters: 1 vote
Signing Stacy Andrews: 0 votes
Getting Rid Of L.J. Smith: 1 vote
Other: 1 vote

What's the other?

Monday, May 18, 2009

The State Of Philly Sports...Holy S*** Are We Behind

OK, no more screwing around. This post will hopefully catch us up on the state of our teams.

-They had a very good draft, getting wide receiver Jeremy Maclin and running back LeSean McCoy in the first round. Even though he is not in the link, tight end Cornelius Ingram was a good pick too.
-During the draft, they traded for corner back Ellis Hobbs. This was pretty much to get Sheldon Brown, who was upset with his contract and overall state with the Eagles, to shutup. Even though Andy Reid wouldn't admit it, you knew that was the case.
-Apparently, the Eagles tried to trade Sheldon and a third-round draft pick for Anquan Boldin, but obviously it didn't work out.
-L.J. Smith is a Baltimore Raven—YES!
-Lito Sheppard is opening his trap again, talking bad about the Eagles and saying the Sheldon situation won't work out.
-And the worst news of them all, not just for football purposes, but MOST IMPORTANTLY for his sake as a human being, defensive coordinator Jim Jackson is taking a leave of absence from the team for more chemotherapy treatment on the tumor in his spine. It crushes me to know that this great man is suffering like he is. I only hope the best for him, not just as a coach, but as a human being most importantly because that is the most important thing.

-Captain Mike Richards had surgery on his shoulder and will need ten weeks after it to recover.
-Defensman Randy Jones had surgery regarding his hip. It was successful. Will he play better now?

-Tony DiLeo decided the not be in the candidate list for 76ers head coach next year. He is returning to his previous position as assistant general manager. Now, Ed Stefanski has the difficult of finding a new head coach. I say they should get Avery Johnson. But, Stef met with Eddie Jordan this past Friday and I have a feeling he has a good chance of being the guy because Stef and him worked together in New Jersey when Jordan was an assistant there. Who knows though? There were orginally big talks about Doug Collins, but now those allegations are denied.
-The 76ers didn't renew color analyst Bob Salmi's contract for next season. Do people agree with me when I say bring back Steve Mix?

-Here is a list of the Phillies scores that weren't posted on this site
May 10: 4-2 Loss vs. Braves
May 12: 5-3 Win vs. Dodgers
May 13: 9-2 Loss vs. Dodgers
May 14: 5-3 Loss vs. Dodgers
May 15: 10-6 Win at Nationals
May 16 Game 1: 8-5 Win at Nationals
May 16 Game 2: 7-5 Win at Nationals
May 17: 8-6 Win at Nationals

Yeah, the Nationals stink and they couldn't have come at a better time on the Phillies schedule. Now, the team is 20-16 and a half game behind the first place Mets in the division.

And , one more point, before the game on Friday, the Phillies had their re-scheduled visit to the White House to meet President Barack Obama. The previous one was postponed due to the sad and unexpected passing of the great Harry Kalas one day prior to the originally planned visit.
OK...caught up. Hopefully, there is no more slacking.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

State of the Phillies

It's been awhile since I last updated this. (100% due to college finals/papers) Our beloved Phillies are off to an average start. Going into the Nats series we were sitting at .500. Great Baseball? No. Bad Baseball? No. Just flat out average baseball. During the past four games we saw the real Phillies come out. The Phillies that won us a championship last year. Yeah, you can say we played the Nationals and we should win. On paper all signs point towards the Phils, but that is why you play the game. The Phils did what good teams do, they swept all 4 games.

At 20-16 the Phils have life. Not bad for a team who's starting pitching has been nonexistent. The offense has dominated. Rauuuuuuuuuuul, like I predicted here, is having a big season. Feliz is off to a hot start. The rest of the offense is doing there thing except for one person, J- Roll. Jimmy Jimmy Jimmy. This isn’t the same J-Roll we have seen in past seasons. Hell, this isn’t half the J-Roll we have seen in past seasons. I'm not starting to boo, yet. I'm 100% confident Jimmy won't continue this all year. By mid June he will find his swing and we will all forget about his atrocious start.

