Philly Represents in Baltimore

Philly Represents in Baltimore

The Preakness is an event unlike any typical sporting event.  You can carry insane ammounts of alcohol into the infield and insanity ensues.  I seem to have misplaced the wire to attach my camera to upload my pictures, but I will certainly upload them at some point.

I spent most of Saturday sitting atop an R.V. watching the races from outside of the track.  The weather was perfect and the back of my neck is paying for it today.  The Philly crowd in Baltimore was clearly evident, with E-A-G-L-E-S chants breaking out every five minutes.  Once inside the infield, utter chaos ensues.  I spent most of my time on the infield trying to find friends, which becomes difficult because cell phones don't seem to work.  You don't really have a great view of any of the races so you end up watching most of them on the JumboTron.  I didn't end up betting much on the races due to two reasons.  The first of which, I lost most of my cash in Atlantic City on Friday night, and secondly, I couldn't find an ATM anywhere at the Preakness.

The main race itself was complete with drama down the wire.  Afleet Alex bumped legs with Scrappy T. on the final turn which caused him to stumble to his knees, but once he balanced himself and got up it was as if he was shot out of a cannon.  Afleet Alex went on to take the race easily and make his Philadelphia connection happy.

Phillies win another series against top teams
Due to my chaotic adventures to the Preakness, I didn't get to watch the Phillies at all this weekend in Baltimore.  But I did get to listen to part of Friday and Sunday's games on the radio.  The Philly presence at Camden Yards was clearly audible over the radio broadcasts, mostly in the form of the signature Philly E-A-G-L-E-S cheers.  Since I didn't watch the games if you would like a complete run down I'd point you to Beerleaguer.com for Friday's and Sunday's wins.  Saturday marked the fifth loss of the season for Vincent Padilla.  With Lidle, Myers, and Lieber all pitching well, Padilla and Wolf seem to be the shakiest of the staff with Padilla really struggling.

The Phillies are headed to Florida to face their nemesis of recent years, the Marlins.  Will Charlie Manuel start Chase Utley tonight against the D-train?  Watch tonight to find out.

Nerlens Noel joins Sixers in New Orleans, may play Sunday vs. Pistons

Nerlens Noel joins Sixers in New Orleans, may play Sunday vs. Pistons

NEW ORLEANS — Nerlens Noel made another step toward his return from arthroscopic left knee surgery by joining the Sixers in New Orleans for their game against the Pelicans.

Noel arrived on Wednesday with Robert Covington, who is slated to start after missing the last three games with a left knee sprain. Noel is not cleared to play, but Brown doesn’t think it will be long until he suits up. 

“I don’t think far away,” Brown said of Noel’s regular season debut after shootaround.

When asked about the possibility of Noel playing this weekend when the Sixers face the Pistons on Sunday in Detroit, Brown replied, “Maybe.” 

Noel has missed the entire regular season recovering from elective surgery for an inflamed plica in October. He completed the first phase of his rehab in Birmingham, Ala. and has been continuing his work with the Sixers. This trip to New Orleans is the first time he has been with the Sixers on the road. 

“[He is] integrating with the team, studying a lot of tape, scripting with his teammates with the understanding that we have a chance to see him soon,” Brown said. “All that trying to ramp it up where he can go to an NBA court more comfortably.”

Noel spoke out about his displeasure with the Sixers crowded frontcourt at the start of the preseason. He recently stuck with his stance, saying, “I don’t think the roster’s changed.”

Brown is working to keep the team moving forward as a unit while still being aware of and recognizing Noel’s perspective. 

“It does,” Brown said when asked if Noel’s open frustration concerns him as it pertains to team cohesiveness. “But I feel like it’s so much a part of what we try do around here that it’s not like you’re going to blink and you’ve forgotten something that equals camaraderie, that equals team, that equals trying to keep this together, and you’ve left it for a week … 

“It’s a day-to-day focus for me and it’s a very candid conversation with me and the player. The team hears it, the individual hears it, we all understand it … We need to coexist and we need to understand the reality of it all, too. There’s a human side you understand. It’s also pride, it’s competitiveness, it’s do your job, it’s nothing is given, you’ve got to take stuff, draw your own line in the sand, competitors rule the day.”

Last season Noel averaged 11.1 points and a team-high 8.1 rebounds per game. The Sixers will look forward to having him back on the court in that once-crowded frontcourt that is now shorthanded. Jahlil Okafor remained in Philadelphia with gastroenteritis. Ben Simmons still is rehabbing from a right foot fracture. 

"Soon you’re going to see Ben Simmons coming to a team bench where he doesn’t come out with boots and have to push him in some type of wheely apparatus," Brown said. "We’ve dealt with so many injuries trying to find that balance of dealing with their health and so on, and then trying to integrate them back into a team is part of growing a program."