Thoughts and Prayers, 4/15

Happy Monday, April 15th, 2019. I’m feeling a more rambling post today, so here we go. Let’s touch on a bunch of things.

  • Easter weekend is one week away. At one time in my life, this was one of the busiest weekends of my year. There was a time when I never missed church. In fact, at one point in my life I was an altar boy. Now my elder relatives basically implore me to attend my church. That would be the same church that used to have three masses every weekend, and the 9am mass had well north of 100 people every week. Now there’s just a Sunday, 8am mass with 15 people. I blame the church (Catholicism at large) for many of it’s own problems, but I also find the situation kind of sad. Many of the lessons I took from church were good things that society could use. Unfortunately the shame and disappointment in the church’s failings win out.
  • I slept through a tornado warning last night. Yes, one seems to have touched down in Scranton, but apparently all of Eastern Pennsylvania was under a warning. I’ve lived in Iowa a few times, where tornadoes have been known to be deadly. I guess I didn’t learn much.
  • Thursday was Wawa’s 55th birthday. What a glorious day for anyone in the Philadelphia “sphere of influence.” I did get my free coffee, at the Mt. Pocono Wawa on 115, and made sure to post it on social media. Whether I’m in the Tampa area, the Jersey Shore, center city Philadelphia, or College Hill in Easton, I love me some Wawa.
  • Pope Benedict was already my least favorite Pope in my lifetime, but that angry old man’s letter blaming homosexuality for pedophilia in the church only cemented my dislike for him. To be clear, homosexuality and pedophilia are not the same thing, or even loosely related, or frankly related at all. The priests that molested children didn’t do so because they liked men or women, they did so because they are sick individuals. His argument that the “sexual revolution” of the 1960’s is to blame for this disgrace on the church is little more than an attempt to pass the buck. Women and homosexuals living openly sexually is not to blame for the men of the church abusing their power and harming children. Full stop.
  • I know a lot of my fellow Hillary alums and fans are not going to want to hear this, but Democrats need to cast a wider net for votes in 2020 than she did, and no, that doesn’t just mean we do that with people who didn’t vote. There are a lot of people in the Democratic Party who would like to believe that Barack Obama was elected through “the rising electorate,” and therefore that the future pathway forward is “demographic destiny,” but they are not correct. It is worth noting that both in 2008 and 2012, Barack Obama ran incredibly strong in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Iowa, winning them all by fairly substantial margins both times. The demographics of those states didn’t change much, and yet Hillary Clinton lost all of them but Minnesota, which she very narrowly won. The excuse of many Hillary loyalists is to simply say they are all racists, and that the way forward is to turn out more of the base. That won’t work. So much of that “rising electorate” is confined to “blue” districts in “blue” states that they won’t tip enough states. Hillary did fine holding the line in Virginia, Colorado, and New Mexico, despite some drop off among base turnout in 2016. We’ve found Florida, North Carolina, and Arizona as all possible, but tough nuts to crack so far. The reality is that Texas and Georgia stayed red, even in a great cycle like 2018. We’re going to have to appeal to some of the Obama-Trump voters, or at least non-voters that are not absolute locks to always vote Democrat if they vote. We did this well in 2018. We mostly rejected far leftist candidates in swing districts of the Rust Belt, and instead ran on things like health care, education, housing, and infrastructure, with practical plans to improve on the status quo. A grounded strategy of appealing to the public’s needs in swing states is the only way to beat Trump.
  • I’ve spent a lot of time lately thinking about the younger me. Namely, how I interacted with people who I actually liked in my younger years. People who are different than me. I’ll probably expand on this in another post, but I wish I had been more aware as a teenager. I wish I had been more aware of how life must have felt for them. I probably could have been a better friend.
  • The Phillies are 9-5, first in the NL East, after a week that felt disappointing. They went just 3-3, got destroyed twice, and gave away a big lead in a game. Odubel failed to run a ball out, Gabe tried closing a game with Edubray Ramos, Nola gave away a lead, and Eflin got shelled by the Marlins. You know what though? I’ll take it, first is first. Sure beats the last several seasons.
  • I posted an article to my Facebook about how Democrats are more likely to unfriend someone for differing political views. A lot of people took this as a positive thing- it is not. At the point where politics is all consuming, and you can’t co-exist with people of different viewpoints, politics has failed you. If every Democrat is an anti-American socialist, and every Republican a racist, we’re pretty much dead as a country.
  • Sixers-Nets game two tonight. Joel gave his team a nice lift, and Jimmy Butler was awesome, unfortunately no one else really played in game one. Let’s hope Ben Simmons and Tobias Harris are present tonight, and maybe J.J. Redick is a little helpful. Otherwise, this series will be shockingly done.
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Phillies Predictions

