Friday, December 18, 2009

On the El Again Links

So on Tuesday I was walking to the el to get to work when I noticed a police car parked in the middle of the street and an officer directing traffic. As I approached the station, I noticed a big SEPTA bus stopping in front, not a designated stop. As the bus pulled away, I noticed a large crowd of people, then looked toward the entrance of the el … and saw that the gate was three-quarters of the way down. I turned another police officer walking down the street and asked him, "What's going on?" He told me the el wasn't running westbound. Great.

So I turned around, headed to my house, grabbed my cars keys and drove to work. After taking care of some business, I decided to check out what in the hell it could be this time with the el. I mean, I've already gotten screwed due to some bitch throwing herself in front of a train. I was curious as to what it could be this time around. Turns out, it was a barrel on the tracks, I shit you not:

A SEPTA Market-Frankford Line train ran into a barrel on the tracks near the Girard Avenue Station this morning, disrupting rush hour service through the area for three hours.
Officials are investigating how the barrel got onto the tracks.

SEPTA spokesman Gary Fairfax said the westbound train hit the barrel about 5:30 a.m., damaging the electrified third rail.

The crew tried unsuccessfully to get the train into the station and passengers were stranded for an hour before they were evacuated along the elevated track bed.

SEPTA operated shuttle buses between the Huntingdon and Spring Garden stations until repairs could be made. Service resumed at 8:30 p.m.

SEPTA has initially reported the disruption was due to unspecified equipment problems involving the track.

So there you have it. SEPTA got knocked out of commission because of a barrel. I can't make this stuff up.

Links …

-A great farewell to Clifford Phifer Lee.

All the best, wish you coulda stayed.

-Sounds like Cliff is as broken up about leaving as we are to see him leave:

“My initial reaction was shock and disbelief [Ed Note: Told you.] Initially, I was disappointed because making it to the World Series was a lot of fun, and I was looking forward to making a third run at it.

At first I didn’t believe it, because I thought that we were working out an extension with the Phillies and I thought that I was going to spend the rest of my career there…This goes to show this is a business, and you never know what’s going to happen until you have a full no-trade clause.”

Why do you think it an extension didn’t work out?

“There was not enough dialogue. (Also) They had an opportunity to get the best pitcher in baseball, and I can’t blame them for choosing Roy Halladay over me…I was under the impression they would keep me for a long time.

I’m going to be as positive as I can, and go over there and try to make it to the World Series with those guys…it’s a new chapter. I’ve got to go to the Mariners and make the best of it. I’m going to go in with an open mind and do everything I can.”

“Those guys are the real deal. It was a true team and I can’t say enough about them.”

-RomanWarHelmet offers us look at the Mets' offseason. Hint: It's messy.

-Chad Ochocinco is honoring the late Chris Henry by wearing his jersey in practice.

I bet he has a huge game this week.

-The Phils picked up the option on Jimmy Rollins for 2011. Pretty much a no-brainer there.

-No Allen Iverson tonight in Boston.

-Speaking over Iverson, the SLAM voted the 2001 All-Star game as the best all-star game of the decade.

Allen Iverson won the MVP, and the East won with a helping hand from Starbury and Dikembe Mutombo.

-J.J. Redick, meet Dwyane Wade:

Place the obligatory Duke sucks memo here.

-A.I. to A.I.:

-Some love for Jrue Holiday's defense from a Cavs fan, via TrueHoop:

I don’t know what it is about UCLA, but [Jrue] Holiday and [Luc Richard] Mbah a Moute are definitely two of the absolute standout perimeter defenders I’ve seen play so far this season. Could be Howland’s coaching philosophy. Could be evil dark magic obtained by the selling of one’s soul. I’m going to go with evil magic, personally.

-This is hilarious.

-Now, in my opinion, the best two players in the nation were Ndamukong Suh and C.J. Spiller, but god damn, Mark Ingram knocked his speech out of the park:

-The Flyers are all over 10 most lopsided NHL trades of the last decade:

9. Atlanta Thrashers trade Braydon Coburn(notes) to the Philadelphia Flyers for Alexei Zhitnik(notes). (Feb. 24, 2007)

Another masterpiece from Don Waddell, GM of the Thrashers. Coburn was a 21-year-old rugged defenseman who wasn't getting solid ice time. Zhitnik, 34, started the season on the Islanders, was traded to the Flyers and shipped to the Thrashers.

Coburn would soon develop into one of the league's best two-way defensemen, especially after being teamed with Kimmo Timonen(notes). Zhitnik was a mega-bust for Atlanta, tallying eight points in 65 games the following season before getting his contract bought out. He's now the captain for Dynamo Moscow in the KHL.

8. Buffalo Sabres trade Chris Gratton(notes) and a 2004 fourth-round pick (traded to Edmonton, who drafted Liam Reddox(notes)) to the Phoenix Coyotes for Danny Briere(notes) and a 2004 third-round pick (Andrej Sekera(notes)). (March 10, 2003)

Gratton's been passed around so much in his NHL career that he's eligible to be the punch line of a Sean Avery(notes) locker room joke.

In 2002-03, he had 44 points in 66 games for the Sabres before the Coyotes came calling; he had one point in 16 games for Phoenix after the trade, followed up 29 in 68 games the next season. He was eventually traded to the Colorado Avalanche in a deal for Keith Ballard(notes) and Derek Morris(notes); Colorado also acquired a pick that would become Paul Stastny(notes). Ouch.

Briere went on to become a 90-point player for the Sabres, albeit briefly.

7. Philadelphia Flyers traded Patrick Sharp(notes) and Eric Meloche(notes) to the Chicago Blackhawks for Matt Ellison(notes) and a 3rd round selection in 2006. (Dec. 5, 2006)

Now, this could have easily been the Blackhawks stealing Kris Versteeg(notes) from the Boston Bruins in exchange for Brandon Bochenski(notes) in 2007. But Flyers Goal Scored By ... offers compelling evidence that this is the bigger fleecing:

After two good seasons playing in Hockey East, Sharp turned pro and joined the Phantoms for what would have been his junior year in college. The next season he split time between the Flyers and Phantoms pretty evenly, and the during the lockout he helped the Phantoms win the Calder Cup with 21 points in 21 playoff games after a 53 point regular season. And then when Sharp finally looked ready for the big leagues Bobby Clarke made one of the bigger mistakes of his tenure and traded him away for a guy that is now in the KHL and a third round pick that we then traded to Montreal for two other picks, who turned out to be current Phantom Jonathan Matsumoto(notes) and busted goalie Jakub Kovar.


He's exactly the kind of guy you want sitting next to you on the bench, which is the type of guy the Flyers have traditionally tried to acquire, not tried to deal away for a Guns 'n Roses poster and half used phone card.

Especially when it's a poster for "Chinese Democracy."

And frankly, after seeing both the Panthers and the Canucks acquire Roberto Luongo in complete and utter heists, I question once again why Bobby Clarke never traded for Luongo. Seriously, I should be a GM. I really should.

-A John Wall video from last year, just because:

-Larry Holmes is crazy:

For your weekend viewing pleasure, the Eagles play the Niners on Sunday, the Flyers finally play the Rangers tomorrow, the Sixers are in Boston tonight and take on the Clippers at home tomorrow, UNC plays Texas at 2 tomorrow and Nova and Temple play tomorrow too (not each other. That already happened last Sunday, and Temple won 75-65, as Juan Fernandez, Lavoy Allen and Ryan Brooks went nuts).

And SEPTA still sucks.

BallHype: hype it up!

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