RANGERS AT FLYERS ALUMNI GAME: THIRD PERIOD THREAD
Our old guys are better than yours.
New York Rangers (112-107-37-7) at Philadelphia Flyers at (114-105-37-7)
3 p.m. today at Citizens Bank Park (!) in South Philadelphia
Catch the action on CSN Philly, Versus and CBC
Glenn Anderson, Dan Blackburn, Paul Broten, Ron Duguay, Nick Fotiu, Mike Gartner, Adam Graves, Ron Greschner, Darius Kasparaitis, Kris King, Nick Kypreos, Tom Laidlaw, Darren Langdon, Brian Leetch, Dave Maloney, Stephane Matteau, Mark Messier, Brian Mullen, Dale Purinton, Mathieu Schneider, Darren Turcotte and John Vanbiesbrouck.
Coaches: Mike Keenan, Emile Francis and Colin Campbell.
Bill Barber, Terry Carkner, Bob Clarke, Eric Desjardins, Jim Dowd, Larry Goodenough, Derian Hatcher, Al Hill, Mark Howe, Bob Kelly, Orest Kindrachuk, Mark LaForest, John LeClair, Reggie Leach, Eric Lindros, Ken Linseman, Neil Little, Brad Marsh, Bernie Parent, Shjon Podein, Dave Poulin, Brian Propp, Mark Recchi, Jeremy Roenick, Kjell Samuelsson, Chris Therien, Rick Tocchet and Joe Watson.
Coaches: Pat Quinn, Mike Nykoluk and Keith Primeau.
So we got the chance to screw around on the ice today at Citizens Bank Park today for about 30 to 45 minutes. It was awesome, and while the best way to share the experience with you is to just post a bunch of photos and video. So, here are a bunch of photos and a few videos of today's skate at the ballpark.
On Thursday we outlined Ryan Madson’s limited options in the wake of Boston’s trade for Andrew Bailey. The conclusion drawn was that Madson’s best opportunity to land a multi-year deal would be with the Reds, the only team known to be still in the hunt for a closer.
But John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer reported Friday afternoon that the Reds haven’t even spoken with Madson’s people, and that the team prefers to bring back Francisco Cordero on a one-year deal. Cordero turned down a two-year offer from Cincy earlier this off-season, which Fay conjectures was worth approximately $14 million in total. Reds GM Walt Jocketty’s hope is to sign a closer to a cheap deal, saving money for a hitter.
Just about every bit of information in the Fay piece suggests that the Reds, like the Red Sox before them, aren’t interested in Madson.
Well, that’s an incomplete assessment. The Red Sox were, in fact, interested in Madson. But, according to Rob Bradford of WEEI.com, it became apparent to Boston that Scott Boras was not backing off his demands for Madson, and the Red Sox could no longer wait to make a move on Andrew Bailey with the Rangers looming.
Speaking of those Rangers, they remain a dark-horse candidate for Madson, as do the division-rival Angels. But Texas is working toward signing Japanese pitcher Yu Darvish. Exclusivity to sign Darvish cost the Rangers $51.7 million and a deal must be reached by Jan. 18. It is thought that if Texas cannot sign Darvish, it will shift gears in an attempt to sign Prince Fielder.
The Angels could sign Madson, but after the signings of Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson, Los Angeles is pushing $171 million on player payroll for 2012. The Pujols deal is backloaded, but his $25.4 million average annual salary is what matters for luxury tax purposes, not the varying yearly values.
The only other team that might make sense is the Cardinals, who have not been linked to Madson at all this off-season. St. Louis projects to enter 2012 with Jason Motte in the closer’s role, but as we wrote Thursday, Motte is not a highly-experienced, immovable ninth-inning pitcher. Bringing in Madson would simultaneously boost St. Louis’ options for the eighth and ninth innings. The Cardinals have gone closer-by-committee often in recent years, but that idea may have left with Tony La Russa.
Where do the Phillies fit into all of this? Is there any way they could bring Madson back on a one-year deal, allowing him to make a nice 2012 salary before testing a thinner market next winter?
There have been no links of late, but one would think Madson would take the Phils’ offer of arbitration if he had another chance (which he doesn’t). Madson’s projected salary through arbitration was $8 million, so the Phils could always offer something like $6.8-7 million if they see fit. It would probably prevent the team from signing a fifth outfielder, but Madson would be more important anyway.
A 7-8-9 combo of Antonio Bastardo, Madson and Jonathan Papelbon? If that wouldn’t be the best back-end of a bullpen in baseball, it would certainly be in the top-three.
The thought of Madson accepting a one-year deal or an offer to set up rather than close was ridiculous several months ago. But as his options continue to decrease by the day, he and Boras are approaching pride-swallowing time.
UPDATE 3:44 P.M.: The Winter Classic Alumni Game has indeed been pushed back two hours to 3 p.m. ET. TV coverage remains essentially the same -- there's a live telecast on both CSN and Versus. Parking lots now open at 9 a.m., gates open at 1 p.m.
PHILADELPHIA -- Alright, so there's a bit of a problem. It's a gorgeous day today, the ice is down, there's a bunch of activity in and around Citizens Bank Park. But it's almost too nice outside. If it was cloudy, we'd have no issues, but the sun is out, and that's wreaking havoc on the schedule of events here at the Winter Classic.
The temperatures really don't matter all that much. It's unseasonably warm, but it's not necessarily hot out or anything either. With 50 degree temperatures, the ice will hold up just fine. The problem is that the sun is beating down directly on the ice for several hours in the late morning to mid-afternoon, and that's obviously very bad for keeping up the quality of the surface.
The media skate scheduled for 12 p.m. today was pushed back several hours due to the issues, and if the weather is the same on Saturday at this time, there's a chance the Alumni Game could be pushed back as well. An NHL spokesman here said that there have been preliminary discussions about that possibility, although there is nothing to announce just yet.
We'd expect any sort of announcement to come Friday night, if some sort of time change will happen. Worth keeping an eye on, at the very least.