Odubel Herrera’s transformation

July 8th, 2016 by Kyle Lutz | No Comments | Filed in Baseball, MLB, Phillies

Since being undrafted less than a decade ago, Phillies’ 24-year-old centerfielder Odubel Herrera has made some improvements and impressive strides within the past year.

Eight-years-ago, Herrera was signed by Texas as an amateur free agent, and after spending six years in the minors, was drafted as a Rule 5 pick in 2014 by the Phillies.

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The next year, his rookie season, he posted a line of .297/.344/.418/.762, with 30 doubles and 147 hits. Considering his long wait from the minors to the majors, it was a very solid season for him.

Defensively, he ranked second in the league in putouts for center fielders, with 341.

This season, he’s strengthened his game even more, batting .305, with a .390 on-base-percentage. Defensively, although his fielding percentage has decreased from last season (.964 to .986), among center fielders, he ranks first in the league in range factor per game (2.92). Plus, with time and experience, his defense could improve.

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Philadelphia Soul To Play 2016 Postseason at PPL Center

July 8th, 2016 by Leo | No Comments | Filed in Football, General, Soul

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First Round of Arena Football League Postseason Set for Sunday, August 7 at 6 p.m.

ALLENTOWN, PA – The Philadelphia Soul of the Arena Football League will be playing their regular season finale at the PPL Center in Allentown, PA this Saturday, July 9 at 6 p.m.  Today, the Soul announce that their stay at the PPL Center will be extended into the postseason.

The Soul (10-3) have already clinched home field advantage for the first round of the 2016 AFL Postseason, and that game will be played on Sunday, August 7th at the PPL Center.  Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. and the opponent is still to be determined.  The national television postseason schedule for the first round will be announced by the AFL League Office shortly.

In addition to this first round game, the Soul are also still in the hunt to host the Arena Football League’s American Conference Championship game. They would need to complete the regular season ahead of the Orlando Predators (11-2) in the American Conference, whom they have already defeated once this season and play again on July 30.  The Soul would also need to win their first round postseason game on August 7th.  The Conference Championship game would be played at the PPL Center in Allentown on Sunday, August 14 at 6 p.m. should those two scenarios play out in the coming weeks. 

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Philadelphia 76ers Draft

July 1st, 2016 by Jesse Meza | No Comments | Filed in Basketball, General, Sixers
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So we all know that we have been waiting for years on this type of draft and a major change in 76ers organization.  I feel that the players we got and everything and also the players they kept is a very smart idea.  So the Sixers have been losing on purpose to make a future for their city, which I love the idea. The Sixers had to do this because it would have benefited the team later on,  which it did.  So we get a number 1 pick in Ben Simmons from LSU,  its a soild pick and he is a big man and that drives inside the paint, a go getter, and a good leader, the Sixers need someone like him to spark our city.

Timothe Luwawu is from France, he’s a high flyer which goes to the hoop and a team play maker which brings a lot to the table our Sixers.  I believe this is a steal for our team.  Furkan Korkmaz, is a shooting Guard from Turkey,  this guy is good at the defensive end and good at blocking.  I’m going to say put this man with Noel and see what happens.  He is a good shooter at any range, which we need at all times with our team because they had a hard time this past year with that.  If the Sixers could maintain good shooting and incorporate these new draft picks then the team may see winning ways again next year.  Lets see.

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I Bid You, Farewell….

June 25th, 2016 by Ryan Waterman | No Comments | Filed in General, TalkSportsPhilly
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June 18, 2014…

It was exactly two-years ago today, that I posted my first article for TalkSportsPhilly. Since then, I’ve posted roughly 100+ more. With each one, I’ve become more comfortable with my writing, and my ability to put my opinion into an article. When I first started writing for TSP, I was a nervous 16-year old with aspirations of becoming the next big thing on ESPN. As I stand here today, my hopes are to just be the best writer that I can be, and let the rest fall into place.

It is with large smile that I sit here today, and can say that I am leaving TalkSportsPhilly. I have taken this decision under consideration for quite some time, and have decided that it is in my best interest to explore other options, at this time. TSP and I are not parting on poor terms, quite the opposite actually. Leo and the rest of the TSP staff have graciously accepted me, and made me one of their own since my first day here. They have done nothing but push me to become a better writer, and put out the best product that I can for all of you to read. For that, I will always be grateful. Leo was the first man to give me a chance as a writer, and I will never forget that.

Many times, articles like this end in goodbye. But, I can tell you that this is not goodbye. It’s more along the lines of, see you later!

-Ryan

Report: Sixers Considering Jamal Murray at No.1

June 6th, 2016 by Ryan Waterman | No Comments | Filed in Basketball, General, NBA, Sixers, Sports
Source: Andy Lyons/Getty Images North America

Source: Andy Lyons/Getty Images North America

Ben Simmons or Brandon Ingram?

That’s been the question for the better part of the last three weeks, more so since it became public knowledge that the Philadelphia 76ers became the owners of the first-overall pick in the NBA Draft. However, recent reports have suggested that things are not as cut-and-dry as they seem.

