THE QUESTION: Let me throw two questions at you tonight. Weird time, I think, without a local team in the playoffs and the Phillies on the West Coast. It's like sports doesn't exist at the moment here.

 1, Watching Raja Bell in yesterday's San Antonio-Phoenix game, it got me thinking about players who used to be here and now play elsewhere. What one player -- who's playing now -- do you wish was still in town? What departure of one player really turned out to be a mistake?  Do you still follow them, even though they're no longer here?

2, I was down at the sponsors summit last week at the NovaCare complex. What it reminded me is how much business the Eagles (and other sports teams) do that have nothing to do with what takes place on the field. The Eagles told those in attendance about this being the 75th anniversary of the franchise, and how it will be sporting a throwback uniform this fall. Do you guys (and gals) like all these options for apparel, the multiple caps and jerseys and uniforms? There are 20 or more variations of the Eagles cap, for instance? How many do you own? Do you look forward to the next release of a different jersey or cap, or just ignore them?

--

1. What one player -- who's playing now -- do you wish was still in town? What departure of one player really turned out to be a mistake? Do you still follow them even, even though they're no longer here?

This might sound weird given all those who have left town. But the one player who I wish was still in town, and whose departure was a mistake, was Ike Reese.

He was no superstar but he was a stellar leader. If he would have been here in T.O.'s second year, he might have been able to keep the peace in the locker room and held the team together. If he was here now, perhaps he would be able to keep McNabb from going into his assorted funks.

In an era when players are no more than mercenaries and independent contractors, superstars will come and go. They can be replaced for the right price. But unsung leaders like Ike are the glue that keep teams together during all the player turnover. These guys will become increasingly priceless.

2. Do you like all these options for Eagles apparel, the multiple caps and jerseys and uniforms? How many do you own? Do you look forward to the next jersey or cap, or just ignore them?

All these different versions of Eagles apparel are a scam. After launching their 75th anniversary throwback jerseys, they'll probably launch a new line of apparel for their 75th anniversary-plus-one-day. They're like the scam artist in The Music Man, who sold the local yokels in River City all those band uniforms they didn't need.

Of course, without a sucker, there can't be a scam. So give the Eagles credit for one thing: they never forget the first 3 letters in the word consumer.

Jeff Brooks
Montgomeryville, PA

--

1) Since I am a baseball guy I will throw two ex-Phillies that I follow. Placido Polanco who I still believe was a huge mistake giving him up. I love watching his approach to hitting. I was against that trade from the beginning. The other is Scott Rolen who I love to watch play 3B. I understand why they got rid of him. He would have never re-signed with the Phillies. He was miserable as a person. They were suckered on Bud Smith after seeing him pitch a no hitter with the Cardinals. He was damaged goods.

2) The Eagles about business. Shocking I would have never known that. I refuse to buy any thing eagles and add to the bottom line of Jeffrey Lurie.

Joe Messina
South Philadelphia

--

1,  wish Larry Bowa was still the manager of the Phils.


2, I think when you look at sports, you have to look at as a business first. These teams are not stupid. I look forward to buying one, at least one Flyer cap every so often. I like clean and simple, nothing tacky. To each his own. I have a whole room at my beach house that I built with all kinds of sports stuff. With all the money generated I think the tickets should be lower, but what are you going to do. Either way, the money ends back in the community in one way or another. I would like to see a study on the GDP and the relation to sports as a contributor. What is the impact?

Gregg Bartels
Long Beach Island

--

1, Hockey-wise...Ruslan Fedotenko, Vaclav Prospal and Dainius Zubrus...2 have Stanley Cup rings, and one is close to getting one. Nobody from the Phillies or Sixers.

2, I don't buy anything. I like "official"...all it is is a way for these teams to part me from my money...a merchandising ploy.

Rick Bauer
Bellmawr, N.J.

--

1) The easy answer:  Scott Rolen

others:   Justin Williams, Derrick Burgess, and Allen......no way....., make it   Theo Ratliff

2) They don't make much of a difference to me.  My general response in negative.  The Flyers started with black as a third jersey, then used it regularly.  I hate the overabundance of black in all sports.  Keep it orange!   As for the Eagles,  the Yellow jackets had to have had a better looking uni than that pale blue and yellow abomination.   Phillies throwbacks are fine.  Baseball is all about tradition.

FYI,  the Philly Wings have twice worn special St Patricks day unis, and one throwback(to the 1974 wings)   All jerseys were sold at auction for charity, which was fine.  But, the team is 0-3 in special jerseys.

John Tidd
Morrisville, Pa.

