Beltran Appears Unlikely in Philly; What's Pence Worth to You?

Beltran Appears Unlikely in Philly; What's Pence Worth to You?

In my opinion, either Hunter Pence or Carlos Beltran would be a great addition to the Phillies roster as they push for a World Series championship. Charlie Manuel has said over and over he'd want somebody who is a clear upgrade. Beltran rumors today point toward him landing with the Giants, which leaves Pence as the Phillies prime target.

The problem there, as we've surmised all along, is that the Astros don't really want to deal him. Which means they want to be blown out of the water. Jayson Stark reports what he believes the Phillies offered:

"But if they're offered a package built around high-end young pitching, they'll listen. So it's believed the Phillies structured a deal around their best hitting prospect, first baseman Jonathan Singleton, and their best pitching prospect, Jarred Cosart -- both of whom are playing for Single-A Clearwater -- plus another second-tier pitching prospect. But the Astros have been telling clubs they need four sure-thing players if they deal Pence. And the Phillies haven't shown a willingness to strip their system that bare, or to include rookie starter Vance Worley in any trade."

That's a pretty hefty bunch of prospects with Cosart and Singleton, two guys highly regarded in the Phillies system. But at the end of the day, they're just prospects. Prospects are never a sure thing in the bigs.

Pence seems like a longshot based on Stark's analysis, but Jim Salisbury believes Ruben Amaro Jr. is under tremendous pressure to win it all now, and that he may need to go the extra mile to get a deal for Pence done.

Adding Pence sounds nice and easy, but it is not. He will cost big
talent, young talent, the kind that can come back and bite a team in the
backside down the road. But it is a sacrifice that must be made because
Phillies management has to do everything it can to ensure that this
team is in position to bring home a title in October. It’s all up to the
players in October, but management has to make sure it puts the best
possible players on the field.

Ahhh, I don't know what to think. Singleton, Cosart, and even Dom Brown seem to have such a bright future in Philadelphia. But, that's the future. What about October?

 The pressure is on. How much are you willing to give up for Pence?

Steve Mason rediscovers himself in New York just before Flyers return

Steve Mason rediscovers himself in New York just before Flyers return

It had been a while since Steve Mason saw himself.

Walking into the Barclays Center on Sunday, the Flyers’ goalie was 0-6-2 with a 4.03 goals-against average and .844 save percentage over his last 10 appearances (see more recent Flyers numbers and stats).

A far cry from how Mason truly sees himself in net.

But heading into Wednesday’s rivalry clash with the Rangers, Mason will have something to build on, something he couldn’t say since Dec. 21 - the last previous time he had earned a victory. He’s fresh off his first win in over a month, a massive one for Mason considering all the key moments on Sunday the Flyers hope invigorate his confidence.

Without numerous clutch stops from their goalie, the Flyers don’t come back from two goals down to beat the Islanders, 3-2, in overtime. Mason made four saves  — three on four-time All-Star John Tavares — in just over a minute of a third-period power play. The Flyers ended up having to kill two New York man advantages in the final 10 minutes of regulation in order to force overtime.

The extra session is when Mason was just as good, if not better, stoning Tavares on a breakaway attempt that had game-winner written all over it. Mason made four saves in overtime after 13 in the third period.

“I was happy with the way that, personally, this game went for myself,” Mason said Sunday. “It’s been a tough stretch and this is more the type of game that I expect of myself. In recent games, the team was lacking the big saves and tonight it shows what kind of difference it can make.”

It was a massive performance heading into a massive three-game stretch against the Rangers, Maple Leafs and Hurricanes.

“Mase made some huge saves for us,” Simmonds said. “It allowed us to get back in that game.

“It’s not just Mase [with the] ups and downs. Everyone in here has been kind of fighting it and squeezing sticks pretty tight. That one felt good and I think Mase led the charge for sure.”

Mason understands just one game doesn’t turn around a season.

“It’s nice to feel good after a game,” Mason said. “At the same time, whether you’re winning or losing, you have to have a short mindset and get ready for the next one.”

That brings the Flyers to Madison Square Garden Wednesday to face the Rangers, who they’ve lost five straight games to dating back to last season. Mason hasn’t had much luck against New York this season, allowing seven goals in two losses with an .860 save percentage. However, in 2015-16, Mason put up a 1.74 goals-against average and .941 save percentage in five games against the Rangers.

“That’s going to be a tough game going into MSG,” Mason said Tuesday (see story).

The good thing: Mason was in New York two days ago, remembering what he can be.

Manute Bol's 7-foot, 17-year-old son dominates in HS season debut

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AP Images

Manute Bol's 7-foot, 17-year-old son dominates in HS season debut

Bol Bol, the 17-year-old son of the late Manute Bol, is a top high school basketball prospect with offers from schools like Arizona, Kansas and Creighton. This highlight tape should give you an idea why.
 
Bol, whose father played in the NBA for parts of 12 seasons, including 215 games for the Sixers, now attends the famed Mater Dei High School in California and played in his first game of the season this past weekend. Listed as the No. 16 overall prospect in the 2018 recruiting class by Scout, Bol started his season off with a big 21-point, 10-rebound effort.
 
Take a look at the highlight tape from the 6-foot-11 Bol and expect to see him carry on his father’s legacy on the court at a major NCAA college basketball program soon.