The Sixers had a ton of guys who made this 2010-2011 ride an incredible one for their fans. If you look up and down their roster, almost to a man each player had his ups and downs. Jrue grew tremendously, Evan turned into a ballplayer, Iguodala was Iguodala, Thad Young and Lou Will were great off the bench, but through it all Elton Brand was there in the middle, hitting jump shots and giving it his all at both ends of the floor. He was the rock on this Sixers team that we loved watching this season.
Coach Collins always speaks incredibly highly of EB, but he showered him with even more praise after Wednesday's season-ending loss in Miami, "What a great year it was for him. He'd been through two tough years in Philadelphia. He's got the heart of a lion. 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."
How far he has come.
The Phillies' depth at second base has taken a hit.
Jesmuel Valentin, the starter at Triple A Lehigh Valley, is headed for surgery after dislocating his left shoulder. General manager Matt Klentak indicated that it was likely Valentin would miss the remainder of the season.
Valentin, 23, made a good showing in big-league spring training camp and, in fact, was the last position player cut from the 25-man roster. He had been off to a slow start at Lehigh Valley, hitting just .229 with a .573 OPS in his first 29 games.
With Valentin out, the Phillies could promote top second base prospect Scott Kingery from Double A to Triple A. While that is likely to happen at some point, nothing is imminent, Klentak said. The IronPigs will use veteran Pedro Florimon at second for the time being.
Kingery, 23, has been on a tear at Reading. He entered Monday leading the Eastern League in homers (13), extra-base hits (25) and slugging (.651). Overall, he was hitting .289 with a 1.018 OPS.
"Not imminent," Klentak said of a possible promotion for Kingery. "Very possible down the road. We've got more than enough infield coverage (at Triple A) to be fine and Kingery is good where he is."
Kingery, a 2015 draft pick, played just 37 games at the Double A level last season. He entered Monday having played in 37 games there this season.
Kingery on Monday was named the Eastern League player of the week for May 15-21. He went 9 for 30 with five homers, six RBIs, nine runs scored and an .833 OPS.
With all the bat flips going on in Major League Baseball by the likes of Odubel Herrera and Jose Bautista, it's a good bet that kids watching the game are taking notice.
Gloucester Catholic High School's Chris Turco has apparently seen the celebration.
In a game on Sunday, Turco launched the ball high above the wall in left field. However, he may have launched the bat even higher.
Look at this ridiculous bat flip.
According to Kevin Minnick of South Jersey Sports Digest, both of the next hitters were plunked and Turco's team lost.
Despite that, Turco is giving the pros a run for their money in the bat flip department.