MONDAY ROUNDUP: Jim Thome To The Bench? Dom Brown Content? Heat Radio Guy Talks Coldplay And E.D.?
Sports stories happen. We play manhunt.
AUDIO (CSN Philly, Philadelphia Eagles): DeSean Jackson's parting shot from Eagles OTAs (their last bits of togetherness before training camp in July) was a pretty clearly manipulative play -- of the media. Trying to get to his coach. Said, all in the same breath, "because you know Coach Reid" (suggestive of training camp practices) and "is gonna work our tail off (when, really, Andy Reid's camps are as notoriously soft as...well...), which, to us, means the guy's trying to finagle. Whether it works? Who knows? (Reid has acknowledged that the team's had it somewhat easy of late, and doesn't intend to keep it that way.) And that, apparently, is contagious. DeMeco Ryans is playing the same card. Going as far as saying it's going to be oh so much harder than that country club of they called "camp" in Houston. More on Ryans: Dude all at once welcomes a defense leadership role (and consequent responsibility, and he knows it) yet, in the same breath, says he's still got to earn the team's respect. Can this whole "Having A Middle Linebacker" thing get any better?
AUDIO (CSN Philly): The Phillies foremost masher (who, we guess, given that nobody is doing much else of anything, is also the most atrocious and altogether average), Jim Thome, milked the most out of the team's nine-game interleague round. (At 3-6, needless to say, they didn't. Or, worse, did they...?) After, Thome, whose job was pretty generally understood to be capped at that of a spot hitter coming in, he basked in the glow of newly-established rhythm -- and his personal milestone. details below. (Too bad he's probably headed back to pinch-hitting.) Thome said the biggest thing for him -- and for everybody, ballplayers or bloggers or anybody doing anything -- is to find a regimen that works, and then do it a bazillion times to perfect it, and maximize your potential. Dude just wishes there was something -- anything -- to celebrate, outside of his immediate awesomeness.
AUDJIO (NBC): Web Simpson is winning, the U.S. Open, his first-ever major win. (Meanwhile, this rooster-like-clad guy loses his mind.) Tiger Woods is whining. (Don't feel bad. Despite a 75-73 to faceplant down the stretch of the U.S. Open, Woods, who's 7-over was good (?) for a T-21 finish, raked almost $87,000. For doing what you paid $300 to for your dad this weekend.)
AUDJIO (790 The Ticket Heat Radio Network): The Heat win Game 3, 91-85. (Lead series, 2-1.) Their play-by-play and color guys, for pumping up this Coldplay concert (and stumbling into a talk about other things that need pumping...), lose.
SCRIPTUALS (Patriot-News): Jerry Sandusky's defense starts today. And, per a list of potential witnesses submitted to the court by his bumbling bozo representative, it could start with Sandusky himself.
SCRIPTUALS (Yahoo! Sports): Which Dan Wetzel seems to think a good idea.
SCRIPTUALS (Philly.com): Bob Ford Monday wonders aloud the consequences of de-Vickifying Mike Vick. (Like, whether he'll actually be good and stuff.)
SCRITPUALS (Philly.com): Sam Donnellon isn't sure whether the Phillies are totally committed to winning, or whether they're just trying too hard. (Says it's easy to confuse the two.) But of one thing he's sure: they're not playing to their potential.
SCRIPTUALS (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel): Which, if it continues, could push the Phils to unload Cole Hamels. Kind of how Michael Hunt thinks the Brewers should Zach Grienke.
SCRIPTUALS (FOX Sports): Speaking of: What's more depressing? Jon Paul Morosi's Monday column, about playoff races being robbed of the game's most exciting pitchers? Or that Roy Halladay -- whose team is now nine games back, in last place for a 44th-straight day -- doesn't qualify? Makes you need a...
SCRITPUALS (MLB.com): Mr. Brightside, played Sunday by Dom Brown (hamstring).
SCRIPTUALS (Miami Herald): Kind of what Greg Cote does here, in scrounging up beauty in what was, at times, a pretty ugly Game 3 win for the Heat.
SCRIPTUALS (CBS Sports): Gregg Doyel charts the "could go either way" calls LeBron James has gotten these NBA Finals. (Spoiler alert: He thinks there's a lot.)
SCRIPTUALS (Oklahoman): Barry Tramel wants to know "what happened to the Boys Of Poise," the Oklahoma City Thunder that seemed none too fazed by the stage -- until Game 3. (#Choke?)
