Fire Sam Hinkie

Fire Sam Hinkie

The Sixers need a general manager who's willing to do the most important thing of all: give frequent local media interviews

Sam Hinkie should be ashamed of himself.

He's been the general manager of the Philadelphia 76ers for two months, and in that time he's given two press conferences and zero radio interviews. His only big interview since the draft wasn't with a local outlet, but with the NBA. If Hinkie walked into this room right now, I'm not so sure I'd recognize him. A true Philly guy, this guy's not.

What an insult to the fans of this great city. Reporters and radio hosts are representatives of the fans, and when Hinkie refuses interviews and likely gives lame, weak excuses like "I'm preparing for the draft" and "I'm concentrating on the season" and "I'm not going to tell you my entire offseason plan in advance," he's sending a clear message to every Sixers fan: "I don't care about you." There's a reason the Wells Fargo Center has been so empty for so many years.

Say what you will about Billy King, Ed Stefanski, Rod Thorn and Tony DiLeo, but at least those guys visited the WIP studios once in awhile.

The two giants of radio in this town, Howard Eskin and Angelo Cataldi, don't agree on much, but they're both understandably irate that Hinkie won't sit down for interviews with them. In fact, the WIP hosts are pretty much unanimous, except for the late-night fill-in guy.

Yes, we all loved the moves the Sixers made on draft night. But how much more fun would it have been if we as fans had seen it coming in advance? Imagine if Hinkie had gone on the morning show a few days before and told Angelo that yes, we're willing to trade Jrue Holliday and yes, we're only going to do it if we can have Nerlens Noel and a future first-round pick.

Hinkie could have shown us, the greatest fans in the world, that he trusts us, and given us all kinds of excitement coming into the draft. It would've been Sixers fans' little secret, and all the more exciting when it finally happens.

We need a real GM in this city, someone who's willing to talk to the fans about his moves and trust us in advance with his draft and free agency strategy. Because in two years, when the Sixers' roster has two high first round picks each from the 2013 and 2014 drafts as well as copious cap space, it's paramount that team be led by a GM who knows what he's doing and, more importantly, is willing to give honest, candid interviews regularly to local TV, radio and print outlets.

So fire Sam Hinkie, hire Allen Iverson as GM and Dikembe Mutombo as coach, and we'll be good to go.

Other Philly sports takes:

- All right, I'm excited to be here in Lehigh for another exciting year of Eagles training camp! No traffic on the way up, and I found a nice, cheap hotel room and everything. My only question is, where is everybody?

- I love the Flyers' hiring of Ron Hextall. We all love the Broad Street Bullies, but let's face it- this team has been living in the past of its '70s legacy for way too long. So I'm glad they're now, at last, embracing their '80s legacy.

- If Taylor Swift wasn't able to play in the rain at the Linc, I don't have much hope for this year's Eagles team.

- Soccer rioters in Brazil murdered a referee and mounted his severed head on a spike? I never want to hear a bad word about Philly fans again.

- The Phillies may be under .500 and looking in every way like they're on their last legs, but I still say they should be buyers, just to be on the safe side. Jesse Biddle for Alfonso Soriano. Maikel Franco for Jake Peavy. If they're going to make a run, the Phils need some veteran leadership.

- There are times when we, as sports fans, get cynical. We question whether the good days are gone for good, and our hopes and dreams as fans are dying or dead. But then Demetress Bell signs with the Cowboys, and our faith is once gain restored.

FakeWIPCaller wrote this post. You can follow FakeWIPCaller on Twitter.

Want to play corner for Jim Schwartz? Must worry about more than deep ball

Want to play corner for Jim Schwartz? Must worry about more than deep ball

The Eagles might not have any top-flight cornerbacks, but they certainly have a lot of guys with some talent.

Many of them are young, and all of them are battling for just several roster spots.

That hodgepodge of talent has made the corner position one of the more intriguing spots at this year's training camp. We're not sure how it'll all shake out, who will be the starters, who will be the depth players.

But one thing's for certain: Defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz wants all of them to be aggressive.

"It's going to be fun to watch the corners compete," Schwartz said after practice Tuesday. "We have some guys that can cover. We have some guys that have a great opportunity here. If they'll get up and they'll challenge receivers, like I said before, if you can cover — you can't cover many people if you don't want to challenge guys. That's God's honest truth. I could play the deep ball. I'd get my ass 50 yards deep and you couldn't get one over the top of me, but I couldn't cover anything else.

"There's a fine line in there. And the fine line is you obviously have to play the deep ball in this league, but if that's the only thing you're worried about, you're not going to cover anything else."

Schwartz said he's happy with the blend of veteran and young players on the roster, before rattling off five names: Nolan Carroll, Leodis McKelvin, Ron Brooks, JaCorey Shepherd and rookie Jalen Mills.

