Friday, September 25, 2009

The Man in the Mask, the Man in the Pen and Ole Miss is a Fraud

Let me make this perfectly clear: I in no way, shape or form wanted Ray Emery to become a Philadelphia Flyer. I thought his tumultuous past and pedestrian career numbers simply didn't warrant the risk of the unquestionable talent the guy has. But the more I see/hear of Ray Emery, the more I like. He started to win me over with his new mask, which is tits.

Then I heard him speak in a ton of interviews this offseason, and the guy really seems to want to leave his past behind him and start anew. And then I saw him play last night in a preseason clash with the arch-nemesis Devils and wow. The new man between the pipes looked every bit like the young, athletic goaltender who led the Ottawa Senators to the Stanley Cup finals. Emery stopped 31 of 32 shots, good for a .969 save percentage, and many of them were in spectacular fashion. He was the sole the reason the Flyers were able to win 2-1 in overtime.

If Ray Emery plays like he did last night all season, the Flyers have as good a shot as anyone to hoist the Cup. Oh, and his orange glove is all sorts of sweet.

Plus, Daniel Carcillo did this last night:

All in all, a nice little showing by the Flyers.

Almost as nice a showing as the Phillies' 5th inning last night. Locked in a tight 2-1 battle, the Phillies exploded for six runs in the fifth. Clearly, the batters had no desire to even give Charlie Manuel a chance to put in Brad Lidge.

It was one hell of an inning. Ryan Howard led things off with a strikeout. Then Jayson Werth reached on an error, and the wheels came off for Jeff Suppan. Ben Francisco singled, followed by an RBI single by Pedro Feliz to plate Werth. Paul Bako made it three straight singles to score Francisco, and J.A. Happ made it four in a row, plating Feliz with a single to center. Finally, Jimmy Rollins cleaned things up nicely with a bomb to right field.

J.A. Happ did a fine job through five and two-thirds, giving up just 2 runs and leaving with an 8-2 lead, and the bullpen held on from there, albeit with some scares, for the 9-4 win.

Speaking of J.A. Happ, did you hear the news? That's right, the Phillies are considering using J.A. Happ as the closer in the playoffs. Gee, I wonder where I heard that before:

Drastic times call for drastic measures. Perhaps it's time to see what one of the two guys dueling for that fourth spot in the playoff rotation can do in the role, though 11 games remaining and Pedro Martinez's sore neck sure don't give the Phils much time. But maybe J.A. Happ or Pedro can do what Brad Lidge and Ryan Madson can't.

Why yes, I did propose this exact same scenario yesterday. I'm a genius.

You know who's not a genius? Houston Nutt, that's who. You know how I know that? Because I watched the game between No. 4 Ole Miss and unranked South Carolina last night, and the Rebels proved once and for all that they belong nowhere near the top of the rankings. They lost to South Carolina, a team whose offense resembles a fat kid in gym class trying to climb the rope.

They lost to a team that gained 65 yards on the ground and completed just 47 percent of its pass attempts. They lost to Stephen Garcia, who made every pass Doug Pederson ever threw for the Eagles look like a perfect Peyton Manning strike. Ole Miss proved that they are noting but frauds.

Now back to Houston Nutt. Jevan Snead, who is supposed to be really good but actually is not, was quite possibly the worst player on the field last night. Maybe. He was slightly more retarded than Stephen Garcia, and trust me, that's a tough feat to accomplish. Snead, the guy Steve Spurrier somehow voted ahead of Tim Tebow for preseason first team All-SEC, completed just 7 passes in 21 attempts. That's 33 percent, or 14 percent worse than Garcia's horrendous 47 percent completion rate last night. 7 of 21? I'm pretty sure you can just throw a hail mary every play and complete more than 33 percent.

Anyway, even with Snead's ineptitude, it took Nutt all the way until the fourth quarter to realize that this fella Dexter McCluster is really, really good and was running through the South Carolina defense like it was swiss cheese. The man averaged 5.7 yards a carry, yet only got 15 touches. He was head and shoulders the best player on the field, yet he only got the ball 15 times. Let me repeat that: The only player on either team that was doing jack shit — hell, the guy was dominating — touched the ball just 15 times. That's why Ole Miss lost that game. And because they are overhyped frauds. And Houston Nutt can't coach. But Dexter McCluster is the boss … except on this play:

OK, Darian Stewart is the boss. My bad. The SEC … great defenses or horrendous offenses? Take your pick.

BallHype: hype it up!

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