Here’s my predictions for the 2019 Phillies:

Record- 92-70

Finish- NL East 2nd, first Wild Card, NL Champs

All-Stars- Aaron Nola, Bryce Harper, J.T. Realmuto, Jean Segura, Rhys Hoskins

Home Run Leader- Rhys Hoskins 42

Hits Leader- Jean Segura 212

OPS Leader- Bryce Harper .990

Runs Leader- Segura 118

Steals Leader- Odubel Herrera 27

RBI Leader- Hoskins 118

Wins Leader- Aaron Nola 17

ERA Leader- Nola 2.25

Strikeout Leader- Nick Pivetta 215

Innings Leader- Jake Arrieta 208

Saves Leader- Seranthony Dominguez 38

WAR Leader- J.T. Realmuto 6.5

Handicapping the Phillies Opening Day Roster

It’s only 17 days until Opening Day baseball in Philadelphia. Bryceadelphia and Phillies mania is coming back north with a 25 man roster to face the Braves on Opening Day. The only question is, who will be on it?

Starting Rotation-

Aaron Nola, Jake Arrieta, Nick Pivetta, Vince Velasquez, and Zach Eflin- No real surprises here, despite a lot of people thinking out loud that they could use one more upgrade. Earlier in camp I was wondering if Jerad Eickhoff was ready to come back and challenge here, but it sounds like he had a January setback that makes it for more sense to keep him him in AAA to start. Drew Anderson, Enyel De Los Santos, and Cole Irvin have all thrown quite well at times, but are likely to join Eickhoff in AAA. My guess right now is Ranger Suarez joins them in AAA, while JoJo Romero and Adonis Medina anchor down Reading. Why so little change here? I think in part the Phillies want to let this situation play out longer, to give them more clarity. I also think Dallas Keuchel and Gio Gonzalez might still cost too much.

Line-Up:

  1. Cesar Hernandez-2B
  2. Jean Segura-SS
  3. Bryce Harper-RF
  4. Rhys Hoskins-1B
  5. J.T. Realmuto-C
  6. Andrew McCutchen-LF
  7. Maikel Franco-3B
  8. Odubel Herrera-CF

Believe it or not, I think this killer line-up will come north healthy by the end of camp. I’m a little concerned about Cesar, and could absolutely see him starting on the DL, with McCutchen replacing him up top and Kingery playing second and batting eighth. Yes, Odubel has missed time too, but they seem to believe he’ll play this week. I’m betting on health when push comes to shove.

Bench:

  • Back-up catcher- Andrew Knapp
  • Utility Man- Scott Kingery
  • 4th Outfielder/Left-Handed bat- Nick Williams
  • 5th Outfielder- Aaron Altherr

The Phillies bench is not exciting to anyone, particularly because of injuries and players being out of options. Roman Quinn brings a dynamic on-field presence that they need, but he’s hurt. I prefer Cozens to Altherr, but Altherr is out of options and Williams already gives them a lefty pinch-hitter. Williams is on because they don’t know what to do with him, and his centerfield issues don’t matter with Cutch getting most of the back up reps- plus he pinch hit well last year. I’d like to see the Phillies keep another versatile utility option like Sean Rodriguez or Trevor Plouffe, but neither is on the current 40 man roster, and they are out of spots.

