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Archive for November 9th, 2017

Philadelphia Phillies alumni remember pitching ace Roy Halladay


Roy Halladay firing to the plate with Phillies in 2011 By SD Dirk on Flickr, CC BY 2.0, https

Press Release | November 7th, 2017

“Roy was the best competitor I’d ever seen and it was an honor to have managed him. He was not only a great pitcher, but also a great person and a tremendous father. His contributions to the Phillies can’t be measured. Roy was like a brother to me and we remained close after his playing days. I’m heartbroken for Brandy and the boys.” - Charlie Manuel, Halladay’s former manager

“Roy was a guy with great character and determination and a passion to be the best. Despite coming here as one of the most established pitchers in the game, he never wanted to stop getting better. My thoughts are with Brandy, Braden and Ryan right now.” - Rich Dubee, Halladay’s former pitching coach

“Roy Halladay was most accountable and hardest-working athlete I’d ever been around and while he was the fiercest competitor on the mound, he was also the kindest and most gentle person I’ve ever known. My heart goes out to Brandy, Braden and Ryan.” - Ruben Amaro Jr., former Phillies General Manager

“My family and I are shocked and incredibly saddened at the news of Roy’s passing. To the world, Roy was one of the best pitchers in baseball, but to me, he was an inspiration, a great mentor, teammate, and most importantly, a friend. His preparation and work ethic will forever be ingrained in me. Roy was a man of few words, but he lit up when his boys were around. His family and this game were everything to him and there will never be a day in my own life that I won’t miss him. Our thoughts and prayers are with Brandy, Ryan and Braden.” - Cole Hamels, former teammate

“I am deeply saddened and absolutely devastated by the tragic loss of Roy Halladay. Doc was the best pitcher I ever had the privilege of sharing the field with as his preparation, consistency, passion, drive and excellence on the field was unmatched. He was a dominant force on the mound every fifth day and he made all of us better without having to say a word. Doc was a tremendous teammate who never sought out the spotlight, rather he let his greatness on the field do the talking for him. He cared about winning and being the best player and teammate possible. His career accolades speak for themselves but what I most admired about him was his love for his family and his children. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family during this incredibly difficult time.” - Raúl Ibañez, former teammate

“We will all remember Roy for his amazing moments on the field, how he dialed it up in the most important situations, how he competed and left his heart on the field every time he took the ball. But he was also an incredible dad, an incredible husband and an incredible teammate. He was quiet and thoughtful, but knew how to be playful. I competed against Roy since we were in Little League together and I will remember him in that way, and as a man. It was a privilege to know him and his family, and to have been his teammate. Our hearts go out to Brandy, his kids and his family.” - Brad Lidge, former teammate

“Roy was so much more than a teammate. He was a great man who taught me so much on and off the field. Not only did I look up to him as a pitcher, but also as a friend, father and husband. He was like an older brother to me and I will miss him. Brandy, Braden and Ryan, my thoughts are with you at this time.” - Kyle Kendrick, former teammate

“I’m sick right now. Doc was as driven a human being as I’d ever met in my life. I’m hurting for his family and friends. We all lost a good man.” - Scott Rolen, former teammate

“Words cannot describe what it feels like to lose a friend like Roy. He was the ultimate teammate with a passion for being the best. I’m honored to have had the chance to compete with you, Roy. My heart goes out to Brandy and his boys. RIP Doc, but knowing you, rest is not in your vocabulary.” - Chase Utley, former teammate

“You are gone too soon, my friend. I was blessed to have shared the field with you as a teammate, competitor, friend and more importantly, brother. Praying for Brandy and the boys, my Ohana and I will do all we can for them in this tragic time. I love you, bro.” - Shane Victorino, former teammate



NFL suspends Tampa Bay WR Mike Evans for one game due to violations in on-field conduct & unnecessary roughness rules

(photo by Christiana Santiago)

Mike Evans in 2014 By Keith Allison, CC BY-SA 2.0, https



MIKE EVANS of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers has been suspended without pay for one game for violations of unsportsmanlike conduct and unnecessary roughness rules in Sunday’s game against the New Orleans Saints.


