I was going to pass on the news and notes stuff tonight, but I’m sitting in the press box during the midst of what is now pushing a 90 minute rain delay (and counting), so let’s do some notes, baby! Hell yeah!
We will lead things off with Vince Velasquez, who allowed four homers and failed to finish five complete innings against the Dodgers last night. He showed plus stuff early on and finished the night with seven strikeouts, but he just couldn’t keep the ball in the yard.
Fun fact: Phillies pitchers entered play Wednesday having allowed 20 more homers than any other National League team. In fact, both their starting pitchers and relief pitchers lead the NL in homers allowed.
Anyway, Phillies manager Gabe Kapler says Velasquez will make his next scheduled start against the Pirates this weekend “as of right now.” Translation: Velasquez will start on Sunday.
Kapler also addressed what he saw from Velasquez, who has only completed six full innings once in his 11 starts this season.
“I think it was very, very clear, every fastball that he threw at the top of the zone, no damage. Every time he missed down in the zone, damage,” he said. “That’s the takeaway. It’s really simple. I talked to him about it today.”
Here’s what Gabe means when he says “down in the zone.”
“This is post.” When the CB staff sees Kyle pop into Slack from his sports betting dungeon, there’s typically a free-for-all won by Kinker. Today, reader Matthew Palmer tipped us off to something that really caught Kyle’s attention: a shirtless Joel Embiid walking the streets of Philly. Am I going to fawn over the Sixers’ franchise center in the same way we might find in Kyle Scott’s erotic fan fiction? No.
Here’s the deal. Embiid posted some pictures on Instagram last week and he looked pretty freaking ripped. It’s one thing to stage your own glamour shots. It’s another to put yourself out in public like Embiid did.
Images an analysis of what he’s carrying after the jump:
Sports Betting Updates
Hector Neris blew his second straight save opportunity on Tuesday night when he surrendered a go-ahead three-run homer to Dodgers pinch-hitter Matt Beaty.
Two pitches later, Neris uncorked a 95 mph fastball up and in at David Freese. He was promptly ejected by home plate umpire Chris Conroy. Manager Gabe Kapler came out to argue on his behalf, to no avail, and was also subsequently tossed.
Here’s a funny breakdown of the sequence:
Gabe Kapler gets ejected again after his pitcher throws at a batter after giving up the go-ahead home run, a breakdown pic.twitter.com/1lswIMgaRN
— Jomboy (@Jomboy_) July 17, 2019
Maybe the pitch got away from Neris, maybe it didn’t. It looked intentional to me, but it doesn’t matter what I think because Major League Baseball thinks it was a purpose pitch – one that will cost Neris three games.
The Phillies’ closer, who Kapler called the team’s “best option” during his pregame availability this afternoon, has a 4.08 ERA and 54 strikeouts in 39.2 IP this season but has struggled in July. In six appearances, he has a 9.53 ERA with a 1.765 WHIP.
Neris will appeal his suspension and is available to pitch tonight.
The season’s final major will tee off Thursday afternoon when the 148th Open Championship gets underway Northern Ireland’s Royal Portrush Golf Club. Bettors in Pennsylvania can now get in on the action with PA online sports betting with a $250 deposit match at SugarHouse. Meanwhile, NJ online sportsbooks are offering up tons of great betting action on what figures to be a compelling the tournament.
Royal Portrush is hosting its first Open Championship since 1951 and figures to be a challenging obstacle for much of the field thanks to a lack of familiarity for many.
Will Tiger Woods continue his reemergence and earn his 16th major? Will Rory McIlroy will bear the weight of great expectations in his home country to win his second Open Championship. Perhaps a dark horse will emerge from the field to hoists the Claret Jug come Sunday afternoon. Let’s take a look at what to expect this weekend in our British Open betting preview.
You can find our full preview, after the jump.
Big news here. You can now bet on your iPhone or iPad in PA with SugarHouse Sportsbook.
When PA online sports betting launched, it did so without the ability to bet on iOS thanks to a recent Apple App Store policy update which required new online betting apps submitted to the App Store to be coded natively for iOS and not just a port of the HTML web version. This prevented the current live sportsbooks – SugarHouse, Bet Rivers, and Parx – from offering any iOS betting thus far.
