Well, at least Roy Halladay is still physically capable of pitching. *knock on wood*
Anyway, remember the Mets? They were the team we hated before the Expos moved to D.C. last spring.
According to multiple reports out of New York by way of Port St. Lucie, Fla — we'll go with the Daily News — two-time Cy Young winner Johan Santana "finds his career in serious jeopardy after suffering a probable retear of the anterior capsule in his left shoulder." The injury is the same one that caused him to miss the entire 2011 season.
Via the NYT: The 34-year-old "will probably spend the season rehabilitating a new tear in his pitching
shoulder, which Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson disclosed in a
conference call Thursday evening."
This now marks the third season that the Mets have lost a starting
pitcher for the remainder season — Santana (2011), Mike Pelfrey (2012),
Santana (2013) — before they could even make it out of the month of April. (Santana actually underwent the first surgery in Sept. 2010 and still missed all of the following season.)
Bit of history, Santana signed a six-year, 137.5 million with the Mets in 2008, following a trade from Minnesota. His 2012 salary of $24 million made him the second-highest-paid player in baseball last year, behind only Alex Rodriguez ($29 mil). The DN says the Mets still owe Santana $31.5 million, which appears to be his 2013 salary ($25.5 mil) plus the buyout on his 2014 team-option plus another 500K from somewhere.
Why do we care? We'll let the NY Daily News take care of that:
The news marks a painful end to a Mets career that began with only
excitement and promise. After the team suffered a historic divisional
collapse in 2007, blowing a seven-game lead over the Philadelphia
Phillies with 17 to play, then-GM Omar Minaya executed a trade for one
of baseball’s top pitchers.
Minaya obtained Santana from Minnesota on Feb. 2, 2008, for Carlos
Gomez, Phil Humber, Deolis Guerra and Kevin Mulvey, and subsequently
signed the lefty to a long-term contract. Intended as the final piece of
a championship team, Santana pitched well during his first three years
with the team, but hasn’t seen the playoffs in New York.
It really felt like we could've gotten this one. The Denver Nuggets are hardly pushovers, but they came into this one a 7-13 team that'd lost their last three games, and even last night they seemed fairly beatable, even for a Philadelphia 76ers team still missing Robert Covington (in additional to our usual mini-roster of absentees). But Philly's energy sagged in the third quarter as Denver caught a second wind, and they spent the final frame hitting shots that the Sixers couldn't answer. Final score: Nuggets 106, 76ers 98.
The most sobering part of the loss was that Joel Embiid finally played what would best be described as "a bad game." Not that bad, of course — even at his worst, Joel still managed 16 points and notched career-high five blocks. But he only shot 5-15 from the field, turned ball over three times, grabbed just four boards and played a large part in the sinkhole offense that the Sixers played in the late third and early fourth that ultimately cost them this one. JoJo still has trouble reading double teams and knowing when not to attack into traffic, and his frustration was extremely evident as he kept trying to do too much and paying the price for it.
Nonetheless, even with an off Embiid night and a still-slumping Sauce — officially down to Left in the Car Overnight temperature after a night of 4 points on 1-7 shooting in 35 minutes — Philly probably still coulda gotten this one. Sergio Rodriguez appears to have swiped Nik's swag at least temporarily, with a season-high 17 points on 7-14 shooting to go with seven dimes and three steals, while Dario Saric and Ersan Ilyasova also poured in 17 and 8 each, and the Nuggets wings were largely kept quiet for two and a half quarters. But even while struggling, the Nuggets paraded their way to free-throw line — 34 FTAs for the night, including 12 for Danilo Gallinari alone — and once they caught fire late, the Sixers just couldn't keep up.
A bummer for a team that's now lost seven in a row, and has to face the Grizzlies tonight in Memphis — their fourth game in five nights, and the first of a three-game road trip — without Embiid and also without Jahlil Okafor, out with illness. Even with the Grizz missing their own big names (no Mike Conley, Chandler Parsons, Zach Randolph or Vince Carter lately) and likely suffering from fatigue of their own after a double-OT road win last night in New Orleans, the 4-17 Sixers are gonna have a tough go matching Memphis' grit and grind tonight. Anytime you feel like Supermanning in and saving the day now would be cool, Nerlens Noel. Just sayin'.
Elton Brand is back with the Sixers, albeit not on the court.
The Sixers agreed with the former NBA forward to name Brand Player Development Consultant. In a press release, the team said Brand will be working with Sixers players in 'every facet of their on- and off-court development' while also working in the front office.
“We are extremely excited to bring Elton Brand back into the organization where he will be a valuable resource to our young and developing team," Bryan Colangelo said in the release. "Elton’s leadership and character displayed throughout his playing career as a player align perfectly with our vision, direction and culture of this basketball team, coaching staff and management group."
Brand retired during training camp after 17 NBA seasons, including five with the Sixers over two stints. The 6-foot-8 forward came out of retirement last season to provide a veteran presence for the Sixers and eventually played in 17 games when the team was snakebitten by injuries.
He will now continue to be an influence on the Sixers' young core thanks to his new role with the basketball operations department.