Monday, September 26, 2016

Jose Fernandez Spirit Award

We have seen so many athletes gone before their time. Whether it be Nick Adenhart, Roberto Clemente, Dražen Petrović, Sean Taylor, Jerome Brown or the most recent Jose Fernandez. All of these athletes had the talent and potential to become some of the greatest players ever to play. However, their lives were cut short. None will ever play their respective sport again. It is heartbreaking for fans, sports lovers, and the world when this happens. It brings a sense of unrest for anybody who looks at the playing field. Jose Fernandez this past weekend joined the ghosts of many great athlete's gone before their time. I believe that Major League Baseball should implement the Jose Fernandez Spirit Award.

Jose Fernandez played with such passion and spirit that was unmatched. When he was on the mound, it was clearly the hot ticket to have. Nobody brought as much love to the game as Fernandez. A kid that came from nothing to build himself up. Fernandez tried defecting from Cuban three times, one of which landed him in jail. When he finally did successful defect, he had to save his mother from drowning. Fernandez built himself up from the bottom, he truly lived the American Dream. He came from nothing, showing such love and passion on the field. He played every game like it was his last. Through injury and disappointment Fernandez was able to bring success, happiness, and joy to his teammates.

We see now that many reporters, players, and fans are pushing for a Jose Fernandez Spirit Award. Like the Roberto Clemente Award which was created after Clemente's tragic death, the Fernandez Award would be given to those who show passion on and off the field. This award would be for those who truly love the game, and give everything they have to play it. I believe this is the best way to remember someone of his status. Someone that had so much potential who could've been a future CY Young winner and even the first Marlin in the Hall of Fame. Time will heal this terrible wound for the sporting world, but we should never forget Jose Fernandez.

RIP Jose Fernandez

-Brett



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Monday, September 12, 2016

Wentzylvania

Carson Wentz fever has taken over Philadelphia! There is no doubt that the biggest name in the city is Carson Wentz. Many fans would say after game one that he lived up to the hype. Wentz showed many skills in his first game. He showed fans his ability to be accurate and throw on the run. However, Philadelphia let's not get too excited yet. The #2 overall pick has only played in one game against a really bad team. There are going to be several growing pains to come.

The Eagles played extremely well in their first game of the season. Carson Wentz was able to get comfortable on the field right away. However, as the game progressed Wentz did show his weak points. The future of the Eagles still has some things to work on in his game. Carson needs to be more comfortable in the pocket. Though he had a very strong football IQ in college, he does not have an NFL IQ. Wentz throughout the game held onto the ball too long. It caused him to take too many hard hits early on. The Eagles have a strong line but, he needs to put more faith in his arm. He also favored only one side of the field. Wentz throughout the game would go through series where he would only look to one side of the field. If he wants to keep winning this is something he needs to work on.

If you listen to any caller Monday morning on any sports station in Philadelphia fans are overwhelmed. They believe Carson Wentz is a demigod. He passed one test and has several more to come in the future. Wentz did surprise me in his first game, he played very well. However, it was against a Cleveland Browns team who missed many opportunities on offense and who's defense struggled throughout the game. Philadelphia should not get overhyped on their QB yet. It is going to be a waiting game to see how he develops throughout the season. The real test will come in their 3rd and 4th games. Eagles fans it is time to see what this young kid can do.

-Brett


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Tuesday, August 16, 2016

The Phillies?

There is no doubt the Philadelphia Phillies are an enigma. They aren't a bad team in reality, but they haven't shown anything to peak my interest. They are basically sitting at average, they don't have any superstars and those guys that are supposed to be the future are either in the Minor Leagues or not playing well currently. The question that comes to mind is can/does this team have potential? My answer is at this moment at time I would have to say no. Now I know I'll hear from several people saying that the Phillies are still in playoff contention this season, that they have a great young pitching staff, blah, blah, blah. To be frank the Phillies potential stars have not proven anything, and this team is not in playoff contention.

When you think of the Phillies currently and their hitters three names come to mind immediately: Franco, Herrera, and Joseph. Those three players have played well and have shown glimmers of potential. However, they are not the superstars fans and management are trying to make them into. Starting with Herrera he is in my mind a .300 hitter who can steal bases and hit doubles. However, he is not a strong candidate for the leadoff spot. He has shown the most potential and skill of any of the others mentioned. However, the Phillies are using him wrong. Herrera likes to swing the bat, I see him more as a 2nd or 7th guy in the lineup. Someone who is given the ability to swing the bat and try to move guys over. He is not the type of player to take pitches and wait out a pitcher.

Joseph is another guy that has taken the league and the Phillies fans by storm. Their is no doubt in any fans mind that what Joseph was able to do in his first few weeks in the big leagues was amazing. The guy was truly a hitting machine with a great story. Tommy Joseph is a hitting machine in the sense that he makes strong contact with the ball and doesn't strikeout often. However, he is not a star or your 3 or 4 hitter. Joseph is the type of player that gets on base and does not like to have pressure on him. I think of Joseph as a Joey Votto type player, one that can do his job when needed but won't hit a bunch of home runs. Do I think Joseph could hit 30hrs in a season? Yes, but I do not think it is necessary for him to do that to be a success in the MLB.