Bullpen:

  • Closer- Seranthony Dominguez
  • Set-Up 8th inning- David Robertson
  • Set-Up 8th inning- Hector Neris
  • Set-Up 7th inning- Pat Neshek
  • Set-Up 7th Inning- Juan Nicasio
  • Lefty- Jose Alvarez
  • Lefty/Long-Man- Adam Morgan
  • Lefty- James Pazos

Yes, I’m predicting an eight man bullpen with three lefties. Gabe Kapler is still the manager, last I looked. There’s certainly a question about who will close or pitch the 8th, Nicasio hasn’t locked up a spot yet, Hunter’s health, and even just how many spots will exist, but I came to this group factoring health, options, and needs. I doubt the Phillies will just cut an expensive Nicasio early, or that they would bring a Victor Arano north given his options and early performance. So, we get this.

Injured List- Roman Quinn, Tommy Hunter

Bubble Players- Sean Rodriguez (non-roster), Trevor Plouffe (non-roster), Dylan Cozens, Victor Arano, Mitch Walding

Optioned to the minors/On the 40 man- Eickhoff, De Los Santos, Suarez, Anderson, Edubray Ramos, Yacksel Rios, Edgar Garcia, Arano, Austin Davis, Adonis Medina, Walding, Cozens, Arquimedes Gamboa

Happy Days

Sunday night we arrived in Clearwater, Florida for a week of baseball, beach, and whatever else fills the time. What a happy time to arrive, just days after Bryce Harper signed in town. After an off-season in which the Phillies brought in three 2018 All-Stars, a former NL MVP, and a former All-Star closer. And all of this while I’m not home in Pennsylvania, dealing with snow, but rather dealing with sunburn on the Gulf of Mexico.

There hasn’t been so happy of a time to be a Phillies fan since the last time I was here, in 2011. J.T. Realmuto, arguably baseball’s best catcher, is here. Jean Segura, a 2018 All-Star and perennial 200 hit threat, may represent the biggest position upgrade on this team since 2018. Obviously Harper has Phillies fans dreaming of championships, in the plural, over the next 13 seasons. David Robertson’s presence as an elite late inning reliever will allow Seranthony Dominguez, Hector Neris, and Pat Neshek to all settle into defined roles, avoid being over worked, and thrive as they have in the past. All of this, and I haven’t brought up the acquisition of Andrew McCutchen, my formerly favorite non-Phillies player and former NL MVP- a player who’s gigantic defensive upgrade in left field will both save runs, and all Rhys Hoskins to return to his natural first base. The team’s defense is wildly improved in at least three spots. Expectations are up.

And not to add to those expectations, but I see why. The 2019 Phillies are built much more like the 2008 and 2009 Phillies than any other roster than any other in club history. They will be expected to hit, a lot, and always have a chance to bash their way to victory. They will have a really deep, effective bullpen to hold their leads and win games they lead in after six innings. Their starting pitching isn’t elite on paper, but they are banking on the young arms improving enough, and the possibility of adding the extra arm they may need later. In both of those seasons, the Phillies were resourceful in finding the arms they need in multiple ways.

None of that has been much on my mind though the last two days. It’s been fun watching prospects like Mickey Moniak stroking a double yesterday in a 9-7 loss to the Blue Jays, or Malquin Canelo getting a walk-off hit to beat the Cardinals, and watching our young, big league ace Aaron Nola make his 2019 debut. I watched the sunset from Fort Desoto State Park yesterday, and had a great dinner in Dunedin at Casa Tina (get the enchiladas en salsa roja if you ever go, you’ll thank me). Trips to Spring Training are not much about wins and losses in exhibition games, and are every bit as much about about getting a sunburn at Honeymoon Island beach. You can’t really experience a game over at Blue Jays camp without getting a beer on Douglas Avenue, in my case at the VFW Post 2550.

