Not a great weekend for the Phillies, dropping two of three to the woeful Braves. Aaron Nola looked highly mediocre on Friday night, a claim I can verify based on my highly affordable outstanding Diamond Club seat (under $100 on the secondary market). No offense on Saturday. And finally, a win on Sunday. Regardless of the “struggles,” the Phillies are 25-19 and still among the best pitching teams in baseball. EXAMPLE (he left out Jard Eickhoff):
Phillies Velazquez/Nola troika:162 IP 7.17 H/9 3.06 ERA 37 BB 166 K
Really Good, by the way
— Peter Gammons (@pgammo) May 23, 2016
Fun series coming up from Detroit this week.
Let’s hit it!
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All the talk this weekend – and last week – centered on the Sixers, whom they’ll select with their pick, and where the rebuild goes from here.
As always, a good person to start with is Derek Bodner, who argues the Sixers shouldn’t bother drafting for “fit” just yet:
Fit will become an extremely important topic of conversation over the next few weeks/months/years. We, as a media collective and fan base, have mostly tabled the fit conversation over the last few years as the team searched for its transformative star. That’s not the way it’s always going to be, however, as in time how pieces fit together will have a profound impact on success, both individual player success and team success as a whole.
Drafting at #1 overall is not the time to start worrying about fit. And you certainly don’t draft a perimeter player because you don’t currently have much perimeter talent. History has shown that teams overhaul their rosters when they find a player to build around. The players you’re currently scheming to complement, those holes you’re looking to fill, aren’t likely to be relevant in three years, and they shouldn’t be relevant to the current decision.
The Sixers, as of now, do not have that player you can build around with confidence. Whether it’s Jahlil Okafor‘s defensive deficiencies, which right now create a canyon of separation between his skill level and his impact, Nerlens Noel‘s offensive limitations, or Joel Embiid‘s pesky right foot, the Sixers don’t have that player you can construct your roster around with confidence.
So don’t pass up on a player who *can* be that player to build around in order to fit with imperfect, and unreliable, preexisting pieces.
The good news is that Process-hating old-timers can’t get bent out of shape by either Simmons or Ingram. Simmons is the better prospect, though, and honestly, who cares if he is or isn’t a diva?
The other topic is whether or not the Sixers should trade Jahlil Okafor. It’s a simple notion that boils down to: Are you confident Joel Embiid is healthy? By all accounts, he has the highest ceiling of Okafor-Noel-Embiid, but he’s also the highest-risk given his consecutive foot injuries. I have no problem with trading Okafor, but I think you need to wait and find out if Embiid can play a full season first. If so, trade him next year for a top pick in what projects to be a deeper draft.
The Process is dead. Sort of. From CSN Philly:
Avert your eyes, Sam Hinkie and all of his devout followers.
“Everybody is thinking about winning, as opposed to prolonging the rebuilding process,” Colangelo said. “We’re really moving from that rebuilding and stripping down to a building process. We’re going to do things that put us in a position to win basketball games more so than collect future assets.”
With that, Colangelo put the final nail in The Process. Three years of dreadful basketball, if you can whatever they played over that span actual basketball, are finally over, according the new Sixers GM.
But putting together a winning team is not an overnight process, no pun intended.
With the first pick in the upcoming draft, the Sixers have the opportunity to start building a winning team.
I don’t get how most of the Philly media – including the Process-hating old-timers – don’t understand the connection between what the Sixers are about to start doing and what Sam Hinkie did. The media is fawing over Bryan Colangelo because
he gave them a few quotes professes to attempt to start winning, but everyone completely misses the fact that Jahlil Okafor, Nerlens Noel, Joel Embiid, Dario Saric (?), that number one pick which will be used to draft Ben Simmons, and all the cap space, are here only because of Hinkie’s tanking. Everyone who hated the concept of tanking now loves the fact that the Sixers are well-positioned to become great. It’s like bizarro analyzing. How does everyone miss this? To that point, what Colangelo is doing is not putting an end to the Process– he’s simply taking it to its logical next step. Now, you can argue whether or not you thought Hinkie was the guy to do that (especially when you consider the damage he did to his relationships around the league), but yelling about the losing rings hollow and makes you sound like an idiot. These things are directly related. To love the number pick and Joel Embiid, is to love the Process.
Strong work here by CSN…
— Kevin O'Connor (@KOConnorJr) May 21, 2016
— Philly.com Sports (@phillysport) May 23, 2016
I’m not sure you can get much more vanilla on Twitter than this. Explains how? They won 5-0. It’s not complicated. Without overstating it, the problem with old school media, particularly in this town, is that they’ve had a complete failure, from their business model to marketing. You routinely see Tweets like this from Philly.com and CSN which either provide no incentive to click, or rope you in with dumb, disconnected clickbait written by people who clearly didn’t read the article to which they’re tweeting a link. On more than a few occasions I’ve seen writers complain about feedback to their article based solely on a misleading headline or Tweet (which they had nothing to do with). I’m sorry, I’m needlessly worked up over this.