There is no player with more pressure than Maikel Franco. Franco came up and was supposed to be the Phillies savior and future star. Though he has put up great numbers I don't think he is the power threat everyone wants him to be. From what I have seen is Franco is a guy that could hit a bunch of home runs 35+, but he would also hit .235 in doing that. I think Franco is a guy that is a gold glove 3rd baseman who should focus on hitting .280 with 25+ home runs. The homers will come for Franco due to his style of hitting. When he makes strong contact those balls will find themselves over the fence. But, this comes down to a player who is facing too much unneeded pressure. Franco needs to relax.

I agree with many of the fans and experts who say the Phillies have a good young pitching staff. Guys like Morgan, Nola, and Eickhoff have impressed me. However, they have a lot of work still to do. These guys are young and their stuff will develop with age. I only see the pitching staff getting better as the years go on. One thing I will state in regards to the strong Minor League players is that this does not mean they will succeed in the MLB. I believe that guys like Rhys Hoskins and Dylan Cozens have proven themselves worthy of a call up. I believe that they deserve a chance to play no matter what the position, or we will have another Ryan Howard situation of a great player stuck in the Minors. All this being said Ben Davis of the Phillies said it best when talking about J.P. Crawford, "He may never make it to the Major Leagues." The future can be bright for the Phillies, but it is a waiting game at this point.

-Brett

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Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Hawks Flying High in Summer League?

The NBA summer league is now in full swing! This allows us to get a look at the NBA’s next batch of superstars! Whether you are watching to see how the first overall pick Ben Simmons is doing or the question mark in the draft Thon Maker, it will be an interesting summer. Saint Joseph’s University students and alumni are glued to their TV’s as well. As we watch how our former superstar DeAndre Bembry adjusts to the NBA, and our former most improved player Isaiah Miles tries to make an NBA squad. Both players bring different unique games to their respective teams. These two have much different paths, but both hope to be great assets to their NBA teams.

DeAndre Bembry- Atlanta Hawks 21st Overall
There is no doubt Bembry has continued his college dominance right onto the NBA summer league. Many reporters and fans are calling him the best player on the Hawks summer team, and his skills are truly being shown. Not only has Bembry brought his strong ability to take the ball to the rim, and his unbelievable defense to the NBA. But, he also brought along his never quit work ethic. Bembry has increased his basketball IQ, meaning he is taking shots that he is much more confortable with. DeAndre has also improved his ability to distribute the basketball among his teammates, something he was known on Hawk Hill for. In three games Bembry is averaging 10pts 4.7assists and 4.7rebounds. He is bringing his do all attitude right along with him to the NBA. It is clear to see the 21st overall pick will continue to garner a lot of attention and playing time. Look for Bembry to be in the headlines in Atlanta come this fall.

Isaiah Miles- Dallas Mavericks Undrafted
Unlike his former teammate, Isaiah Miles is taking a much different approach for his path to the NBA. Miles wasn’t drafted, nor was he high on many teams’ draft boards. Miles is looking to take an approach much like that of Langston Galloway his former teammate. However, the former Hawks big man is looking to translate his unique game to the NBA. As someone who is both tall and can shoot the three, there were many questions surrounding how Miles game would work in the NBA. Miles has struggled early on in the summer league only averaging 1.7ppg and 3.3rebounds in three games. Miles though has always been a late starter. Look for his numbers to increase has the summer season goes on. Miles will continue to do his job on the court, he will score when open and pull down rebounds when needed. Minutes will be the biggest enemy for Isaiah Miles. If Miles can continue to improve his shot and rebounding ability, he may find himself a valuable asset in the D-League for an NBA team.

-Brett 

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Thursday, June 23, 2016

NBA Mock Draft

The NBA Draft is only a few hours away! Here is the draft order we may see tonight!

1. Sixers
Ben Simmons

2. Lakers
Brandon Ingram

3. Celtics
Jaylen Brown

4. Suns
Marquese Chriss

5. T-Wolves
Buddy Hield

6. Pelicans
Kris Dunn

7. Nuggets
Dragan Bender

8.  Kings
Jamal Murray

9. Raptors
Jakob Poeltl

10. Bucks
Deyonta Davis

11. Magic
Henry Ellenson

12. Jazz
Skal Labissiere

13. Suns
Timothe Luwawu

14. Bulls
Domantas Sabonis

15. Nuggets
Malachi Richardson

16. Celtics
Wade Baldwin IV

17. Grizzlies
Malik Beasley

18. Pistons
Denzel Valentine

19. Nuggets
Ante Zizic

20. Pacers
Tyler Ulis

21. Hawks
Ivica Zubac

22. Hornets
Malik Beasley

23. Celtics
Brice Johnson

24. Sixers
Paul Zipser

25. Clippers
DeAndre Bembry

26. Sixers
Thon Maker

27. Raptors
Taurean Prince

28. Suns
Zhou Qi

29. Spurs
Demetrius Jackson

30. Warriors
Ben Bentil

-Brett



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