Lunchtime Extras: D-1 Yankees Offering Werth A Scholarship?

Lunchtime Extras: D-1 Yankees Offering Werth A Scholarship?

7. If this whole "trade" thing doesn't work out and Donovan McNabb winds up an Eagle next year, will he demand another financial apology? Not sure who negotiates Florio's salaries, but generally the employer that tried to dump you doesn't turn around and hand you a raise. [PFT]

6. Among the notable cuts as the Phillies trim down to their 25-man roster was John Mayberry Jr. With his demotion back to Triple-A, the 26-year-old outfielder may have missed his opportunity to ever catch on with the big league club. [Beerleaguer]

5. It hasn't been the most confident of times for the Flyers, but they're still making noise as we come down the stretch. They still have a team that's capable of winning a playoff series or two, even if they were to wind up as the eight seed playing playing the Capitals. Oh, and something about a bridge being for sale. [Sporting News]

4. The Sixers are finding results from an unlikely player: Jason Kapono. Their current two-game winning streak (!!) coincides with Kapono's recent catapult into the starting lineup, a far cry from the abysmal beginning to his season when he was glued to the bench. [Burlington Co. Times]

3. Surefire way to start an unwarranted political debate on The Level: President Barack Obama will throw out the first pitch at this year's Phillies Nationals home opener against the Phillies.[Daily News]

2. Win or lose, most fans are simply happy Philadelphia has a pro soccer team. Dave Zeitlin watched the Union's inaugural game from the Dark Horse Pub, where the feeling after the game was upbeat. And drunk. Maybe just drunk... [CSN]

Even in the final minute, when the outcome was all but assured, a chorus of “Philadelphia” and “Uuuuuuuuuuu” chants echoed through every room in the pub with fans even applauding after the game ended. 

Imagine that. Cheers after a loss.

1. Jayson Werth's luncheon and on-field conversation with Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson has sparked a mild case of paranoia. Paul Hagen suggests the Yankees are using Mr. October as a means to recruiting the free agent-to-be over to the dark side. Werth says Jackson is an old family friend, saying what they spoke about was their business. It's certainly not impossible as it seems to stay under the umbrella of the rules regarding tampering, but it sounds like it would an unnecessarily early step to take. [Philly.com]

Steve Mason rediscovers himself in New York just before Flyers return

Steve Mason rediscovers himself in New York just before Flyers return

It had been a while since Steve Mason saw himself.

Walking into the Barclays Center on Sunday, the Flyers’ goalie was 0-6-2 with a 4.03 goals-against average and .844 save percentage over his last 10 appearances (see more recent Flyers numbers and stats).

A far cry from how Mason truly sees himself in net.

But heading into Wednesday’s rivalry clash with the Rangers, Mason will have something to build on, something he couldn’t say since Dec. 21 - the last previous time he had earned a victory. He’s fresh off his first win in over a month, a massive one for Mason considering all the key moments on Sunday the Flyers hope invigorate his confidence.

Without numerous clutch stops from their goalie, the Flyers don’t come back from two goals down to beat the Islanders, 3-2, in overtime. Mason made four saves  — three on four-time All-Star John Tavares — in just over a minute of a third-period power play. The Flyers ended up having to kill two New York man advantages in the final 10 minutes of regulation in order to force overtime.

The extra session is when Mason was just as good, if not better, stoning Tavares on a breakaway attempt that had game-winner written all over it. Mason made four saves in overtime after 13 in the third period.

“I was happy with the way that, personally, this game went for myself,” Mason said Sunday. “It’s been a tough stretch and this is more the type of game that I expect of myself. In recent games, the team was lacking the big saves and tonight it shows what kind of difference it can make.”

It was a massive performance heading into a massive three-game stretch against the Rangers, Maple Leafs and Hurricanes.

“Mase made some huge saves for us,” Simmonds said. “It allowed us to get back in that game.

“It’s not just Mase [with the] ups and downs. Everyone in here has been kind of fighting it and squeezing sticks pretty tight. That one felt good and I think Mase led the charge for sure.”

Mason understands just one game doesn’t turn around a season.

“It’s nice to feel good after a game,” Mason said. “At the same time, whether you’re winning or losing, you have to have a short mindset and get ready for the next one.”

That brings the Flyers to Madison Square Garden Wednesday to face the Rangers, who they’ve lost five straight games to dating back to last season. Mason hasn’t had much luck against New York this season, allowing seven goals in two losses with an .860 save percentage. However, in 2015-16, Mason put up a 1.74 goals-against average and .941 save percentage in five games against the Rangers.

“That’s going to be a tough game going into MSG,” Mason said Tuesday (see story).

The good thing: Mason was in New York two days ago, remembering what he can be.

Manute Bol's 7-foot, 17-year-old son dominates in HS season debut

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AP Images

Manute Bol's 7-foot, 17-year-old son dominates in HS season debut

Bol Bol, the 17-year-old son of the late Manute Bol, is a top high school basketball prospect with offers from schools like Arizona, Kansas and Creighton. This highlight tape should give you an idea why.
 
Bol, whose father played in the NBA for parts of 12 seasons, including 215 games for the Sixers, now attends the famed Mater Dei High School in California and played in his first game of the season this past weekend. Listed as the No. 16 overall prospect in the 2018 recruiting class by Scout, Bol started his season off with a big 21-point, 10-rebound effort.
 
Take a look at the highlight tape from the 6-foot-11 Bol and expect to see him carry on his father’s legacy on the court at a major NCAA college basketball program soon.