Johnny Marz Will Be Missed

Johnny Marz Will Be Missed

News of John Marzano's death
shocked us all on Saturday. I was sitting in the 11th row at Citizens Bank Park when I received a text message with the extremely sad news. The exact cause of death is still uncertain but word of a fall down the stairs in his home in South Philadelphia have been reported.

Some will remember Johnny Marz for his lengthy career as a back up catcher for the Red Sox and Mariners but I'll remember him fondly from his days at Comcast Sportsnet and 610 WIP. I can't say I ever had the chance to listen to Marz on his most recent gig with but certainly thought he did a great job with his Phillies analysis in years past. Whether it was his guest appearances on the morning show or his Saturday afternoon shows talking everything Phillies, Marz was a Phillies fan willing to call things like he saw them.

Jim Salisbury has a great remembrance piece and I thought it was worth quoting this excerpt.

Yes, everyone in baseball knew where John Marzano was from. Wherever he
went, wherever he played, from Boston to Texas to Seattle, he let it be
known that he was proud to be from South Philadelphia, proud to be from
Central High, proud to be from Temple.

Johnny Marz was the kind of guy you loved representing the Philly sports community. He was a true Philadelphian. He worked hard on the field, played gritty, gave back to the community, knew baseball in and out, and perhaps most importantly, wore his passion for the game on his sleeve.

John Marzano - 1963-2008 [ Tribute]

A video tribute after the jump.

Ben Simmons, Robert Covington react to Ersan Ilyasova trade

Ben Simmons, Robert Covington react to Ersan Ilyasova trade

On Wednesday, the Sixers traded Ersan Ilyasova to the Hawks in exchange for Tiago Splitter and a 2017 second-round pick, as well as the option to swap 2017 second-round selections (see story).

"I want to thank Ersan Ilyasova for his positive contributions to this organization both on and off the basketball court," president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo said in a statement. "Ersan is a true professional whose daily examples of hard work, focus and consistency have helped facilitate the ongoing growth of our program and culture."

The Sixers took to Instagram to express their appreciation for Ilyasova’s leadership. Ilyasova quickly embraced the role of a veteran go-to when he was traded to the Sixers in early November. Both posts below exemplify his team-first mentality.

✊🏼 A true Pro @ersanilyasova7

A post shared by Ben Simmons (@bensimmons) on

Thanks for being a great teammate @ersanilyasova7. Wishing you the best in ATL

A post shared by Rob Covington (@atf_33) on

Best of NHL: Rickard Rakell, Ducks snap Bruins' win streak at 4

Best of NHL: Rickard Rakell, Ducks snap Bruins' win streak at 4

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Rickard Rakell broke a tie with his second goal with 2:34 to play, and the Anaheim Ducks snapped Boston's four-game winning streak under new coach Bruce Cassidy with a 5-3 victory over the Bruins on Wednesday night.

Rakell also scored in the second period for the Ducks and has 24 goals in his outstanding season. Ondrej Kase, Josh Manson and Andrew Cogliano also scored for Anaheim, and Jonathan Bernier made 26 saves in his first victory since Jan. 23.

Frank Vatrano scored the tying goal in the third period for the Bruins, who hadn't lost since Cassidy replaced Claude Julien on Feb. 7. Defensemen Brandon Carlo and Zdeno Chara scored early goals, and Tuukka Rask stopped 20 shots.

Anaheim beat Boston for the seventh straight time (see full recap).

Rare goal from Russell lifts Oilers over Panthers
SUNRISE, Fla. -- Kris Russell's goal with 7:58 left was his first in more than a year and lifted the Edmonton Oilers over Florida 4-3 on Wednesday night to snap the Panthers' five-game winning streak.

Russell's goal was his first since Feb. 11, 2016, when he played for Calgary. He went goalless in his first 48 games with the Oilers.

Fellow defenseman Oscar Klefbom also scored for Edmonton, as did forwards Zack Kassian and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Connor McDavid, who came into the night leading the NHL scoring race, had an assist on Russell's goal.

Aleksander Barkov, Colton Sceviour and Jonathan Marchessault scored for Florida. Keith Yandle had two assists for the Panthers, giving him 400 points for his career.

Cam Talbot stopped 31 shots for the Oilers, who have won their last eight games at Florida -- last losing on the Panthers' ice in 2002. James Reimer made 31 saves for the Panthers, who just completed a 5-0-0 road trip (see full recap).