September 15, 2017
By: Steve Degler
The 2017 baseball season was definitely a fun one to cover at TV2 Sports. While they fell short of a third straight Eastern League playoff appearance, the Reading Fightin Phils put together another solid season. And they should feature a stable of quality young pitchers to watch in 2018.
While the IronPigs season ended in disappointing fashion with a second straight opening-round playoff loss to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, 2017 will be one to remember. Certainly we can play the "what-if" game? But we knew the Phillies roster would be in a state of flux all season and that IronPigs players would be moving on to the big leagues. That's the goal for each guy. And the Phillies want their players to improve and force their way to Philadelphia. The organization's goal is not to win the Governor's Cup championship every year. If it happens, great. And one of these seasons, it will happen.
It is now time to transition to hockey. And we are not easing into it. This was a busy week as the Flyers and Phantoms gear up for another season. Tuesday brought a trip to Voorhees, NJ, to visit rookie camp at Flyers Skate Zone. It was nice to see some of the guys who wore the Lehigh Valley uniform last year. And it was great to also get a sneak peek at several players we may see in the Lehigh Valley in the near future.
Wednesday was another day on the road. The trip was a little shorter, but the traffic wasn't any more cooperative. It was off to the Wells Fargo Center in Philly for the rookie game between the Flyers and the Islanders. What an atmosphere for a game on September 13!! The crowd was estimated in the range of 12,000+. The Flyers fell in overtime but the fans got their first glimpse of 2017 second overall draft pick Nolan Patrick. Oskar Lindblom and Mark Friedman both had impressive performances and Alex Lyon and Carter Hart were solid in net. The Flyers have built a very solid core of talented, young players.
PPL Center was the stop on Thursday. Former Flyer Brad Marsh was in town to talk about next week's NHL preseason game between the Islanders and Flyers in center city Allentown. Marsh, who is president of the Flyers Alumni Executive Board, said he and his fellow Flyer alums would like to hold an alumni game in Allentown at some point. Reading has hosted such an event the last two seasons. It would be fantastic to get some of the all-time Flyer greats on skates at the PPL Center someday. Let's hope it happens.
We really don't have an "off-season" at Service Electric. As one season ends, it's time to move full throttle into the next one. The Phantoms season opener is Saturday, October 7, against the Hershey Bears. As always, you can watch all of the fantastic action exclusively on TV2 Sports.