NFL Vice President of Football Operations JON RUNYAN issued the suspension for a violation of Rule 12, Section 3, Article 1 – which prohibits unsportsmanlike conduct, including “any act which is contrary to the generally understood principles of sportsmanship,” such as (a) “throwing a punch, or a forearm, or kicking at an opponent, even though no contact is made” – as well as Rule 12, Section 2, Article 6 (g) which states that “there shall be no unnecessary roughness. This shall include, but will not be limited to: (g) unnecessarily running, diving into, cutting or throwing the body against or on a player who (1) is out of the play or (2) should not have reasonably anticipated such contact by an opponent, before or after the ball is dead;”

In his letter to Evans, Runyan wrote:


“During the third quarter, after a play had ended, you struck an unsuspecting opponent in the back, knocking him to the ground. Your conduct clearly did not reflect the high standards of sportsmanship expected of a professional.”

Evans will be eligible to return to the Buccaneers’ active roster on Monday, November 13 following the team’s November 12 game against the New York Jets.


Under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the suspension may be appealed within three business days. Appeals are heard and decided by either DERRICK BROOKS or JAMES THRASH, the officers jointly appointed and compensated by the NFL and NFLPA to decide appeals of on-field player discipline.




What to look for, expectations for NFL Week 10


( photo)


TOP BILLING: New England head coach BILL BELICHICK has 269 career wins, including the postseason, in his 23-year head coaching career with the Browns and Patriots.

With a victory on Sunday night at Denver, Belichick would tie Pro Football Hall of Famer TOM LANDRY (270) for the third-most total wins by a head coach in NFL history.

The head coaches with the most total wins (including the postseason) in NFL history:

Don Shula^ Baltimore Colts, Miami 347 173 6 .666
George Halas^ Chicago 324 151 31 .682
Tom Landry^ Dallas 270 178 6 .603
Bill Belichick Cleveland, New England 269 127 0 .679
Curly Lambeau^ Green Bay, Chicago Cardinals, Washington 229 134 22 .631
^Pro Football Hall of Famer      

– NFL –

COMPLETE PLAYERS: Los Angeles Chargers quarterback PHILIP RIVERS (3,984) and Pittsburgh quarterback BEN ROETHLISBERGER (3,972) enter Week 10 ranked ninth and 10th, respectively, on the NFL’s all-time completions list.

This week, Rivers and Roethlisberger can become the eighth and ninth players in NFL history to record at least 4,000 career completions.

The players with at least 4,000 career completions in NFL history:

Brett Favre^ Green Bay, New York Jets, Minnesota 6,300
Peyton Manning Indianapolis, Denver 6,125
Drew Brees San Diego, New Orleans 6,033*
Tom Brady New England 5,450*
Dan Marino^ Miami 4,967
Eli Manning New York Giants 4,259*
John Elway^ Denver 4,123
Philip Rivers San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers 3,984*
Ben Roethlisberger Pittsburgh 3,972*
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

– NFL –

STELLAR STREAK: New York Giants quarterback ELI MANNING, who became the seventh player in NFL history with 50,000 career passing yards (50,034) in Week 9, has started 207 consecutive games.

With a start on Sunday at San Francisco, Manning would tie his brother, PEYTON MANNING (208), for the second-longest streak of consecutive starts in NFL history. Only Pro Football Hall of Famer BRETT FAVRE (297) has started more consecutive games.