The one notable omission from that list of names is second-year player Eric Rowe, who finished last year as a starter, but has been somewhat of a forgotten man this spring and summer. On Monday, head coach Doug Pederson mentioned some "hiccups" Rowe encountered learning the new defensive scheme (see story).

Even with Rowe buried on the depth chart for now, there are still plenty of talented, young corners fighting for jobs.

Carroll, on the other hand, isn't young. He's 29 and a returning starter from last year. Schwartz praised Carroll's smarts and said he's been a resource for younger players. But Carroll is also coming off of a fibula fracture and subsequent surgery. That's why he's one of the select vets that reported to camp early.

"This is important for him now," Schwartz said. "It's a good opportunity for him to come back before the full club gets here, just to sort of test it out and see how he's feeling. You don't want to judge too much. He might need a day here or there. It helps that he's a veteran player."

It seems Carroll, on a one-year deal, has a decent shot of being a starter opposite McKelvin. During the spring, Brooks worked outside in the base package and moved inside to the slot. At times, the rookie Mills also played in the slot.

Schwartz said corners in the slot need a different set of skills than the ones outside. They need to have the "courage" to take on big-bodied running backs and the occasional pulling guard. They also need to cover differently.

"It's very rare that you're getting the same routes," he said. "You're not getting the same routes from the slot as you are from the outside. So there's a different skill set. Some guys can play both, some guys can't. So it's our job to determine over the next six weeks where all the guys fit in that."

Tonight's lineup: Ryan Howard starts; Ichiro in CF, 4 hits away from 3,000

Tonight's lineup: Ryan Howard starts; Ichiro in CF, 4 hits away from 3,000

Ryan Howard is in the Phillies' lineup Tuesday night, batting fourth against Marlins right-hander Tom Koehler. 

It's the second start in three games for Howard, who has actually been productive lately when he's gotten a chance to start. He went 2 for 3 on Saturday and had a homer in three of his previous five starts. Over that span he's gone 6 for 21 with three home runs and five RBIs as the Phillies' starting first baseman.

One of those homers was against Koehler last week at Citizens Bank Park, a two-run shot.

Howard's struggles this season have been well-documented and he's still hitting just .165, but he and Tommy Joseph have produced from a power standpoint. The only team in the majors that has more home runs from its first basemen than the Phillies (24) is the Cubs (26).

1. Cesar Hernandez, 2B
2. Odubel Herrera, CF
3. Maikel Franco, 3B
4. Ryan Howard, 1B
5. Cameron Rupp, C
6. Cody Asche, LF
7. Freddy Galvis, SS
8. Peter Bourjos, RF
9. Jerad Eickhoff, P

And for the Marlins:

1. Ichiro, CF (four hits away from 3,000)
2. Martin Prado, 3B
3. Christian Yelich, LF
4. Giancarlo Stanton, RF
5. Chris Johnson, 1B
6. Adeiny Hechavarria, SS
7. Jeff Mathis, C
8. Miguel Rojas, 2B
9. Tom Koehler, P

Adjusting to new home, Ben Simmons plays role model at Sixers Camp

Adjusting to new home, Ben Simmons plays role model at Sixers Camp

Wayne, Pa. -- Three steps. 

That’s all it takes before Ben Simmons is recognized walking through the streets of Philadelphia. 

This year’s No. 1 pick has been in the spotlight long before the Sixers drafted him in June, and now he's experiencing what it's like to be known as an NBA player in his new city. 

“I’ve been enjoying walking around South Street, getting some Ishkabibble's,” Simmons said Tuesday after a special appearance at the Sixers' Camp at Valley Forge Military Academy. 

At 6-foot-10, Simmons towers above most on the court, let alone on the sidewalk. Fans have been eager to welcome him to Philadelphia for a new chapter of the organization after three years of struggle. 

“Positive things,” Simmons said of the comments he receives. “I think a lot of people are excited, so I’ve been looking forward to it.”

Simmons understands the impact a professional athlete can have on young fans, and was excited to be at camp Tuesday.

Growing up in Australia, he never had the opportunity to hear from NBA players when he attended basketball camps. Now that he's in that position, the 20-year-old was glad to provide that memory to the 240 campers. 

“That would mean a lot if I was able to experience that,” Simmons said. 

Simmons demonstrated skill drills, such as passing fundamentals, interacted in a Q+A session and signed autographs for each camper. He also took individual photos for those who traveled internationally, including from Nigeria, Italy and Greece. 

“I’m just like them, but older,” Simmons said. “I’m just trying to be a good role model to them.”

Simmons plans to spend most of the offseason in Philadelphia as he gets settled into the city. He still has to move into his new home, but at least he knows where to get a cheesesteak in the meantime.