The700Level

Larry Andersen and Scott Franzke to call fewer games together in 2018

Larry Andersen and Scott Franzke to call fewer games together in 2018

Next season was starting to look like such a promising year for the Philadelphia Phillies and their fans. A young core of players is finally emerging and beginning to excite on a nightly basis. But fans have already been dealt an early blow with news that Larry Andersen will call fewer games in 2018.

The move has reportedly been in the works for some time as L.A.'s desire to travel so often has decreased at the ripe young age of 64.

Exactly how many games he will miss in 2018 remains to be seen, but MLB.com's Todd Zolecki says there is still the potential Andersen only calls games at Citizens Bank Park.

"I really, as much as I love the game, I love the Phillies, I love being out here at the park," Andersen said on CSN's Philly Sports Talk, "I want to be able to do some things in the summer with my wife, with my kids, out west and I guess it was just time.

"I found myself getting a little grumpier on the road when things weren't going well and even with stuff not necessarily pertaining to the game. It got to be kind of a wear on me, but you know, I'm going to be 65 next May — don't tell anybody — and I just … now is a good time.

"Have some days off in the summer, where I can go do the things I want to do. I haven't had any significant time off in the summer in 48 years."

Regular listeners to Phillies radio broadcasts may have noticed some other familiar names and voices pop up during games this season. Doug Glanville, J.C. Romero, Kevin Stocker and Kevin Jordan have all been given a shot to call games, presumably in some sort of tryout-for-the-future capacity.

"It'll be the first time I'll have significant time off in the summer in 48 years," Andersen told MLB.com on Wednesday. "I'm just really getting tired of the travel. More than anything, I catch myself letting little things bother me on the road, even the game. You want to be home. Honestly, I find myself getting grumpy and I don't want to do that. It's not fair to the fans. It's not fair to the organization. I don't like being that way. It's my form of taking a chill pill, really."

L.A. letting little things bother him? Heck, isn't that half the reason many fans tune in to listen to his banter with Franzke in the first place?

Glanville has been praised for his insight on television and in print. But can he read a Home Run Payoff Inning promo with the sardonic beauty of L.A.?

Tune in in 2018 to find out.

NFL Referees Association: Pete Morelli criticisms are click bait

NFL Referees Association: Pete Morelli criticisms are click bait

The NFL Referees Association responded to criticisms of Pete Morelli and his officiating crew, and in doing so, suggested Eagles fans and impartial members of the media have no idea what they are talking about.

Morelli has come under fire over the seemingly lopsided officiating during the Eagles' 28-23 victory over the Carolina Panthers in Week 6. The Eagles were penalized 10 times for 126 yards in the contest, while the Panthers drew only one flag for one yard, despite the appearance of committing many of the same infractions.

Since that game, a change.org petition moving to ban Morelli from working Eagles games in the future is approaching its goal of 75,000 signatures. Research also shows Morelli's crew has been calling penalties against the Eagles in disproportionate numbers for awhile now. In the last four games with Morelli, the Eagles were flagged 40 times for 396 yards, compared to just eight penalties for 74 yards against opponents.

Almost everybody seemed to be in agreement that the officiating was at the very least poor in the Eagles-Panthers game, if not biased. Everybody, that is, except NFLRA executive director Scott Green, who released a statement on Thursday.

Via ProFootballTalk:

“Claims like these demonstrate a fundamental lack of knowledge about NFL officiating,” Green said. “NFL officials are graded on every call made in every game. Missing a single one can hurt his or her ranking and may be the difference between working in the postseason or not. These recent attempts to sensationalize statistics and create click-bait headlines lack important context. Without the proper perspective, the information being pushed is completely misguided. The passion of NFL fans and teams are a big part of what makes the game so great. However, it’s no excuse for the irresponsible and baseless claims we’ve seen lately. NFL officials are committed to upholding the integrity of the game and do so every week.”

Lack of knowledge. Completely misguided. Irresponsible and baseless. You would expect the NFLRA to come to the defense of Morelli -- it's literally their job -- but insulting the consumers' intelligence along the way probably isn't the best way to go about it.

Is there anything sinister about Morelli's and his crew's officiating? Maybe not, but it doesn't take somebody who's gone through the NFL's (presumably) rigorous Officiating Development Program to watch two nearly identical plays called differently for two different teams within three hours of each other. Innocent mistakes or not, that's what appeared to happen on multiple occasions throughout the Eagles-Panthers game.

Instead of releasing overly defensive statements, perhaps the NFLRA should show video evidence why the calls against the Eagles were correct, and the eerily similar non-calls that went in the Panthers' favor were not. Because this responding to criticism with more criticism isn't changing any minds.

A surprising Eagle keeps getting drug tested

jake2.jpg
Jake Elliott IG

A surprising Eagle keeps getting drug tested

Jake Elliott has been a revelation for the Philadelphia Eagles after Caleb Sturgis went down with an injury early in the season.

But has he been too good...

The rook has made 12 of his 14 attempts for the Birds this season.

If you're looking for a good laugh today, go check out this reddit thread that starts with a photo from Elliott's Instagram story in which he points out he got flagged for his third drug test in two weeks!

The comment section is as good as a Jake Elliott 61 yarder.

"Well, he does bleed green...," abenyishay says..

"Is kickers doping really a thing?" ChaosFinalForm wonders, as do we.

What do you think? Just the way the random drug draw fell the last few weeks, or does the NFL think Jake Elliott is into something?