Happening Elsewhere: The Big Four-Leafed Clover

Happening Elsewhere: The Big Four-Leafed Clover

This one has been in the works for a while now, but sometime in the last 48 hours (I think) it went official: Shaquille O'Neal, billion-time All-Star and future-Hall of Famer is a member of the Boston Celtics. Shaq had sought a two-year deal for about the mid-level to play on a contender, but ultimately decided the latter portion was more important (or perhaps just more practical) than the first two. So a one-year deal for the vet minimum (about $1.5 mil--don't worry, I'm sure he can always find some loose change in the couch cushions if need be) to be Boston's (eventual) third-string center. Weird.

Can the Diesel still be a contributor on a good team? I feel like it's always useful to have a 600-pound behemoth of a center, who at the very least will continue to command a double team and put the fear of God into undersized guards brave enough to drive the lane against him well into his 60s. Yet the advanced stats showed pretty unequivocally that the Cavs were a better team last year with Shaq off the floor and on, and considering that his skill set never exactly screamed "System Guy," it's hard to know what to do with the guy when you can't just focus the entire offense around him anymore.

Regardless, the Celtics badly need big-man depth without Rasheed Wallace and (for at least half the year) Kendrick Perkins, and you never know when someone is gonna give recent signee Jermaine O'Neal too hard a look and send him back to the DL for a month or two. For the things that Shaq can provide them, the deal is really something of a steal for the C's--though of course, taking the back seat and playing his part was never a particular strong suit of Shaq Fu's, and you never knwo when things could backfire.

Still, I'm looking forward to watch the awkwardness of O'Neal riding the pine in the Green and White. I'm hoping Shaq embraces his fate in his twilight years and becomes the league's Ultimate 12th Man, whooping on the sidelines, waving towels, leading the cheers, etc. The Big Whatever's skill set on the court may be eroding, but give him semi-official Vice President in Charge of Partying and Funny Hats responsibilities, and the dude can still bring it with the best of 'em. The potential for greatness is there, certainly, in one form or the other.

Oh yeah, and yet another chance at a Kobe-Shaq finals. You know, a watched pot never boils, ABC. Quit trying to force it.

Matt Read out approximately a month; Flyers recall Taylor Leier, send down Scott Laughton

Matt Read out approximately a month; Flyers recall Taylor Leier, send down Scott Laughton

Updated: 7 p.m.

Flyers winger Matt Read will miss approximately a month with an upper-body injury suffered in Sunday's 4-2 win over the Predators when he was checked by Filip Forsberg. Sources tell CSNPhilly.com's Tim Panaccio the injury is an oblique muscle pull in Read's upper torso.

The 30-year-old has six goals and four assists for 10 points through 27 games. Five of those goals came in the Flyers' first five games.

To replace Read's roster spot, the Flyers recalled Taylor Leier and sent Scott Laughton to AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley. That likely means penalty-kill specialist Boyd Gordon (back), who is eligible to come off long-term injury reserve, will be activated.

Leier, 22, has been playing well with the Phantoms, posting six goals and 14 assists in 22 games (see Future Flyers Report). This is Leier's second stint of the season with the Flyers, albeit his first was short — one game on Oct. 25 in which he was a healthy scratch. He made his NHL debut last season and played six games.

Laughton was a healthy scratch the past five games.

If for some reason Gordon is not activated, the Flyers can call up another forward from Lehigh Valley. Jordan Weal is tied for second in the AHL with 24 points (nine goals, 15 assists) in 20 games, while veteran winger Colin McDonald is an experienced, bottom-six option.

Emily Youcis, aka 'Pistachio Girl,' fired from vendor position at Citizens Bank Park

Emily Youcis, aka 'Pistachio Girl,' fired from vendor position at Citizens Bank Park

A popular food vendor at Citizens Bank Park who supports the white nationalist movement has been fired.

Aramark, which operates food concessions at Citizens Bank Park, tells The Philadelphia Inquirer that Emily Youcis is no longer employed after "publicly connecting our company to views that contradict our values."

Youcis, aka "Pistachio Girl," tweeted Monday that she was let go last week.

Youcis was involved in a tussle last month outside the conference of the National Policy Institute, a white nationalist group. Youcis tried to interview protesters, asking questions like: "Do you hate white people?" A protester spray-painted Youcis' hair and a photographer was bloodied. Some protesters were taken into police custody.

The conference drew headlines after some attendees evoked Adolf Hitler's Third Reich with cries of "Heil Trump" and use of the Nazi salute.

CSNPhilly.com added to this report.