Manuel and Lincecum's Little War of Words Should Add to SF Series Intrigue

Manuel and Lincecum's Little War of Words Should Add to SF Series Intrigue

The Phillies are back in San Francisco this weekend where the temperatures apparently feel like October. With both teams making big trade deadline acquisitions to help bolster their respective title runs, the atmosphere at AT&T Park over the next four days should be pretty fantastic.

Not only are two of the NL's best facing off, but there was a minor battle of words between Charlie Manuel and Giants' Ace Tim Lincecum after San Fran came into Philly last week and beat the Phillies over the series.

It all started when a reporter said something about the Giants starters being "great," which Charlie Manuel didn't necessarily agree with per se.

From SFGate.com:

"They're good pitchers. You say they're great pitchers? To me, I don't know how great they are," Manuel said, as quoted in the Philadelphia Daily News.

"As they move on into their careers, the longevity part, I think that's when the greatness might come. ... When you say somebody is great, I look up there and tonight I saw a 90 (mph) fastball, 92 at best (from Lincecum). I saw a good changeup. I saw a breaking ball and I saw a cutter ... but at the same time, we can beat that. I've seen us beat that."

Now, I was listening to the Phils' presser when Charlie made these comments, and I don't believe Manuel was trying to really belittle Lincecum or Cain, but rather stress that to earn the "great" moniker you have to do it for a long period of time.

Still, his comments were a bit curious.

According to the Chronicle, Tim Lincecum "seemed floored by the quotes," and added that Manuel was probably just frustrated at the first Phils series loss in just about a month.

"They're not used to it," Linecum said. "It might have something to do with what happened in the NLCS, too. You'll have to ask him."

Gah. That stupid NLCS.

It appears the only way we can get that stupid 2010 NLCS out of our minds is if the Phils can erase those memories by winning the 2011 World Series.

That would be a nice panacea.

That said, this four game set this weekend should be a great test for both teams.

>>Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain slighted by Phils' Charlie Manuel [SFGate]

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).