They're calling Jayson Werth an 'idiot' down in Washington now

They're calling Jayson Werth an 'idiot' down in Washington now

Philadelphia fans know all to well that Jayson Werth is something of a character. He developed a reputation as a guy who didn't always want to talk to the media and some painted him as a player who just had a bad "aura" to him. But he was a pretty darn good right fielder who helped the Phillies win a World Series. So I never held it against him.

Werth signed that crazy lucrative deal with the Nationals a couple of seasons back and some Philly fans decided it was a reason to paint the bearded one as a traitor. I never really understood this.

The Nationals were kind of a bunch of bums when Werth joined them and the Phils were still the team to beat. Oh, how things have changed. Werth doesn't look so stupid now, does he?

Well, at least as long as he's not talking to the Washington Post about hitting a baseball. Here's a gem from this week that has caused a stir down in DC, via the Bog:

“Just because you can do something else doesn’t mean you can hit,” Werth said. “If you can hit, you can do anything. Because it’s the hardest thing to do. There’s nothing harder. I can bake a cake. I could figure out a way to do algorithms. But a guy that knows how to do algorithms could never hit. It’s literally the hardest thing to do. If you can do the hardest thing, you can do anything else.”

Dan Steinberg runs through some of the great reactions around the Internet, but Tony Kornheiser's sticks out.

“He’s an idiot,” Kornheiser said. “He’s just an idiot, Jayson Werth. It may be very hard to hit a pitched baseball. But it’s not the hardest, right? I mean, the sort of self-reverence of that….Again, my ego’s enormous. This is idiotic. I mean, this is Jayson Werth saying ‘I’m an important person because I can do the hardest thing in the world.’ I can. I’m a great hitter. What? C’mon. C’mon. You’re an idiot. There are like 30 things that are harder, and we don’t even have to sit down with a list….

Anyway, maybe Werth and Bryz can be buddies or something.

How about this sick Jayson "Werth-a-rine" that the Potomac Nationals are giving away?

Sixers merchandise sales on the rise along with win total

Sixers merchandise sales on the rise along with win total

Between recent wins and Joel Embiid’s All-Star push, fans are buying their Sixers gear.

According to Fanatics.com, a sports apparel website partnered with the four major sports, the Sixers rank fourth among all NBA teams in total merchandise sales over the past seven days. The Warriors, Cavaliers and Bulls are ahead of them.

Joel Embiid was the fifth-best selling player over that period. His popularity has risen during his enthusiastic All-Star campaign, which included celebrity shoutouts and an outpour of social media activity. Embiid is now up to 553,000 Twitter followers.

The Sixers have ranked in the league’s top 10 of merchandise sales since the beginning of the 2016-17 season. They hold the largest year-over-year increase during that time frame in the NBA this season.

In September, Ben Simmons ranked in the top 10 of NBA players in merchandise sales since draft night.

Sales from the Sixers' and NBA's official online stores are included in these statistics.

Sixers clicking just in time to face surging Raptors on Wednesday

Sixers clicking just in time to face surging Raptors on Wednesday

The Sixers are clicking just in time to face their toughest competition in over a month. The Raptors (28-13) come to Philadelphia as the Sixers have won six of their last eight games by holding one another accountable and taking each outing step-by-step.

“You feel like the group is coming together,” Brett Brown said. “You feel like all the work that we have put in is starting to pay dividends in relation to a solid foundation.”

The Raptors sit second in the Eastern Conference, just one and a half games behind the Cavaliers. The last time they met, the Raptors beat the Sixers 123-114 on Dec. 14 at the Wells Fargo Center.

A lot has changed since then, especially the rotations. Brown started Joel Embiid and Jahlil Okafor together against the Raptors, an experiment that waned out after six games. The Sixers have found a formula to winning with an established starting lineup and a consistent second unit, with the added experience of Gerald Henderson and Nerlens Noel. They will be tested Wednesday as both Joel Embiid (illness) and T.J. McConnell (wrist) are questionable.

“When you look at this team, it’s a lot of talent but we didn’t play as a team,” Ilyasova said of the start of the season. “Now we come together. I think it’s all about the chemistry, we trust each other.”

The Sixers are looking to carry over the momentum of a 113-104 victory over the Bucks in Milwaukee on Monday. They got a test of All-Star caliber talent against Giannis Antetokounmpo, whom they held to two points in the second half. The Sixers will have their hands full with the backcourt duo of Kyle Lowry (22.2 points, 5.0 rebounds, 7.2 assists) and DeMar DeRozan (28.2 points, 5.5 rebounds, 3.8 assists).

One key to countering talent like that placing an importance on accountability. The players are not letting each other off the hook for mistakes on the court, regardless of who the opponent is.

“I could see it over the past couple weeks, guys coming out here and being more vocal on both ends of the court,” Noel said. “If one guy messes up, you’ve got to let him know so it won’t be a recurring thing. With that, guys are taking steps in the right direction, both leadership roles because everybody on this team can be a leader in their own way.”

The Raptors come in on a four-game winning streak.