It’s another summer Friday, so we turn it over to you for a mailbag post.

Seems so. Is there a move out there that makes them better than the Jimmy Butler team? Or the #1 seed that lost to the Hawks in the second round? I’m not sure there is, at least not this season.

The problem with the James Harden situation is that if you let him walk, there’s no obvious path to improving the team. If you can flip him in a Damian Lillard trade and somehow keep Tyrese Maxey, sure, but everything out there feels like a lateral move otherwise. Would Fred VanVleet in free agency have been an improvement? Don’t think so. Zion? Don’t think so.

That’s why we’ve been trying to talk ourselves into the idea of running it back, and whether or not that does anything for anyone. My personal thought is that this most recent Sixers team had enough talent to get to the Conference Finals, but not enough dawg/heart/grit, so if Nick Nurse can do anything to improve the latter, there might be a chance, but we’re not holding our breath.

Not really, no. WIP is handling 97.5 the Fanatic with little resistance and we no longer have hosts ready to strangle each other, so we are currently in a time of peace. The most interesting radio topic right now is how a younger generation of hosts resonates in a post-Angelo, post-Mikey Miss era. There’s been a significant changing of the guard at both stations and you hear a lot of new voices, especially on the weekend.

Never. They will stay as long as they are beating Gargano, who happens to be the best-performing host at 97.5 in the men age 25-54 demographic.

Why not? The Phillies have Major League Baseball’s fourth-highest payroll. John Middleton is an ambitious owner. They went out and got Bryce Harper and Trea Turner on huge contracts, so is there anything philosophically that would preclude them from pursuing baseball’s best player in a generation?

Ohtani turns 29 next year and becomes a free agent after earning $30 million this year. You’ve seen the reports that he could command $500 million or more. What does that look like? Well, Harper got $330 million over 13, taking him to age 39. Turner got $300 million over 11, taking him to age 40. Would you give Ohtani $500 million over 11, also taking him to age 40? That’s 45 million per season, and a few million more than MLB’s highest-paid guys in 2023 (Scherzer, Verlander, Judge). Or would you offer something like $250 million on a shorter term, giving him upward of $45 million per?

The key issue, and the thing that makes this so difficult to determine, is that Ohtani will stop being a two-way guy at some point. So then what? You’re either throwing in a couple of opt outs or just going short-term with a ridiculous AAV and focusing on getting two-way Ohtani in his prime. Too many questions though. Can you put a trigger in the contract if he stops pitching? What does he even want? It’s hard to determine what a contract looks like because we haven’t seen a player like this, ever. It really is fascinating.

It’s a little cringe to think about guys like Sergio Busquets and Jorbi Alba joining Messi in Miami, but yeah, it’s absolutely a good thing for the league. Think about all of the international eyeballs that will be on Major League Soccer, and the momentum that will create.

Remember, when David Beckham came here 15 years ago, the league created new rules to get bigger players here on bigger dollar amounts. That really pushed us into MLS 3.0 and kicked off a spree of big name signings (David Villa, Frank Lampard, etc). It also spurred significant investment in youth development, which has seen incredible return across the league. Messi is Beckham in the sense that his arrival ushers in a new era. He takes us from MLS 3.0 to MLS 4.0 or higher.

The Phillies just need to get Schwarber out of left field. If that means Harper playing first, fine, if not, then another everyday bat who can make that a reality. They need a bat more than starting pitching right now, because the top four have been throwing much better and the fifth guy won’t even be used in the playoffs. Only thing I’d say is that Andrew Painter remains off limits and untouchable. Could use another middle-innings reliever as well.

And the Union need a 3rd striker like nobody has ever needed a striker before. Cory Burke was a HUGE loss. Mikael Uhre has not had a good year and Julian Carranza is carrying the load up front.

Will focus on the Eagles since we talked about Ohtani earlier.

I’m inclined to agree with Scorpiolord in a general sense. Getting back to the Super Bowl does not happen often, and the Eagles are really green in some key defensive spots, but the NFC is not very good. Dallas will choke like they always do. Nobody should worry about Daniel Jones. Washington stinks. Who are you really worried about in this conference? Aaron Rodgers is gone. The Vikings are perennial underachievers. Detroit is a fad. The Bears blow. The South is mid. San Francisco and Seattle are good, but the best quarterbacks play in the AFC. Mahomes, Burrow, Allen, Herbert, Rodgers – all in the AFC now. Even Lamar Jackson if you want to throw him in the group. Trevor Lawrence as well.

There’s no reason the Eagles can’t win 12+ games again this year. The first part of the schedule is easy.