Oswalt Ready to Go Again In DC

Oswalt Ready to Go Again In DC

WASHINGTON -- It's a lazy Saturday afternoon down here in DC with the Phillies looking to bounce back against the Nationals after that brutal loss on Friday. Some minor notes to pass along, but clearly the most exciting thing from today's pregame was the delicious smell of bacon wafting throughout the Phils clubhouse. No wonder Hunter Pence always wants to go eat.

Roy Oswalt (5-7, 3.84) will finally take the hill this evening after being removed from the lineup last night before ever taking the mound after the lengthy rain delay. Charlie says there's no concern with Oswalt tonight after he threw about 40 warm up pitches or so last night. They just wanted to be careful with Roy due to his back history.

Charlie Manuel is giving John Mayberry Jr., who tripled last night and has been swinging a hot bat, the start against left-hander John Lannan (8-8, 3.55). Manuel insists that it is not a platoon situation, even if it looks exactly like a platoon situation.

"I wanted to get John in the game," Manuel said. "But at the same time we got a day game tomorrow, I figured Raul would definitely be in there on the righty. Figured we'd just give him a blow tonight. The last couple of days we've been at the ballpark a long time. Mayberry's been playing good."

Shane Victorino also returns to the lineup after serving his two game suspension.

Hamels Aiming to Start Friday

Cole Hamels threw a "light" side session today and said the plan is to get him back into the rotation on Friday.

Tonight's Lineup: Rollins, Victorino, Utley, Howard, Pence, Mayberry, Ruiz, Valdez, and Oswalt.

7:05 start time from DC where they have a sold out Nationals Park. It's Ian Desmond bobble head night!

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.