The pitching on this team has been bad.

Hamels- Had zero breaks to start the season. Now that he's back and healthy, I expect nothing less than the Cole we saw last fall.

Myers- After a few rough outings that boosted his ERA he had recovered. He went 7 strong against the Nats the other day. What his problem is right now is the homerun ball. If Myers can fix that we could see a great pitcher emerge.

Moyer- As much as I love this guy I feel like his time on the diamond is coming to an end. I saw a stat the other day that showed that Moyers last few quality starts have all been against inexperienced teams. (Ex. Marlins, Reds) Teams with young hitters. When he faces experienced teams he just can't fool the hitters. I would give him a few more starts to see if anything changes, but if this trend continues we may see a major move in the rotation.

Blanton- He has had a quiet season. Not much talk about this guy so far. He is off to a bad start. Not much to say then he might also be replaced soon unless he starts pitching up to his abilities.

Park- After an awesome spring Chan Ho could not continue it at the MLB level. After a few bad starts to start the season he bounced back and pitched excellent against the Mets and Dodgers. After a horrible start today against the Nats it leaves us all wondering, what Chan Ho are we going to see each start?

Happ- This man deserves a shot. He's been patient. He hasn’t complained. He has done everything right. Now it's time to hand him the ball. Give him a start and see what he does. If he gets shelled, hey its one game. If he succeeds he earns himself another shot. I'm excited to see what this kid can do. I think he is A LOT better than many people think.

The bullpen has been pretty good this year with the exception of Lidge. After a perfect season you can only go down and that’s what Brad has done. Am I worried? No. Yes he has given up the homerun ball, but he will pitch out of this funk. It's only a matter of time until he starts a new streak and restores his confidence.

The Phils have an off day tomorrow then head out to Great American Ballpark to take on the Reds. I will try to update this as much as possible to keep you up to date on all the latest Phillies news.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Funny...People Are Voting, But Nobody Is Writing

This week so far, our poll has gotten more votes than previous weeks. But, there is one problem. We haven't had a post since Sunday. Remember I said how since the school year was up I would have more time, well it's actually the opposite. I have had less. I have an internship at 610 WIP and have been going to a bunch of Phillies games, so I haven't had time to write much. No excuses though. I will find time to write about these teams. Keep visiting the site. Just like how we don't quit on our teams when they are struggling, I am glad people aren't quitting on us.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Poll Results For The Week Of 5/3/09

The question was which Phillie have you enjoyed watching the most so far this season.

Raul Ibanez got three votes and Shane Victorino got on.

I am totally not surprised about that. Rauuuuuuuuulllll has been awesome. Also, I'm not shocked about Victorino either. He has been a real joy to watch, especially with the nice hitting streak he put together.

Chuck Daly: More Than Just The Coach Of "The Bad Boys"

As most people probably know, legendary and Hall of Fame basketball coach Chuck Daly sadly passed away yesterday at the young age of 78 due to his battle with pancreatic cancer. He was the coach of the two-time champion "bad boys," also known as the Detroit Pistons, as well as a coach with Cleveland Cavaliers, New Jersey Nets and Orlando Magic. Adding onto that, he coached the 1992 USA Olympic Gold Medal "Dream Team" (which is argued as one of the best assembled basketball teams ever) and as a matter of fact, was an assistant for the 76ers under Billy Cunningham during the late-70s and the beginning part of the early-80s. He left Philadelphia to become the coach of Cleveland before the 1983 championship season. Oh yeah, there's more. He coached Penn for seven seasons as well as other colleges. He was the coach of Penn for one of there more successful eras, if not their most succesful and took them to the NCAA tournament numerous times. He is somewhat of a a local guy too since he was born in St. Mary's, PA.

