Rumblings: Astros Give Phillies Friday Deadline?

Rumblings: Astros Give Phillies Friday Deadline?

The rumor mill continues to swirl, but mostly fans are just screaming their opinions to anyone that is willing to listen (or follow them on Twitter).

Real substantive information in the past 24-hours has been pretty thin. The Phillies still appear very much in on guys like Hunter Pence. Late last night Ken Rosenthal said the Astros may put a time window on a deal to the Phillies.

The teams will need to reach agreement by Friday, or the Astros will
move on to other suitors — including the Phillies’ NL East rival, the
Braves.

So, something *could* happen in the next few hours. Or it might not. Nobody knows.

Jim Salisbury certainly looks at July 29th as the day Ruben Amaro Jr. typically works his magic, adding "Will Amaro follow suit and come through again on July 29? Signs are certainly pointing that way."

Ruben certainly seems poised to make something happen.

But one of my favorite bits of analysis over the past couple of days was when Hall of Famer Pat Gillick was a guest on last night's DNL with Michael Barkann and went into GM styles.

Barkann asked the former Phillies GM how his approach differed from current GM Ruben Amaro Jr. Gillick equated himself to more of a window shopper at the King of Prussia Mall, always looking for a bargain. He then said Ruben sees something he wants, and goes right into Nordstrom and buys it regardless of price. Amaro is much more aggressive.

Is the attitude of getting the piece you want regardless of cost a good strategy? It's worked for him in the past.

Amaro's aggressiveness may be tested over the next day or two, because the Astros appear to want a whole lot in return for Hunter Pence.

Also, you have to wonder how Gillick made it into the Hall of Fame when he thinks he's going to find a bargain at the King of Prussia Mall.

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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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.