Four for Four with 3D Philly Sports
With all of the four major teams currently active, I decided to chat with Derrick Alvarez of 3D Philly Sports to discuss some of the big questions hanging over Broad and Pattison. Here’s the results:
1. Who should the Eagles draft at #4?
Derrick: Right now I’m leaning towards Dee Milliner. Had the Eagles signed Sean Smith in free agency I wouldn’t be so adamant about them drafting this stud cornerback out of Alabama, but I’m not entirely too sure that the Brandon Boykin/Cary Williams/Brandon Fletcher combo is the answer at cornerback here in Philly. Would I ruin my argument though by saying that only 8 cornerbacks have been drafted in the top ten since 2000 and that Milliner is going to be out with a shoulder injury until training camp? Ah screw it, I’m thinking long term here.
Vince: For me, it has to be Dee Millner. The kid is physical, can succesfully jam receivers at the line, and can tackle very well. If the Eagles are serious about getting the best player available he’ll likely be it at #4. The NFC East has some high-quality wide receiving tandems (Nicks and Cruz have left me with many sleepless nights) and with the RG III and the read option in D.C., efficient tackling on the outside is a must. Millner can help in both departments and has the measurables that scouts look for in a corner. Welcome to Philly, Dee.
2. Are the Phillies too old to compete for a title?
Derrick: For a few months I tried convincing myself the answer was no. But now, in the past couple of weeks my gut is telling me that YES, this team is too old to not only compete for a title, but even to make it into the postseason. All of the sudden it seems like Roy Halladay may struggle to make it through even half of the 2013 season. He started off spring training by looking great, but now his velocity is down and Doc got shelled for 7 runs in 2.2IP earlier this week. If Halladay isn’t able to be a solid No. 3 in the Phils rotation then I think this is an 81-85 win at best. This core of Howard, Utley, Rollins, Chooch Halladay, and Lee is getting no younger either. And don’t get me started on Michael Young bringing his talents to the hot corner (this could get real ugly) At least Dom Brown and Delmon Young are below the 30 year-old mark, right? If only Delmon could lose a quick 60lbs and get onto the field.
Vince: There’s always conversation in sports regarding whether the window has closed and for this team, it’s a valid one. This team has an old foundation. Howard is 32; Rollins, Utley, Ruiz and Lee are 33 and Halladay is 35. None of which is comforting, I admit, but I’m not quite ready to put this team out to pasture. I think that this campaign is likely their last shot to make a legitimate run. Sure, the odds aren’t great, but I don’t think it’s that farfetched. The Phils nearly rose from the dead at the end of last season once a moderately healthy core limped on to the field. If they can have most of that core on the field for about 120 games then I don’t see any reason why they can’t compete.
3. Will the Flyers make any major moves at the trade deadline?
Derrick: I really think the Flyers are going to shop Danny Briere hard between and the April 3rd trade deadline. How many takers will there be on the market though and can we back a decent defenseman in return? That’s the big question. His ice time has not cracked more than 15 minutes in the past 3 games, and when he is out there it looks as if he’s nearing the end of the road in terms of energy. His plus/minus of -12 is pretty awful also. Guys simply wear down in their mid 30s, and Briere’s $6.5 Million against the cap next year just isn’t worth it. Technically, Danny B can block any trade with his no movement clause, but the Flyers can partially counter this by threatening to amnesty his contract this upcoming summer.
All the Flyers need are two interested teams and they can drive up the price for Briere at the deadline. I’m thinking Anaheim and St Louis would be two teams in the Western Conference who may be interested in some extra firepower for their playoff runs, which Danny may be able to provide one last time. So yes, I think the Flyers will make a big move and I think Briere is going to be the piece they sell before on or before April 3rd.
Vince: With the Flyers you can never say never, but I don’t think that they move anyone. This is a very young team and the majority of their top talent is under 25 so they can afford to wait another year before making any bold decisions. This team has been wildly inconsistent and would probably lose if paired up against teams like the Bruins, Devils or Penguins in the playoffs. While Holmgren will dream up a few trade scenarios before the deadline, he’ll keep the team in tact as is for now barring any serious improvements over the next few weeks.
4. Sixers tickets are going for as little at .95 cents right now. Would you pay it?
Derrick: How do I put this lightly….Hell no. The 95 cents is one thing, but then there’s $15 for parking, $10-15 for food, $18 for beers, another $20 in vodka/tonics in order to convince yourself that what you’re watching really is NBA basketball. There’s also valuable gasoline used and mileage put onto your car in order to get to the arena, and whatever price tag you put on your free time, because quite frankly you are never getting that back. Overall, you’re looking at an evening where you’re spending $70-80 evening easily to watch a total horsecrap product on the court. Meanwhile, Bynum is sitting there making $43,000 a day without a care in the world, and more than likely thinking of what his next hair-do will look like. Man this team is a mess.
Vince: Absolutely. I actually attended the Sixers/Nets game last week on the cheap and got a fantastic surprise win. While the team may stink to high heaven for the most part, I always enjoy hanging out at the game-especially for a price that makes my Scrooge senses tingle. If you’re looking to do something different for the evening, a Sixers ticket for that kind of price is fantastic. Just don’t expect the same quality on the court.