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Philadelphia should be grateful to the Eagles at 9-1, Rob Thomson, the World Series and more

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It’s the time of year when we think about the people and things that have brought us joy over the past 365 days. From an unlikely playoff by Jalen Hurts and the Eagles, to a superstar World Series appearance by the Phillies, to a more perfect union, to a Howie Roseman renaissance, it’s been a bonus year in Philadelphia.

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Larry Boas told me two years ago that Rob Thompson should be a major league manager. Thompson thought so too, but convinced he would never have the chance, he planned to quit the game after 2022, According to The Athletic. He finally got his shot after the Phillies released Joe Girardi on June 3. The Topper went 65-46, won the NPL title with the No. 6 seed, and had two World Series titles. He did it all with an injured MVP, only two reliable starters, no reliable chops, and a leadoff hitter who batted exactly . 218 in both the regular season and postseason.

He was also the most iconic figure in Philly sports history, with all due respect to Dick Vermeil.

In February 2021, Eagles general manager Roseman had no real head coach, no real linebacker, no real wide receiver, and a bunch of 30-pluss who put him through payroll hell. Twenty months later, he gets Nick Siriani, Coach of the Year nominee who had a 9-8 rookie season, made the playoffs, and is 9-1 this season; Hurts, “The Project,” a quarterback drafted in 2020 whose maturity paid off as an insurance policy against Carson Wentz’s decline; DeVonta Smith, a first-round wide receiver from last year’s draft; AJ Brown, who cost a first-round pick $100 million and may still be a bargain; Roseman has strong performances from the likes of veterans Jason Kelsey, Lynn Johnson, Javon Hargrave, Darius Slay, and occasionally, Fletcher Cox.

Daryl Morey insisted that a disaffected, insecure Ben Simmons, who had been sitting outside until he was traded, would be more valuable than a bunch of sideline players. Morey waited until the Nets were willing to part with the disaffected, inconsistent James Harden, a star, if fading one. There is hope for Harden, who is injured. Simmons came to town on Tuesday. It still stinks.

Harper, the World Player of the Year, tore a ligament in his right elbow in April and didn’t miss at any point. He broke his left thumb in June and missed two months. As a designated hitter, a role he had never played before, he still hit 18 home runs with a 0.877 OPS. That only led to a stellar postseason setup: . 349 average, six home runs, 13 RBIs, 1,160 OPS, and an NLCS game-winning homer that sent the Phillies to their first World Series in 13 years.

Then he returned to the first pitch he had seen at the World Series.

The process was stolen by one-dimensional center Nikola Jokic in the MVP race for the second year in a row by a group of analytical devotees who wouldn’t know a full-fledged basketball player if one campaigned for the award nonstop two years in a row, succeeding despite injuries. suffered by him and his teammates, and persevered through adversity that only the worst franchise of the past decade could manufacture.

Read more: The Sixers’ Joel Embiid has been robbed of the NBA MVP — again. He will never win.

The Houses hired Felice Dombrowski as their chief 23 months ago, And soon he proceeded to move to Dombrovsky the Velez. He gave up on prospects, spent huge amounts of money, and went bankrupt. it worked; The Phillies have emerged on top of a stacked National League, and they have the ammunition to do it again.

So why isn’t it ranking higher here? Because he inherited a lot from his best players: Harper, Zack Wheeler, Aaron Nola, Rhys Hoskins, Jean Segura, Ceranthon Dominguez. Also, he made big and obvious mistakes: Corey Niebel, Joris Familia and Odbel Herrera twice. Nick Castellanos, the $100 million luxury tax collector, may turn out to be Dombrowski’s biggest blunder.

But he understood the chemistry of the club, so he signed Kyle Schwarber and fired Girardi.

think about it. So good was Philly’s year that the man who put up the NL winner was ranked sixth.

In a town that has struggled with Simmons, Sixers coach Doc Rivers and Girardi, among others, Gannon — the Eagles’ defensive coordinator, and thus assistant Coach – was as polarizing, if not more, than any of them. “Polarization” may be the wrong word, because polarization implies conflicting opinions, and most everyone wanted Gannon gone.

However, his refusal to play a more aggressive defensive type in 2021 is validated by the team’s meltdown when he got up a lot. He’s doubly validated now that he has a defensive back that can take the blitz, which he calls a lot now. And now, with his defense ranking second overall and first with 21 tips, Gannon is hugely popular.

Of course, if Aaron Rodgers, Derrick Henry, Saquon Barkley, Justin Fields, and Dak Prescott brown Gannon’s defense for the next five games, he’ll be back in the Philly kennel.

The pilots needed a strong hand and a distracting personality. John Tortorella, a combative, analytics-hating hockey dinosaur who despises media in general, was available for one last ride. For Flyers fans, it’s a match made in heaven.

yes; It’s good for us columnists, too.

Can you name five top college basketball coaches with NCAA titles who consistently act with class and propriety? I can’t.

Not since John Wooden has the college game enjoyed a coach as elite and gentlemanly as Jay Wright. When the game degenerated into semi-professionalism from its former self, with NILs, transfer gates and minor leagues, Wright, 60, He quit while he was far ahead.

We must all be very wise.

While most of us have had our noses in the wake of the Eagles and Sixers the past four years, head coach Jim Curtin and Athletic Director (General Manager) Ernest Tanner have been Create the best team in town. He came within three minutes and Gareth Bale headed in his first MLS Cup.

What? I mean, it’s Jason Kelsey.

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