Cap Management Champions

If you were wondering how the Eagles could afford the number of top free agents they signed a week ago, put it down to exquisite cap management.

The league has capped each team at $120.38 million but, according to Peter King of SI.com, the Eagles will have $125.58 million to spend.
That includes $2.2 million in what the league calls “reallocation credits” from the last capped year, 2009, when the Eagles didn't spend to the cap; plus the $3 million every team can borrow from a future cap year to apply to veteran players this season.

The Eagles long have been accused of preferring to win the “Salary Cap Bowl” over the Super Bowl, because of their long-standing practice of retaining room under the cap. But it looks as if they’ve decided to shed that label.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK. Nnamdi Asomugha, on the thousands of rabid fans who watch Eagles camp practices, compared to the drab handful at Raiders camps:

“Here, you actually have hecklers. Some guys get stage fright in front of crowds like this.”

GOOD FIELD, NO HIT?  The Baltimore Ravens are in town on Thursday and will bring along former Miami Dolphins star Ricky Williams.

Most fans recall that Williams was the “people’s choice” in 1999, when the team drafted poor old Donovan McNabb.  Few recall that he spent four seasons toiling in the Phillies minor league system.

Drafted in the eighth round in 1995, Williams played a year in Martinsville, Va., in the Appalachian League, two seasons in Piedmont, N.C., in the Sally League, and a brief (13-game) appearance in Batavia, N.Y., in the New York-Penn League.

In his only full season, as a 19-year-old at Piedmont in 1995, Williams hit .188 with three homers and 20 RBIs in 84 games.

He was vastly more accomplished at luggin’ the leather, but neither pigskin nor hardball was his favorite passtime.

 OOPS. Adam Dunn may simply have been making the best of a bad situation, but the way he handled manager Ozzie Guillen’s suggestion sure came out badly for the White Sox slugger.

Guillen suggested Sunday that Dunn — mired in the worst season of his career — should have worked harder during the offseason.

On Monday afternoon, the 6-foot-6, 285-pounder said he will “do what I can to not let this happen again, obviously.”

Signed to a four-year contract in December — one that pays him $12 million this season — Dunn was batting .163 with 11 homers and 142 strikeouts after Sunday.

Dunn probably was just trying to put the suggestion by his manager behind him, but even the appearance of admitting he is out of shape after accepting a gigantic contract will bring down the wrath of fans on his burly shoulders.

ADDICTION BREAKER. Giants manager Bruce Bochy, bullpen catcher Bill Hayes and equipment manager Mike Murphy all were able to quit chewing tobacco by working with medical hypnotherapist AlVera Paxson.
Bochy said he spent 3 1/2 hours in a relaxed, near-sleep state under Paxson’s guidance, and hasn’t touched tobacco since April 14.

(Personal aside:  wonder if she can do the same with French fries.)

CLIPPER HONORED. Yankee immortal Joe DiMaggio will be the first subject of a U.S. Postal Service series of stamps honoring Major League Baseball all-stars who “left an indelible impression on the game.”
The remaining three players will be revealed at a later date.

TIGERS RETAIN LEYLAND. The Detroit Tigers will keep manager Jim Leyland and general manager Dave Dombrowski under contract beyond this year. Dombrowski agreed to a four-year extension and Leyland was extended through 2012. Both were in the last year of their deals.

DYKSTRA PLEADS NOT GUILTY. Speaking of someone who could have used the chewing tobacco cure, former Phillies star Lenny Dykstra pleaded not guilty in Los Angeles County Superior Court on Monday to charges of possession of human growth hormone and Ecstasy and to operating a large auto fraud scheme. 

Contact Don McKee at dmckee@phillynews.com

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