Inside the Standings: Make It Stop

Inside the Standings: Make It Stop

You probably don't need me to tell you, but it's grim, folks. I'm not going to paint the scene today. There are the up-to-date standings on the right, and we can all see for ourselves how far out of the race the Phillies are.

So this is my latest proposal: a moratorium on all playoff talk. Stop it, Marcus Hayes. I don't want to hear about their slim chances right now, or how many games they have to win over the next two-and-a-half months. Even if they sweep the Rockies over the weekend, then take two of three from the Dodgers, just leave it alone. They're still way out.

Everybody is so obsessed with the Phillies making the playoffs, but in terms of a turnaround, why don't we try focusing on something a little bit smaller to start with. The team is 13 games below .500. I would like to see them at least get back to that mark before the season is over.

Enough of this 50-25 nonsense. If the Phils suddenly start winning at .667 clip for the rest of the month, we'll lift the ban, and entertain the notion they can pull off the impossible.

Frankly, I'll take 44-31 at this point. That puts them at 81-81 once everything is said and done, and more to the point, a .587 winning percentage falls more in line with a realistic projection over a full season. If they did that in 162 games next season, they would win 95.

Do it the rest of the way, and that should be enough to keep them from finishing in the cellar in the NL East. Maybe they can even jump as high as third.

And, no, this is not a call to give up on this season. If they can do better, that's great, and if they somehow wind up in the postseason, even better. Continuously setting the bar higher and higher is madness though. Next they'll tell us the Phillies can still make the playoffs... if they win out... the entire month of September.

Not to mention all of this playoff talk makes nothing of the fact that the front office could sell off important pieces of the clubhouse over the next couple of weeks.

At this point, I'd simply like to see some signs of life. There are problems with the current makeup of the roster, but a few of them can be fixed in the offseason. If the guys who are still going to be around next year can get healthy and start producing, that actually might be a sign of things to come -- if only for 2013.

Best of MLB: Mike Trout (thumb) leaves early as Marlins crush Angels

Best of MLB: Mike Trout (thumb) leaves early as Marlins crush Angels

MIAMI -- Mike Trout sprained his left thumb stealing second base Sunday, and the Los Angeles Angels took a thumping without him, losing 9-2 to the Miami Marlins.

Trout yelled in pain as he rose after sliding headfirst in the fifth inning. He was examined by a trainer, stayed in the game, but was replaced in the sixth. X-rays were negative, and there was no immediate timetable regarding his return.

The reigning American League MVP was 0 for 2 when he departed with the Angels trailing 4-2. He finished 2 for 9 in the series to drop his average to .337 (see full recap).

Aaron Judge hit first-career grand slam in Yankees' win
NEW YORK -- Aaron Judge hit his first career grand slam and the New York Yankees took full advantage of Oakland's shoddy defense Sunday in a 9-5 victory over the Athletics.

Michael Pineda (6-2) tossed six innings of three-hit ball to win his third straight start. Aaron Hicks and Chris Carter each had an early sacrifice fly as the AL East leaders scored five unearned runs and took two of three in a well-pitched series.

Judge connected with two outs in the third for his 16th home run, tying Mike Trout of the Angels for the big league lead. The drive landed in the right-field seats, not far in front of The Judge's Chambers cheering section installed by the Yankees for the start of this 4-2 homestand.

Khris Davis hit his 15th home run for the A's, who committed two more costly errors to raise their season total to 49. They began the day with 10 more than any other team in the majors.

The fielding failures put starter Andrew Triggs (5-4) in tough situations. He went six innings and gave up one earned run (see full recap).

Miguel Gonzalez loses perfect game in seventh, but pitches White Sox to win
CHICAGO -- Miguel Gonzalez took a perfect game into the seventh inning, Todd Frazier hit a two-run homer and the Chicago White Sox beat the Detroit Tigers 7-3 on Sunday.

Melky Cabrera and Matt Davidson also connected, helping the White Sox take three of four in the series. David Robertson got two outs for his seventh save.

Gonzalez (4-5) allowed three runs and six hits in 7 2/3 innings while snapping a five-start losing streak. The right-hander struck out six and walked none.

Gonzalez retired his first 18 batters before Andrew Romine led off the seventh with a hard one-hop liner to shortstop Tim Anderson, who couldn't field the ball cleanly and was originally charged with an error. Alex Avila followed with a single into to right field, and Romine's ball was later changed to a hit (see full recap).

Gone but not forgotten: Joel Embiid remembers Harambe on 1-year anniversary of death

Gone but not forgotten: Joel Embiid remembers Harambe on 1-year anniversary of death

Gone, but not forgotten … as long as Sixers superstar center Joel Embiid has his way.

On the one-year anniversary of Harambe's death, Embiid remembered the slain gorilla on Instagram with the caption: "Gone but never forgotten #RIPHarambe."

The Instagram post was accompanied by a picture of Harambe along with a longer message and acquired over 22,700 likes within the first 37 minutes of its posting.

Gone but never forgotten #RIPHarambe

A post shared by Joel "The Process" Embiid (@joelembiid) on

There are some factual errors in Embiid's post, however. The picture stated that Harambe "would've been 18 today," which was posted Sunday.

Harambe's birthday was May 27, 1999. He would have been 18 years and one day old Sunday.

This was not Embiid's first participation in the Harambe Internet meme.

Regardless, the tragic killing of Harambe, a popular male gorilla at the Cincinnati Zoo, sparked outrage and then Harambe became an Internet meme.