A few thoughts to hold us over until something awesome happens…
The Sixers had to play the Wizards on back-to-back nights last week. For the high-powered Sixers juggernaut, this is pretty much a waste of time. The Sixers money line in the home game was -1600. For a team without a 20-point scorer, without a guy who averages 10 boards, and whose leading assist man hands off 4.4 a game…that’s a staggering number. There was actually no way the Sixers could lose that game. And, they didn’t. Their reward was playing Washington again the next night. Another blowout followed. How are the Wiz so dreadful and what could make their games interesting? At 1-12 they’re already out of the playoff hunt. What if any team that lost to the Wizards was ineligible for the playoffs? Chances are, they won’t beat a playoff team anyway, but it could make for some tense moments. It’d also probably guarantee the Wiz went about 3-63, which would be hilarious.
It’s Cole Hamels arbitration deadline day. Well, one of the deadlines. If the Phils and Hamels don’t come to terms they have to submit their arbitration figures today. At that point, they’ll have more time to negotiate before the actual hearing. It’s very unlikely they’ll get to that point and many people expect a 1-year agreement today. It’s a little disconcerting for the fans who want Hamels locked up long-term, but the Phils might not be in position to give that deal out until after this season. Coincidentally, I’m planning a long Phillies post for sometime today/tonight that centers on Hamels. It’ll be wildly boring for anyone who isn’t a bit obsessed with the Phils. Fair warning. Also, I’m thinking at some point before the season I’ll trot out a special, All-Phillies mailbag, so if you have any burning baseball questions you want answered, start working on them and send them in.
**UPDATE** Hamels agrees to 1-yr, 15 million dollar deal. Cole’s a real bargain in relative terms at 15-million. He’ll still be a free-agent at season’s end.
Also baseball related, I’m reading The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach. Tough call for me, because I don’t like to read the book that everyone is talking about, but when the book is about baseball…conundrum. Once Peter King talks about something, it’s pretty much dead. Find another leaf to turn over, but then I thought, Peter King, if nothing else, is known for his horrible taste. He still thinks the Office is funny. I think. Maybe someone wants an opinion on this book from a person with a better track-record. Well, I’m enjoying it quite a bit. In contrast to what everyone else is saying, “It’s not really about baseball. The non-baseball parts are the best…” I’m going to say that it’s about as baseball oriented as you can get. What story is about only one thing anyway? Is a true baseball book a 300 page play-by-play? The thing is a baseball book, don’t be afraid of that. And, the baseball sections are actually some of my favorite parts. Anyway, the book is, in part, about a phenom–a defensive prodigy. One of things that draws you to the story is the fascination with greatness. People can’t get enough of it, and while that draws you in, the other characters are dealing with the same phenomenon. It’s a good book, final judgement reserved until I finish the thing.
Finally, a video in case you are the only person on the planet who hasn’t seen these. Sh*t Girls Say. I saw it linked somewhere a while back and then forgot about it until I saw it again on Rock Center last night. They’re pretty funny. YouTube has the others.