--

How about the trade of Placido Polanco for the arsonist/attempted murderer "Ughbreath" Urbina? Now there was a brilliant move. We trade a .300 hitter who could play third for a psycho, and keep that P.O.S. David Bell. I think that was the brainchild of Ed "Never Been" Wade. Most people don't realize it, because Polanco was not considered a "star", but this was one of the worst trades in modern Phillies history.

Second place............all the guys the Sixers gave away whom "A.I. couldn't play with". That includes Bell, Bruce Bowen, Larry Hughes, Jerry Stackhouse, Matt Harpring, and C-Webb. Possibly others I've forgotten.

Jerry Naab
Punta Gorda, Fla.

--

1.  RE:  Players Revolving Door-bells:   Raja a winner, David a stiff, Ding-dong popular entertainer and Liberty a keeper.

2.  RE: Throwback stuff...not too keen on celebtrtions until we have a Phillies double header honoring Dickie Thon and Jeff Stone

Michael Watts
Bethlehem, Pa.

--

1, I have been lamenting the loss of Raja Bell for a couple of years now.

2, I always thought it was arrogant of Lurie to switch the eagles from kelly green to midnight green(which is almost blue in some light).  It's about money of course, the more jerseys for sale the more profit.  It's also about his putting HIS stamp on HIS TEAM, and ignoring the traditional.  As to the yellow jerseys, I hope they don't play as badly as these uniforms look.

Al Singer
Raleigh, N.C.

--

1. How's this for a twist on your question: What's the almost worst trade? The Phils were seriously thinking about trading Ryan Howard two years ago when Jim Thome was batting less than .200.

2. I actually like all the different clothing options because sometimes I really hate the current uniform a team is sporting and prefer to go back to something more fashionable. Which raises another question. What was the worst Philadelphia uniform ever? I kind of hated the Flyers long black pants in a bygone era.

Mike Grossman
Bala Cynwyd, Pa.

--

1, Watching Raja Bell in yesterday's San Antonio-Phoenix game, it got me thinking about players who used to be here and now play elsewhere. What one player -- who's playing now -- do you wish was still in town? Rod Brindamour What departure of one player really turned out to be a mistake?  Curt Schilling for his playing ability only.  Despite his talent, he continues to talk too much.  Do you still follow them, even though they're no longer here?  Not closely although I am aware of what they are doing.  I went to Carolina last June to see game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals.  It was great to see Brindamour finally win a championship.
2, I was down at the sponsors summit last week at the NovaCare complex. What it reminded me is how much business the Eagles (and other sports teams) do that have nothing to do with what takes place on the field. The Eagles told those in attendance about this being the 75th anniversary of the franchise, and how it will be sporting a throwback uniform this fall. Do you guys (and gals) like all these options for apparel, the multiple caps and jerseys and uniforms? To me it is just another way for teams to make money.  It always amazes me how fans will run out and buy all of these new apparel releases at ridiculous prices.  There are 20 or more variations of the Eagles cap, for instance? How many do you own? None Do you look forward to the next release of a different jersey or cap, or just ignore them?  I pretty much ignore them.  I think I have bought one throwback hockey jersey in the last 17 years (Vancouver Canucks early 70s jersey because I like the team and the old style jersey).

Joe Peca
Lansdale, Pa.

--

All the top teams remaining have at least one former Sixer playing significant time for them.  But I cannot pick one player.  No one of the departed players would make that much of a difference.  I just wish the management was doing a better job of creating a winning team and keeping players who can contribute to that winning team.

I still follow Iverson, because he should have always remained a 76er.

Andre Braxton
Cherry Hill, N.J.

--

1.  I wish Placido Polanco were still playing for the Phils at 3rd base.  He's both a team and stats leader for Detroit.  He would fill a need, plus his gritty style and attitude would be perfect complements to the team.  In the trade, we received Ugie Urbina, who's now in jail.

2.  I'm not a big paraphernalia collector.  I have one Eagles shirt and a miniature Eagles helmet.  I like the basic team colors and don't feel the need to buy all the novelty items, including the new apparel options such as the blue and yellow 75th anniversary uniform.  Interestingly, I don't have any other team items except the Eagles.

Joe Boyce
Levittown, Pa.

--

1, Watching Raja Bell in yesterday's San Antonio-Phoenix game, it got me thinking about players who used to be here and now play elsewhere. What one player -- who's playing now -- do you wish was still in town? What departure of one player really turned out to be a mistake?  Do you still follow them, even though they're no longer here? Can I say 2? Placido Polanco and Scott Rolen. 2 players, but each would be the same position for us and make our lineup unbelievable. And I do still follow both. I check their box scores every day.