Tomorrow this trip will come to an end, unfortunately. We’ll get up pre-dawn and hit the road, driving up to my uncle’s in suburban Raleigh to get dinner and crash for the night. Then it will be back to Pennsylvania. The next time I’ll see the Phillies, the games will count, and I actually will really care about the baseball. However I will be there bringing the good news- the Phillies are back, and built for a very bright future.

Bryceadelphia: Where (Almost) Everybody Wins

Later on tonight I’m going to arrive in the happiest place in Florida these days- Clearwater. With Bryce Harper’s arrival and signing, Phillies fans are practically floating on cloud nine. It’s just my dumb luck that a long planned vacation will coincide with one of the biggest arrivals in Phillies history.

Make absolutely no mistake- the signing of Bryce Harper joins the Pete Rose, Jim Thome, and Cliff Lee signings in franchise significance. Signing Harper re-affirms that the Phillies are in fact among the few mega-markets in Major League Baseball. This is the biggest guaranteed contract in North American sports history, and it came against major competition from Los Angeles and San Francisco, two super markets in their own right. This signing is one of those major moments that make you re-evaluate your view of what your team, and city, are.

The Phillies obviously win here. They got their super-star they coveted. I won’t argue that Bryce Harper is currently the best player in baseball, but he is the face of the sport today. They got him with a little bit of money to spare for future free agents. He joins Jean Segura and J.T. Realmuto as the first set of three All-Stars from the previous season to join a new club together. He joins Andrew McCutchen as former NL MVP’s joining the Phillies. He will be one of five different opening day position starters from an off-season where the Phillies transformed their line-up from one of the worst offensive and defensive NL line-ups to an elite one. It is fair to now predict them as a playoff team in 2019.

The Phillies aren’t even close to the only winners though, despite a media bias that is slanted against them. Despite the dismissal of his achievement, Scott Boras is a huge winner here for getting his client a record contract in terms of years and raw dollars. Some have questioned his decision to initially turn down the Nationals $300 million offer, but its worth noting that a third or more of that ten year offer was in deferred money. Boras managed to get his target in dollars, and not manage to make his client look like a money-hungry jerk. He signed a record shattering deal, and still left Harper’s new team to make the moves necessary to win a title. Boras deserves credit, even if the slow time line annoyed you.

What about Harper? Some of the critics of this deal seem to want to make their criticisms about Philadelphia. That would be a top five volume media market, America’s original Capitol, and it’s sixth largest city. Philadelphia, the largest market in MLB with only one team, a city considerably larger than Boston or Washington, and a city with an absolutely rabid and loyal fan base. Yes, his last three choices included Philadelphia, Los Angeles, and San Francisco- a set of three cities that any man should kill to choose from. Three of the great cities in America, and the world. Bryce Harper went to a young, emerging team that improved by 14 games from 2017 to 2018. He went to a team that has a top third farm system, super rich owner, and mega TV contract. In the midst of this great deal, Harper got a team who valued him enough to give him a record contract, and wants to build around him. Philadelphia is really lucky to have Bryce Harper. Bryce Harper is lucky to have Philadelphia, too. Consider this scenario the equivalent to getting a new puppy, for both sides.

Many people will make this about Harper leaving Washington, and indeed it will be such for 247 days over the next 13 years, excluding playoff games. Let’s be clear here though, this was baked in for months. Harper turned down their offer at the end of 2018. The Nationals owner twice this off-season, before the Winter meetings and last week, made clear that the Nationals stopped pursuing Harper along the way too. Nationals fans can be mad at Harper all they’d like for moving up I-95, but they left him as much as he left them. All in the name of young, emerging prospects.