Keith Pompey of Philly.com is reporting that the Sixers vice president of player personnel Marc Eversley gave the impression that the team is considering one other player along with the duo of Simmons and Ingram, and his name is Jamal Murray. Eversley was quoted on Thursday saying, “Jamal Murray, we certainly got a chance to see him a couple of weeks ago. He’s certainly going to be one of those kids who’s going to be in contention for the No. 1 pick. We like him a lot. He’s going to bring a lot to wherever he goes in the NBA, certainly a talent.” I don’t know about you, but it certainly sounds to me like they’re big fans of this kid. 

The 19-year old combo guard from Kentucky has been widely regarded as one of the top-five prospects in this draft class, according to league insiders. Although, he hasn’t been looked at in the same light as Simmons or Ingram, this most recent report could change that.

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Should the Sixers Deal Okafor To Boston?

May 30th, 2016 by Ryan Waterman | No Comments | Filed in General, NBA, Sixers, Sports, TalkSportsPhilly
 Source: Mitchell Leff/Getty Images North America

Source: Mitchell Leff/Getty Images North America

The NBA Draft is approaching quickly, and it’s now time for the lowly Sixers to take center-stage in the city of Philadelphia. Eleven days ago, it was revealed that the #1 overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft would belong to the Sixers, which elated the fans of Philadelphia. However, fans were quick to forget that the Los Angeles Lakers were awarded the pick behind us, meaning that Philadelphia would not be receiving the Lakers’ pick this year. So, instead of having four first-round draft picks, the Sixers now have three. In addition to the top selection, the Sixers will also pick at #24 overall (courtesy of the Miami Heat), and #26 overall (courtesy of the Oklahoma City Thunder via the Denver Nuggets).

Missing out on the Lakers draft selection has brought up an interesting possibility, that could be revisited. As many of you know, the Boston Celtics were close to pulling the trigger on a “mystery deal” at the trade deadline, prior to it falling apart. Coincidentally enough, the Sixers were also receiving interest in the 2015 #3 overall pick Jahlil Okafor. This led to a report claiming that Boston’s “mystery man” was Okafor. The proposed deal would’ve seen Boston’s first-round pick (via Brooklyn) head to Philadelphia, as well as either Marcus Smart or Avery Bradley. For whatever reason, that deal didn’t come to fruition back in February. Although, there are reports claiming that talks could re-open, now that the Sixers know what pick the Celtics hold. That brings me to my ultimate question. Should the Sixers trade Okafor to Boston?

Ultimately, I say no. As much as I would love having two of the top three selections in the draft, the risk of providing Boston with a superstar is one that cannot be taken. Okafor is a player that has the capability of putting up 20/10 on most nights, and that’s something that can’t be taken for granted in the NBA. While the NBA is primarily a 3-point league now, the luxury of having a talented big man can’t be ignored. Almost every successful team has at least one strong big in the front-court. San Antonio has LaMarcus Aldridge, Cleveland has Kevin Love, and Oklahoma City has Serge Ibaka. My point, is that despite popular opinion, the front-court does actually have an effect on the game.

Short-term, fans would likely say that it’d be smart for them to move Okafor to Boston. They’d likely land Marcus Smart, and #3 overall. That move would give them a legitimate point guard, in addition to a pair of top-three selections, with which they’d likely select Ben Simmons and Kris Dunn. Would it fill out their team?  Certainly it would, but at what cost?  Marcus Smart has character issues, those of which he displayed fully during his time at Oklahoma State. Couple that with the uncertainty that whoever they select at #3 doesn’t pan out, and this deal could be a recipe for disaster.

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2016 NBA Mock Draft

May 30th, 2016 by Ryan Waterman | No Comments | Filed in Basketball, General, NBA, Sixers, Sports, TalkSportsPhilly

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The NBA Draft Lottery is officially twelve days in our rear-view mirror, and the Philadelphia 76ers are on the clock. They have until June 23rd to make the decision that will alter the course of the franchise. Ben Simmons or Brandon Ingram? In what is widely considered to be a “two-player draft”, there are a number of good prospects that fall past that top-2 threshold. Prospects such as Buddy Hield, Kris Dunn, Jaylen Brown, and Dragen Bender among others round out the top-10. Over the past 10 days, I have spent time researching the prospects of this upcoming draft, and I feel that this representation of the NBA Draft will come close to the real thing. Without further hesitation, let’s get right down to it..

1.) Philadelphia 76ers- Ben Simmons (PF/LSU)

With the 1st pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, the Philadelphia 76ers select…Ben Simmons. Those will be the words uttered by commissioner Adam Silver on draft night, as the Sixers begin the post-Hinkie era. I’ll be honest, while I’m not thrilled with the way Simmons performed in his lone year with LSU, you’d be crazy to pass up on the possibility of a once-in-a-lifetime prospect. 

2.) Los Angeles Lakers- Brandon Ingram (SF/Duke)

The Lakers had luck on their side twelve days ago, as they were able to avoid surrendering their pick to the Sixers. Now that they’ve finished in second to the Sixers, the Lakers will have to settle for the second-best player in the draft. Ingram’s a very-good, borderline great player, and he’ll fit in wonderfully with a Lakers team that includes D’Angelo Russell, and Julius Randle. The future for Los Angeles post-Kobe, is bright following this selection. 

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