2, I was down at the sponsors summit last week at the NovaCare complex. What it reminded me is how much business the Eagles (and other sports teams) do that have nothing to do with what takes place on the field. The Eagles told those in attendance about this being the 75th anniversary of the franchise, and how it will be sporting a throwback uniform this fall. Do you guys (and gals) like all these options for apparel, the multiple caps and jerseys and uniforms? There are 20 or more variations of the Eagles cap, for instance? How many do you own? Do you look forward to the next release of a different jersey or cap, or just ignore them? For apparel, I don't care about the other options. I don't buy them, but I guess it's something different. My hats, jerseys, etc. are a team's normal colors. But, I don't like teams wearing 3rd jerseys and all. I think a team should only have 2 uniforms. The weird ones are fine for fans, but the players shouldn't' wear them. If they do, only once a year or something.

Brian Ward
Blue Bell, Pa.

--

1. What one player -- who's playing now -- do you wish was still in town? What departure of one player really turned out to be a mistake? Do you still follow them even, even though they're no longer here?

This might sound weird given all those who have left town. But the one player who I wish was still in town, and whose departure was a mistake, was Ike Reese.

He was no superstar but he was a stellar leader. If he would have been here in T.O.'s second year, he might have been able to keep the peace in the locker room and held the team together. If he was here now, perhaps he would be able to keep McNabb from going into his assorted funks.


In an era when players are no more than mercenaries and independent contractors, superstars will come and go. They can be replaced for the right price. But unsung leaders like Ike are the glue that keep teams together during all the player turnover. These guys will become increasingly priceless.

2. Do you like all these options for Eagles apparel, the multiple caps and jerseys and uniforms? How many do you own? Do you look forward to the next jersey or cap, or just ignore them?

All these different versions of Eagles apparel are a scam. After launching their 75th anniversary throwback jerseys, they'll probably launch a new line of apparel for their 75th anniversary-plus-one-day. They're like the scam artist in The Music Man, who sold the local yokels in River City all those band uniforms they didn't need.

Of course, without a sucker, there can't be a scam. So give the Eagles credit for one thing: they never forget the first 3 letters in the word consumer.

Jeff Brooks
Montgomeryville, Pa.

--

1, Only one?  Not an easy task.  I would have to say 3B position for the Phils.  First, they traded Rolen and have nothing on the team now to show for it.  Then, they hung on to David Bell, another Ed Wade disaster, and got rid of Placido Polanco.  I would take either Polanco or Rolen over Wes Helms.

2, I have a BDawk jersey and a jersey commemorating my 50th birthday, an Eagles hat that is about 10 years old and a couple of sweatshirts.  I'm fine with what I have.

Richard Shaeffer
Philly

--

1, There is a laundry list of player's that were good; but, they could not play in Philadelphia because of A.I.  If anyone watched the Nuggets play this postseason, they are in the same situation as the Sixers because they are way over the Salary Cap and no one wants Iverson.  The Nuggets will not be trading Anthony or Camby; so, they will be stuck in the same situation next year. There is a laundry list of players besides Raja Bell, such as:  Bruce Bowen, Matt Harpring, and Matt Barnes, are still in the playoffs.  The Sixers tried every year to get guys to play with Iverson and it failed.  It was not because of the guys they brought in either.

Maurice Cox
Havertown, Pa.

--

1. There isn't one particular player that stands out that is playing elsewhere, but it amazes me that there are a number of players contributing successfully to playoff teams that were cast off here...Matt Barnes (didn't even get into a game), Bruce Bowen, Raja Bell, to name a few.

This is the main thing that bothers me about Billy King and the Sixers management team. Do they really know how to judge talented players and build a successful team? Tony DiLeo still holds a job as the director of scouting when he has never drafted one solid international player when all of the teams in the playoffs have great players from places other than the US. Where is he scouting? The Sixers definitely need a change at the top.

2. I am not an Eagles fan, but I do like the idea of throwback jerseys, etc. However, why did the Eagles choose a uniform from an era that relatively few living people remember? Why not pick the 60's, 70's or 80's? This regime does not do nostalgia well. Remember the closing of the Vet?

Michael DiFebbo
Southampton, Pa.

--

1. Raja Bell is a role player that plays with 3 all-stars. If he would have stayed here he would not have been able to do what he does for Phoenix because here he would have been expected to do more. His role in Phoenix right now is perfect for his talent. He defends well and he can hit an open shot. If he were the 2nd option on the floor he would not be able to do much at all. He's not even the 2nd best guard on his team and he starts. Barbosa is better than him.

As far as other players there are none that left the Sixers that would really make a difference. They are all role players. The Sixers problem is that they claim to try to win with no talent. In Philly we have a tendency to value style over substance...we want a bunch of hard working hustlers with the perfect attitude even if they can't actually play their sport at the highest level.

2.The only problem I have with most of the apparel is that it's ugly for the most part.......lol.....I actually like all of the different colors and options of different teams. I just wished they made them actually look good......lol.

