ESPN Metrics Rank Sixers 21st Best Franchise in Sports, Top in Town

ESPN Metrics Rank Sixers 21st Best Franchise in Sports, Top in Town

It's been one hell of a growth spurt for your Philadelphia 76ers.
This time last year, the league was in the middle of a lockout, the team's direction was largely aimless and we were just hoping these owner guys wouldn't muck things up any worse or have crazy, hidden plots to move the team elsewhere.
Well the team has gone somewhere: up.
According to a complex system of metrics that include championship viability, affordability, affability and other things ending in -ability, ESPN has ranked the Sixers 21st out 122 franchises in its "Ultimate Team Rankings." Their ranking is the highest of any Philly team and a 36-spot jump from last year's list.
The name "Andrew Bynum" is, of course, largely responsible for the leap, but ownership nonetheless deserves credit for taking a number of steps to repair the team's relationship with its fans long before Iggy, Vuc, Moe and a first for Bynum was even a possibility.
As for your other Philly teams on the list -- and how they compare to their spots from last year -- the Phillies are 49th (down from 24), the Flyers 55th (down from 41), and the Eagles 73rd (down from 51), which once again proves the age-old talking point that the Eagles really don't care about you.
Although they do appear to love you more than 49 other teams love their fans. You could live in Toronto and happen to like hockey, for example.
In all seriousness, though, reading through the list's stated method and taking a look at the Flyers' position kind of calls the whole project's credability into question.
Check out the full list and try to figure out their basis for comparison here.

Union see 4-game winning streak end in shutout loss to Real Salt Lake

Union see 4-game winning streak end in shutout loss to Real Salt Lake

BOX SCORE

SANDY, Utah -- Joao Plata scored his first goal of the season and Real Salt Lake beat the Union, 1-0, on Saturday night to snap Philadelphia's club-record winning streak at four games.

Plata tapped in his goal in the 36th minute after quickly exchanging short passes twice with Jefferson Savarino. Tony Beltran got the play started by saving the ball just before it went over the goal line.

The Union (4-5-5) had a chance to tie it in stoppage time, but goalie Nick Rimando blocked Haris Medunjanin's belt-high free kick and Salt Lake (4-8-2) cleared it after a scramble in front of the net.

Union goalkeeper Andre Blake made seven saves.

Howie Kendrick makes 4th rehab appearance in Lehigh Valley

Howie Kendrick makes 4th rehab appearance in Lehigh Valley

Howie Kendrick on Saturday night made his fourth rehab appearance in Triple A during Lehigh Valley's 13-1 rout of the Louisville Bats in Allentown.

Kendrick went 1 for 5 with a run scored and three strikeouts. He also grounded into a double play and left two runners in scoring position.

It was his second rehab game playing third base. He played third during his appearance in the IronPigs' 8-4 loss Thursday to the Indianapolis Indians. He was 0 for 1 in three plate appearances with a run scored and was hit by a pitch twice (see story).

The Phillies' plan for Kendrick was to have him play a minimum four games at Lehigh Valley. He played left field in two games and third base twice. Pete Mackanin said Wednesday that Kendrick would also get a game at first base but he hasn't gotten a game at first yet.

There is a chance Kendrick could be recalled Sunday before the Phillies’ series finale against the Cincinnati Reds depending on how he feels.

Kendrick has been sidelined since April 15 with an oblique strain. In 10 games before the injury, Kendrick went 13 for 39 (.333) with five extra-base hits and four walks while exclusively playing left field.