Elton Brand's Time in Philadelphia Is Over: A Look Back at the Old School Chevy's Run

Elton Brand's Time in Philadelphia Is Over: A Look Back at the Old School Chevy's Run

And the Old School Chevy drives off into the sunset. (with a big fat check in the trunk)

The Sixers officially parted ways with Elton Brand this afternoon, electing to use the amnesty clause to get his $18 million cap hit off of their salary cap.

"On behalf of the
Philadelphia 76ers, I want to thank Elton
for his contributions to our organization and city," said Sixers
President of Basketball Operations Rod Thorn.  "Decisions of this nature
are never easy,
particularly when it involves a player of Elton's talent and character.
 He worked tirelessly for the overall good of the team every time he
put on a Sixers uniform and we wish him nothing but the best."

It's hard to find a guy making so much damn money and not really performing up to the level typically associated with such lucrative deals as universally liked as Brand. A lot of people talk about certain guys being consummate professionals, and in my relatively short time covering Philadelphia sports teams, he's the one player I've dealt with who really lives up to all of that hype.

I'll always remember the day he signed in Philly. During the press conference EB seemed genuinely touched that Philly gave him every penny they could, dubbing it the "Philly max." Anything "max" is usually tough to live up to.

Some thought his getting amnestied was inevitable, but I wasn't as certain. Their roster isn't necessarily better without him on it, but it does appear to be better suited to prepare for the future.

Doug Collins always spoke incredibly highly of EB, especially after 2011.

"He's got the heart of a lion," Collins said. "Just competes every single moment. I'm
glad he's on my team. He played with a broken left hand, a dislocated
right pinky finger. Never ever complained. One of the ultimate pros I've
ever been around."

That heart will be playing for another NBA team next season, with Dallas being the leading candidate. One can only hope that Elton's heart rubbed off on many of the Sixers youngsters. If it didn't, we may be in trouble.

It wasn't always easy for Brand in Philly, to ride the Old School Chevy analogy a bit further, he had to go to the shop a whole damn lot. But he had a couple of breakout playoff performances against the Celtics during the 2012 run. He fought through the shoulder pain and showed that heart and flashed that once uber reliable midrange jumper. He'll leave Philly with his head held high.

His head is always held high.

Instant Replay: Nationals 4, Phillies 0

uspresswire-phillies-jake-thompson.jpg
USA Today Images

Instant Replay: Nationals 4, Phillies 0

BOX SCORE

The Phillies were beaten, 4-0, by the Washington Nationals on Monday night, but wins and losses don’t matter as much as development in a rebuilding season, so there was a bright spot: Rookie right-hander Jake Thompson finally broke through with a good start in holding the Nats to two runs over seven innings.
 
The Phillies’ offense was not good. It produced just four hits on the night.
 
Washington got all the offense it needed when Jayson Werth, the second batter of the game, homered off Thompson in the first inning.

The Nats lead the NL East at 76-55. The Phils are 60-71.
 
The crowd of 16,056 was the smallest of the season at Citizens Bank Park.
 
Starting pitching report
Thompson had struggled in four starts — 9.78 ERA — since arriving from Triple A and there were questions whether he’d even make this start. But he put together a nice outing. After giving up two runs in the first inning, he pitched six straight scoreless innings, finishing his outing with three strikeouts, the last of which came on his 111th pitch when he froze Trea Turner with a breaking ball with two men on base. Thompson allowed seven hits — four in the first three innings — and walked one.
 
Washington right-hander Tanner Roark pitched seven shutout innings to improve to 14-7. He held the Phils to four hits and a walk and struck out five.

Bullpen report
Frank Herrmann gave up two runs in the ninth.
 
At the plate
Odubel Herrera had two of the Phillies’ four hits.
 
Werth’s homer in the top of the first was his 19th. Anthony Rendon drove in a run with a two-out single in that inning. Clint Robinson and Turner had RBI singles in the ninth to push the Nats’ lead to 4-0.
 
ICYMI
Herrera is staying in center field for the remainder of the season, Pete Mackanin said (see story).
 
Up next
The series continues on Tuesday night. Jerad Eickhoff (9-12, 3.87) pitches against Washington right-hander Max Scherzer (14-7, 2.92).

Eagles sign Soul DT Jake Metz following workout

Eagles sign Soul DT Jake Metz following workout

Jake Metz has gone from the Soul to the Eagles.

Soul majority owner Ron Jaworski on Monday night tweeted a congratulatory message about the defensive tackle signing with the Eagles.

Metz and Soul wide receiver Darius Reynolds, fresh off an ArenaBowl title last Friday, worked out for the Eagles this afternoon before practice. Metz is the 74th player on the roster, which means the team is still below the next cut line — which is Tuesday at 4 p.m. — of 75. The Eagles' roster has to be at 53 by 4 p.m. on Sept. 3.

Metz, 25, graduated from Souderton Area High School and played his college ball at Shippensburg University. For the Arena Football League champions, Metz posted Soul highs in sacks (eight) and tackles for loss (10).

Pete Mackanin says Odubel Herrera will stay in CF this season — but beyond?

Pete Mackanin says Odubel Herrera will stay in CF this season — but beyond?

A couple of weeks ago in Los Angeles, Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said there was a chance he could look at Odubel Herrera in a corner outfield spot over the final weeks of the season.

Scrub that idea.

“Not this year,” Mackanin said Monday. “If we decide we're going to do that, we'll encourage him to play a corner in winter ball and then in spring training, if that's what we decide to do.

“I thought about doing that. But I don't know if we want to do that now. We’ll just let him get back on track offensively. I won't say it won't happen here or there. But we're not going to make that move right now.

“Let's try to keep his mind as uncluttered as possible right now. It looks a little cluttered.”

The Phillies have thought about moving Herrera to a corner spot because they have a top center field prospect in Roman Quinn. Also, Aaron Altherr is an excellent defender in center.

Quinn seemed to be on target for a call up after the Eastern League playoffs, but that could be in doubt now that he’s on the disabled list with a concussion.

Still, Quinn may be this club’s centerfielder of the future. And behind him is Mickey Moniak, this year’s top draft pick. He’s a ways away. But it’s worth wondering if the Phillies believe Herrera’s future is at a corner outfield spot. Or whether Herrera will be wintertime trade bait.

Mackanin was asked if he believed Herrera’s future would be in a corner spot.

“You know, I'd rather not really even comment on that,” he said. “I don't want him to think that we're not pleased with him. I just want to keep him confident the rest of the season.”

Herrera’s defense in center field has slipped this season.

“He was better last year defensively,” Mackanin said. “He's made a lot of mistakes this year. I think we've all seen that. But that doesn't mean he's not going to play center field anymore. There's another month left to see what happens.”

Herrera was the Phillies’ lone representative in the All-Star Game. He hit .294 with a .378 on-base percentage and a .427 slugging percentage before the All-Star break. Since then, however, he was hitting .252 with a .314 on-base percentage and a .378 slugging percentage entering play Monday night.