On Our Mind: May 1st, 2009

Here’s a lazy post. Some quick summaries of what’s been going on.

Let’s make up for lost time starting right, now:

Flyers: The orange and black bowed out of the playoffs just like last year, losing to the Penguins (only this time in the first round). Although they went six games, the Flyers looked outclassed for most of the series and actually exceeded my expectations in going more than five games. I would have liked nothing more than to have seen Crosby and Malkin lose to Philly, but after watching the Flyers just a few times this season I knew the hill would be really steep. Now, while the Pens set up with the Capitals in the second round in what will be hyped as the most incredible seven-game hockey series in the history of earth, the Flyers players are busy playing golf and the ownership is busy with the Sixers (before they have to contemplate making chances, hopefully goalie and head coach). If the Flyers were any kind of exciting, I’d probably like hockey more; watching them play is like watching paint dry.

Sixers: The Six are in a dogfight of a series with Orlando, down 3-2 as the series shifts back to the Wachovia Center tomorrow night. Dwight Howard’s blatant elbow on Sammy D’s skull last night should earn him a suspension for game six, which should piss him off enough to come back and dominate a game seven if necessary. To be honest, he should probably have been ejected last night, but remember that it is NBA officiating and that’s a job that’s right up there with the scorekeeper on the show Whose Line is it Anyway? If the Sixers do win tomorrow night, they would force a game seven in Orlando for the right to play against the winner of the ridiculously entertaining Chicago-Boston series.

NASCAR: How about that race on Sunday? Talladega was easily the most entertaining 500 miles since the good ‘ole boys went to the Car of Tomorrow, mostly due to the fact that there were three outstanding crashes. The last one, a crash that sent Carl Edwards careening into the protective catch fence after bouncing off the windshield of Ryan Newman has created quite a stir for NASCAR. If you haven’t seen it, have a look-see:

The questioning of the rules, fan safety and the strong words from the drivers involved in the accidents have created quite a stir for the only governing body who does more spinning than the federal government. It will be interesting to see how things will have changed when the series heads back to Talladega in the fall.

Penn State Football: Last Saturday was the annual blue-white spring football game at Beaver Stadium. While I did not go, I did listen to the first half on the radio. For those of you who don’t follow PSU, coach Paterno is on the air during the game, and was quite amusing for most of the day. By all accounts, starting quarterback Daryll Clark looked good, along with backup Kevin Newsome who really should be studying for high school finals. Newsome enrolled a semester early to participate in spring drills. More on Penn State in August, when I get back into football season mode.

Horse Racing: The 135th running of the Kentucky Derby takes place this coming Saturday. Friesan Fire is our pick, although we won’t be betting; not after the Giacomo debacle of 2005. We make our money on the Preakness and the Belmont.

Eagles: The 2009 Draft has come and gone and the Birds had a good one, getting Missouri wide-receiver Jeremy Maclin, Pitt running back LeSean McCoy and trading for former Patroits cornerback Ellis Hobbs. Maclin and Hobbs should both see action on special teams, while McCoy can catch the ball out of the backfield and is great in open space. The Eagles also picked up Cornelius Ingram, a tight end from Florida in the fourth-round. Ingram, who missed all of last season with a torn ACL, was tied for the team lead in TD receptions for the Gators in 2007. The Eagles will begin the season at the Carolina Panthers on September 13th.

Central Manor Softball: The 2009 season gets underway next week, as we take on our traditional opening day opponent Zion Lutheran. For more information of the team, visit our website by clicking on this link.

And finally…

Phillies: Our main blogging vice until August will be these Philles, and right now they are the hottest team in baseball. While pitching has been suspect (Cole Hamels has left his last two games early due to injuries, Brad Lidge is hurt, and they have given up more homeruns through 20 games than any defending world series champion in the history of the game), the Phillies are 11-9 and swinging red-hot bats right now (stats before Wednesday night’s game):

  • Jimmy Rollins: .195, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 9 R
  • Shane Victorino: .291, 2 HR, 14 RBI, 15 R
  • Chase Utley: .357, 7 HR, 20 RBI, 12 BB
  • Ryan Howard: .276, 4 HR, 15 RBI, 19 K
  • Jayson Werth: .261, 2 HR, 10 RBI, 15 R, 12 BB
  • Pedro Feliz: .333, 2 HR, 14 RBI

Rollins has struggled all year, but with the way the rest of the lineup is hitting things seem to be working out. Come on Jimmy, even pitcher Chan Ho Park hit a home run last weekend.

Then there’s Raul Ibanez.

In the first three weeks of the season, Ibanez has hit a walk-off home run, hit a game-winning Grand Slam and has been stellar on the basepaths and in the outfield.

  • Raul Ibanez: .355, 7 HR, 17 RBI, 20 R, 5 2B, 27 H

Ibanez leads the team in hits and runs scored, is .002 behind Utley in batting average, is tied for the team lead in home runs with Utley, and is second behind Utley in RBI’s; all out of the 6-hole. He has been by all accounts the best off-season free-agent signing for any team and is greeted with massive “Rauuuuul” chants when he takes to the batters box at Citizens Bank Park. Between Jamie Moyer, Greg Dobbs and Ibanez, we could say that Seattle has been very kind to Philadelphia.

By winning their game last night, the Phillies secured their second straight winning month of April, after quite a few dreadful starts in prior seasons. The Phillies sit at 11-9 going into the season’s first series against the Mets looming this weekend.

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