The players with the most consecutive starts in NFL history:

Brett Favre^ Green Bay, New York Jets, Minnesota 1992-2010 297  
Peyton Manning Indianapolis 1998-2010 208  
Eli Manning New York Giants 2004-present 207*  
^Pro Football Hall of Famer
*Active streak

– NFL –

DAK ATTACK: Dallas quarterback DAK PRESCOTT passed for two touchdowns and rushed for a touchdown in the Cowboys’ 28-17 victory against Kansas City in Week 9. Prescott, who is in his second NFL season, has five career games with multiple touchdown passes and a rushing touchdown.

This Sunday at Atlanta, Prescott can tie CAM NEWTON (six) for the most games with multiple touchdown passes and a rushing touchdown in a player’s first two career seasons.

The players with the most games with multiple touchdown passes and a rushing touchdown in their first two seasons:

Cam Newton Carolina 2011-12 6
Dak Prescott Dallas 2016-17 5*
Steve Grogan New England 1975-76 5
*In second season

– NFL –

AWESOME ADRIAN: Arizona running back ADRIAN PETERSON rushed for 159 yards on a career-high 37 carries in the Cardinals’ 20-10 victory at San Francisco in Week 9. The performance marked Peterson’s 19th career game with at least 150 rushing yards.

On Thursday night against Seattle, Peterson can join Pro Football Hall of Famers BARRY SANDERS (25), JIM BROWN (22) and WALTER PAYTON (20) as the only players in NFL history with 20 career games with at least 150 rushing yards.

The players with the most career games with at least 150 rushing yards in NFL history:

Barry Sanders^ Detroit 25  
Jim Brown^ Cleveland 22  
Walter Payton^ Chicago 20  
Adrian Peterson Minnesota, Arizona 19  
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

– NFL –

DYNAMIC DUO: Pittsburgh running back LE’VEON BELL (979 scrimmage yards) and wide receiver ANTONIO BROWN (835) rank fourth and fifth, respectively, in the NFL in scrimmage yards.

If Bell and Brown each reach 1,000 scrimmage yards on Sunday at Indianapolis, it would mark the seventh time in NFL history that a pair of teammates had at least 1,000 scrimmage yards each in their team’s first nine games of a season.

Bell and Brown, who also accomplished the feat in 2014, would join Indianapolis’ EDGERRIN JAMES and MARVIN HARRISON (1999 and 2000) as the only pairs of teammates in NFL history to each record at least 1,000 scrimmage yards in their team’s first nine games of a season multiple times.

The pairs of teammates in NFL history with at least 1,000 scrimmage yards each in the first nine games of a season:

Atlanta 2015 Devonta Freeman 1,141 Julio Jones 1,029
Pittsburgh 2014 Le’Veon Bell 1,144 Antonio Brown 1,009
St. Louis 2000 Marshall Faulk^ 1,326 Isaac Bruce 1,019
Indianapolis 2000 Edgerrin James 1,294 Marvin Harrison 1,004
Indianapolis 1999 Edgerrin James 1,221 Marvin Harrison^ 1,000
Dallas 1995 Emmitt Smith^ 1,361 Michael Irvin^ 1,023
Pittsburgh* 2017 Le’Veon Bell 979 Antonio Brown 835
^Pro Football Hall of Famer
*Through eight games

– NFL –

CATCHING CHRISTIAN: Carolina rookie running back CHRISTIAN MC CAFFREY ranks third in the NFL and leads all running backs with 54 catches.

With eight catches on Monday against Miami, McCaffrey would surpass REGGIE BUSH (61 in 2006) for the most receptions by a rookie running back in his team’s first 10 games of a season in NFL history.

The rookie running backs with the most receptions in their team’s first 10 games of a season:

Reggie Bush New Orleans 2006 61  
Christian McCaffrey Carolina 2017 54*  
Earl Cooper San Francisco 1980 53  
*Through nine games

– NFL –

EVERY DAY EVERSON: Minnesota defensive end EVERSON GRIFFEN ranks third in the NFL with 10 sacks and has recorded a sack in all eight of Minnesota’s games this season.

