By Spike Eskin
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – I was on the air at WIP on Monday night, and the two topics that were getting the most traction was trading the face of the most successful era in Phillies baseball, and the Sixers, who made a move to get worse on purpose. These are days to remember.
5. Spencer Hawes Fined $15,000 For Playing In An Alumni Game
Spencer Hawes seems pretty proud of the fact that he played at the University Of Washington, so it’s no surprise he chose to play in an alumni game without permission from the NBA, which is against the rules.
The league noticed, and fined Hawes along with a few other players $15,000 for participating.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched Spencer Hawes play basketball and thought, “not only should this guy not be paid $6.5 million to play basketball, he should be paying me for having to watch it!” Finally, someone figured it out and fined Hawes for playing basketball. Long overdue if you ask me.
4. Jonathan Papelbon Says Something Stupid
I can’t help but think that Papelbon saying dumb things would be sort of charming, or at least fun. But the team stinks, and Papelbon has blown four of his last six save chances, so it’s whatever the opposite of charming is. Annoying maybe?
Papelbon talked to MLB Network Radio earlier this week and a) pretended he didn’t know how to pronounce Yasiel Puig’s name (or actually couldn’t, not sure which is worse) b) suggested that the play of veterans in previous seasons should account for consideration for this year’s All-Star team more than Puig’s play this year should c) said that he can “barely read.”
I would make a joke about this maybe being Papelbon’s alter-ego Cinco Ocho speaking, but the notion that the $14 million dollar a year closer has a made up name for his made up alter-ego seems a lot less hilarious than it used to.
3. The Sixers Are Silent Again
This town was furious that the Sixers and new general manager Sam Hinkie didn’t do an interview for six weeks. Then this town was Sam Hinkie-ville when he made the biggest move of draft night and traded Jrue Holiday for Nerlens Noel and a lottery pick.
After a press conference to introduce new draft picks Michael Carter-Williams and Arsalan Kazemi, the Sixers have gone back into hiding. NBA free agency began on Monday, and there has not been a whisper of the Sixers involvement in anything, save for a sort-of rumor about Houston Rockets center Omer Asik, who doesn’t even really fit anyway. This isn’t to suggest that press-chatter about Sixers free-agent signings would mean they’re any more active, it’s just awesome that they went right back into ‘radio-silence.’ There is very little chance the Sixers will make any kind of ‘splash’ in free-agency, but there hasn’t been a ripple in a puddle.
With the Celtics hiring of Brad Stevens, the Sixers become the only team in the NBA without a head coach.
Regardless of the silence, I am still very much on Team Hinkie. Go fix the team, it’s more productive than talking to us anyway.
2. Trading Chase Utley
The same town that had a heart attack every time Joe Banner and Andy Reid let a veteran walk who Eagles fans had even the least amount of affection for, is clamoring for the Phillies to trade Chase Utley (a Phillies icon and the team’s best hitter) for… well, anything. A prospect or two, or three. Maybe a good one, maybe not a good one. Just make sure it’s someone we’ve never heard of. Just clean house! And also trade Jimmy Rollins and Cliff Lee.
And hey, if anyone *really* wants him, they can trade Cole Hamels too! Should have traded him last year for Mike Olt!
We’ve gotten pretty spoiled and impatient around here. It sounds a lot more like Yankees and Red Sox fans sound than I ever remember anyone in Philadelphia sounding.
Look, unless the haul is unbelievable, I’m of the opinion that organizations like the Phillies should never trade a guy like Chase Utley. Seems like a low rent move from a team who claims to occupy a penthouse. If he walks, so be it. I’d rather bid the guy a fond farewell at the end of the season than use him as trade bait and watch him on the Yankees or Dodgers and know we sent him there.
1. Get Well, Dutch
No jokes here. Darren Daulton is doing well after having surgery this week to remove brain tumors. He’s a Philadelphia icon, and I, along with the rest of the city continues to wish Dutch a speedy and successful recovery.
Follow Spike on Twitter @SpikeEskin