Kyle Outting
North Philly

--

1, Placido Polanco.  He could be playing 3rd base.  Career .300 hitter.  What a difference he would have made compared to the stiffs we've had there.

2, On a somewhat related subject, here's what's been going through my head for the last 24 hours:  The Yankees get Clemens back, and OUR pitchers are running into carts in the outfield.  That about says it all..

David Thorn
Voorhees, N.J.

--

Gee, the list might be:

Sixers:

Chris Webber...that guy can really play. What a team-guy!

Raja Bell, Bruce Bowen, and Matt Barnes: Of course they would all be griping about how Mo would have used them.

So, many doggs...so little time!

Phillies:

Scott Rolen, JD Drew, Curt Schilling...and only because I do the "what if" thing, as in what if they were here...could we have won with a team like;

3rd: Scott Rolen or Placido Polanco

S/s: Jimmy Rollins

2nd: Chase

1st: Ryan Howard

LF: Pat Burrell

CF: Aaron Rowand, endy chavez

RF: Bobby Abreu or JD Drew

C: Johnny Estrada...the answer is yep!

Flyers:

A couple here: Justim Williams, Vaclav "Vinny" Prospal, and Roddy Brind'amour.... Who watched that sport anyway....

Eagles:

For the most part they've jettisoned players at the right time, with one notable exception: Derrick Burgess....oooh-fah...that kid can play. And it's not like he didn't play well for the Eagles his last season. I almopst understand the reason they let him go. They knew he would demand good money from some team and based on his injury history the risk outweighed the reward.

2. I'm beyond the apparel thing for the sports team. I see behind their little farce and don't get involved in getting the new jersey or hat....I think that is for the suckers that these team target. I will get my son or daughter a jersey or hat or something, but I would never try to keep up with their thinly-veiled marketing gimmicks.

Rob Alessandrine
Sewell, N.J.

--

PS: I don't own an Iggles hat! Do have a couple of Flyers hats, and an OldTimeHockey hat, "Class of '67", for when Flyers came into the league, that I'm wearing until playoffs over, before shifting to three Phillies hats, two of them spring training related.

Nelson Amey
Cape May County, N.J.

--

1.  I like to see Scott Rolen play well. Also for Curt Schilling. They both tried here and the ownership didn't get it done, so they left. I have no problem with that.

2. The Eagles are doing the uniform shit for one reason, MONEY. They don't give a rat's ass about the 75 years. Lurie cares about his wallet/bottom line. I own about 5-6 different hats for both teams ( Phillies and Eagles).

I would like to know, why didn't the fans get offered tixs to the draft party. I have been a season ticket holder since 94', and before that my father goes back to Franklin Field. I think it is an outrage that they don't take care of their fans, but they can do that. There is what a 30,000 waiting list?

Thanks for letting me vent

Danny  Burke
Clarksboro, N.J.

--

1, On question A, I'll need to think about it. I guess Justin Williams and Vinnie Prospal turned out to be players. Justin in particular stings because it was the whole Hitchcock "he can't play for me" thing, and obviously he can play for someone else. Does that mean Hitch wasn't the coach he thought he was?

2, Mostly ignore unless they're really ugly (like the Buffalo Banana Slugs--or um Sabres). Hats don't work for me so I don't care at all. Flyers sweaters, I get one when I "need" a new one. No particular care about changing styles. And no concern about wearing a former Flyer (Lindros and Markov).

Deborah Sullivan
Philly

--

hey Paul,

2, I am a hat guy. I like to wear hats and have many of them, but I wear mostly hats that the team wears or at least the team colors. I do own at least a few hats of each home team. I also do not wear a hat of any other teams just because I like the color or it was given to me. If you're a fan be a true fan! Jerseys I do not wear much of, so really can't comment on them.

I know how many products and merchandise teams sell that have nothing to do with the game. The NFL is by far the leader of the pack in this. But stuff must sell if they keep producing more and more new items.

1, As for a player who left. There are so many. Take a look around the leagues and you will find an ex Phila player on just about every team. And most times they are playing better than they did when in the city of brotherly love. Yes we are tough fans but if you play hard and give 100% we will love you forever. Taking a look now it is hard to say Curt Shilling wouldn't look good here. He would have been a solid ace for us, and we could really use one of them.

This is a good thing to think about. How many players who were Phila athletes got traded away and made the all star game? Why do we let players go? We are one of the bigger markets in the sports world. Do players really like playing here or are they counting the days till they are a free agent. So many guys have come and gone. We could do a top 10 list in each sport and I bet you most of the players had better years after they departed. WHY? is it the fans? the managemnet? the losing ways? how can we keep players here and win a major championship?

Now I will be thinking of all the what ifs?

Mike Hart
Brookhaven, Pa.

--