Blogs > Jack McCaffery's blog

Jack McCaffery is the lead sports columnist for the Daily Times and He has spent several decades covering everything from the Phillies, Eagles, Flyers and Sixers, to college hoops, to high school sports in Delco.

Sunday, October 30, 2011


The Eagles didn't say so, but they knew: Either they would win Sunday night or essentially call it a lost season.

They won, 34-7, over the Cowboys ... and have repositioned themselves as the leading threat to win the NFC East.

Juan Castillo's defense doesn't look too wide. LeSean McCoy looks like an MVP. The offensive line, finally together as planned, is giving Michael Vick time to create points. Even Asante Samuel is smiling, saying, "I hope you had the Philadelphia Eagles as your fantasy team."

Dallas defensive coordinator Rob Ryan had accused the Birds of being over-hyped. They were not. For most of the early season, they had underachieved. But they were not overhyped. Two different things. They were hyped because they are so deep in talent. That talent is showing with enough time left in the season to matter.

Check out my column in the Daily Times Monday, and as always, on

Friday, October 28, 2011


CHESTER --- Derrick Webster of Glassboro, N.J., improved to 11-0 Friday night at Harrah's Chester with a unanimous decision over Teneal Goyco (4-3) of Philadelphia, good for the “Bad And Machismo” super middleweight boxing belt.
Webster used a defensive style to keep Goyco at just past arm's length to prevail, 59-55, 59-55, 60-54, according to the judges.
In the main event, heavyweight Franklin Lawrence (17-2-2) of Indianapolis won a TKO over Raymond Ocheing (23-15-3) at 0:31 of the second.
Earlier, popular lightweight Joey Tiberi (6-1) of Newark, Del., scored a TKO over 4-9 Mike Maley of Whiting, Ind., 40 seconds into their scheduled four-rounder.
Temple University grad Alex Barbosa of Philadelphia won his pro debut with a TKO over bantamweight Brian Gonzalez (0-2) of Puerto Rico at 2:30 of the second. Also, Atlantic City welterweight Anthony Young (1-0) twice knocked down Kywame Hill (1-9) of Philadelphia and won a four-round unanimous decision.

Thursday, October 27, 2011


One Eagle this week accused the front office of playing fantasy football, made faces, made a scene, caused ripples and had Andy Reid harrumphing ... all because of how he felt that he was being treated.

Oddly, it wasn't the grossly undercompensated DeSean Jackson, who is on a pace for career-highs in receptions and receiving yards all while being the Birds' No. 1 punt returner. Instead, it was Asante Samuel.

"I just try to stay focused on the task at hand, which is playing football and doing my job to the best of my abilities," Jackson said Thursday at the NewsControl Compound. "So I try not to get too worried about (a new contract).  I know that it will happen sooner or later."

Earlier, special teams coach Bobby April had called Jackson, "a pro."

Check out my column in the Daily Times Friday and, as usual, on


From the promoters:

CHESTER, PA (October 26, 2011)—This Friday morning all participants for the Friday night boxing event at Harrahs in Chester will be on the scale for the official weigh-in.
The weigh-in will take place at 9:30 am in the Ballroom at Harrahs in Chester, PA
The show promoted by Joey Eye Boxing Promotions will feature the return of Heavyweight contender Gerald Nobles taking on Joseph Rabotte.  Also on the bill will WBC #14 Heavyweight Franklin Lawrence taking on Raymond Ocheing.  Also on the seven bout card will be undefeated Super Middleweight Derrick Webster battling Teneal Goyco.
WHO:  Gerald Nobles – Joseph Rabotte
            Franklin Lawrence – Raymond Ocheing
            Derrick Webster – Teneal Goyco
            Joey Tiberi – Mike Maley
            Sean Beckles – Maurice Amaro
            Alex Barbosa – Brian Gonzlaez
            Anthony Young – Kywame Hill
WHAT: Final Weigh-In for Boxing event later Friday Evening
WHEN: Friday October 28th at 9:30 AM
WHERE:           Harrahs in Chester, PA
The fights begin on Friday night at 7:30 pm with doors opening at 6:30pm
Tickets are now on sale for $100 (VIP); $65 (Ringside) and $45 (General Admission) and can be purchased at the Harrahs Chester Gift Shop; By calling Joey Eye (267-304-9399); David Feldman (610-291-0806); 800-480-8020 or on


Monday, October 24, 2011


Can the Eagles afford to be 2-5, potentially three games (and a tiebreaker) behind the Giants in the NFC East, two games behind Dallas, with four NFC losses?


But will they be able to sniff a division championship and thus the playoffs, rattle the Cowboys and remain reasonably close enough to the Giants to make the back end of their season meaningful if they are 3-4?


So exactly why would their season and any of their championship hopes not hinge on what happens Sunday night at the Linc?