With a sack on Sunday at Washington, Griffen would become the first player to record a sack in each of his team’s first nine games to start a season since the individual sack became an official statistic in 1982. Indianapolis’ DWIGHT FREENEY (2009) and ROBERT MATHIS (2005) are the only other players to each record a sack in their team’s first eight games of a season.

The players to record a sack in each of their team’s first eight games of a season since 1982:

Everson Griffen Minnesota 2017 8*
Dwight Freeney Indianapolis 2009 8
Robert Mathis Indianapolis 2005 8
*Active streak

– NFL –

TERRIFIC TITAN: Tennessee safety KEVIN BYARD, who had three interceptions in Week 7, had two interceptions in the Titans’ 23-20 victory over Baltimore in Week 9.

With an interception on Sunday against Cincinnati, Byard, who has five interceptions in the Titans’ past two games (Tennessee had a bye in Week 8), will join JAIRUS BYRD (2009), ALBERT LEWIS (1985) and Pro Football Hall of Famers KENNY EASLEY (1984) and MIKE HAYNES (1976) as the only players in the Super Bowl era (since 1966) with six interceptions over a three-game span in a single season.

With two interceptions on Sunday, Byard would become the first player in the Super Bowl era with seven interceptions over a three-game span in a single season.

The players with the most interceptions over a three-game span in a single season in the Super Bowl era:

Jairus Byrd Buffalo 2009 6-8 6
Albert Lewis Kansas City 1985 14-16 6
Kenny Easley^ Seattle 1984 9-11 6
Mike Haynes^ New England 1976 9-11 6
Mike Haynes^ New England 1976 10-12 6
Kevin Byard Tennessee 2017 7, 9 5*
^Pro Football Hall of Famer
*In two games



NFL moves into Week 10 with playoff race heating up



The second half of the NFL season is here and the race to the playoffs is in full swing.

Thirteen teams have won at least five games, led by the 8-1 Philadelphia Eagles. This is the fifth time in franchise history the Eagles have started a season 8-1 or better (1949, 1960, 1980 and 2004) and the team advanced to the NFL Championship/Super Bowl in each of the previous four instances. In the Super Bowl era, 91 teams have previously started 8-1 or better through the first nine games and 88 advanced to the playoffs (96.7 percent). Of those 91 teams, 40 reached the Super Bowl (44 percent) and 22 won the Super Bowl (24.2 percent).

The Eagles (seven) and New Orleans Saints (six) currently have the longest active winning streaks in the league. New Orleans, which started the season 0-2, is the third team in the Super Bowl era to win its next six games immediately following an 0-2 start. The other two teams to accomplish the feat – 1993 Dallas Cowboys and 2007 New York Giants – both won the Super Bowl in that season.

As the season moves into the second half, it’s all still to be decided, with plenty of football left to play. So don’t count anyone out. Since 2000, 44 teams have reached the halfway point of their season with a .500 or below winning percentage and advanced to the playoffs, including at least one in each season. Last year, there were four such teams: Detroit (4-4), Green Bay (4-4), Miami (4-4) and Pittsburgh (4-4).

Of those 44 clubs, seven have advanced to the Conference Championship Game, including both the Packers and Steelers last season. The 2001 New England Patriots reached the midway point with a 4-4 record and went on to win Super Bowl XXXVI.

Week 10 begins on Thursday night with an NFC West matchup as the Arizona Cardinals host the Seattle Seahawks (8:25 PM ET, NBC/NFLN/Amazon Prime). The game marks the first of NBC’s Tri-Cast package this season which will feature five Thursday Night Football contests and a Christmas Day game. The week concludes with a pair of primetime contests as the Denver Broncos host the New England Patriots on Sunday night (8:30 PM ET, NBC) and the Miami Dolphins visit the Carolina Panthers on Monday night (8:30 PM ET, ESPN). Some of the other notable games in Week 10:


SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (5-3) at ARIZONA CARDINALS (4-4) (Thursday, NBC/NFLN/Amazon Prime, 8:25 PM ET)


