Well holy shit. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has ruled that Meek Mill be released on bail. Better yet, Sixers co-owner Michael Rubin is picking him up from jail, according to TMZ.
By my calculations, this should give them plenty of time to get down to The Center for Game 5.
Building is going to be so lit.
Michael Rubin, Sixers co-owner, said Joel Embiid called him and was “going crazy, dancing in bed” at the Meek Mill news.
— Daniel Victor (@bydanielvictor) April 24, 2018
Just spoke to Sixers co-owner Michael Rubin. He said it’s “more likely than not” Meek Mill will attend Game 5 tonight, and he’ll ring the ceremonial bell pre-game if he can get there in time.
— Daniel Victor (@bydanielvictor) April 24, 2018
I almost feel bad for the Heat. Almost.
So it would appear that former WIP Afternoon host Chris Carlin is shifting roles again.
Carlin left WIP last year to take over for Mike Francesa at WFAN, where he is joined by Maggie Gray and Bart Scott in the afternoon. Their show is not doing well, and an insider I talked to referred to it as a trainwreck. So cue Francesa, who is reportedly coming back, according to Newsday:
Saying “it is time to return to WFAN,” Mike Francesa told Newsday on Tuesday morning that after four months away from the station he is ready for a comeback.
Francesa declined to elaborate on what form his return might take, but a person at WFAN with knowledge of the plan said he likely would reclaim a portion of his old afternoon drive time slot, from 3 to 7 p.m. It is not clear when that would occur.
It sounds like Carlin, Gray and Scott could be moved a 1-3 p.m. time slot, leading into Francesa.
Last month, Carlin took exception when Francesa joined his former co-host Chris Russo – Carlin used to produce their show – and the pair made fun of the current WFAN lineup.
Carlin subtweeted the shit out of this story on Twitter this morning:
How’s everybody’s day going so far?
— Chris Carlin (@ChrisCarlin) April 24, 2018
My phone just melted.
— Chris Carlin (@ChrisCarlin) April 24, 2018
My thought: This seems to be a trend in sports talk radio. It turns out Philly isn’t the only market longing for better days in many time slots. It turns out that the younger, ostensibly hipper hosts aren’t always better. Part of the problem is listeners get comfortable with a longtime voice, and the other part is that the new generation of hosts has largely come up trying to emulate an old host, whose shitck was either original or crafted by the years of actual experience covering a team. Now, many radio hosts grow up wanting to become radio hosts– they have no experience on which to draw, and rather just try to do their best version of the guy they’re replacing. That seems to be what we have here.
The Sixers can finish the job at home tonight, and it’ll probably be more interesting than Andre Iguodala hitting a pair of free throws against the Derrick Rose-less Chicago Bulls.
I’m intrigued to see how Miami comes out after losing both games at home. Do we see utter lethargy and despair? I don’t know. Maybe those guys are thinking, “hey, listen, we won the last game in Philly, so let’s give it a go.”
What I do know is that your 76ers should be frothing at the mouth to finish off the Heat and turn attention to the Boston/Milwaukee matchup, a 2-2 series with neither team looking like a world beater thus far.
What to watch for tonight:
Confession: I totally forgot about the NFL Draft.
I guess it doesn’t feel as important this time around because the defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles don’t necessarily have a ton of holes to fill. This isn’t 2016, when Howie Roseman “mortgaged the future” (successfully) for a franchise quarterback. This isn’t 2017, when the Birds had a top-15 pick and the draft was held on the Art Museum steps. In 2018, it’s more placid than urgent as Howie and Joe Douglas head to Arlington with the 32nd overall pick and not much beyond that.
Here’s what they’re currently working with:
- Round 1, pick 32
- Round 4, pick 130 (from the Eric Rowe trade)
- Round 4, pick 132
- Round 5, pick 156 (from the Matt Tobin trade)
- Round 5, pick 169
- Round 6, pick 206
Seems like people think the Birds might trade out of the first round and swing that pick to someone else instead.
What say you? Good idea? Bad idea? Don’t care one way or another?
This pretty much says it all:
— Tom Steinfort (@tomsteinfort) April 24, 2018
There was an excellent piece on Giannis a few weeks ago, so my guess is this will follow a similar road and take us back to Simmons’ home in Australia (Steinfort is based there) and through his progressions as “the next LeBron.” Somewhere, Donovan Mitchell readies himself a shirt. May I suggest:
UPDATE: So apparently this will only air in Australia, which I wasn’t even aware was a possibility. But you’ll most likely be able to find it online. We’ll post a link once it’s available.
