Wow...Blogger seems to be back in business! As I write this, Twitter is out of commission, though. So let's get to some stuff. First, a couple of videos.
This one was taken a few doors from my house. I spotted Mr. Bunny as I was walking home. This is a residential area in a city, although I suppose there's enough wooded areas around to allow for visits from the occasional wild rabbit.
Yesterday my friend Kurt and I went to the opening of the new Race Street Pier (just next to the Ben Franklin Bridge). Mayor Nutter and others made speeches and then cut the ribbon. I'd have enjoyed it more if only the mayor spoke. Everyone else could have been given credit in a pamphlet or something. Anyway, here's a video tour. Note: it takes a few minutes for us to actually get on to the pier.
The pier is very nice. It'll be a nice meeting place by the river, but there's nothing to do there. I hope that the mayor's efforts to truly revitalize the waterfront -- which would mean more than things like giant Best Buy and Wal-Mart stores or the SugarHouse casino -- come to fruition.
Something else that clearly needs a little revitalization: the Flyers.
All of that underachieving at the end of the year came back to bite them. They started 40-15-6 and finished 7-8-6 prior to the playoffs. Remember, the last number represents points for shootout and OT losses, so on a strictly won-lost basis, they started 40-21 and finished 7-14. A team with so much depth struggled to beat a lesser Buffalo team, and then was thoroughly outplayed by Boston. The Flyers turned from major overachievers to major underachievers in just one year.
My fears about the Chris Pronger pickup may be coming true. He had two surgeries on his hand and it still never fully recovered, and then he left during the Boston series with a back problem (just had surgery yesterday for that) and was never seen again. He's got many years on his contract and he's old, and now he's got a bad back. This might really be a salary cap albatross, especially since their goaltending failed again and a prime (and pricey) pickup is almost a must -- whether they think Sergei Bobrovsky is a future star or not, they need a starter for next season.
The Flyers also need to address their leadership, I think. Mike Richards needs to stop whining about reporters, as he did in this tweet:
Dude, you're moody and withdrawn with all of the media. Dealing with them is part of your job, especially when you're the captain. Grow up and do it right, or let someone else wear the "C."
As for the Phillies, they have the best record in all of baseball at 24-12. They're in a bit of a state of flux, though, with players coming on and off the disabled list. The big problem they have is scoring runs. Scoring is down around the league, but the Phillies' dropoff is a little worse. It's a testament to their pitching that they've got such a great record. I think the offense has to become more consistent or, just like last year, they'll get shut down in the playoffs and go home early. Even that vaunted starting rotation can't win 0-0 games. Chase Utley's return (maybe next week?) should help. I still worry that the lineup is too lefthanded, though.