  • The Seahawks have won four of their past five games and finished the first half of their season with a 5-3 record. Seattle is on pace for its sixth consecutive season with at least 10 wins and the Seahawks have made the playoffs in each of the previous five seasons.
  • Seattle leads the NFC in passing offense (274.8 yards per game) and ranks third in the conference in total offense (378.6). Quarterback RUSSELL WILSON leads the NFC with 2,305 passing yards and is the NFL’s top-ranked passer in the fourth quarter with a 132.9 passer rating.
  • The Cardinals defeated San Francisco 20-10 last week. Quarterback DREW STANTON, making his first start in 2017, threw two touchdown passes against the 49ers and has now won his past four starts.
  • Arizona running back ADRIAN PETERSON rushed for 159 yards last week and has surpassed the 100-yard mark in two of his three games with the Cardinals. Peterson, who turned 32 in March, is the third-oldest player in NFL history to rush for at least 150 yards in a game.

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (6-2) at BUFFALO BILLS (5-3) (Sunday, FOX, 1:00 PM ET)


  • The Saints, who defeated Tampa Bay 30-10 last week, have won six consecutive games and are the third team in the Super Bowl era to win its next six games immediately following an 0-2 start.
  • Rookie running back ALVIN KAMARA had a career-high 152 scrimmage yards (84 receiving, 68 rushing) and scored two touchdowns against the Buccaneers. Kamara is one of only three players (KAREEM HUNT and TODD GURLEY) in the NFL this season with at least 300 rushing yards (311), 300 receiving yards (341) and five touchdowns (five).
  • The Bills are 5-3 at the halfway point and are aiming for their first 10-win season since 1999. Buffalo leads the NFL with a +11 turnover differential (17 takeaways, 6 giveaways) and safety MICAH HYDE ranks second in the league with five interceptions.
  • Buffalo is 4-0 at home this season and has outscored opponents 111-69 at New Era Field. The Bills have scored at least 20 points in a franchise-record 13 consecutive home games.




  • The Steelers have won three consecutive games and are tied with New England for the best record in the AFC (6-2). Pittsburgh had a bye last week and defeated Detroit 20-15 in Week 8.
  • Wide receiver ANTONIO BROWN leads the NFL with 57 catches and 835 receiving yards and is on pace to record his fifth consecutive season with at least 100 catches and 1,000 receiving yards. Rookie wide receiver JU JU SMITH-SCHUSTER had seven catches for 193 yards and a touchdown (97 yards) in Week 8 and was named the AFC Offensive Player of the Week. Smith-Schuster leads all NFL rookies with 424 receiving yards.
  • The Colts recorded a 20-14 win at Houston last week. On the final play of the game, which started at the Indianapolis seven-yard line, Colts linebacker JABAAL SHEARD recorded a sack and forced a fumble – which was recovered by linebacker BARKEVIOUS MINGO – to seal the victory.
  • Wide receiver T.Y. HILTON had five catches for 175 yards and two touchdowns in the win at Houston. Hilton has 10 career games with at least 150 receiving yards, tied with JULIO JONES for the fourth-most 150-yard receiving games in a player’s first six seasons. The only players with more such games in their first six seasons are Pro Football Hall of Famers LANCE ALWORTH (13) and JERRY RICE (13) and RANDY MOSS (12).



  • The Vikings, who had a bye last week, defeated Cleveland 33-16 at London’s Twickenham Stadium in Week 8. Running back JERICK MC KINNON had 122 scrimmage yards (72 receiving, 50 rushing) and a touchdown against the Browns.
  • Wide receiver ADAM THIELEN, who had five catches for 98 yards and a touchdown versus Cleveland, ranks second in the NFC with 627 receiving yards. Defensive end EVERSON GRIFFEN ranks third in the NFL with 10 sacks and is one of only three players (DWIGHT FREENEY and ROBERT MATHIS) to record a sack in each of his team’s first eight games of a season since the individual sack became an official statistic in 1982.
  • Washington running back ROB KELLEY rushed for two touchdowns – including the game-winning score with 59 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter – in the Redskins’ 17-14 come-from-behind victory at Seattle.
  • Quarterback KIRK COUSINS led the game-winning drive, completing a 31-yard pass to wide receiver BRIAN QUICK and connecting with wide receiver JOSH DOCTSON on a 38-yard completion to set the Redskins up at the Seattle one-yard line.


DALLAS COWBOYS (5-3) at ATLANTA FALCONS (4-4) (Sunday, FOX, 4:25 PM ET)


  • The Cowboys have won three consecutive games, including last week’s 28-17 victory over Kansas City. Quarterback DAK PRESCOTT threw two touchdown passes – both to wide receiver COLE BEASLEY – and added a rushing TD. Prescott joined CAM NEWTON as the only players in NFL history to have at least 35 touchdown passes (39) and 10 rushing touchdowns (10) in their first two seasons.
  • Defensive end DEMARCUS LAWRENCE ranks second in the NFL – and leads the NFC – with a career-high 10.5 sacks. Lawrence has recorded at least one sack in seven of the Cowboys’ eight games this season.
  • Atlanta quarterback MATT RYAN passed for 313 yards and two touchdowns in last week’s 20-17 loss at Carolina. Ryan, who played in his 150th game, has 39,858 career passing yards, the most in NFL history by a player in his first 150 games.
  • Falcons wide receiver JULIO JONES leads the NFC with 658 receiving yards. In his career, Jones is averaging 95 receiving yards per game (8,268 yards in 87 games), the highest mark in NFL history (minimum 50 games).




  • Miami quarterback JAY CUTLER passed for 311 yards and three touchdowns in last week’s 27-24 loss against Oakland.
  • Wide receiver JARVIS LANDRY ranks second in the league with 56 catches and has 344 career receptions, the most by a player in his first four seasons in NFL history.
  • The Panthers improved to 6-3 with a key 20-17 divisional victory over Atlanta last week. Carolina rushed for 201 yards and two touchdowns against the Falcons, led by quarterback CAM NEWTON (86 yards, one touchdown) and rookie running back CHRISTIAN MC CAFFREY (66 yards, one touchdown).
  • McCaffrey, who leads the NFC with 54 receptions, is the only player in the NFL this season with at least 150 rushing yards (183) and 50 catches (54).




(All times local)

Byes: Baltimore, Kansas City, Oakland, Philadelphia


Thursday, November 9 Sunday, November 12 (cont’d)
Seattle at Arizona, 6:25 PM (NBC/NFLN/Amazon) Cincinnati at Tennessee, 12:00 PM
  Minnesota at Washington, 1:00 PM
Sunday, November 12 Houston at Los Angeles Rams, 1:05 PM
New Orleans at Buffalo, 1:00 PM Dallas at Atlanta, 4:25 PM
Green Bay at Chicago, 12:00 PM New York Giants at San Francisco, 1:25 PM
Cleveland at Detroit, 1:00 PM New England at Denver, 6:30 PM (NBC)
Pittsburgh at Indianapolis, 1:00 PM  
Los Angeles Chargers at Jacksonville, 1:00 PM Monday, November 13
New York Jets at Tampa Bay, 1:00 PM Miami at Carolina, 8:30 PM (ESPN)



Phillies issue statement on death of former pitching star Roy Halladay


Roy Halladay pitching in 2011 with Philadelphia By User Keith Allison on Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0, https


We are numb over the very tragic news about Roy Halladay’s untimely death. There are no words to describe the sadness that the entire Phillies family is feeling over the loss of one of the most respected human beings to ever play the game. It is with the heaviest of hearts that we pass along our condolences to Brandy, Ryan and Braden.



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