Video: Ball Hawks Battle for Dom Brown's Wet Home Run Ball in McCovey Cove

Video: Ball Hawks Battle for Dom Brown's Wet Home Run Ball in McCovey Cove

Cliff Lee was stupendous on Monday night in San Francisco, commanding the strike zone with pinpoint accuracy. His final line may show a couple of earned runs, but the homer he gave up to Hunter Pence should have been a strikeout for sure. The homeplate ump cleaaaarly missed a would-be third strike and Lee barely even flinched. He had a lead at the time. Still, it's amazing he doesn't get flustered. Whatever, I guess.

[mlbvideo id="26905039" width="640" height="360" /]

The bats got to Giants lefty Madison Bumgarner early, forcing him into bases-loaded jams in both of the first two frames. The Phils came away empty handed in the first but capitalized in the second on a Michael Young double that should have cleared the bases had it not been for Chase Utley stumbling. Two-six would later score on a wild pitch and the Phils took an early 3-0 lead that would prove to be more than enough for Cliff Lee on the evening.

But it was a beast of a home run from Dom Brown that was most highlight-worthy. Brown crushed a Bumgarner offering in the fifth inning that cleared the right field stands and left the ball park entirely, ending up all wet in McCovey Cove. Now, I don't believe the ball actually landed directly in the water straight away, instead it looks like it took a hop off the paved walkway before the Cove, thus not counting as an official "splash hit."

One of my favorite parts was the battle for the ball once it landed in the Bay. If you watch the above video, you can clearly see one ball hawk throw a fishing-style apparatus that appears to be made for the sole purpose of retrieving a ball that is bobbing in the water. The intrepid collector is clearly no Bill Dance, however, and missed by mere inches, thus allowing superiorly-equiped kayak person to snag the ball for his own.

It's a game of inches, people. Or 394 feet, depending how you look at it.

The Phils won by the final of 6-2 if you were sleeping.

Up from 217 to 250, Ben Simmons also stronger mentally from work with LeBron

Up from 217 to 250, Ben Simmons also stronger mentally from work with LeBron

CAMDEN, N.J. — It appears Ben Simmons took the saying about having the weight of the world on your shoulders a tad literal.

The Sixers' No. 1 overall pick walked into the team's sparkling new training complex for media day sporting a much bigger frame than when his name was called on draft night.

"I'm a lot stronger. When I started getting ready for the draft I was about 217 [pounds] and now I'm around 250," Simmons said Monday.

When you're expected to be the centerpiece of an organization that managed just 10 wins a season ago, it helps to have that extra bulk to carry those expectations. 

But Simmons isn’t just being looked at as a key to help change the franchise’s fortunes. He’s also being viewed as perhaps a once-in-a-generation talent after drawing several comparisons to LeBron James, who Simmons shares an agent with in Klutch Sports Group.

So how did the incoming rookie deal with being likened to four-time MVP and three-time NBA champion James? He went to work like someone trying to achieve those same goals.

“Just being around him and learning from his habits and what he does has just helped me overall,” Simmons said of working out with James and other NBA stars during the summer. “He’ll be one of the first guys in the gym every day. It doesn’t matter what day it is. He’s one of those guys who gets the work in and enjoys the rest of his day. Just learning from him I think I can take a lot from what he’s done. ... He’s done a lot for me. He’s helped me experience things I need to learn.

“They get in the gym and work. It’s one of those things where they don’t play around. They get straight to it. Obviously in the weight room too. LeBron loves the VersaClimber and they also brought two more in here. I’m starting to learn from what these guys do, D-Wade (Dwyane Wade) also. They’re all doing the same thing, working out every day and getting ready.”

That type of work ethic will go a long way toward Simmons' earning the respect of his Sixers teammates. The group was already eager to get on the floor with him for training camp at Stockton University and get a firsthand look at the versatile forward, especially his prowess as a passer.

“The most exciting thing that I’ve seen was his passing ability,” Jahlil Okafor said of Simmons. “That’s going to help me out a lot. He’s selfless. Being with the summer league guys he was always about the team. I’ve always considered myself a good teammate and he’s a great one as well. I’m excited to work with him.”

“I think for anybody who likes to shoot or likes to score, whenever you can have a big man who is a really good ball handler, can make good decisions, has great vision, it’s always a great thing,” Gerald Henderson said. “If you can be aggressive on the offensive end you don’t always have to have the basketball to be able to be right there and score. You have somebody that can find you and really is thinking pass-first. I think it’ll be great, not only for us but just our offense in general.”

Considering that the Sixers finished 29th in scoring a season ago, Simmons knows they will need him to be more than just a facilitator. The team needs consistent scoring from everyone on the court. And while the LSU product’s jump shot was questioned during his lone year in college, he believes he has worked hard to silence those doubts.

“I usually try to take what they give me. Obviously I’ve been working on my shot a lot with all the coaches,” Simmons said. “I can shoot the ball. I’m not really worried about that. Coming into training camp, it’s one of the things I’ve been working on since LSU.”

Simmons made it clear several times that he is confident in his offensive game and that the Sixers’ logjam in the frontcourt will work itself out on the floor. One thing he’s not so sure about: that he’s even in this position.

Despite dreaming about being in the NBA since he was a kid in Australia and being groomed to be the No. 1 overall pick for years, Simmons said it’s still a bit of a surprise to be at this point.

“I think it’s still surreal for me,” he said. “I think it’ll finally hit me once I step on the court matched up against OKC the first game.”

There were Carson Wentz and Ben Simmons fans at the debate last night

There were Carson Wentz and Ben Simmons fans at the debate last night

I'm not sure if they could win nationally, but there is absolutely no doubt that a Wentz-Simmons ticket would dominate the Delaware Valley.

An intrepid Philadelphia sports fan was up at the Presidential Debate last night at Hofstra University and made a sign showing his support... for the Eagles and Sixers.

I don't know though, I'm pretty sure Simmons was born in Australia.