Saturday, January 16, 2010

Four Phillies file for arbitation. NFL playoffs heat up

Four Phillies have filed for arbitration: Shane Victorino, Carlos Ruiz, Joe Blanton and Chad Durbin. It is important for the team to settle each case, as each player figures to play a prominent role in the upcoming 2010 season.

Victorino, tremendous while patrolling center field, will likely drop to sixth or seventh in the lineup with the acquisition of Placido Polanco. Despite dropping in the lineup, Victorino will be just as important to the team's lineup as he's been the past few seasons.

Carlos Ruiz has been a rock behind the plate, and a hitting machine in each of the last two postseasons. The Phillies need Joe Blanton to solidify the back end of the rotation this season, and Chad Durbin is an important factor in the bullpen; especially with the injuries to Brad Lidge and J.C. Romero.

Hopefully, negotiations will not turn ugly, resulting in any disgruntled players. Those four players will be very important in the team's pursuit of a third consecutive World Series appearance.

With the Eagles' early exit from the postseason, pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training in a month could not come any faster. While our Birds are no longer alive, there remains plenty of reason to watch the remainder of the playoffs.

The AFC has been favored by 7.5 points over the NFC in the Super Bowl Odds the last five seasons. With talented NFC teams like the Saints (4/1) and Vikings (15/2), the trend could be reversed this year. With the Super Bowl three weeks away, there are still several spreads, lines and odds intriguing enough to wager on leading up to the Super Bowl.

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