Quotable: Amid Trade Rumors, Hunter Pence Praises Philly Fans

Quotable: Amid Trade Rumors, Hunter Pence Praises Philly Fans

As the Phillies seemingly approach a "sell" period before the trade deadline hits on July 31, very few names have been left off the table. The latest is Hunter Pence, who reportedly the team is "eager to move" according to a story by Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.

Who ultimately will and will not be up for grabs when Ruben Amaro finally pulls the plug on this season is still anybody's guess. I'm sure he's tested the waters with any number of players, and would listen to calls for just about anyone. Pence hears the noise though, and he's hoping rumor doesn't become reality. Philadelphia is where he wants to play.

In an interview on 94WIP (via CBS Philly), Pence praised the passion of Phillies fans, and made his preference perfectly clear:

“I just heard [the report]. Right now. I love Philly, I love being here, I mean look at these fans. The passion is unbelievable. There’s no better place to play baseball, no better place to win, really no worse place to lose, but that’s what you’ve got to love if you’re a competitor, you love passion from your fans,” Pence told 94WIP’s Michael Barkann and Ike Reese. “You know, we expect a lot of ourselves and I absolutely love it here, so I hope [a trade] doesn’t come through.”

You gotta love that, but it doesn't change the fact that Pence will be a free agent following next season, and whether the Phillies intend to keep him beyond that depends on a number of factors -- how a then 31-year-old right fielder prices himself, for one.

We don't envy RAJ in this situation, having to make determinations on which players can be part of the long-term solution when they would otherwise still be under contract. Ultimately the decision to trade a player like Pence probably depends on the return, which Rosenthal noted may not be great. However, offers are certainly worthy of consideration.

Only one thing is really for certain at this point: things are about to get interesting.

St. Joe's to meet St. John's in 2017 Hall of Fame Holiday Showcase

usa-phil-martelli-stjoes.jpg
USA Today Images

St. Joe's to meet St. John's in 2017 Hall of Fame Holiday Showcase

With the matchups for Saint Joseph's men's basketball's conference slate already set, the Hawks have now added an old northeast corridor rival to the nonconference portion of their schedule.

The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced Monday afternoon that St. Joe's and St. John's will meet on Dec. 20 during of the seventh annual Hall of Fame Holiday Showcase at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. Providence and Houston will play in the other contest of the two-game event.

“We are honored to be associated with the Basketball Hall of Fame, an organization that promotes all levels of the game," Saint Joseph’s head coach Phil Martelli said in a statement released Monday. "We're delighted for our players to have the opportunity to compete against the legendary St. John's program and are looking forward to an old-fashioned Philly vs. New York matchup.” 

The two schools have played just once in the past 37 years—when the sides met at Hagan Arena in 2013, the Red Storm pulled out a narrow victory to advance to the second round of the NIT. But December's matchup will be the 58th all-time meeting between the programs.

Saint Joseph's last played at the Mohegan Sun Arena back in the 2015 Hall of Fame Showcase, losing to Florida before knocking off Old Dominion in the consolation game. The Hawks return nearly their entire roster for the 2017-18 season, including all five starters, led by the backcourt duo of Shavar Newkirk and Lamarr Kimble.

Utley made a sick diving play during a very Chase weekend

utley.jpg

Utley made a sick diving play during a very Chase weekend

While things in the world of the Phillies are going about as poorly as anyone could have expected, Chase Utley reminded us over the weekend that he is still a bad man at the ripe old age of 38.

Check out this sick diving stop he made over the weekend during the Dodgers game against the Florida Marlins.

Just Chase being Chase.

Oh, and earlier in the weekend Utley is sprinting out of the dugout to get up in people's grills when Giancarlo Stanton even looks in his teammates' direction. Miss that guy. Always.

(Let's just ignore his numbers on the season (.205/.302/.289))