Phils vs. Giants, "We Don't Need No Stinkin' Wild Card" Edition

Phils vs. Giants, "We Don't Need No Stinkin' Wild Card" Edition

Last night, the Phils' come-from-behind-and-then-keep-coming-from-ahead victory against the Giants moved them squarely in to the lead for the NL's Wild Card slot. For a team who just a month ago was flirting with a .500 record, you would think this development would be filed under the "Good News" heading. Yet according to skipper Charlie Manuel0, it barely even registers as news at all.

"We don’t care about the wild card," said Uncle Cholly when asked about the team's cemented status as the best second-bests. "We want to win the division."

Easier said than done, these days, I'm afraid. The Braves remain the class of the NL East by two-and-a-half games, and have straight-up refused to budge in the standings of late. In both of their last two games (against the Dodgers and Nationals, respectively), the Braves have trailed going into the final frames, and have squeaked out wins nonetheless. With Cubs slugger Derrek Lee now on the way to the ATL, things don't look to be getting easier anytime soon, either.

Still, the Phillies haven't exactly been slouches recently either, now winners of 18 of their last 23 games. With Chase officially integrated into the lineup and Ryan Howard hopefully on the way later in the week, the team looks to keep up its steamrolling ways into the waning months of the season. Unfortunately, we can't send one of our H2O hookup to the mound every night, and tonight we're relying on Joe Blanton to secure the series win one game ahead of time. Joey Bland had been giving a quietly effective month's service for the Phils (3.82 ERA, 25/8 K:BB) before getting knocked around a little against the Dodgers last Thursday. The perenially under-heralded Matt Cain takes the hill for the bad guys, with a 3.11 ERA but a Hamels-ian 8-8 record.

7:05 first pitch from CBP. Yeah, I wouldn't mind the division either, but I'd certainly feel a lot more comfortable with the WC in our back pocket. One foot in front of the other, guys.

Nerlens Noel on Sixers' frontcourt logjam: 'I don't see a way it can work'

Nerlens Noel on Sixers' frontcourt logjam: 'I don't see a way it can work'

CAMDEN, N.J. — Nerlens Noel is standing his ground.

After saying that the Sixers' entering the season with three starting-caliber centers (himself, Jahlil Okafor, Joel Embiid) "doesn't make sense," Noel didn't back down from his stance during the team's annual media day.  

"I don't see a way it can work," Noel said Monday. "It's just a logjam. You have three young, talented centers that can play 30-plus minutes a night." 

The Sixers attempted to play with two bigs in Noel and Okafor last season but had little success. Now that Embiid is finally healthy, the fit to the puzzle doesn't figure to get any better.

Reports swirled during the offseason that the Sixers were looking to trade either Noel or Okafor to add backcourt help to the woeful franchise, but nothing came to fruition.

"Things need to get situated," Noel said. "I think things obviously need to be moved around, someone needs to be moved around. It's just a tough situation. I can't really say too much because I have no say in the matter, so obviously that's for who can handle the situation in the right manner.

"I've gone through a whole lot. Probably the most, arguably, that any player has gone through in the NBA in losing. It's a tough situation to still be in. Year by year, to see things get more difficult to show your value. Year by year, it's always been something. It's really at a point where it's just a lot."

Bryan Colangelo said he understands Noel's viewpoint. However, the Sixers' president said he is in no rush to trade any of the centers and will wait the situation out.

"It’s not disappointing. It’s understandable," Colangelo said. "I think Nerlens actually did a pretty good job sizing up what we have, which is a lot of depth and a lot of talent at that position."

Despite each of the three centers being early in their career, Noel, who is in the final year of his rookie contract, doesn't want to hold off to see if the trio can actually mesh on the floor.

"I can't say I do really understand that (wait-and-see approach)," Noel said. "If you have a group of players, I just don't think it makes too much sense to just still come into the season with such a heavy lineup at the center position. I don't know what there is to wait and see."

Noel made sure to express that he has no issues with Okafor and Embiid and said they are some of his closest friends on the team. But when asked whether he was happy to be a Sixer, Noel deflected.

"I feel good," he said. "I'm all right, I'm in a good place right now."

Sure sounds like it.

Darren Sproles' TD from Wentz set to Sonic the Hedgehog music

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Darren Sproles' TD from Wentz set to Sonic the Hedgehog music

You may fondly remember the time Darren Sproles took a punt return to the house last season and a wonderful Twitter user set the video to the Super Mario Bros.' star music, yes?

It was great.

Now that Sproles' put on the jets again yesterday in the Eagles win over the Steelers, the same @pacdude on Twitter has done it again.

This time it's the theme music from Sonic the Hedgehog 2. Please enjoy.