Not a lot of people came out to the WFC on Monday night to watch the Sixers get shredded by the Brooklyn Nets in the Ballers' fourth game of the pre-season. Coach Brett Brown referred to the game as a "reality check," and though he was probably more talking about the 127-97 final score, he could have also been taking about the crowd of about 1500 fans in attendance, a number not likely to swell tremendously for some of the Sixers' home games this regular season.
Evan Turner, the Sixers' best offensive player last night (23 points on 8-16 shooting, five boards, four assists) and second longest-tenured veteran, was unfazed by the underwhelming turnout. The way he sees it, the Sixers have something to prove before they can expect much in the way of fan response. Quoth the Villain:
I kind of already expected that...You gotta give fans a reason to come out. If you build it, they will come.
Well, the 76ers turning into a winning basketball team this season would be only slightly less improbable an outcome than a corn field in Iowa turning into a baseball diamond for the ghosts of the 1919 White Sox, so I guess you can call him Evan Kinsella on this one. And like Field of Dreams, it's also a safe bet that this Sixers season is going to have the power to make grown men cry. And that James Earl Jones will be involved somehow. DON'T QUESTION IT.
In any event, if Turner keeps playing like he has in the pre-season, it probably won't be long before GM Sam Hinkie gives in to the "Ease his pain" whispers and flips ET to the Pacers for a draft pick and an expiring.
LOUISVILLE, Ky.-- Hall of Fame pitcher Jim Bunning, who pitched six seasons with the Phillies and went on to serve in Congress, has died. He was 85.
Bunning's death was confirmed by Jon Deuser, who served as chief of staff when Bunning was in the Senate. Deuser said he was notified about the death by Bunning's family.
Bunning won 224 games in a 17-year major-league career and pitched the first perfect game in modern National League history. It came with the Phillies on June 21, 1964.
He became the first pitcher after 1900 to throw no-hitters in both the American and National Leagues.
He belonged to a rare group of major league pitchers to throw a perfect game in the modern era.
A Kentucky Republican, he was the only member of the Baseball Hall of Fame to serve in Congress. He served in both the House and Senate.
Cesar Hernandez returns to the Phillies' punchless lineup Saturday afternoon against the Reds (4 p.m./TCN).
Hernandez, who missed Friday night's 5-2 loss with a groin injury, is back at second base and leading off. Hernandez has led off in all 44 games he's started this season. The fifth-year pro has struggled after getting off to a torrid start. He's hitting just .185 (10 for 54) over his last 14 games.
After bouncing around the lineup, centerfielder Odubel Herrera returns to his customary spot in the two-hole. Herrera's season is a microcosm of the Phils' woeful offense. An All-Star in 2016, Herrera is hitting just .227 this season. Manager Pete Mackanin hopes the Venezuelan will hit his way out of it soon (see story).
Here is the rest of today's lineup:
1. Cesar Hernandez, 2B
2. Odubel Herrera, CF
3. Aaron Altherr, LF
4. Tommy Joseph, 1B
5. Michael Saunders, RF
6. Maikel Franco, 3B
7. Cameron Rupp, C
8. Freddy Galvis, SS
9. Jerad Eickhoff, P