Let’s be honest here though, Harper in defection delivered to the Nationals what they’ve longed for since signing Jayson Werth before the 2011 season- geographic relevance. Just as Werth gave birth to DC baseball mattering, Harper re-affirms for the Phillies their relevance too. In both cases the opposing fan base sneered at their “neighbors” for paying a boat load of money, but in both cases the added value was worth every cent. The Nationals thought at the time of Werth arriving that it would create a rivalry, but it never did- the two teams barely spent a full season both being relevant together. Now DC has it’s villain, it’s nationally televised games, it’s hated rival– the team that dominated them from inception until 2011, the fans that literally took over their park. From an entertainment value standpoint, if the Nats were losing Harper regardless, losing him to Philadelphia is probably the best case scenario.

What about the San Francisco Giants? The reported runner-ups in the Harper sweepstakes obviously lose by not getting him, right? Sure, but that’s an over simplification. With an aging team, retiring manager, and recently deceased owner, one could have assumed they would re-build and avoided big free agents. A 12 year, $310 million offer to Harper let’s us know that San Francisco remains serious. They’re still the real deal.

So who lost? The LA Dodgers. National reporters who wanted to treat Philadelphia as a “B Market.” Maybe the New York Mets. The Dodgers won the last two NL Pennants, but lost the World Series both times, and now passed on making a long-term offer to a player who could have changed their fortunes. The tire narrative of major athletes avoiding Philadelphia, a favorite of the sports media elite, has again been defeated. As for the Mets, they are in position to potentially watch their natural rival suddenly battle the Nationals as their new rivals. Maybe none of this matters. Maybe it all does.

What I do know is that this is perfect for the Phillies. They got their guy. They showed their might. They had an outstanding off-season. This should be a fun week in Clearwater.

If They Fail? Who Phillies Fans Can Blame.

Let me State this again- if the Phillies have the biggest offer on the table for Bryce Harper, as most people suspect, then I believe they will sign Bryce Harper. In other words, I still believe he’s coming to Philadelphia until he’s not. Could the Giants or Dodgers decide they’re going to come up and match or exceed the Phillies offer? Maybe. Short of that, I still think it’s a done deal. I actually think Harper has zero issue playing in Philly, I don’t think his family prefers going west, or any of the other stupid rumors out there. I think this is purely about cold, hard cash. Scott Boras would have it no other way. That’s why he’s the best at what he does.

So I guess that leads to a totally logical question- why hasn’t he signed the deal yet? Again, Scott Boras is his agent, so I don’t buy all the “desired destination” stories- never has Harper been quoted on that anyway. So by my thinking, there’s only one logical problem here- the Phillies offer isn’t good enough. Maybe it’s short of $300 million, or of the Stanton deal, or of $350 million. Maybe they won’t give him a no trade clause. Maybe they won’t give him a three or five year opt out. Obviously they’re not giving him something. So he’s flirting with smaller offers to drive up the price, or maybe out of intrigue for what $40 million a year feels like. No matter what the hang up is, it’s clear the Phillies offer isn’t meeting the asking price.

John Middleton, the very wealthy managing partner of the Phillies will be verbally crucified if the Phillies strike out here, and rightfully so. He said the club would spend “stupid money” to lure major free agents to town. He has the money. The team signed a giant TV deal that added tens of millions annually to the revenue. We know that even a passable product (think 2003-2006) sells lots of tickets to the stadium. The Phillies aren’t cash poor. They let Manny Machado take $300 million from the Padres, a franchise you can count the memorable players from on a few fingers. If they then let Harper go elsewhere because of a couple million per year, or an opt out, the fans will rightfully be angry. Middleton will bare the brunt of that blast as the boss- and the guy who got our hopes up.

I’m here to tell you though, there’s a bigger villain hiding in plain sight- General Manager Matt Klentak, and by extension the team President, Andy MacPhail, Klentak’s boss. It has been hiding in plain sight all along, the awful disconnect between fan sentiment of “SIGN BRYCE” and “front office valuations.” From day one, they’ve seemed more tempered on their wants on Harper, with leaks to the press saying they preferred Machado. Despite that want of Machado, they were unwilling to match or exceed San Diego’s $300 million, ten year offer. Then, speaking to the press after Machado signed, Klentak said there’s a point you walk away, based on your player valuations. I don’t have to remind you, none of that was what Phillies fans wanted to hear. Klentak was never on the “stupid money” script that his boss’s boss was on.

