J-Roll Says Potential Trade Deadline Blow Up Is a Reality While Ruben Downplays It

J-Roll Says Potential Trade Deadline Blow Up Is a Reality While Ruben Downplays It

Things have been quiet on the South Philadelphia front. The Phillies had a rare two off-day week and have mostly been kissing babies (and puppies) the past few days. But while the chatter on the wires has been minimal there was an interesting story from Todd Zolecki over at MLB.com where he caught up with and got some candid thoughts from the longest tenured Phillie.

It is a State of the Team conversation of sorts with Jimmy Rollins. The reality that the last remnants of the 2008 WFC team could be dismantled come July is discussed, the similarities to 2007 are noted, among other things. But at the end of the day, Jimmy basically says they've got to step up and deliver.

Rollins said the offense will need to step up and take over like '07, but is that even possible? Philadelphia's offense has been in decline the past few seasons.

"We're healthy enough to be that good," Rollins said. "We're starting to have more good days than bad days. And that's where it starts. Everybody likes to talk about little things, but what's small and what's little is actually big. Scoring runs, getting two-out hits, etc. -- those are things we're starting to do better, more efficiently. And over the course of the season, as the season gets even deeper, that's going to be even that much bigger. So just because the record is where it sits now, those things get overlooked. But when you look at baseball, those are things that start turning and going your way."

Rollins has never been one to sugar coat how things are going for the Fightins, so it's definitely worth checking out all of his quotes.

There is a very real possibility this team could be blown up come the end of July. But that's not something J-Roll is going to worry about now. And the Phillies GM is already downplaying it.

Ruben Amaro reacted to Jimmy's comments last night and said that blowing it up is not a likely solution.

"I don't think that blowing it up is going to be a solution for us because we expect to be contending pretty much every year," Amaro told Michael Barkann. "That's my job to make sure we're contending every year. There may be some difficult decisions we'll have to make but I don't think those are decisions we have to make in the next ten days."

"Hopefully we're adding at the deadline rather than subtracting. We're still in the mode that we're going to have to add some pieces. Maybe they're pieces that are internal from our minor league systems, maybe they're pieces from outside the organization. Right now I feel like we're in it and we're going to fight to be in it."

>>Rollins aware this could be last ride for Phillies [MLB]

Noel joins Sixers in New Orleans, may play Sunday in Detroit

Noel joins Sixers in New Orleans, may play Sunday in Detroit

NEW ORLEANS -- Nerlens Noel made another step toward his return from arthroscopic left knee surgery by joining the Sixers in New Orleans for their game against the Pelicans.

Noel arrived on Wednesday with Robert Covington, who is slated to start after missing the last three games with a left knee sprain. Noel is not cleared to play, but Brown doesn’t think it will be long until he suits up. 

“I don’t think far away,” Brown said of Noel’s regular season debut after shootaround.

When asked about the possibility of Noel playing this weekend when the Sixers face the Pistons on Sunday in Detroit, Brown replied, “Maybe.” 

Noel has missed the entire regular season recovering from elective surgery for an inflamed plica in October. He completed the first phase of his rehab in Birmingham, Ala. and has been continuing his work with the Sixers. This trip to New Orleans is the first time he has been with the Sixers on the road. 

“[He is] integrating with the team, studying a lot of tape, scripting with his teammates with the understanding that we have a chance to see him soon,” Brown said. “All that trying to ramp it up where he can go to an NBA court more comfortably.”

Noel spoke out about his displeasure with the Sixers crowded frontcourt at the start of the preseason. He recently stuck with his stance, saying, “I don’t think the roster’s changed.”

Brown is working to keep the team moving forward as a unit while still being aware of and recognizing Noel’s perspective. 

“It does,” Brown said when asked if Noel’s open frustration concerns him as it pertains to team cohesiveness. “But I feel like it’s so much a part of what we try do around here that it’s not like you’re going to blink and you’ve forgotten something that equals camaraderie, that equals team, that equals trying to keep this together, and you’ve left it for a week … 

“It’s a day-to-day focus for me and it’s a very candid conversation with me and the player. The team hears it, the individual hears it, we all understand it … We need to co-exist and we need to understand the reality of it all, too. There’s a human side you understand. It’s also pride, it’s competitiveness, it’s do your job, it’s nothing is given, you’ve got to take stuff, draw your own line in the sand, competitors rule the day.”

Last season Noel averaged 11.1 points and a team-high 8.1 rebounds per game. The Sixers will look forward to having him back on the court in that once-crowded frontcourt that is now shorthanded. Jahlil Okafor remained in Philadelphia with gastroenteritis. Ben Simmons still is rehabbing from a right Jones fracture. 

"Soon you’re going to see Ben Simmons coming to a team bench where he doesn’t come out with boots and have to push him in some type of wheely apparatus," Brown said. "We’ve dealt with so many injuries trying to find that balance of dealing with their health and so on, and then trying to integrate them back into a team is part of growing a program."

Flyers fans send amazing postcards to their beat writers

Flyers fans send amazing postcards to their beat writers

I like to give Flyers fans a bit of a hard time on occasion, but that's only because I love them.

One beautiful Flyers fan today reminded me of why I love them.

They took the time to send a postcard to CSNPhilly.com's Flyers Insider -- and hater of the woo -- Tim Panaccio with one single word written on it.

"Woo."

Panotch says "Someone wasted a stamp and post card on this," but I say we just generated at least 50 cents in ad revenue from those of you that are reading this right now.

Money and time well spent.

Now, if you're not up on your wooing, Panotch penned a piece on how some fans wooing at games started annoying some of the players. Panotch hates the woo. BUT... and this is an important but... the Flyers are 6-0 since this all started. 

Woo.