Thome Trade Rumors from USA Today

Thome Trade Rumors from USA Today

I asked the question last week: Can we trade Jim Thome?  According to USA Today, the Phillies are trying to do just that.  While Thome was a fan favorite, his wretched season to date along with his injuries and the emergence of youngster Ryan Howard, it seems fans would be fine with a Thome deal.  Thome was a great player for the Phillies in the past, but he got old fast.  Will anyone want to make a deal for him?  I would be very surprised, but welcome the idea.  USA Today:

The Phillies, according to two National League clubs who were asked by the Phillies to not publicly convey their intentions, have been trying to trade Thome, who still is owed $54 million through 2008. If they can find someone to take Thome, they'll keep rookie first baseman Ryan Howard, who was hitting .371 with 16 homers and 54 RBI at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. There are four teams who have made offers for Howard, but the Phillies first are exploring trades for Thome.

Thome, who's on the disabled list with elbow tendinitis, could become the first high-priced commodity to move in the Phillies' fire sale. The Phillies told one NL executive that virtually everyone is available, which could lead to a massive bidding war for closer Billy Wagner.

The Phillies aren't making their intentions public, but they realize they're not going anywhere. They've been hovering around .500 all season, and are 45-44, 7½ games out of first place in the NL East. They won't catch Washington, Atlanta or even Florida, likely costing GM Ed Wade his job this fall.

"The way we're playing now, if anybody is fool enough to sit there and think we're a playoff team, they're crazy," Wagner told reporters last week.

Noel joins Sixers in New Orleans, may play Sunday in Detroit

Noel joins Sixers in New Orleans, may play Sunday in Detroit

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 co-exist 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 Jones 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."

Flyers fans send amazing postcards to their beat writers

Flyers fans send amazing postcards to their beat writers

I like to give Flyers fans a bit of a hard time on occasion, but that's only because I love them.

One beautiful Flyers fan today reminded me of why I love them.

They took the time to send a postcard to CSNPhilly.com's Flyers Insider -- and hater of the woo -- Tim Panaccio with one single word written on it.

"Woo."

Panotch says "Someone wasted a stamp and post card on this," but I say we just generated at least 50 cents in ad revenue from those of you that are reading this right now.

Money and time well spent.

Now, if you're not up on your wooing, Panotch penned a piece on how some fans wooing at games started annoying some of the players. Panotch hates the woo. BUT... and this is an important but... the Flyers are 6-0 since this all started. 

Woo.