Morning Extras: When The Spectrum Goes, Where Go Its Tenants?

Morning Extras: When The Spectrum Goes, Where Go Its Tenants?

When logging on to Sixers.com yesterday I was greated with a lovely photo asking me to meet the Sixers Dancers. It seems the Sixers need to do something to get people in the stands, and close up encounters with the dance team may translate to a few more courtside sales. Hey, lonely men can dream...while watching some NBA hoops. Oh and by the way, that 'dance party' is like three blocks from my house, so anyone going to meet the Sixers dancers give me a call...so I can hide my daughter.

Anyway, the point: When clicking through to the main page, I saw a small banner on the top right that asked me to "Remember the Spectrum" with the birth and death date (1967-2009). Man, the concrete isn't even cold yet.

So the Spectrum will be gone in just a few months. I can remember a lot of memories from that building. I once had to scour the bowels of the arena to find the Beastie Boys bottles of water while they played 2-on-2 basketball before a concert at the Center. (Result: Fail). I was in the top row when the Phantoms won the Calder Cup.

Oh yeah, what the hell is going to happen to the Phantoms? I've looked online and the only thing I can find is a great breakdown from JULY that Wyshynski had over at Puck Daddy. If you Google search the term 'where will the phantoms play' and sift through the Phantom of the Opera links, there is a message board thread – people still use those? – giving some suggestions. I asked our own Matt P, who seems to be the resident hockey expert around here, and he wasn't sure that a decision has been made yet.

So, what is going to happen to the Phantoms? And the Kixx? And the in-season, smell up a city-block circus. And the Monster Truck rally that I've never been to but takes place every year on the weekend of my birthday. Where will all the excitement go?

LINKY DINKY DO:

• Maybe the Sixers should move back to the Spectrum. According to this report, they don't need as many seats as they get at the Center. The Sixers are 28th out of 30 teams in attendance. Phils hangover? This is an exciting young team who made the playoffs last year? I thought people cared about basketball in this town? (Note: I have turned down free tickets many times in the past two years. I'm as bad as anyone).

• The Flyers (whose website does not ask you to remember the Spectrum) lost to the Pens in a shootout. They were losing, they were winning, they were tied, they lost. Nobody could score in the shootout...it was riveting.

• Jayson Stark has the hot stove shopping lists. Phils: Bullpen depth, right-handed-hitting outfielder, a starting pitcher if they can't re-sign Jamie Moyer. He thinks Doug Brocail might be a good fit.

• So a few days ago I wrote that there was no way Andy Reid would be fired because we're all so happy now to have a title we don't care about coaches being fired anymore. Gonzo doesn't agree, officially calling for Big Red to be spit out into the trash (as long as he doesn't end up on my shoe...)

• Hillary Clinton might be Secretary of State. I still think it should could be John McCain.

• A great feature on the Haverford track coach, in the New York Times.

PHOTO PHUN:

Wednesday:

Winner, as called by Meech: am i PUSHING or PULLING, commoooon powertits - Will

Today, with a link:
• CC could be going to New York. They just aren't sure which New York. Which leads me to this photo of the day.

Joel Embiid posts amazing tribute to Sam Hinkie on Instagram

Joel Embiid posts amazing tribute to Sam Hinkie on Instagram

The treasure trove that is Joel Embiid's social media presence unearthed another jewel on Saturday evening.

The Sixers' big man took to Instagram to post a picture of himself chatting with local folk legend Sam Hinkie. As if that wasn't enough, check out the captions he wrote at the bottom.

THE GOAT #HeDiedForOurSins #TrustTheProcess

A photo posted by Joel Hans Embiid (@joelembiid) on

Let us break this down.

"THE GOAT" - As in Greatest Of All Time, not an actual goat you would find at your local petting zoo.

"#HeDiedForOurSins" - St. Sam, patron saint of analytical basketball martyrdom.

"#TrustTheProcess" - The rallying cry of the masses.

Sure, they may have taken away Sam, but they'll never take away JoJo's social media platforms. Never!

Union have no answer for Didier Drogba, Impact in 5-1 loss

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Associated Press

Union have no answer for Didier Drogba, Impact in 5-1 loss

MONTREAL  -- Didier Drogba broke out with a hat trick to lead the Montreal Impact to a 5-1 victory over the Union on Saturday night.

The 38-year-old Ivorian striker hadn't scored since May 28. He returned last week after missing three games with a thigh injury.

Ignacio Piatti returned after sitting out a one-game suspension to score a goal and add two assists. Recent signing Matteo Mancuso, who went in for Drogba in the 79th minute, got his first MLS goal in added time.

Montreal improved to 7-5-8.

Chris Pontius scored for Philadelphia (8-7-6).

Odubel Herrera's bat returns, but so do Aaron Nola's struggles in loss to Pirates

Odubel Herrera's bat returns, but so do Aaron Nola's struggles in loss to Pirates

PITTSBURGH -- The good news for the Phillies on Saturday was that it finally seems All-Star Odubel Herrera's bat is returning to its typical, productive form.

The centerfielder had his second straight three-hit game Saturday as he continued to pull out of his slump, though it wasn’t enough to keep the Phillies from losing 7-4 to the Pittsburgh Pirates in the middle game of a three-game series at PNC Park (see Instant Replay).

Yet Herrera’s suddenly hot bat gave the Phillies some reason to feel good on a day when another player who the organization believes can be a foundation player backslid. Right-hander Aaron Nola (5-9) took the loss as he allowed six runs and six hits in four-plus innings.

The bad Nola returned after pitching six scoreless innings in his previous outing Monday against the Miami Marlins. Prior to shutting down the Marlins, Nola allowed a combined 30 runs in five starts while failing to get past the fourth inning four times.

“When he’s at his best, he has control of all his pitches,” Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. “He’s lost his control and he needs to a find a way to get it back.”

However, Herrera improved to 6 for 9 in the series by going 3 for 4 with a triple, two runs scored and two stolen bases. He had been 4 for 41 in his previous 11 games before coming to Pittsburgh, a skid that dropped his batting average to .281 from .300.

“It was getting pretty ugly for about a week there, so it feels good to get some hits,” Herrera said. “That’s my job, to get hits, be successful and help the team win. I really don’t go into too many slumps, so it’s hard to try to fight your way through it and stay positive. When I get a hit, I am happy.”

Herrera is now hitting .290 with 10 home runs and 33 RBIs in 98 games.

There had been a school of thought that making his first All-Star Game appearance July 12 at Petco Park in San Diego might have had an effect on the 24-year-old. The schedule for the players during the festivities is basically non-stop for two days and then Herrera had to fly across the country to rejoin the Phillies in Philadelphia for the second half of the season.

“I was concerned it might have an effect on him,” Mackanin said. “It was the first time he had participated in an even of that magnitude and it can be hard to refocus after that.”

Herrera, though, said he is not sure how much being an All-Star played into his cold spell.

“Maybe it did,” Herrera said. “It was a busy couple of days there. I don’t know what to compare it to because I hadn’t been before. Obviously, I didn’t have the same chance to rest as a lot of other players, so it could have had an effect. However, playing in the All-Star Game was a great experience and I am glad I had a chance to be there.”

If Herrera plays like he has the last two games, Herrera figures to appear in more Midsummer Classics before his career is through.

“He has the ability to win a batting title,” Mackanin said. “He’s that good of a hitter. He’s a smart hitter. When pitchers start adjusting to him, he adjusts back. I only see him getting better.

“Then you throw in that he played a heckuva center field and it’s just an impressive total package."