Happening Elsewhere: Dammit, Raul

Happening Elsewhere: Dammit, Raul

Raul Ibanez's 2011 NLDS Splits for the Phillies: .200/.200/.400
Raul Ibanez's 2012 ALDS Splits for the Yankess Through Three Games: .600/.666/1.500

Remember last year when Raul Ibanez hit a fly ball to deep right in
Game Five of the NLDS, and the TBS cameraman panned up and out like it
was gonna be a second-decker or something, and instead it dropped
innocuously into Lance Berkman's glove a couple feet short of the track?
That was frustrating—especially considering how, you know, the Phillies
didn't score at all that game and they ended up losing the game 1-0 and
the series 3-2.

Well, good news, everybody: Raul did hit a couple of those fly balls
in the playoffs last night, and this time they actually dropped on the
other side of the fence. Unfortunately, it was for the Yankees, the
second-to-last ranked team in our MLB Playoff Bandwagon Rankings, and
they came against our #1 team, the Baltimore Orioles, at the worst
possible time for them.

The first shot came off O's closer Jim Johnson in the bottom of the
ninth with New York down 2-1, when Yanks manager Joe Girardi made the
controversial-but-not-really decision to sub in Rauuuul for Alex
Rodriguez, who's been slugging at about a Wilson Valdez-caliber clip the
last few past seasons. The move paid off, to say the least, as Raul
deposited a 1-0 pitch about seven rows back in the right field
bleachers, tying the game at 2-2. Nine batters later, Raul decided not
to bother taking the first pitch, and instead blasted the first offering
from reliever Brian Matusz—in the second deck for real this
time—walking off the Yanks in the 12th with a 2-1 series lead.

Of course, we're happy for Raul, the classiest of acts during his
three years in the Red and White—we weren't even mad at him for failing
to go yard in the Chris Carpenter game (though we wanted to strangle
that fucking overzealous cameraman), and for him to become a post-season
legend at the age of 40 is a pretty cool thing. Did it have to be for
the goddamn Yankees, though? Couldn't this have been Jim Thome providing
fourth-act heroics for the plucky, upstart Orioles instead? The Bombers
already have enough natural competitive advantages without getting
pixie-dust sprinklings like this as well.

Anyway, the lesson here is obvious: Next time the Phils make the
playoffs, move the right field wall in about 15 feet. Just to be on the
safe side.

NBC Sports Philadelphia Internship - Advertising/Sales

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NBC Sports Philadelphia Internship - Advertising/Sales

Position Title: Intern
Department: Advertising/Sales
Company: NBC Sports Philadelphia
# of hours / week: 10 – 20 hours

Deadline: November 20

Basic Function

This position will work closely with the Vice President of Sales in generating revenue through commercial advertisements and sponsorship sales. The intern will gain first-hand sales experience through working with Sales Assistants and AEs on pitches, sales-calls and recapping material.

Duties and Responsibilities

• Assist Account Executive on preparation of Sales Presentations
• Cultivate new account leads for local sales
• Track sponsorships in specified programs
• Assist as point of contact with sponsors on game night set up and pre-game hospitality elements.
• Assist with collection of all proof of performance materials.
• Perform Competitive Network Analysis
• Update Customer database
• Other various projects as assigned

Requirements

1. Good oral and written communication skills.
2. Knowledge of sports.
3. Ability to work non-traditional hours, weekends & holidays
4. Ability to work in a fast-paced, high-pressure environment
5. Must be 19 years of age or older
6. Must be a student in pursuit of an Associate, Bachelor, Master or Juris Doctor degree
7. Must have unrestricted authorization to work in the US
8. Must have sophomore standing or above
9. Must have a 3.0 GPA

Interested students should apply here and specify they're interested in the ad/sales internship.

About NBC internships

Zach Ertz making significant strides after offseason work with Carson Wentz

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USA Today Images

Zach Ertz making significant strides after offseason work with Carson Wentz

The same Zach Ertz who's never had more than four touchdowns in a season now leads all NFL tight ends in touchdown catches. With four.

It's all part of the natural evolution between Ertz and Carson Wentz.

Ertz shares the NFL TD catch lead among tight ends with the Buccaneers' Cameron Brate and the Patriots' Rob Gronkowski.

And going back to last year, Ertz has six touchdown catches in his last seven games and eight in his last 13 games.

In his previous 40 games? He had five touchdown catches.

“I think it's just all the offseason work with Carson," Ertz said. "I think the coaches have a lot of confidence in me down there, and I think that stems from all the red-zone emphasis that we had all spring and summer.

"And then I’ve just made plays, the offensive line has held up, I think Carson is putting the ball in amazing spots, and I just go up and get the ball. I have the easy part."

Ertz had TD catches to give the Eagles 14-0 leads against the Giants and Cards and then caught two last Thursday that turned a 10-3 deficit into an 18-10 lead as the Eagles beat the Panthers in Charlotte.

He's the first Eagles tight end with four TD catches through six games since Pete Pihos in 1955.

“The biggest thing is A) He puts in the work and B) He’s a really intelligent football player," Wentz said. "He knows coverages, recognizes things, knows when he’s hot (on a blitz).

"He’s really kind of in my head. He knows when I’m about to change his route, those types of things. With a guy like that, that knows how to create separation and play on time and be on the same page as me, that makes it tough to stop."

The touchdowns are most notable, but Ertz is off to the best start of his career in every category. His 34 catches and 405 yards are both second-most among all NFL tight ends to Travis Kelce's 37 and 423 (in seven games).

The Eagles, 5-1, face the 3-2 Redskins Monday night at the Linc. Ertz already has 54 career receptions against the Redskins – third-most ever by a tight end.

“It’s just Year 2 in this system," he said. "I’m a lot more comfortable in my role this year as opposed to last year. I was hurt, missed two games, and I was slowly integrated back into the gameplan.

"I think this year I’m extremely confident in my role, I think they have the confidence in me to go out there and make plays when my number’s called, and it’s not going to be 10 targets every game. Last week it was two targets, 20 yards. It’s going to vary each and every week but I’m very happy with how they’re using me right now."

Ertz and Nelson Agholor are the first Eagles tandem with four touchdown catches each through six games since Fred Barnett and Calvin Williams each had four back in 1992.

The red zone was a point of emphasis this offseason, and Wentz's numbers in the red zone are off the charts – 62 percent completion percentage, nine touchdowns, no interceptions and a 112.8 passer rating, fourth-highest in the NFL.

Ertz is third in the NFL with five red-zone first-down catches and fourth in the NFL with both six red-zone receptions and 49 yards.

“It’s timing," Wentz said. "It’s a timing thing and being on the same page.

"Red zone’s all about making plays. Playmakers making plays and playing on time down there is so crucial and that’s something we’ve really focused on. I think we’ve gotten better at all our spots on playing on time but he’s a guy that we feel creates mismatches and we take advantage of them."