By Monday, Philadelphia will find out if it will have reason to watch late-season pro football.

Check out my column on the Birds, their opportunity and their crisis moment in the Daily Times Tuesday and as always on

Saturday, October 22, 2011


Not that long ago, it seems, Notre Dame might have been closer than many believed to joining the Big Ten.

This, from basketball coach Mike Brey at the Big East media day Tuesday:

 "Five years ago when all this was going, my athletic director at the time, Kevin White, told me at breakfast one morning before practice, 'We're going to the Big Ten. I want you to get mentally ready.' I was like, 'Wow, you hit me with a ton of bricks. All right, how do we recruit?' In the eleventh hour, we held back and decided we were going to stay independent (in football) and stay in the Big East the last time we rebuilt.”

For that, and for things I don't get and things I do, check out my column in the Daily Times Sunday and as always on

Thursday, October 20, 2011


The Flyers had a chance to show something Thursday night ... yes, even in October.

Instead, they showed that they are substantially behind the Washington Capitals in program development, a veteran presence ... and on the scoreboard.

They lost 5-2, and though they complained about deflected shots and huffed about penalties, they were manhandled, even as they were outshooting Washington, 42-28.

They may be better later. They probably will be better later. But they were steamrolled in an Eastern Conference showdown Thursday.

And P.S.: It's OK if Jaromir Jagr scores career goal 647.

Check out my column Friday in the Daily Times and as always on

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


Recognizing the Palestra as a significant place to make a Philadelphia basketball announcement? Check.

Cutting ticket prices? Check.

Considering spending for talent above the luxury tax point? Check.

Recognizing the value of keeping Doug Collins as the coach? Check.

Promising to improve the quality of the game-night production? Check and double check.

Ultimately, new Sixers owner Joshua Harris and his CEO, Adam Aron will be judged by whether or not they can yield a championship team.

But for Day 1, they already seemed to have the winning formula.

Again, what was not to appreciate about the plan they outlined for the Sixers Tuesday?

Check out my column in the Daily Times Wednesday and, as always, on

Sunday, October 16, 2011


Among Rich Kotite's more famous coach while the Eagles' coach was, "we're baaaaaackkk."  That he said that after a loss was a bit odd at the time, but his point was that the Eagles had shown signs of recovery.

Andy Reid didn't go that far Sunday.

But it is true. The Eagles are baaaacccccckkk.

One reason is because Juan Castillo showed in a 20-13 victory over the Washington Redskins how to best use Nnandi Asomugha, Asante Samuel and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, as the three splendid cornerbacks smothered the Redskins' receivers.

From that, the rest of the defense clicked and the Eagles won, and won relatively calmly, on a day when they didn't score in the second half.

They are 2-4 and will probably have to pay at some point for that recent four-game losing streak --- either by missing a home-game opportunity in the postseason, or perhaps by missing the playoffs altogether.

But while Reid didn't channel Kotite Sunday, he didn't have to channel Jim Mora either and screech, "Plaafffffffffffsssss. Playyaffffffffffsssss ...."

The playoffs are indeed still a possibility for the Birds. Because --- uh-huh --- they're back.

Check out my column on Castillo's improved defense in the Daily Times Monday and, as always, on  Also look for a story on LeSean McCoy, the Eagles' late-game go-to option.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


Can a goaltender really be the differnce in a nine-goal hockey game?


Because that's what Ilya Bryzgalov was Wednesday in the Flyers' 5-4 victory over the Vancouver Canucks.

"I think so," James van Riemsdyk said. "They had a lot of power plays and our killers did a good job of doing the best we could."

The Canucks were on the power play four times in the final 14 minutes, then spent the final minute with goaltender Roberto Luongo pulled ... but Bryzgalov stood tall, completing a 36-save night.

Now, the Flyers are 3-0 with wins over both Stanley Cup finalists from last year and the Devils.

Check out my column in the Daily Times Thursday and on about the much-improved Flyers.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


Jimmy Rollins will be 33 next season with a deep recent history of injury and declining offensive numbers.

And he wants the Phillies to guarantee him four more years of employment, maybe five.

Good luck.

"If I was older, I’d take a shorter term," the pending free agent said Tuesday. "But I’ll be 33 when I get the contract. That means I have good six years left to perform at a high level and maybe even more. My father has been in great shape, so I know how to keep myself in shape. There’s no doubt about that.  As far as life, you are starting to become a grown man and what it takes every single day and what you are able to do. I’m looking at five years. But if its going to be shorter, it would have to be a fifth year option or something like that. My option."

Here's the Phillies' best option: Say no and invest that money elsewhere.

