Tuesday, January 27, 2015

It's Almost Baseball Season...kind of

Brand New Padres Outfield (NY Post)
We are about two months away from baseball season and there have been a number of offseason moves that will impact Major League Baseball. From the likes of Jon Lester to the Cubs, Max Scherzer to the Nationals, this season will be quite an interesting one. Our hometown Phillies will likely still be one of the bottom feeders as it is probably time to blow that team up as they began to with trading Jimmy Rollins and Marlon Byrd. They still have a decent one, two punch with Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee in the rotation, but the offense will probably struggle this year. With that being said, other than the Phillies it’s time to take a look at a few teams who made big moves this offseason.

San Diego Padres. It will fun to watch how this team does this year with the offseason moves they made. Trading for Justin Upton, Matt Kemp and Wil Myers, the Padres have a whole new outfield this year and they will be a good offense. It will be interesting to see how much stronger the offense is with these three commanding their outfield. They play in a big ballpark but making all three of these trades show they want to be more offensive minded. Last year, they were pretty weak on offense so it made sense to go get a few potent offensive players. I doubt anyone expected them to make all three of these trades, but it will definitely improve the team this year. The rotation still needs some work behind Andrew Cashner, but at least pitchers will not feel as uncomfortable after giving up a few runs with the lineup behind them this year.

Chicago Cubs. Will the drought end? It will be tough, but with the addition of Jon Lester they become that more dangerous. The offense is led by Anthony Rizzo and they have a number of up and coming stars. One player to keep an eye on this year is Kris Bryant who absolutely destroyed the minor leagues last year. It will not surprise anyone if they start the season with him in the minors but he will likely be in the big leagues by midseason. They also acquired Dexter Fowler who will make an impact at the top of that lineup. By season’s end, the Cubs will have a very dangerous lineup. Jon Lester will also have help with Jake Arrieta who came out of no where last year and dominated for a large portion of the season. The Cubs will be a dangerous team, will it be enough to end the drought?

Boston Red Sox. The Red Sox may have had an awful season last year, but they will try to correct that this season by signing Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval. The real question of this team isn’t the offense, but it will be the pitching.  They traded Jon Lester to the Oakland Athletics last season and they have been searching for consistent pitching ever since. They did sign Justin Masterson, but he struggled mightily last season. They also acquired Rick Porcello and Wade Miley to help bolster their rotation. There doesn’t seem to be that ace on the team that all dominant teams have, so a lot of their success will be dependent on their offense.

It’s likely going to be another rough year for us Phillies fans, but just being a baseball fan in general is getting me excited for the baseball season already. We are a little less than a month before pitchers and catchers report to camp, so if you’re not in baseball mood…get ready.


Alan Liang is a senior Drexel Sport Management major with minors in Marketing, Business Administration, and Communication from West Windsor, NJ. Alan scores baseball games for Baseball Info Solutions and was on co-op with the Philadelphia 76ers in the camps department. Follow Alan on Twitter @AlanLiang29. 

Friday, January 16, 2015

Sport for Thought: 2015 NFL Free Agents - Game Changers

This season's class of free agents can shake up the power landscape in the NFL like no other season. Big name players are available on both sides of the football, and their is a significant chance many of these players may not return to their current team.

Offensive players: Demaryius Thomas, Julius Thomas, Dez Bryant, DeMarco Murray, Peyton Manning and Randall Cobb.

Defensive players: Ndamukong Suh, Gerald McCoy, Justin Houston, Darrelle Revis, and Jason Pierre-Paul.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Public Relations and Rebuilding: Phillies vs. Sixers

Sam Hinkie, 76ers GM (Philly.com)
As we sit a little over a month away from pitchers and catchers reporting and near the halfway point of the NBA season, the Sixers and the Phillies each find their respective immediate futures rather bleak. The Sixers sit at 7-30 as of Wednesday morning, and winter projections have the Phillies trending further below their 73-89 record from a season ago.

Despite the current mutual futility, it feels as if the Sixers are closer to a significant upswing than their neighbors across the street. Part of this feeling stems to some degree from the honesty and public relations savvy with which the respective managements have approach the rebuilds.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The Catch That Wasn't a Catch

Throughout the NFL playoffs we have seen some really good games and it’s been a pretty exciting postseason. We get a treat of seeing a Russell Wilson vs Aaron Rodgers match-up as well as a Tom Brady vs Andrew Luck match-up. These are four of the premier quarterbacks in the NFL going up against one another. Okay maybe they aren’t going necessarily going up against each other, but it will be fun to watch four potent offenses. With that being said, one of the main topic of discussion with these playoffs will be the Dez Bryant catch that was not a catch. The rule needs to change as it took away a great play in a big moment of the game of the Packers vs Cowboys game. No one knows what the outcome of the game would have been if the call was not overturned but this rule is something that needs to be looked out after the season.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Full 90: Prince Ali: FIFA’s Last Hope at Salvation

This week it was announced that FIFA vice president Prince Ali bin Al Hussein will challenge Sepp Blatter during the governing body’s presidential election on May 29th. FIFA has been infested with controversy and corruption, especially with respect to the Qatar and Russia World Cup bids.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The Case for Having a Plan; Avoiding Becoming the "Detoilet" Pistons

Pistons forward, Josh Smith

This past weekend the Philadelphia 76ers picked up their second win in three games, and second of the season to move to 2-18 on the season thus far.  For the Pistons, they moved to 3-17 following the OT defeat, and finished the weekend 3-18, dropping their twelfth straight game to the OKC Thunder on Sunday.  I repeat, the Detroit Pistons are on a TWELVE game loosing streak, and have just 1 more victory than the nationally disgraced (those are two different links BTW).  Maybe Kentucky can beat Detroit too, or maybe they can beat one of the worst teams in the NBA every year.  In 2012, it was the Bobcats and the Wizards that were deemed beatable by Kentucky's team that year.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

St. Louis Rams and "Hands Up, Don't Shoot"

While working off turkey hangovers, many Americans who tune into the NFL just wanted a nice slate football to conclude the holiday weekend and put off thinking about the looming work week.

But five St. Louis Rams wide receivers -- Tavon Austin, Stedman Bailey, Kenny Britt, Jared Cook, and Chris Givens -- brought those tuning into the Rams-Raiders game back to another reality they may have been trying to escape: the protests in Ferguson. In unison with a common phrase and gesture of the ongoing struggle that has spread to cities across the country, the players came out with their hands up in reference to "hands up, don't shoot."