The Evsters Year-End Best-Of 2012 Sixers Award Thingies

The Evsters Year-End Best-Of 2012 Sixers Award Thingies

The New Year is all about reflecting on the past,
looking forward to the future, and according to my wife: not shaving
your legs until mid March/early April. So seeing that this is the time
for Best Of columns (and because I couldn’t think of a decent thread
for this post), here are my Year-End awards for your hometown Philadorphlia
Seventy Sorxers! 

Reminder: the Sixers are currently
2 games below .500 and have lost 8 of their last 11. Also, sleeping
with a woman whose legs feel like thorn bushes can make you a littttttttle
cranky.

Here we go! 

Best Dog Who Also
Happens to Play Basketball

Nominees: Nick Young, Kwame Brown,
my friend's dog Leroy who once ate a basketball. 

Nick Young plays basketball like an 8-year-old: he shoots the
ball every time he touches it, plays no D, and gets distracted whenever
the ice cream guy comes by.

In his defense though, how could
you not? Those vanilla cones with the chocolate coating? AMAZINGGGGGG,
but they always melt the second you crack the outer shell and then drip
all over your arm causing you to miss most of the 2nd Quarter.
I was once licking the back of my wrists during a Sixers Dream Team
dance performance and locked eyes HARD with one of the dancers. I’m
pretty sure she quit later that evening. 

Kwame? I just feel sorry for that guy at this point. He
deserves an ice cream cone.

And Leroy is amazing except for the fact that
he will gank an ice cream cone RIGHT FROM YOUR WIFE’S HANDS when she’s
not looking. Note: This does NOT help when you’re trying to convince
your wife to let you get a dog. Other things that don’t help: leaving
your socks on the living room floor, forgetting to take the trash out
for three straight weeks, and calling your wife “Thorn Bush Legs McGee.” 

THE WINNER: Nick “RUFF RUFF!” Young

Guy Who Likes
Shooting a Basketball More Than Anyone Else Likes to Do Anything 

Nominees: Nick Young, Maalik Wayns,
My friend's 3-year-old son who seriously never passes me the ball and
is a total selfish piece of shit and also wouldn't give me any of his
mac and cheese the other day when he only ate like half of what was
in his bowl.

Here’s a scouting report on Nick Young that I obtained from a good friend
who works for the Phoenix Suns: 

NICK YOUNG LIKES TO THROW THE
BALL TOWARD THE HOOP. Let him do this becuz he’s a dawggggg. MICHAEL
BEAZ, IF YOU ARE ACTUALLY READING THIS, YOU’RE GUARDING NICK YOUNG
TONIGHT. He’s the guy who will have a shirt that says “YOUNG”
on the back, but not the “Young” who who be running around and trying
hard. I think you guys will get along really well. Also, yes Michael,
you can have an ice cream cone AFTER the game. Keyword there is “AFTER.”

Maalik Wayns at least TRIES to do other things, even though those
things often include “dribbling the ball off his foot” and “getting
his name spelled wrong.” Seriously, are we all okay with the double
A in Maalik and no relation to the Wayans Bros? Before I Googled it,
I wrote Maalik Wayns as “Malik Wayans, Mallik Waynns and Mel Torme’ans.” 

My friend’s 3-year-old son
is the Rodney Buford of basement basketball. I mean, dude, I was open
ALL DAY, and you KEPT SHOOTING? even though you went what, 2 for 30?
And yeah, pretty much every time I try to take a shot I end up hitting
the ceiling, BUT AT LEAST I GIVE IT UP ON THE 2-ON-1 BREAK AND IT’S
A REALLY LOW CEILING.

THE WINNER: RUFF RUFFFFF!!!

Guy Whose Name
is Nick and Who Sucks at Basketball 

Nominees: Nick Young, Nick Foles,
Nick Cannon

The worst thing is, some people actually like Nick Young! They like his crazy hair, his whacky shoes, but
you know what? My Aunt Maxine’s got crazy hair and whacky shoes, but
I’m not penciling her at the Two for 18 minutes a night. Also, she
shoots with two hands and once broke her wrist while carrying groceries.
IN HER DEFENSE THOUGH THEY WERE REALLY HEAVY GROCERIES. 

Nick Foles’s hair is unacceptable. UNACCEPTABLE.

I never thought I’d say this, but I kinda think
that Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon sort of work. I mean, yeah,
I’d much rather see her with a 300-pound defensive lineman who could
WEAR THAT ASS OUT, but if she’s happy with a little tweedle-dork,
then that’s nice for her. 