Considered one of the best coaches of all time, Daly is more recognized for stuff other than basketball. He touched so many people in and outside of the game. Players connected with him and he could weal, deal and mix together a wide range of personalities and egos to create something special. Former Piston John Salley nicknamed him "Daddy Rich" for his custom tailored suits. He was a competitor and a wonderful human being. If you haven't noticed, announcers and coaches throughout the playoffs have been wearing "C.D." pins on their clothes to acknowledge Daly while he was in his battle with cancer. That's what he meant to everyone. It's sad to see him go, but his memory and spirit will live on forever as one of the greatest basketball minds, coaches and overall human beings on and off the court at all times. Rest in peace Chuck Daly and thank you for what you did and are doing to this great game.

Happy Mother's Day To All MOMMA'S

I took my mother to the game today and even though the Phils lost, it was a nice mother/son time together. Our boys dropped the game 4-2 because Jack Taschner gave up two runs after Brett Myers left with a 2-1 lead and then Brad Lidge in ANOTHER non save situation gave up a run. Today's game was the exact opposite of this year's trend. Myers did well but the bullpen had some problems. Usually, the starting pitching has difficulties and the bullpen keeps the team afloat while they try to come back with the bats. But, I still believe the best baseball from this squad is still yet to come. I'm serious. The starting rotation has the potential to do better and the team has the potential to click on all cylinders. Let's hope that it happens (Knock On Wood).

Series Is Tied One-One...Mother's Day Rubber Match Is Set

To get this out of the way, did anyone get a chance to see that kid run on the field Friday night like I did? Haha! It was soooooo funny. I know that there is a danger risk and the kid is an idiot, but man I have never laughed at someone running on the field like that before. First off, he shaked Pedro Feliz's hand, which was a hoot and even more so since Pedro was smiling. Then, the kid shook like three security guards while ten were chasing him. Unbelievable.

Now, to the game.

Man did that feel good watching Big H pitch Friday night. He was awesome. The Phils won 10-6 and it was that close because Brad Lidge gave up a three run homer in the ninth in a non-save situation. I'm not worried about that because Lidge is usually shakey in non-save situations. And I'm not worried about his numbers either because he hasn't really pitched in save situations this year. He has come into 12 games and only five were save opportunities. It is because the Phils are usually coming from behind in their wins. He needs to get in there for save opportunities. But anyway, the bats were good Friday night and Cole Hamels was solid. Good win.

Today, not so good. Javier Vazquez dominated the Phils potent lineup and Joe Blanton, while pitching eight innigns and for the most part doing OK, had a bad stretch of three batters in a row in the middle of the game and another bad couple of batters late in the game. The Phils lost 6-2, making Sunday's Mother's Day Game a rubber match between Brett Myers and Kenshini Kawakami. I'm not concerned about the Phils hitting Kawakami. What I am going to focus on with this game is how Myers pitches. I expect him to have a good outing because I just got a feeling about it.

Friday, May 8, 2009

"The Wizard of Oze"

It has been a tough time for the Phillies family. A month ago Harry Kalas passed away and yesterday former manager Danny Ozark left this earth as well.

Ozark managed the Phils from 1973 to 1979 and amassed a record of 594-510. He is the third winningest manager in the history of the franchise, only behind Gene Mauch's 645 and Harry Wright's 636. Yet, both Mauch and Wright managed a couple hundred or so more games than Ozark and they are the only two who managed more Phillies games than him.

Oze was the manager for the most successful era in Phillies history as he led the team to division titles in 1976, 1977 and 1978, after the team was absolutely putrid in the early-70s. No other manager did that. Charlie Manuel has the chance to do that this year (Knock On Wood). In 1976 and 1977, the Phillies won 101 games, a feat that no other team in franchise history has done before. Also, the '77 is considered to be the best out of any other year.

But, there is a dark clowd that overshadows Ozark's success as manager. Back in those days, only two teams from each league (NL Western Division and Eastern Division winner) made the playoffs. So, there were no division series. Not to mention, the league championship series back then were only best of five. During the three years the Phillies made the playoffs under Ozark, they failed to advance to the World Series. In '76, they got swept by "The Big Red Machine" a.k.a. the Cincinnatti Reds and then in '77 and '78, they fell to the hated Dodgers.