Here’s the truth- the Phillies baseball operations team does not believe in big, long free agent contracts. They had a great off-season, but they did a lot of that with trades for J.T. Realmuto and Jean Segura. Their deals with Andrew McCutchen and David Robertson were both relatively affordable and short. This is a more “Moneyball” thinking front office than a Dodgers or Yankees type. Matt Klentak probably doesn’t believe Bryce Harper is worth ten years at a record average annual value. If he really liked Manny, and he wouldn’t beat the Padres offer, that just stands to reason out.

This does not quite match up with the owner’s stated direction or past record though. As Middleton’s fortune has grown, so has his role within the Phillies. That has coincided with unprecedented spending for a notoriously cheap and unsuccessful club for most of their history. Over the past two decades, the Phillies have spent big on Jim Thome, Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Cliff Lee, Jimmy Rollins, Pat Burrell, Roy Halladay, Jonathan Papelbon, and Cole Hamels. They sold out the stadium for years, they signed a big TV deal, they made the playoffs five straight years. Philadelphia baseball behaved like the top five television market they actually are. At least a couple of their big expenditures actually did end up being “stupid money”- in the sense the players never even got close to living up to their contract value.

If the Phillies miss out on Bryce Harper, which I don’t believe they will, it will be because they were unwilling to quite offer him enough. John Middleton will rightly be the public face of that failure. The reality is though, the failure will be rooted in the baseball philosophy of his top two hired guys, team President Andy MacPhail and GM Matt Klentak. Clearly, they will have prevailed upon their boss with their vision for the team. If that’s the case, they better damned be right. I won’t call for the immediate firing of everybody involved, or lament the fall of baseball in Philadelphia, but I’ll do both of those things if this team is not playing playoff baseball in October. If their approach doesn’t work, they cannot allow these guys to lead this team forward into a potential Mike Trout free agency in two years. It will be time to get out of their spreadsheets and valuations, and into putting a winning team on the field.

Again- all a big if, and one that I don’t expect to happen.

The Phillies, Bryce and Manny, and Reality

The Phillies were last really good in 2011. Since then they’ve won 81 games in 2012, 80 games in 2018, and lost north of 88 games every year in-between. Yes, they got a giant TV deal from Comcast in there, but they’ve seen their once full stadium empty out. They’ve lost the airwaves of talk radio to the Eagles entirely, partially because of who listens, but also because the product fell off. Philadelphia is still one of the better cities for MLB, with passionate fans that make them good money, but it’s not 2009 anymore either. The World Series heroes are gone, the ballpark is turning 16, and at least two other teams in the city are currently getting the attention as real contenders.

All of that could change though, as we saw yesterday. The internet rumors of Bryce Harper’s impending signature on a Phillies contract sent the club trending on Twitter, getting the talk radio talk, and skyrocketing in Vegas as a World Series contender. Was it all just people guessing? Maybe. It did show the Phillies something though- the road back to baseball heavyweight, the evil empire of the NL East.

The Bryce Harper and Manny Machado saga has dragged on too long, and I say this as someone who understands why both sides are fine with it. Yes, Bryce and Manny are making life-changing financial and personal decisions, and yes the Phillies are making a huge investment. I think we’ve reached the point though where both sides know where the other is at. The Phillies know what these players want- and I think it’s time to start offering it closer to them. It’s not often that 26 year olds with multiple All-Star Games or even an MVP are reaching free agency ahead of their prime. It’s not often you can get a player going into their prime that is this good.

I’d argue for going a step further and not just signing one, but even both. Some are making the argument that the Phillies need to keep some money around for a pursuit of Mike Trout in two years. I love the idea of signing Trout, the best player in baseball. Mike Trout is already over a year older though. He will not be a free agent for two years yet. He will cost even more money, for less of his prime years. Ironically, the best way to pay for Trout may be signing at least one of Harper and Machado, and filling the seats every night. Even the Phillies will need the revenue.