SCRIPTUALS (Yahoo! Sports): Adrian Wojranowski talking in code here. Seems like... wait... OHHHH... He's essentially saying the Thunder (suddenly!) didn't have a "killer instinct" in Game 3. And that LeBron did. Sorcery, these NBA Finals must have...
STATISTICALS (Elias): Jim Thome's solo shot in the second inning of the Phils 6-2 loss to the Blue Jays Sunday makes him the fourth player in MLB history to have 100 HR with three different teams joining A-Rod, Reggie Jackson and Darrell Evans. Thome now has 608 career HR.
Thome also tied Juan Samuel for 23rd on the Phillies all-time home run list.
STATISTICALS (Jim Salisbury, CSN Philly): Hunter Pence made a gaffe in the field. (Oh how Hunter...) No biggie, though. Only the Phils 15th in their last 11 games.
STATISICALS (Elias): Brett Cecil allowed only two runs in five innings of work and earned his first victory since last July in Toronto's win over the Phillies on Sunday afternoon. Cecil entered Sunday's action having lost his last seven decisions, which was tied with Jhoulys Chacin and Scott Feldman for the longest current streak in starts among active pitchers.
STATISTICALS (Elias): The Heat shot 31-for-35 from the free throw line (88.6 percent) while the Thunder were just 15-for-24 from the charity stripe (62.5 percent) in Miami's Game 3 victory in the NBA Finals on Sunday night. That 261 percentage point differential in free throw percentage was the largest in an NBA Finals game in which both teams had at least 20 attempts since June 6, 2001, when the 76ers shot .920 from the line compared to the Lakers' .556 free-throw percentage in a Philadelphia victory in overtime.
STATISTICALS (Elias): Shane Battier made two more three-point field goals in Miami's Game 3 victory over the Thunder on Sunday night, giving him 11 makes from beyond the arc through the first three games of the NBA Finals series. Since the NBA instituted the three-point shot in 1979, only one other player has made as many as 11 three-pointers in the first three games of an NBA Finals series: Orlando's Rashard Lewis in 2009 (11).
"Now that the bill is coming due on Greinke, the other question is whether the Brewers should trade him before he becomes a free agent at the end of the season.
"Even if the whole National League Central wears clown shoes and theoretically there is enough time for this Maryvale version of the Brewers to do something, it is almost impossible to envision Greinke still being here by the end of the trading deadline."
-- Michael Hunt (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel), sound familiar?
"It was either Ray Nitschke or Friedrich Nietzsche who said you have to be careful about "casting out your demon" because it might be the best thing about you. If the Eagles turn Vick into some version of himself with all the edges padded, he might just stink. Which, by the way, might have already happened to some extent."
-- Bob Ford (Philadelphia Inquirer), who's got a point
"“I've seen guys over my career who have had a whole lot of success that do question themselves about how much they love the game and things like that. And there's a whole lot of things that go into play. And when you see performances drop off over the last 2 or 3 years, yes, that's a big concern of mine, yes.''
-- Charlie Manuel, on May 23, about when Jimmy Rollins took his paternity leave
"Trying to do too much in baseball often looks as if you're not trying at all.
If Victorino really didn't care he would have stood on second Sunday. If Pence really didn't care, he would have jogged toward that ball, got on a knee, taken his time. I am convinced that the recent struggles of Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels have come from trying to be too fine, trying too much to avoid another loss. They may have even been left in an inning too long at times because their manager was trying too hard to get to the closer. As for the bullpen — how might you feel if the nightly fate of this $176 million team rested on your major league minimum shoulders?"
Sam Donnellon, on thoughts that the Phillies just don't care anymore
"You seem like you're more stressed out about it than I am. ... Injuries are part of the game. We still have a couple months to go. We'll see what happens. I think I'm in a good spot."
-- Dom Brown, who may be proving Scott Proefrock right
"Not all victories are things of beauty, especially in a Finals dominated by stars yet led fundamentally by two strong defenses. ... Sunday showed a welcome ability by Miami to win even when the shots aren’t falling. When you extract the points scored in the paint, Miami shot a miserable 5-for-31 on longer shots. When you shoot that badly but win, you look to defense and rebound and toughness and file it all under resourcefulness."
-- Greg Cote, on the Miami Heat getting pretty out of ugly
"I coached Russell Westbrook. And his name was 'Steve Francis.'"