The '77 series is rememberd more than any other. With the series tied at one game a piece and the final three games in Philadelphia, the Phils had a 5-3 lead with two outs in the top of the ninth inning. One Dodger got on base by a bunt and then a player by the name of Manny Mota stepped up. He hit a fly ball deep to left field, where troubled defensive player Greg Luzinski was standing. Usually, "The Bull" was replaced by defensive specialist Jerry Martin in those types of situations. But, Ozark left him in. Luzinski dropped the easy fly ball against the wall, leaving the tieing runs on base.

Next up—believe or not it was current Phillies first base coach Davey Lopes. A speedster, Lopes hit a hard ground ball to Mike Schmidt. The ball carommed off of Schmidt and took an interesting bounce to shortstop Larry Bowa (now the Dodgers third base coach...how ironic), who made an OUTSTANDING intstictive bare handed grab and toss to first baseman Richie Hebner. Lopes was clearly out, but the umpire called him safe. The two runs scored and the Phils eventually loss 6-5 and then fell in Game 4 on a poor outing by Steve Carlton to lose the series. Here is a link to footage of the play. It's in this kid's video and unfortunately I can't embedd it to the post becasue an embedd link is disabled by him. When you watch, just go to the 3:15 mark to see the play.

But, back to Game 3 and the play. To this day, that game is referred to as "Black Friday." It was definitely one of the more sour moments in Phillies history and Ozark, even though Lopes was CLEARLY out, was blamed for that. In 1979, the Phils fell to fourth place and on August 31 of that season, Ozark was let go. He was replaced by Dallas Green who led the Phils to a World Championship the very next season.

Oze was a lot like Charlie Manuel. He had an easy, relaxed approach to the game, but if needed, would lay down the law. His fueds with "Lefty" are well documented and he wasn't afraid to let his voice be heard if need be. He also had his fair share of funny quotes that are always fun to make a crack about in a non-demeaning way.

Sadly though, his tenure as Phillies manager is always going to be clouded by the debacle of '77. Yet, in all fairness, we should look at what Ozark really was. "The Wizard of Oze" helped develop that great team of the '70s and 1980. He was key in young players like Mike Schmidt developing. Without him, the Phillies might not have grown like they did and the 1980 World Championship may have never happen. It's a shame that he didn't get to bring it home because 1980 was as much as his team as it was Dallas's becuase he made those players into what they were due to his managing the previous years.

Me personally, I'm always going to remember and look back on Danny Ozark as the manager of the great '70s teams. These teams, barring that the current team does not surpass them, provided the best era in Phillies baseball. Rest in peace Danny. You are well respected and will surely be missed.

All of the photos above are from philly.com.

Oh My Word Was That Game 6 For The 76ers UGLY

Yeah...I know it was over a week ago. But, the 114-89 non-spirited loss to the Magic in Game 6 at home WITHOUT facing Dwight Howard or Courtney Lee is definitely a overshadowing cloud on a pretty good series.

I'm not going to analyze this game. It was ugly. But, what I am going to talk about it what this team and general manager Ed Stefanski can do to make it better.

TALK to Doug Collins and see if this can work: I didn't say GET Dough Collins. I'm not going to knock Tony DiLeo. Even though Theo Ratliff thought he was too "soft," he did do a good job after Maurice Cheeks was fired. But, Stefanski has to talked to the experienced and former 76er Collins to see if it is going to work. If Collins looks promising, I think it would be a pretty good pick up for a coach. But, I like what DiLeo did and if he is the one who coaches the team next year, I feel good about what this team can do with him coaching for 82 games.

Andre Igoudala has to develop a jump shot: And the economy has to get better. Same story, different day. Blah blah blah blah blah. I'm tired of talking about Iguodala's shooting dificiency. If he wants to help this team out, rather than voicing his opinion with Stefanski and calling his teammates out towards the press, he should get in a gym and work on that shot.

