My optimism surrounding the NFL labor agreement dwindles by a tiny fraction every day. This is what happens when you put trust in common sense. I think the management side is toying with the players at this point, almost sitting back and saying, “How badly do we want to break these guys?” They’re not flinching, and this 8-game schedule nonsense seems like the latest maneuver. Oh, eight games? Sure, we could do that. Whatever.
I don’t think I need to go into too much detail about why an 8-game schedule would be terrible. It is better than nothing, I guess, but they might as well just have an elaborate 32-team double elimination tournament. It’d be almost impossible to get any kind of balanced schedule. I imagine there would be a gigantic logjam at 5-3 for the last wild-card berth, and those teams that start every year 6-2 only to finish 8-8 would be clogging up the playoffs. This says nothing of fantasy football implications, gambling implications, and the fact we’d have 8 less NFL Pick ‘Em muses. My theory is, instead of having to deal with all that, just get a deal done. If you can agree in time for an 8-game season, you can put a full season together. And, if you’re the players, you might as well get 16 game checks instead of half that.
It sounds like the Sixers might be getting sold. An interesting development that came out of nowhere, and I don’t think anyone knew the Sixers were even up for sale. The prospective group of owners is led by billionaire Joshua Harris, a leveraged buyout specialist. Harris invests primarily in distressed companies, and if the Sixers don’t fit that bill, I’m not sure who would. The Sixers play second fiddle in Ed Snider’s Comcast-Spectacor stable, and the team has suffered almost a decade’s worth of declining interest. Snider, always a hockey man, has recently tried to show renewed vigor in the basketball aspect of his business, but it seems hollow and the team continues to make poor decisions (with the possible exception of their most recent coaching hire).
The bottom line is, a sale would probably be great for the Sixers. I don’t know how much interest this group has in actually owning a team, or if they are just looking at it as an investment. Either way, it figures to be good news for Sixers fans. If they are looking to buy a devalued franchise and flip it around after a while, you’d expect a commitment to drastically improving the product. If they want the team longterm, you’d expect a breath of new enthusiasm. All of that the Sixers need, and maybe the Flyers need that as well. The basketball fan base in this city is beaten down, but it still exists. They deserve better. If the sale goes through, perhaps it’s a step in the right direction.
Rubby De La Rosa. That’s pronounced like the gemstone. He’s on the hill for the Dodgers tonight against the Phillies. Should be an interesting sight. Second look at a highly regarded, somewhat unknown prospect for the Phillies this year. The Braves threw one of their young guns at the Phillies earlier this year, and now they get a look at De La Rosa, who’s done well in LA’s farm system and was promoted to take Jon Garland’s spot in the rotation. The Phillies will counter with Roy Oswalt.
De La Rosa is an interesting story, coming from a very humble background in the Dominican Republic, the talk around him seems to center as much on his unflappable nature as his stuff. He offers quotes like, “I never get nervous.” “I’m not excited.” I doubt he’s ever encountered anything like pitching at Citizen’s Bank Park (please speak to Johnny Broxton before the game), but I guess we’ll take him at his word until we see otherwise. I’d like the fans to take it upon themselves to try to rattle Rubby a little bit. The Phillies don’t have a great history against guys they’ve never seen, but trying to predict what this team is going to do from one day to the next is almost impossible.
Tiger Woods’s golf season is playing out a little like a Chase Utley worst case scenario. The mysterious injury, the fear of stops and starts, it’s all there. He pulled out of the U.S. Open today, and if he’s skipping a Major, there’s no telling how badly he is injured or when he’ll be back. His appearance locally at his event hosted by Aronomink is probably in serious jeopardy. If we saw him before the British Open, I’d be surprised, and if he misses the rest of the season…I wouldn’t be. Tiger’s inability to get back to the winner’s circle has been one of the most remarkable things in sport in the last couple of years. On Sunday, during a rain delay, the golf telecast went to coverage from the 2009 Memorial Tournament. Woods birdied the last two holes on his way to a come from behind win, but the footage might as well have been from 1999. It was like watching a different person. Bad news for golf, the people at Congressional, and Stevie Williams (guy can’t buy a bonus check these days). I guess, see you when we see you, Tiger.
Quiz of the Day: Which Day of the Week? Category: 1 in 7 Chance. My Score: 28/35.
You can guess, but only once. Crafty Sporcle, always making advancements. I don’t know Thursday very well as it turns out.