Four for Four with 3D Philly Sports
As usual with our Four for Four segments, we asked some questions to our pals over at 3D Philly Sports about the state of our favorite franchises (You can check them out on Facebbook here). This time, Jim McNamee joined us in the conversation. Here’s the result.
1. You’re the Phillies GM. What’s your first move?
James: If you’re asking me what I would do if I was Ruben Amaro, my first move is to resign because I suck as the GM. However, if I was replacing Rueben as GM, I would do the following: Sell one of the following that you can this year, but ONLY if you get top flight prospects in return. Trade anyone who doesn’t have more than 2-3 years of contribution in them. That means Cliff Lee (for at minimum a top AAA batting prospect), Chase Utley (should he return to form in the upcoming weeks), Jimmy Rollins (still a top shortstop), or Jonathan Papelbon (why have a top closer on a .500 club?). Whichever of the previous mentioned can get you the best prospect, I would make that move by the deadline. However, this doesn’t mean the Philles should go into complete rebuilding mode for next year. Every offseason they should be buyers in free agency. Just stop trading prospects for 30+ year old players, ARE YOU LISTENING RUBEN? However that shouldn’t stop the Phillies from gunning for the top free agents. They’re getting a huge TV deal, and paying top dollar for top players should, and will be no issue monetarily.
Vince: If I’m the GM, the first thing I’m going to do is call every team in the league and drive up a bidding war for Cliff Lee. He’s already one of the central cogs of the rumor mill and he doesn’t want to be here any more (It’s hard to blame him for that.) So the sooner that you trade him off, the higher his return value. Done deal. Next, it comes down to either Utley or Papelbon and Cinco Ocho is the right pick. Letting Chase walk for nothing seems to sound worse to me than what his actual value dictates. Trade Pap for some more minor league talent and call this season a relative success for the future.
2. What do you think of Sam Hinkie drafting without a head coach?
James: It doesn’t matter unless the coach is a contributor for the Sixers failure. To me, this is a clear indication that Hinkie will be the number one decision maker in regards to drafting, free agency, and all personnel decisions. While most coaches do have input on the talent brought to the team, I’ve always believed, with only a few exceptions, that coaches are too close to the players to be allowed to make decisions on trades and player value. There is a reason the GM of a team does not sit on the court in most cases. Do your thing, Sam Hinkie! Just don’t screw up!
Vince: In terms of drafting without a coach, I honestly don’t think it would make a difference if a coach was there. This is the GM’s business and any coach that comes in won’t have the clout of a guy like Gregg Popovich or Doc Rivers. Hinkie also has the entire scouting department and guys like Michael Curry to discuss the pick with—all of which are part of the business as usual draft evaluation process. The Sixers hired this guy to turn around the franchise. It’s time to fly.
3. Is it really a big deal if the starting QB isn’t named by training camp?
James: Absolutely not. Bill Walsh forced Joe Montana to compete with Steve Young and people called him crazy. Both are Hall of Famers, and Young was not thought to be close to the QB that Montana was at the time (see 1992 for the 49ers). Foles can only hope to be that good some day, and Vick never was close. So why this group of QB’s should they be so special? Players need to play, and coaches need to coach. Desean Jackson needs to worry about his own play which has been subpar at best before worrying who the QB will be, and they’ll have practice and preseason to get used to whomever. If they perform the same, I think Foles will get the nod, and should he not set the world on fire, we could see the Barkley project begin next year.
Vince: This story is the most annoying factor of my life at this point and I live with my parents. Chip Kelly’s just getting started here and hasn’t even seen these guys in pads yet! If he were to name a starter now, it would be like choosing the girl of your dreams on blind date and having this walk out the door. There needs to be contact in practice, some looks from opposing teams, and simply more time to know who the right choice is in a new regime. To pick anyone before training camp would be flat out irresponsible.
4. Is Laviolette on the “hot seat” this year?
James: He is, but it’s not deserved. The one in the hot seat should be the GM, Paul Holmgren. I won’t kill Homgren for the Bobrovski trade, because the players drafted for him look to be studs (goalie Anthony Stolarz, and defensman Tayler Leier). He should be fired, however, for letting go of Matt Carle before they took a swing at Shea Weber, Ryan Suter, and Zach Parise. He should be fired for letting go of Jaromir Jagr. He should be fired for forcing Laviolette to kill Bryz in a short season with no backup goaltender. I realize I started the last three sentences with “he should be fired”. This is no coincidence. Steve Mason may or may not be a good short term answer, but if anyone should be on the hot seat, it’s not Peter Laviolette, it’s Paul Holmgren.
Vince: I don’t think that Lavi’s on the heat seat. Now there is pressure in the building, but with the chaos of a shortened season and the number of defensive issues I think his status is relatively stable for a hockey coach. I think the biggest concern for his future is that Holmgren is the GM. Once dominos fall from the Mark Streit trade, Holmgren may ultimately over-maneuver the both of them out of a job. It’s going to be a wild offseason.
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