The 76ers Need A 3-Point Shooter: Same thing...blah blah blah blah.

The 76ers Need A BIG Non-Awkward Post Man: Samuel Dalambert has to go. I know Larry Brown was and is a great coach, but that was his draft pick. Gettin Slamin On Sammy D has to take a hike. He has no offensive game, he is as thin as hay and as awkward moving as a man on stilts. The Sixers need a big, overpowering figure (like a Dwight Howard). I'm not saying there is anyone out there like Howard, but I will sure take "The Polish Hammer" a.k.a. Marcin Gortat than Samuel Dalembert. Oh yeah... a couple of defensive rebounds would be nice too.

The 76ers Need A Lockdown Defender: This is one you probably haven't heard before, but the 76ers are awful perimeter defenders. They give up so many threes. Having a guy out there who is a tremendous defender could help.

Well, those are my thoughts on the 76ers. They need to get these things done to get over that hump of Game 6 of the first round. Oh, one last thing. Did anyone notice that in terms of wins and losses, last year's series against the Pistons went the same exact way and almost the same way in terms of how the games were played. Is that disturbing or what.

Phirst 6 Games In May For The Phils

Here are the results for the first six games for the Phils in May:

-May 1: 7-4 Loss vs. Mets
-May 2: 6-5 10th Inning Walk-Off Win Due To Walk vs. Mets
-May 3: Postponed vs. Mets
-May 4: 6-1 Win @ Cardinals
-May 5: 10-7 Win @ Cardinals
-May 6: 1-0 Loss @ Mets
-May 7: 7-5 Loss @ Mets

A key issue in the Phillies play so far this season is the starting rotation. They are having a little trouble getting good outings in. There is some discussion that J.A. Happ should move to the rotation. But, what really needs to happen is Cole Hamels has to step it up. It is not that he is pitching poorly because he is not. He's had some bad breaks in terms of freak injuries, but he is the ace of this staff. The ace is supposed to be the leader. But to solve this problem, Big H can't speak it, he has to pitch it. I honestly feel a good eight/maybe even nine inning outing by Hamels tonight can send a message to the starting rotation that it is time to turn it around. I think they can get it done.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Poll Results For The Week Of 4/26/09

The question was why do the 76ers have a problem selling out the Wachovia Center for big games.

The results were:

The Economy: 1 vote
The Post Iverson Era: 2 votes
The .500 Nature of the Club: o votes
This City Just Doesn't Really Get Excited For Pro Basketball: 1 vote

I like that nobody voted for the third option. It shows that it doesn't matter what our teams records are and that we still follow them no matter what. I understand that the post-Iverson era has caused a drop in attendance and that the economy doesn't help the 76ers cause. I really hope the real reason is not the fourth option though. The fact is, the NBA is one of the four major sports in this country. We are fortunate enough to have a team in each of those four leagues and all four are actually located in our city. I would hope people care about pro basektball. I care about it.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

So Yeah...We Haven't Had A Post Since Last Thursday

"Hard to believe Harry," is what Whitey would always say to his dear friend. Well, it's hard to believe that this site hasn't had a post since last Thursday. The reason—finals. As I mentioned before, this blog is run by a bunch of college kids who right now are either:

A. Studying Until Their Brains Don't Function Right Anymore

B. "A"

C. "A"

D. "A"

You get my point.


I am one three to four minute speech away from being done my sophomore year at Ithaca College. Therefore, this "no posts because we're good college kids" crap is over, for now at least.

I promise, we will have another "status of the Phillies" post, a post about the inadequate play of our 76ers and a post...finally...on the state of the Eagles. Believe me, there has been a lot that has been going on with the Eagles.

Also, I know it's hard to follow a blog that doesn't post anything. Stay with us as we scrap ourselves back together into one form. There will be a new poll this week, as well as an updated "Picture Of The Day."

It will hopefully be a good summer a head for Philly sports and this blog will be with you the whole way.