Gallery: Bradley Maule Documents the Phillies-Mariners Weekend Series

Gallery: Bradley Maule Documents the Phillies-Mariners Weekend Series

One of our favorite Philly blogs of all time was PhillySkyline, a thoughtful and eye-opening perspective on Philadelphia through the eyes of Bradley Maule. Brad has moved to Portland, Oregon, but fortunately, we still get to keep up via the powers of the Internets (he still maintains a nice presence at Maule of America). Recently back in Philly for a short trip, he reminded us what a great eye he has for the things we see (and don't always appreciate) every day. After Brad returned to Portland, we found out he'd be making the trip up to Seattle in part to see the Phillies play there this past weekend, and we asked if he wouldn't mind sharing the experience here. These are his words, and his amazing pictures. Be sure to click on the top right image for the entire 22 photo gallery.

You know, it's a drag that the Mariners took two of three from the Phillies over the weekend, but you have to admit that it was a great series of baseball. Beating defending Cy Young award winner Felix Hernandez was a thrill, but doing so seemed to mess up their timing against garbage ball lefty Jason Vargas on Sunday. That dude, who made his MLB debut at Citizens Bank Park in the late innings of a Phillies 13-7 win over the Marlins in 2005, somehow baffled the Phils for a three hit, complete game shutout, his second in the past month.

Nevertheless, it was great to watch the Fightins out here in the Pacific Northwest. It wasn't quite Citizens Bank Park West, but there was a nice smattering of red across an unusually packed Safeco Field. Or should I say Shaneco Field, at least for Saturday night. Victorino finished a single short of the cycle as he led the charge in the 5-1 win.

I get the impression that Mariners fans are not unlike Pirates fans: they're good and knowledgeable baseball people, but they're sick and tired of losing. But, they're now a half game out of first, and in addition to King Felix and Ichiro, young bucks like Michael Pineda and Dustin Ackley have the potential to put butts in seats like they haven't seen since the days of Junior and Buhner (each of whose jerseys were well represented, as well as Randy Johnson and Edgar Martinez . . . no A-Rods though).

Seattle is the farthest-away opponent the Phillies have to play (according to The Internet, San Diego is 2,365 miles from Philadelphia and Seattle is 2,371), and they never do well in interleague play anyway, so they get a pass for losing 2 of 3 to an AL West team. They still have the best record in baseball -- the best in the NL by a full five games -- and they're heading into RyHo's hometown to play a Pujols-less Cardinals team.

Here is a handful of photos from Saturday night's 5-1 win, notable for a solid, Vic-led win over Felix, Ackley's first MLB homerun, and especially Michael Stutes' first MLB victory in his native Northwest. The Portland native was a member of Oregon State's back-to-back championship team.

Peace out from the rainy baseball land of clam strips & chips and Hale's Ales. Go Phils!

Many thanks to Brad for the great photos.

Instant Replay: Eagles 21, Vikings 10

The Associated Press

Instant Replay: Eagles 21, Vikings 10


Story coming …

Jahlil Okafor eager for more minutes as knee heals

Jahlil Okafor eager for more minutes as knee heals

CAMDEN, N.J. — Jahlil Okafor has been patient with his right knee. He was disciplined with restrictions and recovery during the preseason, recognizing the goal of being ready for opening night. 

At the same time, once he got back on the court he wanted more. Okafor played eight minutes Friday against the Heat, his first game since Feb. 28 before undergoing surgery to repair a right meniscus tear. 

“I don’t think I’m going to do eight again,” Okafor said Sunday. “They kind of heard me complain about that a lot. I think it’ll definitely be more than eight, but it won’t be much more.” 

Okafor has been limited since reaggravating his knee during the final day of training camp. He practiced “to tolerance” on Sunday, according to the Sixers. Okafor did not participate in the team scrimmage and worked out individually with assistant coach/head of strength and conditioning Todd Wright. 

The second-year big man did not feel soreness on Saturday following the game. On Sunday, he felt “kind of stiff” during practice. Brett Brown has been watching Okafor’s movement closely. While Okafor considered it to be “good,” Brown was a tougher critic. 

“I think he looked OK,” Brown said. “He didn’t look great to me today. I’ll give him a B-minus … It’s always how do you move? East, west, north, south, how do you move?” 

Okafor scored four points, one rebound, one assist, one block and one turnover in Miami. He focused on his defense during the game. When he subbed out, he checked in with Elton Brand on the bench to receive feedback from the now-retired veteran. Okafor plans to continue to tap into him for advice throughout the season. 

With opening night three days away, Okafor still plans to be on the floor for it.

“I am optimistic about it,” he said. “I should be ready to go.” 

Robert Covington sprained his right ankle in Friday’s game and did not practice Sunday. Brown anticipates Covington, who has been starting at small forward, also will be ready to go Wednesday. 

“I do (expect him to play),” Brown said. “But we won’t know that for sure yet.” 

Sixers waive retired Elton Brand
The Sixers waived Brand on Sunday, making his retirement official. Brand announced his intentions to walk away from the game Thursday. The Sixers' request of waivers was a procedural step. The roster currently stands at 19. 

“It’s been an honor, it’s been a privilege to play this game, the game that I love, and I’m certainly going to miss it,” Brand said last week (see story). “But it’s definitely time now.” 

Brand celebrated his career with his teammates at Komodo in Miami on Thursday night ahead of their preseason finale against the Heat.