THE WINNER:  SWAGGALICIOUS

Best Something
About Something Oh Who Cares Let’s Just Talk More Isht on Nick Young

Look, obviously Nick Young is not the WORST basketball
player of all time – clearly that honor goes to Shawn Brads – but
he still sucks really, really hard. His career W-L record (BECAUSE REMEMBER
BASKETBALL IS A TEAM GAME) is 163-258 (and yeah I know he played for
the Wizards so that’s not entirely his fault, but it’s not like
you’re not reading this for actual basketball analysis). In his first
five seasons in the NBA (five seasons when Nick was at the PEAK OF HIS
ATHELTIC PRIME) Dr. Doggington has averaged 1.9 boards a game, 1 assist,
0.5 steals and 0.2 blocks, proving that he sucksssssss. 

At least Shawn Bradley ATTEMPTED to play defense when
dudes were ramming on his neck. Nick Young just “Olé’s” ‘em
on by and then frumps down court and parks himself in the corner to
jack another three … hashtag CLANGGGGGGG.

For the rec (and I can’t believe I just defended
Shawn Bradley in that last paragraph), the worst players in 76er history
are: 

Shawn Brads – BUT HE COULD SWING A GOLF CLUB.

Keith Van Horns – Played in 575 career NBA games despite the fact
that he was born with 37 vaginas.

Maalik Wayns – Sorry, that last line about Keith Van Horn’s
vaginas was totally sexist and obviously made up. He was actually born
with only 11 vaginas.

Best Foghorn Leghorn
Impression by a Blogger Who Will Probably Never Be Asked to Write for
The 700 Level Again 

Now listen here boy, who, now I say, I say WHO, in
the Sixers organization watched Nick Young play basketball the last
5 years and thought, “You know what? We could really use a total gunner
who enjoys shooting 22-foot fade-aways despite the fact that HE’S
NOT GOOD AT BASKETBALL.”

The worst thing is: Nick Young is an above-average
shooter with good size and decent athleticism who does ABSOLUTELY NONE
of the little things that help teams win games. And that makes me sick. 

The Sixers aren’t going anywhere this year with
lame-o dudes like Swaggy P making fans barf all over themselves. His
horrific body language and wanna-be silky-smooth demeanor is insulting
to us all. So Tony DiLeo, in 2013, why not make a few moves that at
least make this team more fun to watch? It’s time for this organization
to drop this bum and pick up a LEGIT smooth baller who is PASSIONATE.
INTENSE. PROUD.

A player who is so captivating that you can’t keep
your eyes off of him no matter how much ice cream is dripping down your
sleeves. 

Yeah, you know who I’m talkin’ about …

Charlie Villanueva. 

Smoothest legs in the biz.

 

The Evster writes a blog called
TV My Wife Watches where he writes about TV his wife watches. You can
follow him on Twitter @TVMWW. Orrrrrrrrrrrrrr you can look at this picture
of Charlie Villanueva lookin’ smoother than a muhhggg.

 


After epically bad game, Odubel Herrera maintains he's 'making good swings'

After epically bad game, Odubel Herrera maintains he's 'making good swings'

Don't be shocked if Pete Mackanin gives Odubel Herrera the Maikel Franco treatment this weekend after Herrera's epically bad game Thursday afternoon.

Herrera, batting third for the first time since May 9, went 0 for 5 with five strikeouts in the Phillies' 2-1, extra-inning win over the Rockies (see Instant Replay).

He's the first player in the majors this season to go 0 for 5 with five Ks and the first Phillie to do so since Pat Burrell in September 2008.

(And no, that doesn't mean the Phillies are winning the World Series this season.)

Herrera is in a very bad place right now. He's hitting .226 with a .275 on-base percentage, and he has 28 strikeouts with one walk in May. But you wouldn't know it from talking to him after the game Thursday. Herrera wasn't downtrodden or beside himself. He was typical Odubel, flashing a few smiles and remaining positive.

"I feel that I am making good swings but I'm just missing the pitches," Herrera said. "But I feel I am swinging the bat well. 

"I don't really know what it is exactly. But I am seeing the ball well. I don't know if it's when I charge at the ball or the timing of my swing. It's definitely at that point. Maybe it has something to do with the balance of the bat and my body. 

"Besides being positive, I have to check the video to see what I'm doing wrong and make some adjustment. But I'm staying positive, for sure."

Herrera and Franco, batting third and fourth, went 1 for 10 with seven strikeouts Thursday. They're both hitting below .230. They're supposed to be cornerstone pieces for the Phillies so it's extremely troubling. Even if the Phillies were winning games recently it would be troubling.

Mackanin was elusive when asked if he'd consider benching Herrera Friday. But there's no real reason to believe it would do any good anyway. There's a fine line between giving a player time to clear his head and preventing him from having chances to bounce back.

"You know what, let me enjoy this. We'll discuss that tomorrow. Let me smile for a while," Mackanin said. 

"It's a tough decision. That's a tough decision. You wonder if he needs to be in there seeing pitches and batting or does he need time off? I'll think about that."

Herrera did say that he and Franco have leaned on each other during this rough period. They talk and try to motivate each other every day, but right now the results aren't there. Both are swinging wildly at too many pitches out of the strike zone and just making it too easy for opposing pitchers. When that's coming from the middle of your order, you're going to have problems scoring runs. 

