Posts for Teams Category

Bryce Harper Sits on the Iron Throne

Kevin Kinkead - March 18, 2019

Well, it’s not really the Iron Throne. It’s a throne of baseball bats, so it’s wooden, but Bryce Harper is doing his best Jon Snow/Game of Thrones crossover acting job here, a promotion for the MLB: The Show video game.

Here’s Bryce as a #playstationambassador –

Game of Thrones returns soon, April 14th. I’m pretty excited about that. NBA playoffs, warmer weather, and GOT? Inject that into my veins, as they say.

Haloti Ngata Climbs Mountain, Retires

Kevin Kinkead - March 18, 2019

Free agent defensive tackle Haloti Ngata was not returning to the Eagles in 2019, but that’s official now that the 35-year-old announced his retirement from atop Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania:

Ngata was over there with Chris Long and the other Waterboys folks who work to bring clean water to East African communities.

Haloti played 13 games for the Eagles in his final NFL year, finishing with 17 tackles, one sack, a forced fumble, and four stuffs. He played 368 snaps, which was second among defensive tackles and accounted for about 35% of the Birds’ defensive snaps.

We got him at the end of his career, but Ngata was an elite 3-4 lineman with the Ravens, where he won a Super Bowl and earned five Pro Bowl honors.

This is a good idea for retirement, a way to go out “on top,” literally. Someday I will announce my retirement from atop Hawk Mountain in Berks County.

Carlos Santana Didn’t Appreciate Phillies Teammates Playing “Fortnite” During Baseball Games

Kevin Kinkead - March 18, 2019

Let’s get something out of the way:

Fortnite sucks. It’s just a bad game.

Okay, now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, Jeff Passan has a crazy article at ESPN describing ex-Phillies 1st baseman Carlos Santana and an incident in where he smashed a TV with a baseball bat because his teammates were playing that God awful, overrated, trash game during actual baseball games.

Writes Passan:

When the Philadelphia Phillies lost their ninth consecutive game toward the end of last September, veteran first baseman Carlos Santana felt like he needed to send a message to his teammates who he said spent portions of the game against the Atlanta Braves playing video games in the clubhouse. Santana grabbed a bat, retreated to the room at Citizens Bank Park where the gaming took place and smashed the TV to ensure there would be no more “Fortnite” the final two days of the season.

“I see a couple players — I don’t want to say names — they play video games during the game,” Santana told ESPN. “We come and lose too many games, and I feel like they weren’t worried about it. Weren’t respecting their teammates or coaches or the staff or the [front] office. It’s not my personality. But I’m angry because I want to make it good.”

….

To avoid a similar situation this year, sources told ESPN, (Gabe) Kapler convened 13 players — a mixture of veterans and others considered leaders — and asked them to outline a policy that will include players coming out for the national anthem and pitchers remaining in the dugout during games.

There are quotes from Jake Arrieta later in the story that describe the in-game Fortnite sessions as not being a “consistent theme,” so it sounds like this was not some season-long epidemic, just something that happened towards the end of the year when the Phils were eliminated from playoff contention.

A few thoughts, after the jump:

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A Weekend of Winning – Observations from the Kings and Bucks Victories

Kevin Kinkead - March 18, 2019

The Sixers now own road wins over the 52-18 Milwaukee Bucks and 47-21 Golden State Warriors, which is pretty damn good.

Fantastic victory Sunday afternoon, and one they really needed. They didn’t need just any old win, since they’ve now ripped off four straight, but what they needed was a statement win, a solid W against a top-four Eastern Conference squad to build confidence and show the greater NBA community that maybe this team does have what it takes to get out of round two. This win was good for the mental health of Philly sports fans, writers, radio hosts, and their spouses. It will give us two days of a natural high until Boston comes to town Wednesday night with the Sixers returning home on the second night of a back-to-back.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. Let’s talk about the pair of weekend wins, which I’ve wrapped into one Monday morning post, honestly because I was exhausted on Saturday morning and needed to recharge the batteries.

I re-watched the final eight minutes of the Bucks game this morning, and this is what jumped out to me:

  • I liked Brett Brown’s timeout around the eight minute mark, which paused and essentially reset the game when the Sixers failed to snag a couple of loose balls after bricking one three pointer off the side of the backboard and air balling another.
  • Joel did take too many three-pointers, and the one that stood out to me was when Giannis tried a three around the 7 minute mark and he followed suit with his own attempt on the other end. After that miss, on the very next possession, he went to the rack for a spin move, and-1, to extend the lead back to nine. He dialed it back when it mattered, and then went back to the arc for the clutch shot near the end of the game.
  • Incredibly difficult stuff was going down for Jimmy Butler. A step back 22-footer? Driving straight into Giannis? That’s elite, high-level execution.
  • I also liked Brett’s timeout at the 4:28 mark, when Pat Connaughton answered Butler three with a three of his own. That was another “let’s kill off momentum and manage the game” type of timeout.
  • Most of what the Sixers were running down the stretch was simple pick and roll and some half court iso. They didn’t go to their typical elbow or ’12’ sets, not that I saw. They did go to a horns set where Ben was blocked off before getting to the rim, resulting in a Jimmy Butler 12 footer that was missed. They ran it again, this time with the elbow curl, around the 1:15 mark.
  • Sloppy turnover with Joel looking for JJ backdoor when the offense turned into a two-man set around the 2:30 mark. That was the only poor possession they had down the stretch.
  • The Embiid ball-fake and drawn foul was ridiculous and totally killed off Milwaukee momentum after a pair of Khris Middleton threes.
  • After Giannis dunked all over Simmons and called him a “fucking baby,” Simmons stuffed a putback dunk in his face. What an outrageous sequence that was. I’m really happy the refs kept the whistles silent and didn’t go for any technicals there. Let grown men play a grown man sport.
  • I originally had no clue what was going on with the pair of timeouts under two minutes, because the broadcast just sat on this camera shot of the Sixers’ bench for 10 seconds. I’m not sure the broadcast crew realized that Philly used a second timeout to advance the ball, which I guess was a smart move considering the fact that they couldn’t make it past half court on the most recent play. In that case, you forfeit that second timeout later to help yourself now.
  • Just a random asterisk type of note here, but Malcolm Brogdon is a good defender and his absence does make a difference out there.

I highly doubt that Milwaukee shoots 16-50 from three again. Nikola Mirotic probably isn’t chucking up another 0-6 night anytime soon.

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Bryce Harper Lives!

Russ Joy - March 17, 2019

While sitting at church this morning, I contemplated the fates of our Philly teams as of late: Nick Foles is officially gone; the Flyers have been all-but-officially eliminated from postseason contention; within a six-hour period this afternoon/evening the Sixers could fall to 0-2 against the Bucks and the Union could drop to 0-3 on the season when they take on the defending-MLS champion Atlanta United; oh yeah, Bryce Harper nearly had his foot/ankle shattered by some punk… The bright green of the Phanatic and orange of Gritty had faded to dull grey and sepia tones… Everything appeared to have been lost.

Well, hear ye, hear ye! On this Second Sunday of Lent, our [Phillies] savior is risen! Perhaps it’s the luck of the Irish, but here we are.

LOOK AT HIM! LOOK. AT. HIM.

The height of the jumps, the fluidity of his motion. It’s unprecedented. Anyway, he worked a solid first at-bat and… struck out looking. There’s still time.

Gabe Kapler’s Tribute to a Fan Shows He’s Got a Good Heart

Russ Joy - March 16, 2019

I know we often make light of the Philly sports landscape and I’m all here for it. But sometimes a story tugs at your heartstrings and this is certainly one of them. Phillies’ manager Gabe Kapler took to Twitter on Friday evening and paid tribute to a South Jersey fan, Matt Vecere, who was one of eight Americans who perished in the crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 208 that left all 157 people aboard dead:

Many of you heard the way I learned about Bryce’s signing. Fans sitting behind our dugout shared the news as they were checking their phones.

One of those fans was Matt Vecere. I know his name because two of his friends reached out to me. They told me how Matt shouted out to me “bat him third and he’ll give you 90 runs.” They reached out because Matt was one of the 157 people killed on board Ethiopian Airlines 302.

Matt was going to Kenya for the United Nations Environment Assembly. Matt was passionate about getting air and water filters to underprivileged communities and had a particular love for Haiti after doing work there over many years.

To honor Matt, I’m asking that you consider doing something for a cause Matt cared about. His mother described those as “the environment, civil rights, social and environmental justice, and advocating for those less fortunate.”

Baseball brings people together, but Matt strove for bigger causes than what we do every day. As he loved the Phillies, I hope the community can return that love.

This is one of those times where someone with a real platform in a position of power – as much power as sports management has at least – has put out a genuine tribute following a tragic event in an effort to inspire goodwill among the local community. Hopefully his call to action will lead to some charitable work from Phillies Nation.

DeSean Jackson Rings Bell Before Sixers Game

BWanksCB - March 15, 2019

Hello, friends! I hope you’re enjoying this positively resplendent weather bestowed upon us by Mother Nature this Friday evening. I’m currently sitting on my deck while enjoying many an adult beverage.

It’s truly glorious.

Anyway, I break from my evening to share this *very important* story. Old/New Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson rang the bell prior to tonight’s Sixers game against the Kings:

All the feels. All of them. Enjoy the rest of your night, and go Sixers! Ideally, by 11 or more points.

Ronald Darby Returning to the Eagles

Kevin Kinkead - March 15, 2019

It’s a one-year deal:

With his return, the Eagles’ cornerback situation now looks something like this heading into 2019:

  • Darby
  • Jalen Mills
  • Rasul Douglas
  • Cre’Von LeBlanc
  • Sidney Jones
  • Avonte Maddox

Have a nice weekend!