Check out my column on Ruben Amaro's plea for the Phillies to change their approach at the plate in 2012 in the Daily Times Wednesday and on

Sunday, October 9, 2011


At the end of the first half, the Eagles butchered the clock and did not have an opportunity to kick a last-second field goal. At the end of the second, their defense jumped off-side at a moment begging for patience and they lost the opportunity to try and tie the game.

Good thing for Andy Reid there are only two halves.

But after the Eagles lost, 31-24, to the Buffalo Bills, Reid ran his same, weary play, refusing to point fingers, threatening to walk out of a press conference and providing no reasonable communication with the fans.

The act, already old, is now ancient.

Check out my column in the Daily Times Monday and on about the absurdity of the Eagles' refusal to assign blame, and for a view of Michae Vick and his reaction to a four-interception afternoon.

Friday, October 7, 2011


The Phillies can't hit.

They have not been able to hit since midway through the 2010 season. They were unable to hit against the Giants in the playoffs last year. They were unable to hit against the Cardinals this year.

They are old, stiff, plodding, unaware of when to swing, when to take a pitch and when to run.

Friday, Charlie Manuel started the same basic lineup that had gone 22 of its previous 25 innings without scoring ... then made it 31 out of 34. He has plenty of time to second-guess that now.

Check out my column in the Daily Times Saturday and on about that odd and destructrive managerial decision. Also look for a reaction from Roy Halladay, who was too classy to do what he should have done and verbally rip his offense to shreds.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


For two years, the Phillies, their apologists and too many of their fans have denied what continues to become as obvious as it is ridiculous: They can't hit.

It cost them in the NLCS last October. It is why they are one game from elimination in the NLDS after spending $160,000,000 to build a 102-win regular-season team.

In their last 25 innings, the Phillies have gone scoreless in 22. They are old, deteriorating and scrambling for answers.

One to expect: Hunter Pence returning to the No. 5 hole, perhaps --- perhaps --- jolting Ryan Howard out of one of his many career lulls. Asked Wednesday if that was a possibility, Charlie Manuel did not say no. That made it almost as good as a yes.

One thing is certain: Manuel cannot run that batting order out there again and expect different results.

Check out my column on the offensive struggles --- and a story on the latest Ryan Howard struggle --- in the Daily Times Thursday and as always on

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


The Phillies will have champagne waiting outside their clubhouse Wednesday, as they have a chacne to celebrate winning the NLDS over the St. Louis Cardinals.

The winners, the spoils ... all of that.

But they scored in one of nine innings of Game 3, and for the 73rd time this season they were held to three or fewer runs. And their bullpen was rickety, even if Ryan Madson nicely earned a five-out save.

The question is fair: Isn't that the way postseason baseball is played --- with great pitchers caught in low-run games? Sure. And the Phillies have great pitching.

That's been the plan all along --- subdue enough teams with starting pitchers and take whatever offense trickles their way. Might work. Might.

Check out my column on and in the Daily Times Wednesday on the greatest postseason performer in Phillies history, Cole Hamels. Also, I will have a story on the enjoyment Brad Lidge got out of watching Madson succeed in his former role as a closer.

Also, follow me on twitter at JackMcCaffery, and join us during the Game 4 for an in-game chat at

Sunday, October 2, 2011


Though he tried to control thought at his press conference following the Eagles' 24-23 loss to the San Francisco 49ers Sunday, the question will rampage more than ever now: When is it his turn to be blamed for a franchise that remains stagnant despite an agressive front-office effort to win a championship.

Twice, Reid warned a reporter Sunday not to ask a question about potential changes to his staff or coaching philosophy --- unaware that such arrogance probably has a better chance to invite than to snuff the topic.

It's early enough in the season for the Eagles to improve. And they have the talent to do so. But when fans rolled out a Palestra-style sign reading, "Are we insane yet?" it was their way of telling the Eagles to stop trying to do the same things while expecting different results.

Check out my analysis of the situation in the Daily Times Monday and on

Saturday, October 1, 2011


It wasn't a no-hitter, a perfect game or an outing destined for too prominent a position in baseball history. But Roy Halladay's eight innings of excellence Saturday explained as much as anything why he will be in the Hall of Fame the instant he is eligible.

On a night when the Phillies could have been toppled by an early deficit, Halladay settled to retire 21 consecutive St. Louis Cardinals, restore calm to Citizens Bank Park and give the Phillies a chance to rally for an 11-6 victory.

"The great thing about Roy is he bounces back," Raul Ibanez said. "He’s able to refocus and get back on the task at hand. That’s a credit to his professionalism, his intensity and his tenacity on the mound."

Check out my column on Halladay, a story on Raul Ibanez and all the complete and comprehensive coverage of Game 1 of the NLDS in the Daily Times Sunday and on


Watch Eagles Game Day Live at 11 Sunday morning when I will be discussing the Birds with John Anderson.