Here’s a good idea: Secret Philly, from Billy Penn. In this case an article about little-known tennis courts on a rooftop.
Of course, I will read this Daily News article:
The new second-base slide rules are suffocating the game. So many slides reviewed, so much confusion, so much legislation. Just brutal.
— Scott Miller (@ScottMillerBbl) May 23, 2016
I agree. The Chase Utley rule (and the slide rule at home) is a knee-jerk overreaction spawned by the overly PC crowd trying to liken infrequent leg injuries in baseball to concussions in football and hockey. Sports inherently involve some risk of injury. Some plays more than others. But that doesn’t mean you should totally do away with everything that involves some increased risk. The Chase Utley rule is one of those. A slide at second is not a devastating blow over the middle in the football, or a hit from behind in hockey. It’s a play, long a part of the game, that puts a middle infielder’s knee in some low-level of peril. So be it. Now, if a runner – perhaps Chase… – goes so wildly out of his way to take out an opposing player, then yeah, suspend him. But reviewing every hard slide or unavoidable collision is laughable, and only exacerbates the pace of play problems. To that extent, there’s nothing inherently wrong with reviewing plays (I applaud it!), but just have them do it in New York and signal the decision to umpires. The show of having some guy – is he paid hourly? – run onto the field with a headset contraption and then have umps stare at the scoreboard while ultimately taking cues from the minds in New York in a much better position to make the right call is a complete waste of time. Both the NFL and MLB keep up this charade that it has to be the official on the field. At least hockey concedes that the referee is just taking his cue from the league office… even if the headset is overkill.
Hey, the Phils made good on that bat and ball set offer, which wasn’t supposed to be fulfilled until August:
— threwouttime (@threwouttime) May 20, 2016
If this were the Sixers, they would’ve sold the bat and ball sets that they received early, dumped the money into a high-risk small market cap fund, collected the capital gains, repurchased the bat and balls at a better negotiated price, offered the manufacturer some on-court sponsorship, and then called fans to come pick up their giveaways after they sit through a three-minute season ticket sales pitch threatening that prices would go up.
The executive director of the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus called for an investigation by Major League Baseball and the San Diego Padres after a woman’s voice singing the “Star Spangled Banner” was played over the public address system while members of the chorus were on the field to sing the national anthem Saturday at Petco Park.
Bob Lehman called on the San Diego City Attorney’s Office and San Diego Human Relations Commission to look into the incident.
“What should have been a night of joy and celebration at Petco Park last night instead turned into a nightmare, raising serious questions about homophobia within the San Diego Padres organization and its relationship with the LGBT community,” Lehman said in the lengthy statement Sunday.
Lehman said that no attempts were made to stop the recording and allow the 100 volunteers from the chorus to sing the anthem. When the recording ended, the chorus members were escorted off the field to heckling from some “fans shouting homophobic taunts, including ‘You sing like a girl,'” he said.
Temple paid $1 million in rent to the Eagles for the 2015 season to play in Lincoln Financial Field, plus a fee for stadium operations.
When Temple’s lease runs out in 2017, the Eagles want to increase the rent to $2 million plus $12 million up front for a new 30-year lease.
I’d be interested to know what Villanova pays to use the Wells Fargo Center. Maybe they’ll get the National Champion discount this year?
At what point did we just start calling karaoke a lip-sync battle? Not to say this wouldn’t be better is Nelson Agholor wasn’t actually singing:
— LincolnFinancialFld (@LFFStadium) May 22, 2016
The arm flap doesn’t always look cheesy, but Wentz brings it to a new level:
— NFL (@NFL) May 21, 2016
Two words you don’t hear too much: Blimp investigation.
SugarHouse now has even more areas for you to angrily lose your money.
As part of a remodel of Terminal B at PHL, people waiting for flights will have an insane amount of access to USB ports to charge their devices. They can also get food delivered to them.
The site of the new Museum of the American Revolution was riddled with artifacts from a dude who ran an illegal bar in his house in the 1770s.
For the first time since 2009, the Wawa Welcome America parade will be Roots-less.
The guy who tried to bring a giant water slide to Philly this summer is surprised that Philly is a harder place to get things done than someplace like Tulsa.
Wawa plans on remodeling 200 “legacy stores,” retiring the gradient sun goose once and for all.
Activists are already getting their permits to do their thing during the Democratic National Convention in July, surely making much of the Center City area un-visitable.
THIS. IS. STILL. HAPPENING.
Tom Brady official appeal petition will come at 3 pm today. 1 argument: Goodell ignored the schedule of penalties & there is no basis for it
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) May 23, 2016
Lenny Dykstra’s twitter account has not disappointed, weird videos aside:
Would I have made a good Gronkowski, Baldwin, Wahlberg or Kardashian?
— Lenny Dykstra (@LennyDykstra) May 22, 2016
By the way, I just remembered that Mickey Rourke still owes me 30 grand. Believe that!
— Lenny Dykstra (@LennyDykstra) May 23, 2016
Reminder that we’ll be at NewMediaStudios on June 9. Email me if you want to come.
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