Jrue Holiday: Gatekeeper of the Big Macs

Jrue Holiday: Gatekeeper of the Big Macs

One of the areas the Sixers really struggled in last season was closing out tight games with just a few minutes to play. At times they lacked a player who could step up in the final moments.

In Tuesday night's preseason win over the Wizards, Jrue Holiday -- who finished the night with a game-high 24 points -- looked confident with the ball in his hands in a tight game. He hit two big pull up three pointers in the final minutes, a really nice sign that the third-year point guard could be poised to step into a closers role for a team that desperately needed it a year ago.

In his post game chat with reporters, Jrue played it off as simply being his night to step up, giving credit to Lou Will as being a solid closer as well.

Jrue's play down the wire also created one of the more humorous moments of the evening, when he found himself on the free throw line with just seconds to play. The Sixers point total stood at 99 and Jrue had one shot left to push the total into triple digits which would give every fan in attendance a free Big Mac.

Holiday missed the free throw as the sparse crowd got rather vocal, cheering "Big! Mac! Big Mac!"

Holiday got lucky, however, as the ball bounced right to him on the rebound and he was quickly fouled, sending him back to the line for redemption.

This time he delivered, pushing the Sixers into triple digits and providing (delicious?) free cheeseburgers tomorrow to all ticket-holders.

Did Jrue realize that so much free meat and special sauce was on the line?

"Thad was chomping," Jrue said in the locker room while doing a bite-down motion with his hand and mouth. You could see him smiling as he stood on the line and the fans got louder. That's when he realized.

"I had to thank the fans for coming out," Holiday said.

A Sixers win to cap off the abbreviated preseason and a free Big Mac for lunch tomorrow. Just Jrue Holiday showing his love for the Philly fans.

Happy Holiday.

There aren't enough Chooch pillows for every Philadelphian

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There aren't enough Chooch pillows for every Philadelphian

Carlos Ruiz has been traded to the Dodgers and it is sad.

Not in the sense that it's a move that remotely affects anything about the current state of the Phillies. It's sad simply because Chooch -- lovable and awesome and wonderful Chooch -- is no longer a Phillie.

Chooch will be remembered for catching Roy Halladay's perfect game and no hitter and that little dribbler down the line in Game 3 of the 2008 World Series. And, of course, dropping to his knees in celebration with Brad Lidge making them World Effin Champions.

But mostly he'll just be missed. What a guy to have aroud for so long.

Roy knows how hard it is not to have him around. I guess Chase won't need his any longer since the two will be reunined with one last chance of glory in L.A.

Phillies trade Carlos Ruiz to Dodgers

Phillies trade Carlos Ruiz to Dodgers

Jimmy Rollins. Then Chase Utley. Now Carlos Ruiz.

Thursday closed another chapter of the Phillies' golden era.

Ruiz, the Phillies' catcher since 2006, has been traded to the Dodgers (along with cash) for catcher A.J. Ellis, right-hander Tommy Bergjans and a player to be named later.

Rollins was dealt to the Dodgers in December 2014. Utley, still with Los Angeles, was traded to the Dodgers in August 2015.

Ryan Howard is now the lone leftover from the Phillies' 2008 world champion club.

In 11 big-league seasons — all with the Phillies — Ruiz has hit .266 with a .352 on-base percentage and has been lauded for his game-calling abilities. This season, the 37-year-old is batting .261 with a .368 OBP, three home runs and 12 RBIs in a reserve role.

"I met Chooch in 2009 for the first time and immediately sensed that he was a special player," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. "But more importantly, over the years I grew to know that he is a special person. I'll miss him."

Ruiz caught Cole Hamels' no-hitter in July of last season, marking the catcher's fourth no-no behind the plate, tying him for most in MLB history with Jason Varitek.

"He’s a tremendous catcher and it just shows," Hamels said after no-hitting the Cubs at Wrigley Field on July 25. "If he wasn’t, he wouldn’t be catching this many no-hitter, perfect games. All of us have been fortunate enough to have him."

The Panama native, beloved and known by the Delaware Valley as "Chooch," quickly became a fan favorite. He was the staple behind home plate of the team's five-year run from 2007-11, in which it won five National League East titles, two NL pennants and, of course, the World Series championship in 2008.

"They are my favorite fans in the world," Ruiz said in February, "and we have some good memories together."

Philly Mayor goes to bat for Eagles fans, cheesesteaks against John Oliver

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HBO's Last Week Tonight

Philly Mayor goes to bat for Eagles fans, cheesesteaks against John Oliver

Charter schools. They're complicated!

After watching John Oliver's segment on them over the weekend, you'd agree there is plenty of nuance involved in the charter school debate. But also that some of them are dirty as all get out. An underground nightclub at a SCHOOL? Jeez. That can't be okay anywhere.

It's a solid segment. But it also took a couple of unneeded digs at the city of Philadelphia, its cuisine, and its sports fans.

That irked the Mayor of Philadelphia and he fought back today on Twitter.

"Agree on charter oversight but English soccer fan who eats fish from newsprint can't judge Eagles fans, cheesesteaks," Jim Kenney tweeted.

Take that you fish-eating Brit!

You can also watch the entire John Oliver segment from Last Week Tonight below.