Audio: Charles Barkley On Manti Te'o: We Can't Just Be Making Up Words When Somebody Is a Damn Idiot

Audio: Charles Barkley On Manti Te'o: We Can't Just Be Making Up Words When Somebody Is a Damn Idiot

Sir Charles Barkley was a guest of Mike Missanelli on 97.5 the Fanatic yesterday afternoon and it was a truly awesome 20 minutes of radio. Chuck was in town to call the Sixers-Spurs game on Monday night for TNT, so the two talk quite a bit about that. But as always with Charles, the topic of conversation was wonderfully all over the place.

"I love these people. I came here as a little teeny bopper and played here for eight great years. It was great to be back and see the excitement in the building," Barkley said of being back in town, despite complaining of the frigid temperatures.

Some highlights below.

Would he work to re-sign Andrew Bynum?

"No. I can't give him money. He's been hurt. First off all he's a very good player, I don't know him, but he seems like a nice kid. You can't stay healthy. He's only going to get older and even if he came back and played great for the next two months, I still wouldn't give him $100 million. Now, if he's willing to take one year and put some incentive bonuses in there, I'd consider that. I can't give him a longterm deal."

Would other teams give him a longterm deal?

"No. I don't. The guy can't stay healthy. Would you give him $15 million dollars?"

On Dei Lynam tying his tie… [video]

"Oh, no, no no. I know how to tie a tie. Dei was apologizing to me for her father trading me. See, her dad traded me. So every time Dei sees me, she goes above with her kindness because she feels bad her dad traded me away."

On Chip Kelly…

"I don't think anybody can like or dislike it. We've got to see is he going to run that offense that'll get his quarterback killed? That'll be the question. We've already almost killed RGIII. You're going to get your quarterback hurt if you run him that much.

On Ray Lewis turning into "Saint Ray"

"I'm a big Ray Lewis fan. You have to admire the guy as a football player. All this crying and stuff is starting to aggravate Chuck a little bit. Let me explain why, and I've said the same thing before. I don't like when guys start talking about God because God don't have no favorite team. I'm pretty sure God likes Tom Brady. You won because your team played better. I said the same thing last year about Tebow. God don't like Tim Tebow more than he do other players. I always get a little upset when guys talk about God all the time."

And perhaps his best line of the whole interview, in regards to Manti Te'o:

"I'm going to say some racial stuff right now. And it's not racist, but you've got to listen to me. It's different when you're black and when you're white. If you're black, you're a cook. If you're white, you're a chef. If you're black, you're a gang member, if you're white, you're in the mob. If you're black you're a stone damn idiot, and if you're white y'all give it names like 'Catfish' now. Y'all can't just be making up words when somebody is a damn idiot, man. When somebody is a damn idiot y'all have to call him an idiot."

Charles also touched on his friend Lance Armstrong talking on Oprah, went further in depth on Manti's story and how it worked to his favor in the Heisman voting, and Tiger Woods wanting to get back together with his ex-wife, and Chuck also talks about how awful he has been at betting NFL football games the past few weeks. It's worth your time to listen to Sir Charles preach. Full audio here.

Tonight's lineup: Odubel Herrera leads off for first time in 84 games

Tonight's lineup: Odubel Herrera leads off for first time in 84 games

A day after going 0 for 5 with five strikeouts, Odubel Herrera is leading off for the Phillies in their series opener Friday night against the Reds (see game notes).

It's the first time Herrera is leading off since last Aug. 19, a span of 84 games.

Cesar Hernandez gets the night off, with Andres Blanco batting second and playing second.

Maikel Franco is back in the six-hole after going 1 for 5 with two strikeouts in the cleanup spot Thursday. Tommy Joseph bats fourth and Michael Saunders fifth.

Cameron Rupp, who walked three times in Thursday's win over the Rockies, catches Aaron Nola and bats seventh.

1. Odubel Herrera, CF
2. Andres Blanco, 2B
3. Aaron Altherr, LF
4. Tommy Joseph, 1B
5. Michael Saunders, RF
6. Maikel Franco, 3B
7. Cameron Rupp, C
8. Freddy Galvis, SS
9. Aaron Nola, P

Phillies-Reds 5 things: Aaron Nola looks to build on extremely impressive return from DL

Phillies-Reds 5 things: Aaron Nola looks to build on extremely impressive return from DL

Phillies (16-29) vs. Reds (22-24)
7:05 p.m. on CSN; streaming live on CSNPhilly.com and the NBC Sports App

Following their first win in a week, the Phillies open a new series this weekend against a beatable team in the Cincinnati Reds, who are 3-9 in their last 12 games and 1-7 in their last eight road games.

Let's have ourselves a look-see:

1. Nola's turn
Aaron Nola is on the mound tonight for his second start since a month-long DL stint. He was extremely impressive his last time out, allowing one run on four hits over seven innings in Pittsburgh.