That all changed today.
While there is still no iOS app for SugarHouse in PA, users will be asked to download a third-party app (lightweight) called GeoGuard Location Validator, which is made by GeoComply, the same company that powers sportsbook apps in New Jersey to confirm location, when they sign up for SugarHouse Sportsbook.
How it works
Here are the steps on how to bet on iOS in PA:
- Sign up for SugarHouse Sportsbook if you haven’t already.
- After you register, you’ll confirm your identity and then be prompted to download the GeoGuardLocation App.
- After downloading the app, go back to the web browser and login to SugarHouse.
You must be provide access to your GPS in the app so it can track your location.
I just tried it and it works. The first time my phone did get buggy from within the App Store (which is odd since I was inside an Apple App), but it worked fine after that.
Mobile web workaround
The GeoGuardLocation app appears to ping your phone’s GPS and then perform its own check to validate it– this is then passed along to SugarHouse to confirm you are in Pennsylvania.
It seems it would be easier to just use your phone’s GPS like every other website that asks for permission, but state regulators in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey are a bit more restrictive and require this extra layer of confirmation, hence the delay in online sports betting on iOS in PA.
SugarHouse’s iOS betting in PA
The mobile betting view on iOS is exactly what you would expect, a mobile version of the website. A quick test bet on – checks bet slip – the Braves… worked well.
Some users are reporting a few hiccups after downloading the app and revisiting the site. I received an error message after I did, but was able to ignore it and get to betting.
What about others?
Right now, this fix appears to be limited to SugarHouse. We tried it with Bet Rivers, which is owned by the same company as SugarHouse, but it did not work. Ditto for Parx.
Keep in mind, FanDuel Sportsbook PA is expected to launch later this month with full iOS capability.
Either way, SugarHouse Sportsbook is first to launch on iOS in PA.
Here’s something you don’t see every day.
Over at Philly Magazine, Victor Fiorillo walks us through the farewell festivities for Inquirer/Daily News columnist Stu Bykofsky, who took a buyout after 47 years writing about anything and everything.
During the gathering, a bunch of people got up to serenade Bykofsky and wish him well in the future, blah blah, that sort of stuff. Then this happened, according to Fiorillo:
It was all in good fun. Well, that is until Pulitzer-winning Inquirer architecture critic Inga Saffron was summoned to speak.
Saffron brought up the friendship between Bykofsky and a longtime Philly publishing world character by the name of Ted Beitchman, who has a rather checkered history that includes procuring topless dancers for a party while he held a senior position in Ed Rendell’s mayoral administration and a conviction for tax evasion.
Just as one newspaper editor walked over and whispered something to (columnist Jenice) Armstrong, Saffron invoked The Great Stu Bykofsky Thai Prostitution Controversy of 2011. Or, as Saffron put it, “his infamous column about his taste for child prostitutes in Thailand.”
“This is a total fucking lie,” Bykofsky retorted, his arms crossed, as Armstrong’s concern over the mess became more obvious
Well shit! That escalated quickly.
Here’s the video of that particular exchange, full credit to Philly Mag, after the jump:
I missed this during yesterday’s announcement via Zach Berman, who revealed that he would be joining The Athletic for this coming Eagles’ season.
Sheil Kapadia, who covered the Birds for the site over the past two years, is actually taking a national gig moving forward:
As mentioned in the link below, I'm excited to transition to a national role. Will still be contributing to Eagles coverage, but won't be on the daily beat.
— Sheil Kapadia (@SheilKapadia) July 16, 2019
Good for Sheil. Unfortunately this new role resulted in him having to do an analytic deep dive into Dak Prescott’s career, but I guess it comes with the territory now.
I’m not sure how or when this recent fad started, but everybody is out here sharing photos that have been put through FaceApp’s “old” filter, and the results are great.
If you wanna get in on the action, just download FaceApp, select a picture, and then you can put a bunch of filters on your face, such as old, young, glasses, bangs, etc. And whatever with the security concerns; if the Russians steal your photos, so what? Sports teams and other brands are latching on to this craze and presenting us with great images, such as these from the Eagles:
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) July 16, 2019
Here are some more good ones, after the jump, starting with Doug Pederson: