Ah yes, Raul Ibanez you sure are the man. Better late than never right? I apologize for the delay, but as the Flyers writer for a couple websites on top of some of the other NHL teams I cover the end of the NHL season marked the beginning of my busy season with articles on top of articles. But rest assured Raul! You deserve the title of man, and so you are going to get it.
But first Raul, even though you have clearly waited long enough I need to go over the honorable mention for the week. So who was it that actually came close to unseating your hot streak? That would be of course a man who does not actually play for a Philadelphia team.
Andy Reid is never going to throw on the midnight green jersey or the helmet and strap it up with the rest of the Philadelphia Eagles. That goes without question, but this week was the week when he is at his best; the week of the NFL draft. Sometimes it doesn’t go as the fans would like, but no one can argue with the results he’s produced since he took over befor his very first draft day selection, Donovan McNabb. No one can argue with first round choices like Corey Simon, Lito Sheppard, Shawn Andrews, Mike Patterson, and Brodrick Bunkley. Jarome McDougle was out of his control, and nobody wants to discuss First-Down Freddie. Still the selection of Brian Westbrook alone makes up for both of them not to mention AJ Feeley, Correll Buckhalter, Michael Lewis, Sheldon Brown, LJ Smith, Todd Herremans, Jason Avant, Desean Jackson, and an ongoing list of players who were at least moderately successful with the Eagles.
This weekend during the NFL draft he saw a player he really liked fall nearly into his lap. When he began getting phone calls about teams trying to move up to his pick to get WR Jeremy Maclin out of Missouri. Andy knew that when he denied those teams the opportunity that they would try to move ahead of him, and so he himself made the move up to get Maclin. He then watched the board fall once again into his lap and managed to get a Westbrook-esque running back with LeSean McCoy. This of course was after he used another first rounder weeks before to acquire pro-bowl tackle Jason Peters from the Bills. He then traded down acquiring picks later in the 2nd day as well as some next year, and at one point had six 5th round picks. He used two of them to acquire starting cornerback Ellis Hobbs from the Patriots adding to the elite depth at secondary, and then got a tight end that before a season ending injury his senior season at Florida would have likely been a late first rounder to early second in Cornelius Ingram.
It was incredible weekend for Eagles fans that begged forever to get more offensive weapons for McNabb. He now has his weapons. They aren’t fully developed yet, but if they turn out to be good pick ups there’s not many teams who will be able to compete with this offense at the skill position. On top of that Andy revamped the offensive line and added secondary depth. That’s hard to beat as far as a week of Philadelphia sports is concerned.
Still Ibanez can top it. He gets a little help because the “week” for the You Are The Man segment was extended through Tuesday, but that doesn’t take anything away from the amazing week he’s had. It’s already well known how much he is doing with the Phils to help us forget about our beloved Pat Burrell. A quick rundown of Ibanez’s stats for the extended week, and you’ll know exactly why he’s the talk of the town in Philly. In nine games in 10 days Ibanez came complete with 9 runs scored, 12 hits, 3 homers, 9 RBIs, and a 0.351 batting average. Not all that bad for a week the Phils go from a record of 4-6 to a record of 11-8 which happens to be much easier on the eyes for Phillies fans hopeful for a repeat.
Oh by the way. Can you guess when most of this magic was going on? It just wouldn’t be the Phils unless they made it interesting. They had more comebacks late in the game this week than many thought was humanly possible. Ibanez of course was at the very center of this “new” Philadelphia trend sweeping the red at Citizen’s Bank Park. On Friday at Florida they score 7 runs in the 9th to win 7-3. The next day they tie Florida in the 9th and win in the 10th with 2 runs. Then they clean up the Marlins for the 3rd straight day to the tune of 13-2. Finally, in back to back games Monday and Tuesday at home against the Nationals, Ibanez sums up the Phils’ week with a brilliant offensive display.
For this extended week you are the man Raul Ibanez. You lead the team in runs, you lead the team in hits, you are tied for the lead in home runs, and you’re 2nd in RBIs. Not bad for the “old man” that Philadelphians saw you as when you got signed here in the offseason.