Ten wins! Ten wins! The Sixers have ten wins!

Ten wins! Ten wins! The Sixers have ten wins!

Do you remember how pathetic our tenth win was last season? It came on April 5 with five games to go in the season, interrupting a streak of 13 losses in a row, and it came at home against the New Orleans Pelicans -- a lottery-bound team closing the season without the overwhelming majority of their good players, including Ryan Anderson, Jrue Holiday and Anthony Davis. They started such luminaries as Toney Douglas, Luke Babbitt and our old friend Tim Frazier, and they still led for much of the first half. The Sixers won 107-93, and went 0-for the rest of the season, avoiding historical impotence by just the narrowest of margins. 

This year, we're a little ahead of that schedule. The 10th W of the season came yesterday afternoon -- nearly three months earlier -- against the Nets in Brooklyn, one of two (two!!) Eastern Conference teams currently with a worse winning percentage than these Philadelphia 76ers. Bad as these Nets are, though, they're still good enough to make us have to earn the victory -- which the Sixers did, again trailing for most of the first half before coming back to secure a decently decisive 105-95 victory. 

Joel had 20 -- his sixth straight game with at least that many -- Nik bounced back with 15 on 4-7 shooting, and Robert Covington was so handsy on D that he probably reflexively swatted the iPhone out of Sean Kilpatrick's hands on their way out of the arena. The win was Philly's third in four tries -- one Al Horford triple away from it being four out of four -- and the momentum is serious enough that Joel is already starting to talk playoffs. (The Sixers are currently in 13th, 7.5 games out of the 8th spot). 

We'll talk about how realistic that goal is another time, but the fact that it's January and vibes are still that good is a tribute to how the Sixers -- led of course by The Process himself -- have turned things around. Hell, the Sons of Sam are only four games behind the Sacramento Kings in the standings, meaning that #Pickswap watch is definitely in full effect. Next up: Knicks at home on Wednesday, kicking off a stretch of 12 games in 20 days that should really show where these Sixers currently stand in the NBA landscape. In the meantime, tell Alexis Ajinca we say what's up.

Even on honeymoon, Jon Dorenbos performs wild magic trick with coin

Even on honeymoon, Jon Dorenbos performs wild magic trick with coin

Magic never stops.

Not even on Jon Dorenbos' honeymoon.

The Eagles' long snapper and magic enthusiast is enjoying picturesque Bora Bora with his wife Annalise.

Still, fresh off his wedding and surrounded by water way too blue, Dorenbos wasn't about to stop entertaining us as he posted this crazy coin trick on his Instagram account.

Bora Bora Magic - I love this move. @apollorobbins showed me this 15 years ago. #honeymoon

A post shared by Jon Dorenbos (@jondorenbos) on

Pretty darn cool — and, seriously, how does he do it?

And don't worry, Dorenbos is clearly having a great time on the honeymoon, not just blowing our minds with cool magic.

Amazing. #honeymoon #paradise

A post shared by Jon Dorenbos (@jondorenbos) on

How Jim Thome got his batting stance thanks to Charlie Manuel and 'The Natural'

How Jim Thome got his batting stance thanks to Charlie Manuel and 'The Natural'

If there's anyone in the world I could sit next to for hours and listen to talk about baseball it would be former Phillies manager and World Champion of baseball Charlie Manuel.

Charlie is still very involved in the Phillies organization to this day and we're lucky enough to have 45 minutes of his time talking ball with longtime Phillies scribe Jim Salisbury.

Those two know the Phillies just about as well as anybody, so there's plenty of meat on the bone to chew on. The duo chatted for a recent episode of Sully's "At The Yard" podcast.

The story that caught my ear the most was Charlie's telling of how Jim Thome came to have that somewhat-goofy stance before he hits. It was a timing mechanism that Manuel stumbled upon in the strangest of ways.

This was when both Charlie and Jim were working for a Cleveland Indians' affiliate in the minors. 

"We were playing in Scranton and it was a Phillies triple-A team at the time. I kept thinking of a timing mechanism of some kind, a waggle or something, what Thome could do with his bat where he wouldn't tense up, where it would help him to relax and everything."

"I came into our locker room early," Manuel said. "I didn't let my players turn the TV on after a certain time. I came through the clubhouse that day, they had 'The Natural' on. I told 'em to turn it off. Some of the players said, 'Hey, Charlie, we're watching The Natural can we watch the end of The Natural? I said, 'Not really, what's the rule?'

"I saw Robert Redford standing there pointing the bat with one hand, bringing it back. I looked over at Thome, I said, 'you can finish watching the movie. From now on that's going to be your load.' I took him down in the cage and worked with him. The game started and the Phillies had a left-handed pitcher named [Kyle] Abbott. He was pitching that day. I told Jimmy, 'From now on that's your stance.' He gets up there the first time up, Abbott throws him a breaking ball away and he hit a home run to left center... I mean a longways. He come up the next time he hit another one to right center. I think he had three hits that day."

"That's a true story," Manuel added.

It sounds to good to be true. So we did a little research and Thome has told the same tale on a television special out in Chicago last summer.

"We were in Scranton and I was a guy who held the bat still and would go from a standstill and swing," Thome explained. "(Charlie) was watching The Natural and he saw that (Hobbs) kind of had this little wiggle to his stance, and I remember the day. We went out the next day, we worked early and he said 'Do me a favor and try holding the bat out there (pointing towards the pitcher) and get a little rhythm with your swing.' And from that day I never looked back. The following day we played a doubleheader and I hit two home runs."

You can listen to the whole podcast with Jim Salisbury and Charlie Manuel right here.