Video: Ball Hawks Battle for Dom Brown's Wet Home Run Ball in McCovey Cove

Video: Ball Hawks Battle for Dom Brown's Wet Home Run Ball in McCovey Cove

Cliff Lee was stupendous on Monday night in San Francisco, commanding the strike zone with pinpoint accuracy. His final line may show a couple of earned runs, but the homer he gave up to Hunter Pence should have been a strikeout for sure. The homeplate ump cleaaaarly missed a would-be third strike and Lee barely even flinched. He had a lead at the time. Still, it's amazing he doesn't get flustered. Whatever, I guess.

[mlbvideo id="26905039" width="640" height="360" /]

The bats got to Giants lefty Madison Bumgarner early, forcing him into bases-loaded jams in both of the first two frames. The Phils came away empty handed in the first but capitalized in the second on a Michael Young double that should have cleared the bases had it not been for Chase Utley stumbling. Two-six would later score on a wild pitch and the Phils took an early 3-0 lead that would prove to be more than enough for Cliff Lee on the evening.

But it was a beast of a home run from Dom Brown that was most highlight-worthy. Brown crushed a Bumgarner offering in the fifth inning that cleared the right field stands and left the ball park entirely, ending up all wet in McCovey Cove. Now, I don't believe the ball actually landed directly in the water straight away, instead it looks like it took a hop off the paved walkway before the Cove, thus not counting as an official "splash hit."

One of my favorite parts was the battle for the ball once it landed in the Bay. If you watch the above video, you can clearly see one ball hawk throw a fishing-style apparatus that appears to be made for the sole purpose of retrieving a ball that is bobbing in the water. The intrepid collector is clearly no Bill Dance, however, and missed by mere inches, thus allowing superiorly-equiped kayak person to snag the ball for his own.

It's a game of inches, people. Or 394 feet, depending how you look at it.

The Phils won by the final of 6-2 if you were sleeping.

Joel Embiid is the Joel Embiid of trash talking

Joel Embiid is the Joel Embiid of trash talking

Joel Embiid was back in the gym on Wednesday afternoon after enjoying his All-Star break down in New Orleans and appears like he's ready to get back out on the court this weekend.

“I hope that they’re going let me play,” Embiid said after practice on Wednesday. “I feel great. I want to play. If it was my decision, I’d be playing.”

The team doctor's aren't so sure. Joel is currently listed as doubtful for both of the Sixers games this weekend.

But that didn't stop JoJo from talking some smack with one of his favorite teammates, Dario Saric, while battling in a little one-on-one after practice.

Embiid was seen by reporters using some colorful language directed in Saric's direction, screaming "you can't ****-ing guard me!" while the two went at it.

The chatter didn't stop there. Embiid was later asked about the one-on-one and unleashed a little more on Dario.

"He don't like playing me," Embiid said. "He never wins and he doesn't handle me talking trash to him. I would love to play against him all the time because that gives me a lot of confidence beating him every day."

"It's fun playing against him. We both like to compete."

"That's my guy," he added.

And Sixers fans love them both. Let's just hope to see more of them teaming up in actual games soon.

Sixers look forward to results of Ben Simmons' CT scan Thursday

Sixers look forward to results of Ben Simmons' CT scan Thursday

CAMDEN, N.J. — Thursday is significant for the Sixers beyond the trade deadline. It is also the day of Ben Simmons' CT scan to evaluate how his right foot is healing.

"I feel like tomorrow at some point we're all going to be able to lay out a more genuine plan for him," Brett Brown said Wednesday. "I feel like we're going to be good to go with some greater news and a more advanced detail of his plans after this scan."

Once all parties involved assess the results, the team will provide an update, which may not be Thursday. Simmons has been sidelined all season after suffering a Jones fracture during the final scrimmage of training camp. 

On Wednesday, he went through his individual workout plan, which included five-on-none scripting with teammates.

"He's still getting a feel for all of us," Nerlens Noel said. "He's learning to throw it up to me, bounce pass to whoever. It's learning certain tendencies that'll make you start to feel more a part of the team."

The Sixers have not placed a timetable on Simmons' return. The first overall pick has not been cleared for full contact five-on-five practice, the next step in his recovery. Prior to the All-Star break, Brown said he expects Simmons will play at some point this season. He stands by that projection with 26 games remaining. 

"I personally would like to see him play this season. I don't backpedal from that," Brown said. "I think my comments are really very much influenced by his reciprocal desire to play this year, which we all respect. Everybody's got clandestine conspiracy theories on why he might not want to play. I know in my heart and speaking to him, he wants to get on a court and play basketball again.

"I hope he can do that, too. If for some reason he can't, we'll deal with it. But I think it would help him to play NBA basketball and get his competitive juices going again if the doctors point us in that direction."

Simmons' teammates are ready to welcome him into the mix when he is given the green light. Their limited glimpses into his talent have them eager for his debut.

"Unlimited potential," Noel said. "I think with Ben, the thing that makes him so special is his IQ for the game, a sixth sense on the court. Him being able to find little things that not very many 6-10 guys can find. I think that's going to propel his game and make him a special player in this league." 

Added Joel Embiid: "I'm excited ... I thought he was our best player in training camp."