What a day in Philly sports. When you woke up today, did you think that by the end of the day the Philadelphia Eagles would have all world cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha and the Philadelphia Phillies would have All Star Outfielder Hunter Pence?
If you answered yes to the question, you certainly know how the brain trust of both organizations work.
All along Andy Reid and Howie Roseman have been quiet during Free Agency. After waiting and dealing Kevin Kolb for Domique Rodgers-Cromartie and a 2nd Round pick, they turn around and snatch the best free agent out there in Nnamdi Asomugha. After hearing all week that the New York Jets were the leading team to get Nnamdi, Andy Reid works his magic, much like the time when he signed Jevon Kearse and Terrell Owens right under our noses. I was skeptical when I saw that the Eagles had finally traded Kolb away and had received Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie whom we all anticipated they would get.
Most if not all of the reporters thought that the Eagles were out of the running for Nnamdi. And Andy as he's done so many times, has proven them wrong. Andy justifiably so has undoubtedly improved his much maligned defense. This defense couldn't get off the field against Green Bay in last year's NFC Wild Card game, save for a few drives. After watching Aaron Rodgers dissect his defense, Andy Reid knew he had to do something. Now Juan Castillo has something to work with. With three pro bowl cornerbacks on the team, Andy and company need to find a way to ship Asante Samuel's contract out and ultimately resign DeSean Jackson. Coach Reid is doing his usual, we will have all three cornerbacks and we will have the cornerback tendem of the great Eagle secondary of Troy Vincent, Bobby Taylor and Al Harris, but who does he think he is fooling? Was adding Nnamdi to the secondary warranted? Well, it's this simple, if you can get one of the top corners in the game, you do not hesitate and Andy has quietly done exactly that.
I will not even get into the discussion of Vince Young quite frankly, that's for another day.
Now on to the best team in baseball. Ruben Amaro has watched his offense struggle all season. It was almost like, he had to do something for the offense to catch up to the Legion of Arms he has built up. Essentially, the Phillies were all about their pitching. It was like, if the pitching staff gave up more than 5 runs in a any game, we did not know if we would have enough offense to come out on top. And now the offense is slowly getting healthy and better. The Phillies have had to over come injuries to key players and still field the best record in the majors. With his offense starting to show up, Ruben made a deal that will inevitably push his team to the top. The expectations in Philly couldn't be much higher.
All along Ed Wade has stated that he is not willing to deal Hunter Pence. Or as he put it, "Hunter Pence will be an Astro for the rest of the year". I watched him say that Hunter Pence is one of the best players he has ever seen. But as soon as Ruben Amaro dangled Johnathan Singleton and Jarred Cosart, he was singing a different tune. With the trade deadline a few days away, the Philadelphia Phillies have their man. Now this lineup has the tools to compete with the starting pitching. Whether Manuel bats Pence in between Utley and Howard or if he puts Pence behind Howard in the fifth spot, this lineup will be deadly. The Phillies were able to get the best bat available and didn't have to give up Domonic Brown. Granted, the Phillies gave up top talent in prospects Singleton and Cosart along with Josh Zeid, but the benefits of acquiring Pence far out weighs the negatives. With Pence expected to be in the Phillies lineup tomorrow, only time will tell how good this team can be.
Perhaps the Philadelphia 76ers and the Philadelphia Flyers need to take note.