On this date a year ago, Herrera was hitting .327 with a .901 OPS. Franco was hitting .260 with a .748 OPS.

Some of the struggles are because of pitchers adjusting to Herrera and Franco as the book on them expands. 

When asked if that's the case for his two young players, Mackanin referenced the Phillies' own adjustment to Rockies slugger Charlie Blackmon.

"I was pretty happy we got to Blackmon, that guy is a heckuva hitter and we pitched him really well today. There's an example of what you're talking about," Mackanin said. "Little by little, we're going to get there. We're going to start playing better."

Like Herrera and Franco, Mackanin has no choice but to think positive and hope for the best. It's a long summer, after all.

Instant Replay: Phillies 2, Rockies 1 (11 innings)

Instant Replay: Phillies 2, Rockies 1 (11 innings)

BOX SCORE

Tommy Joseph hit a walk-off single in the bottom of the 11th inning Thursday to score Michael Saunders and snap the Phillies' five-game losing streak with a 2-1 win over the Rockies.

The win is their first victory in a game not started by Jeremy Hellickson since May 1. It also prevented the Phillies from being swept by Colorado.

At 16-29, the Phillies have the second-worst record in the majors. The Rockies, 32-17, have the second-best record in the majors.

Starting pitching report
Vince Velasquez pitched well, allowing one run over five innings to a stacked Rockies lineup, but he again had a short outing because of a high pitch count.

Velasquez put nine men on base and struck out seven. He threw 94 pitches, 70 for strikes.

After Velasquez's last start in Pittsburgh, Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said the right-hander's secondary pitches simply need to improve, that he needs to be able to show more than just a mid-90s fastball.

On Thursday, Velasquez threw 72 fastballs, 14 curveballs, four sliders and four changeups. The Rockies swung through only two of those 22 off-speed pitches and went 4 for 6 when putting them in play.

Mackanin left Velasquez in to hit for himself with runners on first and second and no outs in the bottom of the fifth and Velasquez popped out on a sacrifice attempt. Many fans have already questioned the decision, but let's keep in mind Velasquez has handled the bat well. He's 6 for 17 (.353) on the season and tied for the major-league lead in hits among pitchers. He had an infield single in his first at-bat.

Rockies left-hander Tyler Anderson continued the theme of mediocre starting pitchers stymying the Phillies. Anderson allowed just one run on six hits over seven innings with seven strikeouts.

In the series, Rockies starting pitchers allowed three runs in 27 innings. They had a 1.00 ERA, a 0.96 WHIP and more than a strikeout per inning. And these four starters — Jeff Hoffman, German Marquez, Tyler Chatwood and Anderson — entered the series with a combined 5.27 ERA.

Bullpen report
Edubray Ramos, Pat Neshek, Joaquin Benoit, Hector Neris, Luis Garcia and Jeanmar Gomez each pitched one scoreless inning. It's understandably been overlooked during the Phillies' skid, but the bullpen is finally in a groove. Over their last seven games, Phillies relievers have allowed just two earned runs in 22 2/3 innings for a 0.79 ERA.

Neris threw 10 pitches, all of them strikes. He's allowed one run in 9 2/3 innings since his meltdown at Dodger Stadium.

At the plate
Before the walk-off hit, Joseph stayed hot with a home run off the ivy wall in dead-center to start the bottom of the seventh.

Joseph is hitting .329 in May with six doubles, six homers, 15 RBIs and a .657 slugging percentage. The only first basemen in the majors with a higher slugging percentage this month are Yonder Alonso, Justin Bour and Paul Goldschmidt.

Joseph has now played 148 games with 498 plate appearances in the majors — slightly less than a full season. He's hit .255 with an .804 OPS, 28 home runs and 23 doubles. Those numbers are just above the league average for first basemen over that span.

Batting third, Odubel Herrera went 0 for 5 with five strikeouts. He's the first player in the majors this season to do that and the first Phillie since Pat Burrell in September 2008. Herrera is hitting .226 with a .275 OBP. 

Maikel Franco returned to the lineup after a two-game benching and went 1 for 5, singling up the middle in his first at-bat and flailing at a low-and-away, two-strike breaking ball to strike out with two on and one out in the eighth inning. He then struck out on three pitches to lead off the 11th.

Cameron Rupp walked three times, raising his on-base percentage from .330 to .345.

Up next
The Phillies start a three-game series at home against the Cincinnati Reds, who they haven't seen since the opening week of the season.

Friday, 7:05 p.m. — Aaron Nola (2-1, 3.52) vs. Bronson Arroyo (3-4, 6.75)

Saturday, 4:05 p.m. — Jerad Eickhoff (0-5, 4.70) vs. Scott Feldman (3-4, 3.99)

Sunday, 1:35 p.m. — Zach Eflin (0-2, 5.36) vs. Amir Garrett (3-3, 6.00)