Photo: Ryan Howard in Braves gear makes us sad

Photo: Ryan Howard in Braves gear makes us sad

Alan Rangel is a pitcher in the Atlanta Braves organization. We were previously unaware of who he was until he tweeted a photo of himself alongside Phillies legend Ryan Howard.

The thing is, The Big Piece is rocking Braves gear.

Ugh.

That said, I'm happy for Howard to continue his career and maybe get a shot at another championship (if he gets red hot and eventually traded from the Braves to a contender this summer).

But seeing Howard in another uniform is similar to seeing Chase Utley in a Dodgers uniform for the first time. Or Jimmy Rollins. Or Carlos Ruiz. It just makes us kind of sad.

Howard inked a minor-league deal with the Braves last week. Some wondered whether RyHo would ever get a chance, but as Corey Seidman pointed out, "Howard was one of 111 major-leaguers who hit 20 or more home runs last season. Other than David Ortiz, who retired, Howard was the only one of those players not on a major-league roster."

Personally, after the shock of seeing Howard in a Braves' uni wears off, I wouldn't mind seeing him in a game at Citizens Bank Park this summer. I'd give him a nice ovation for all of those years of service.

If you have ever wanted to see Zach Ertz (mostly) naked, here's your chance

If you have ever wanted to see Zach Ertz (mostly) naked, here's your chance

Have you ever wanted to see Zach Ertz naked?

Well now is your chance.

After marrying in March, Ertz and his wife, Julie, who plays on the US women's soccer team, will both appear in the 2017 ESPN The Magazine Body Issue.

You can see a preview of the two, but you’ll have to wait until the issue comes out on July 5 to see the full photo shoot.

Ertz joins other NFL stars Ezekiel Elliot and Julian Edelman in the issue.

Whatever Ertz ends up doing (or showing) in the photos, it can’t be more magnificent than Vince Wilfork’s cover in 2016.

 

Watch: A shirtless Ben Simmons puts Lonzo Ball on notice with delicious dunk

Watch: A shirtless Ben Simmons puts Lonzo Ball on notice with delicious dunk

Concerned about Ben Simmons' right foot?

Well, don't be.

While Simmons will not play in the Summer League, the 6-foot-10 point guard/forward/baller sure does look healthy and ready to go for 2017.

Early Sunday morning, a shirtless Simmons posted an Instagram video of a delicious one-handed self alley-oop after working out at the Sixers' practice facility in Camden.

A little fun after 🤷🏻‍♂️

A post shared by Ben Simmons (@bensimmons) on

Let's circle back to Thursday night after the NBA draft and LaVar Ball.

After LaVar's highly ambitious — an awfully generous take —  prediction that his son, Lonzo Ball, drafted No. 2 by the Lakers, would lead L.A. to the playoffs this season, Simmons had a cryptic tweet presumably about LaVar.

That sparked Joel Embiid to tweet:

And now, with Simmons' Instagram post early Sunday morning, we have evidence the 2016 No. 1 overall pick is healthy enough to, indeed, throw down some rambunctious dunks.

Of course, we'll have to see it in a game first, but until then, let's think of June 25 as the day Ben Simmons unofficially put Lonzo Ball on notice.