Evan Turner Gets TRL Contemplative in the Off-Season

Evan Turner Gets TRL Contemplative in the Off-Season

Evan Turner, like most of the players on our beloved Sixers these past few years, is not going to be mistaken by anyone for a tough guy. Not that he's not tough—hey, you try coming back from a broken back after only a couple weeks when you're in college—but his rep in this world as a stoic, hardened, grown-ass male is just not one of particular import to our boy E.T. And the undeniable evidence of this comes, no doubt, via the man's always-enlightening Twitter feed.

thekidet, as he is known on the 'nets, has tweeted up a storm all season about whatever subject is of concern to him at that point in time, ranging from what movie he's watching to what airport he's flying out of him to whose birthday among his followers he's celebrating. But it wasn't until last night that he finally sounded off on the most important subject of all, the debate that has enraptured man and the internet since the beginning of time, and the question that most Hard NBA players would stay dutifully silent about, even as their heart and soul screamed for them to weigh in: Backstreet Boys or N Sync?

For us here at the 700 Level, we acknowledge the grey areas present in these matters—N Sync probably had a more consistently strong catalogue, while BSB gets points for coming first and having the best song of that era ("I Want it That Way"). Meanwhile, Nirvana was unquestionably the more iconic of the two bands, and their final two albums were probably better than any in the Pearl Jam catalogue front to back, but Pearl Jam has remained one of the country's greatest rock bands for the better part of two decades and has amassed a stunning collection of hits that Nirvana will never have the opportunity to match.

The important thing, of course, is that we are talking about these things at all. And for that, we owe Evan Turner and Spencer Hawes a thank you.

Shocker: Phillies interested in getting one of baseball's best players

Shocker: Phillies interested in getting one of baseball's best players

We're all looking forward to the free-agent class of 2018.

If Maikel Franco doesn't shape up, the Phillies could make a hard push for Manny Machado. Franco after a two-game benching is back in the lineup for this afternoon's game against the Rockies (see story).

Then, of course, there's Bryce Harper, who earlier this month agreed to a one-year, $21,625,000 deal for next season. 

And guess what? If Harper becomes a free agent after next season, the Phillies would be interested in signing him.

Really?

According to a FanRagSportsNetwork, citing a Phillies source, the Phils would be interested luring Harper to Philly.

Shocker. 

It'd be big news if a Phillies source said the team wasn't interested in signing Harper. 

Anyway, the story also quotes a National League scout.

“Could you imagine what he could do in that ballpark playing 81 games a year in that bandbox?” the scout said.

Chances are every Phillies fan has already imagined it. Harper this season alone is hitting .351/.400/.784 with five homers and 12 RBIs in nine games against the Phils. In three games at the Bank, he's hitting just .250 with a homer and two RBIs.

But in 38 career games at CBP, he's hitting .296/.361/.627 with 12 home runs and 26 RBIs.

In 89 career games against the Phillies, he's hitting .282 with 20 homers and 54 RBIs.

At the risk of stating the obvious, here's one thing to remember: If the Phils sign Harper, then he'd no longer benefit from facing them.

Today's Lineup: Franco batting cleanup as Phillies try to snap skid

Today's Lineup: Franco batting cleanup as Phillies try to snap skid

Well, this hasn't gone well. 

Coming into Thursday afternoon's game against the Rockies, the Phillies have lost five straight. They've lost nine of their last 10. They've lost 20 of their last 24. 

At 15-29, they're not just the worst team in the NL East. They're not just the worst team in the National League. 

Through 44 games, the Phillies are the worst team in baseball. 

Just to make it to a .500 record this season, they would need to go 66-52 (.559) the rest of the way. 

Their four-game series against the Rockies will mercifully come to a close on Thursday afternoon at Citizens Bank Park. In the first three games of the series -- all losses -- the Phils have been outscored 23-5. 

Maikel Franco returns to the four-hole as the Phillies try to snap out of their funk.

The Phillies on Thursday also activated right-handed pitcher Jeanmar Gomez from the disabled list. Gomez takes Adam Morgan's spot on the roster. Morgan was reassigned to Triple A Lehigh Valley after throwing three scoreless innings during the Phillies' 7-2 loss to the Rockies.

Gomez hasn't pitched since May 4 because of an elbow injury. He began the season as the Phillies' closer but was demoted after blowing two saves and allowing seven runs in his first five innings. In 11 1/3 innings this season, Gomez has a 7.94 ERA.

Here's the full lineup: 

1. Cesar Hernandez, 2B
2. Aaron Altherr, LF
3. Odubel Herrera, CF
4. Maikel Franco, 3B
5. Tommy Joseph, 1B
6. Michael Saunders, RF
7. Cameron Rupp, C
8. Freddy Galvis, SS
9. Vince Velasquez, P