Rob Ellis

Gabe Kapler's positivity after ugly losses is getting old

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Gabe Kapler's positivity after ugly losses is getting old

The latest edition of Rob's Rants touches on the negatives of positivity, Markelle Fultz's hops and the man who declined an invitation to the ultimate party. 

Positives a negative

Gabe Kapler in many ways is a breath of fresh air. He eschews the typical baseball-speak type of terminology for phrases such as "presenting well, laser focus, his eyes looked good."

He unabashedly rocks mirrored shades and with his chiseled frame appears to be in better shape than players 20 years his junior. He's a different cat. More importantly, his club is 33-30 through 63 games — a record most Phils fans would have signed up for in a heartbeat prior to the season. This is not a knock on him between the lines. 

But he needs to stop with the positive spinning after ugly losses. His Phillies lost by a combined score of 24-7 in the first two games of the Brewers series at home last weekend. After both defeats, he began as he has all season, by pointing out something he felt was a positive, including crediting Phillies clubhouse manager Phil Sheridan for the design of Rhys Hoskins' helmet.

Kapler needs to stop this. It's insulting to the fans. The Phillies are 2-7 in June, they've lost 10 of their last 14 games, the defense has been poor and the offense has been anemic. Kapler is not snowing the informed fanbase nor is he controlling any kind of message by belaboring something meaningless. I understand he is perennially positive and is not going to throw his players under the bus. That's admirable. But there is a time and a place for platitudes, not after a 12-3 loss. It's disingenuous.

Jumping to conclusions

From his one year in college to 2017 summer league to the 14 regular-season games he played, we know Markelle Fultz can dunk. In fact, he can jump out of the building. His athleticism is not in question. What is in doubt, however, is his jump shot. Whatever happened last year, whether it was physical or mental, his shot looked not just broken but shattered into pieces. So I don't need to see any more social media posts of him dunking or doing back-flips. What I need to see is him consistently knocking down jumpers with a fixed shot, from mid-range and three. He also needs to play again in the summer league. 

T.O. no go

The fact that Terrell Owens declined the Pro Football Hall of Fame induction invitation should surprise no one. This is who he is. This is who he's always been, as a player and now in retirement. He is about T.O. the individual. He has every right to be miffed that he didn't get in the first time around. His play and numbers speak for themselves. But by not going, the spotlight once again shifts to him, not the rest of the 2018 class, including Brian Dawkins, who will be in attendance.

If he had a genuine beef with the voters, wouldn't this have been the ultimate platform to blast them and speak your mind?

Eagle Eye: Grading the Eagles' offseason

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Eagle Eye: Grading the Eagles' offseason

In the latest edition of Eagle Eye, an Eagles podcast, Derrick Gunn and Rob Ellis grade the Eagles' offseason. What are the biggest question marks surrounding the team going forward? Terrell Owens does Terrell Owens things over the weekend. Plus, Rob's idea on how T.O. should handle the Hall of Fame ceremony.

1:30 - Grading the Eagles' offseason.
6:30 - Grading the rest of the NFC East offseasons.
13:30 - Biggest questions facing the team.
17:00 - Terrell Owens has an eventful twitter weekend.
20:00 - Rob's awesome idea how TO should handle the Hall of Fame ceremony.

Subscribe and rate Eagle Eye: Apple Podcasts / Google Play / Stitcher / Spotify / Art19

Why is Sixers' Bryan Colangelo investigation taking so long?

Why is Sixers' Bryan Colangelo investigation taking so long?

We sit here closing in on nine days since The Ringer dropped a bombshell of a story alleging that Sixers president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo may have operated as many as five different Twitter accounts. Four of the reported accounts tweeted out information that was either inflammatory in nature toward current or past players or disclosed inside information revealing medical and interpersonal relationships that would not be known to the general public. 

What we know is Colangelo has copped to having one Twitter account. He claims he never tweeted out anything and simply used it as an information source. That’s all we know right now. 

There is plenty of speculation running wild, most of which has zeroed in on Colangelo’s wife Barbara Bottini. From “Sixers Twitter” connecting the dots, the theory goes that Bottini was running the burner accounts. 

The pertinent question is did Colangelo have knowledge of his wife’s actions, if in fact she was the one with the smoking keyboard in hand? And if he didn’t, does it matter in deciding his fate? Leaking that kind of sensitive information to anyone, including his wife and having it become public, may be just cause for dismissal, unbeknownst or not. 

Here’s the problem: as has been the case far too often since Josh Harris bought the team, this has been handled poorly. The bottom line in any investigation is getting it right. That should not be lost in a rush to judgement, but there is a clock attached to this one. 

The NBA draft is June 21. Free agency begins July 1. The longer this drags on, the longer there is an appearance of dysfunction. Real or perceived. When the best player in the league/most-prized potential free agent, LeBron James, is in the midst of the Finals and uses your team as the punch line to a joke, it’s a bad look. And James’ acknowledgement of this mess is a reflection of what the league is saying. Players, front offices, free agents, agents, etc. Not good. 

Fans of the team who have shown this organization more unconditional love through dreadful times than any other in the history of the city are naturally getting antsy at the length of this process. Combine the time this has taken and the fact that Colangelo was quoted in the Brett Brown contract extension release and was reportedly in person at the Grayson Allen workout, and the appearance is Colangelo may not be a goner. Something most fans thought was a fait accompli when the burner account story first surfaced. 

Through their lense, Colangelo’s perceived betrayal of player trust will result in the club being stifled when it comes to landing a potential big-time free agent. More importantly, the in-house fallout of the alienation of his own players, including superstar Joel Embiid. 

If this traces back to Colangelo in any way, be it his wife, son, a front office underling, he needs to go regardless of his claims of ignorance. The information put out was too inside for some random troll on Twitter to know. 

With that said, what’s taking so long? How much damage has already been done regardless of how this plays out as the team embarks on a monstrous offseason?