Nola's fastball reached as high as 95.5 mph against the Pirates, which is notable because he threw only two pitches faster than 94 mph all of last season. His velocity was up before the lower back strain and it's a great sign that the elbow injury which ended his 2016 season is truly in the past.

In Pittsburgh, Nola (2-1, 3.52) threw 19 of 27 first-pitch strikes. He got 11 outs on the first three pitches of at-bats. 

He's faced the Reds twice in his career and dominated them both times, allowing two earned runs in 14 innings with one walk and 17 strikeouts.

Current Reds have gone 7 fo 39 (.179) against him with just two extra-base hits. Joey Votto is 0 for 5.

2. What to do with Odubel
Pete Mackanin has an interesting decision to make this weekend with slumping Odubel Herrera, who on Thursday became the first player in the majors this season to go 0 for 5 with five strikeouts in a game.

Herrera is down to .226 on the season with a .275 on-base percentage. In May, he's hit .194 with one walk and 28 strikeouts.

Mackanin could bench Herrera like he did with Maikel Franco for two games earlier this week. It would send a message to the player that poor at-bats and wild swings have consequences. And, quite frankly, sitting Herrera for a day or two might give the Phillies a better chance to win.

The issue, of course, is that there's a thin line between giving a player a chance to clear his head and ridding him of opportunities to get back on track.

Plus, the Phillies don't have great options in replacing Herrera in the lineup. They have a four-man bench at the moment and the only options would be putting Ty Kelly or Brock Stassi in left field and moving Aaron Altherr to center.

(Update: Mackanin is taking the opposite approach with Herrera, leading him off Friday night.)

Herrera just has not been himself this season and it's troubling. At this point last season, Herrera was hitting .327 with a .901 OPS. He's been an undisciplined hitter in 2017 and when you have two of them in the middle of the lineup in Herrera and Franco, it makes things really easy on pitchers at times.

Herrera started the year hot, hitting in his first eight games. Since then, he's hit .203/.239/.324 in 155 plate appearances with six walks and 42 K's.

3. Tommy time
Tommy Joseph has been one of the very best hitters in baseball this month, batting .329/.400/.671 with six doubles, six homers and 15 RBIs in 22 games.

He's 148 games and 499 plate appearances into his major-league career and has hit .257 with 23 doubles, 28 homers, 69 RBIs and an .804 OPS. That's about 10 points higher than the league average OPS from first basemen over that span.

Had Joseph's April slump continued into May, prospect Rhys Hoskins might have already been called up. But Joseph has done enough so far to hold off Hoskins, who appears to have more upside because of his combination of power and plate selection.

Controlling the strike zone is the next step for Joseph. He has a .311 OBP so far with 33 walks and 112 strikeouts as a Phillie.

But over the last two seasons, he's been one of the few Phils who's taken advantage of this ballpark. Joseph's hit .276 with an .844 OPS at Citizens Bank Park compared to .240 with a .769 OPS on the road.

4. Scouting the Reds
The Phillies face 29-year-old Reds right-hander Tim Adleman (2-2, 6.19).

You look at the ERA and think, OK, maybe the Phillies' bats will wake up tonight. But keep in mind that the Rockies' four starting pitchers this week entered the series with a combined 5.27 ERA and the Phillies scored three runs against them in 27 innings.

There's nothing special about the 6-foot-5 Adleman. He throws his fastball and sinker in the 88 to 91 mph range with a mid-80s changeup and mid-70s curveball. His opponents have hit .300 against his fastball and have eight extra-base hits with a .290 batting average against his changeup.

In six starts this season, Adleman's yet to go deeper than six innings. The Phils faced him last season and scored three runs in five innings. Cesar Hernandez went 2 for 2 with a walk and Franco went 1 for 3 with a double.

As for Cincinnati's offense, Votto is obviously the hitter you worry about most. He's hit .299/.422/.591 this season with 12 doubles, 12 homers, 38 RBIs, 35 walks and 24 strikeouts. A typical Votto season.

Shortstop Zack Cozart has been surprisingly hot these first two months, hitting .340 with 20 extra-base hits, 22 walks and 29 strikeouts. It's most surprising to see him walking this much because he never has. He's 15 walks away from matching his career high.

Leftfielder Adam Duvall has killed the Phillies over the last two seasons. He went 5 for 11 with two doubles and a homer in the season-opening series in Cincy and went 8 for 18 with four doubles against them last season.

5. This and that
• Over the last seven games, the Phillies' bullpen has allowed just two earned runs in 22⅔ innings.

• Howie Kendrick started at third base for Lehigh Valley during his rehab assignment Thursday. He was hit by two pitches and removed from the game.  

• Reds closer Raisel Iglesias is one of the most underrated relievers in baseball. He's 8 for 8 in save chances this season with a 0.73 ERA and 1.01 WHIP. He's struck out 28 and allowed just one home run in 24⅔ innings. His ability to go multiple innings is what makes him stand out — he's Andrew Miller-like in that regard. Iglesias has pitched more than one inning in 7 of his 19 appearances.