Gabe Kapler is riding high.
After a four-game winning streak, the boos that washed over Kapler during his first week as manager have subsided, freeing the skipper to thrive in his natural state: haberdashery.
Kapler challenged convention again last night by visiting a Reading Fightins game live and in-person, wearing the most fuck-off hat these eyes have ever seen:
— Reading Eagle Sports (@RE_sports) April 24, 2018
Holy shit he’s the modern-day Ira Lowenstein from A League of Their Own*:
Say, where’s Mr. Wrigley?
Kapler is so comfortable is his tightly-formed skin that it almost makes me feel insignificant. I think twice about what I’m wearing before I take the trash out, worrying about my gait and the manner with which I shut the lid of the oversized can. Meanwhile, Kapler shows up to an all-eyes-on venue dressed like Jason Bourne fucked a Mossad agent. He could kill you… or just tell you the chances of success when swinging at an outside curveball on a 1-2 count, and then guide you through the finer points of stroking your egg-ham under the warm summer sun. Fascinating.
Anyway, the players were thrilled (gripped by fear?) to see him. From The Reading Eagle:
The players, of course, were caught by surprise when Kapler strolled through for a pregame meet-and-greet.
“That was an incredible gesture,” said Legg. “He made them all feel special. The boys really dug it. It was a great moment.”
The Fightins carried that feeling onto the field, stroking three homers in an 8-4 Eastern League win over Akron.
No doubt there was a special feel to game No. 18 out of a scheduled 140.
“Obviously, it sparks you a little bit,” said Fightins center fielder Zach Coppola, who opened the game with a double, and later smashed full speed into the outfield fence chasing a fly ball. “It makes you want to play well.”
Indeed, there was a special energy on the field.
Shortstop Malquin Canelo chased down ground balls like he was the “Wizard of Oz.” He even smacked a homer his first time up.
Zach Green and Deivi Grullon also homered, Grullon’s blast landing 447 feet away in left-center.
“I’m sure it gave us a little bit of a lift,” said Reading third baseman Damek Tomscha. “You don’t want to go out there and not perform well, so you had a little extra reason to do well.”
That, and also because a quick glance from Kapler could have you swiftly removed from this Earth by a team of plain-clothed assassins who watched just the right amount of mob movies when they were young. Be bold.
*David Strathairn is excellent in Billions as Black Jack Foley. His drawl is perfect. He does old-timey elitist better than anyone. I want to rent him out for outdoor gatherings and have him just comment on my cocktails.
Shout out to Sixers Reddit user “ank1613,” who compiled a “master key” of Marc Zumoff play-by-play calls.
I quadruple checked the list and almost everything is in there. A few more suggestions popped up in the comments section below this chart:
Tonight may be your last opportunity to hear these calls for a long time, since the local broadcasts disappear if the Sixers make it to the Eastern Conference semifinals. Then you’ll be forced to listen to the national broadcast or put the TV on mute instead.
Tonight could mark the Sixers’ first series win since 2012, when they knocked off the #1 seed Chicago Bulls in six games:
At that time, it was their first playoff series win since 2003. The Sixers weren’t expected to win the series, let alone even a game. They got lucky with the injury to Derrick Rose in Game 1.
The atmosphere in the building that night was incredible, even for a team that was about to undergo one of the most scrutinized yet smartest plans the league has ever seen.
Fast forward six years. The Sixers, as a three seed, have a chance to wrap up a series many thought they would win. Instead of Jrue Holiday, Andre Iguodala, and Spencer Hawes, the Sixers are led by Ben Simmons, Robert Covington, and church-goer Joel Embiid. What a transformation.
Unlike the 2012 team, this one is young and still growing. This won’t be their peak. They could actually win the Eastern Conference given the other playoff series going on and the losses suffered by Boston. Just take a look at FiveThirtyEight:
Kyle: Think about that for a moment– the Sixers have a better chance to win the championship than the Warriors. Regardless of injuries, that’s hard to fathom at this point.
But they have to win this game tonight to continue their journey. They can’t have 26 turnovers like they did on Saturday, even if they do make a strong comeback in the fourth quarter. With the home fans behind them, the Sixers should have a huge advantage. But anything can happen, just ask Dwyane Wade and his Game 2 performance.
8 PM on NBC Sports Philadelphia and TNT. Let’s have some fun tonight. It’s our time now.
The Roundup: Continue Reading