Philadelphia is a top five media market and nearly top five metropolitan market, with a multi-billionaire managing partner. Their credibility as one of the “big boys” in MLB is at stake though. The Phillies should go get their superstar(s) now, to start basking in the rewards. Start selling the tickets and jerseys, rake in the cash. Big market teams do big market things, and with the opportunity in front of them, the Phillies should do big market things.

One Month of Christmas, Day 11

Welcome to the “oops” edition! I missed yesterday, so today gets two posts. Here’s the post for Wednesday, December 5th, 2018…

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Oh, Dubliner

How can I forget thee? I can’t, so I went there last night and had a few drinks and some corned beef and cabbage. I’ve seen plenty a Senator there over the years, but last night it was the Chuckster- Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, who was in and out in about three minutes time, while I was outside on the phone. I guess he was in a rush…

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The Phillies Were Right to Hold the line on Corbin

So the Washington Nationals tried their hardest to remain relevant in the Bryce Harper sweepstakes, paying Patrick Corbin the bank, and giving him the desired sixth year. Obviously I would have liked to sign him, but I’m glad the Phillies didn’t go six years to do it.

Obviously this doesn’t look like “spending a little stupid,” and Corbin is good, but even the deepest pockets in the NL East have to pick their battles. Save that extra year to get Harper. The Nats don’t have the fanbase to sustain contracts like Scherzer and Corbin, even though attendance has improved. They’re a stagnant, underachieving team that has an owner who’s very rich, but not richer than John Middleton. Use the cash we didn’t spend on Corbin to bury that team once and for all, and take the face of their franchise.

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Don’t Feed the President’s Ego

Donald Trump thinks he behaved during George W. Bush’s state funeral. No, really, just ask him. By not making a total fool of himself, he thinks he did well. I guess if you ignored his twitter account, maybe- but you can’t do that. And besides that, why are we giving credit for him not attacking Jeb all week. I mean really, the man’s a child. Treat him like one.

One Month of Christmas, Day 9

Happy Monday, December 3rd, 2018. Here’s today’s random thoughts…

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In DC

I’m in DC- it was a lovely night being an Eagles fan in enemy territory. The Eagles and Redskins are playing on Monday Night Football. I must say- nobody gave me an issue. A few beers and some food later, all’s well.

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Compassion for the Homeless? Not Here…

I just walked past a group of homeless people sleeping on Pennsylvania Avenue. They’re just laying on the sidewalk. I’m walking to the Capitol to see a President’s farewell and these people aren’t even treated as people.

Who are we?

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You Have to Cheer for Ewing

I went to see the Georgetown Hoyas beat the Liberty Flames tonight. The Capitol One Arena is nice, and the Hoyas need to start filling it. That will mean tournament wins, Final Fours, and yes, a title. Georgetown expects to win, not just games against Liberty, but big games too. Tonight was an expectation for the Hoyas.

I’m not a fan of the Hoyas, but I’m pulling for Ewing. How many Hall-of-Famers go coach their alma mater? The risk of fraying the relationship is too much for most. That he’s taking it on is enough for me to pull for him.

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May Jean be the First

Jean Segura is coming to Philadelphia. The two-time All-Star will be the Phillies shortstop in 2019. Juan Nicasio and James Pazos will join the Phillies as well.

I’m in a minority that is sorry to see J.P. Crawford and Carlos Santana gone, but don’t mistake me as opposing the trade. I think Crawford will blossom, and Santana is still a positive player. I think Segura is good now. If you want to win now, you need players like him.

If you want to sign Bryce and Manny, you do this.

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Paying my Respects to 41

As I said above, I’m going to see George H.W. Bush’s body lie in state at the Capitol- in fact, I’m in line now. It’s not bad, slightly cold, but the line is moving. I’m signing off for tonight to do this.

God speed, sir: God speed.