ESPN Radio of the Lehigh Valley Sports Slice

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With the Sports Slice, I plan on giving you my brash, harsh, but always honest opinion on the Philadelphia sports scene. There's no smarter sports fans in the world than Philly fans. While many view us as heathens who just boo and throw beer at others, there's a side that many don't see that I'll share with you. Picking up on the nuances of each sport is something we take pride in and there's always a reason behind each boo. So whether you trust the process or not, I got you covered every step of the way from State College to Philly.  – Lucas Gouvalis

 

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  • It was reported yesterday morning that the Phillies and Arrieta are talking about bringing in the former NL Cy Young winner to help compliment Aaron Nola at the top of the rotation. While nothing is imminent, ongoing conversation leads me to expect Arrieta to sign within the next two weeks.
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  • It's been a little over two weeks since the Eagles beat the Patriots in Super Bowl 52. While most of us still can't believe the Eagles finally did it, NFL free agency will be here before you know it. They're a lot of guys who we may not see from this year’s Super Bowl team back on the field for the Eagles again. Some will be tough to see go, but in order for the Eagles to get under the cap and retain some of them and sign others it will have to be done. Let's start with some of the veterans.

    Brent Celek: Celek has been one of my favorite Eagles since my early high school days. I turn a quarter century old this year. He bleeds green and white and it'll be tough to see him go. Especially as a locker room leader. Before cutting him I'd talk about re-structuring the deal and a possible retirement. If no agreement can be made, I’d respectfully have to cut him and thank him for his time as an Eagle. It's hard but pro sports is a tough business. Gone

    Vinny Curry: With Vinny Curry slated to earn $11 million next season and Derek Barnett getting better by the snap last year, I find it really hard to believe that the Eagles won't move on from Curry to save themselves $5 million. I expect the Eagles to see if they can snag a late round pick from someone before they do. I suspect they won't get much and let him go unless he's willing to completely restructure the deal where the team still saves a lot of money. Gone.

    Jason Peters: The Jason Peters case is definitely a special one. Most of the time, I'd say get rid of the aging left tackle coming off a torn ACL, save the money and give Big V the job. However, Jason Peters was still playing an all-pro level last year before his injury. I doubted him after the torn achilles, but I won't doubt him after the ACL. The players and coaches love him. I say keep him for one more year and if you see his level of play dip hand the job over to Vatai during the season. Stays.

    Torrey Smith: Another example of a veteran guy who's replaceable on the field but is he off of it? He's close with qb Carson Wentz and many others on the team. So that makes it a tough call. But unfortunately, that $5 million price tag is just too much when the Eagles are over the cap. I thank him for his contributions and give the job to Mack Hollins. Gone.

    Now on to the teams free agents.

    Darren Sproles: My heart says yes but my head says no. I love Sproles as a player and competitor. He quickly became one of my favorite players in his short time here. However, the Eagles have plenty of depth at RB and I don't see him being re-signed. I think he'll be doing his thing elsewhere next season. Gone

    Patrick Robinson: Coming off a career year and with the Eagles depth at corner, expect him to cash in during free agency somewhere else. Gone.

    Beau Allen: As usual, I expect Howie Hero(Gm Howie Roseman)to work his cap magic throughout the off season. I think his magic will lead to Allen coming back. He gives the Eagles great depth at defensive tackle and is a guy that can step in and start should something happen to Cox or Jernigan. I don't think it will cost a fortune to bring him back either. Stays.

    Trey Burton: The man who has thrown more touchdown passes in a super bowl than Tony Romo and Dak Prescott combined. I would love to see him back as an Eagle and I think he will be. He will take over Celek's role as the main backup and I think he will be available for the right price. I also believe him and Ertz can be one of the best tight end duo's in the league. I think it's important he stays in Philly and believe he will. Stays.

    LeGarrette Blount: He was a great locker room guy all year and made contributions throughout the season. However, I think the Eagles will be fine at running back without him. Clement and Ajayi can more than handle the slack. His gas tank was on E up until the Super Bowl w
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  • After the horrendous effort of last year’s All-Star game, everyone from commissioner Adam Silver to the players knew that something had to change. While it's only an exhibition, last year’s effort was disrespectful to the paying customer and the millions watching around the globe. So when I turned it on after the Penn State basketball game was over, I was pleasantly surprised to see how much better 2018’s version turned out.
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  • The only time I remember excitement surrounding the basketball team were the Talor Battle years from 2007-2011. Those years included an NIT Championship and an NCAA Tournament bid. I think that if Tony Carr stays beyond this year, that this core can accomplish more than that.
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  • The powers that be in the NBA thought Goran Dragic was the right person to replace Kevin Love in the All-Star game and not Ben Simmons. The reasoning I heard was that it's because the Heat were the No. 4 seed and the Sixers the No. 8 seed. Funny thing is, after last night's game, the Heat are behind the Sixers in the standings and fell to the No. 8 seed.
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ABOUT THE WRITER

 

610-866-1088 

Lucas Gouvalis is the head of the Sports Slice blog at ESPN Radio of the Leigh Valley.  While attending Penn State University, his love of writing and radio grew with every class and professor he met. While being immersed in the family pizza business since graduation, he has never lost the passion that stayed with him through his graduation day. 

 

While sports take up a large chunk of his time, he spends his free time with friends, family and out at local pubs enjoying some wings and a few beers. 

 

The Lioudis and Gouvalis families have been running Lehigh Pizza at its current location (the corner of 3rd and New St.) since October, 1996. They pride themselves on being a reliable and friendly source of good, reasonably-priced food to local residents, students and employees of local businesses, schools and hospitals. Whether you’re in the mood for a slice or a whole pie, Lehigh Pizza is happy to satisfy your pizza craving.