Years since a Phillies catcher batted leadoff before Andrew Knapp did so Sunday

The Flyers selected center Nolan Patrick (pictured) with the second overall pick in the NHL Draft, and then traded center/wing Brayden Schenn to acquire a second first-round pick (center Morgan Frost at No. 27) and a future first-round selection.

With the death of Roddy Piper, we present a Top 10 list — all right, it’s a Top 15 — of the best and most memorable editions of Piper’s Pit. Feel free to add your own favorites to the list.

Gordon Glantz offers his first (and second) impressions, both positive and negative, of the Eagles midway through their preseason schedule.


A quick look at 10 sports stories in the news…

1. Short break for PhillyPhanatics.com PhillyPhanatics.com will take a break from July 9-19. New stories and information will be posted again on July 20.

2. Nola is Phillies’ lone star Phillies ace Aaron Nola named to NL All-Star team, but no other Phillie selected. Nola is 11-2 with 2.41 ERA, 116 strikeouts. Neither Odubel Herrera nor Rhys Hoskins selected for All-Star Game, which takes place July 17 in Washington, D.C. In other Phillies news, pitcher Jerad Eickhoff experiences tingling in fingers while throwing to batters in Clearwater, will return to Philly for further evaluation by doctors. Eickhoff has spent all season on disabled list, first with strained lat and then with finger issue.

3. Pirates halt Phillies’ streak Phillies manage just 4 hits in 4-1 loss to host Pirates, ending 6-game winning streak. Nick Williams’ solo home run in top of 4th inning ties score, but Pirates score 3 times in bottom of 4th inning to account for final score. With doubleheader Monday, Drew Anderson comes up from Lehigh Valley, hurls 5 innings as starter. Zach Eflin, Aaron Nola scheduled to start doubleheader Monday (Game 1 at 4:10 p.m.). Andrew Knapp bats leadoff, 1st time a Phillies catches has batted leadoff since 1920. Enyel De Los Santos, scheduled to start Class AAA All-Star Game this week, will reportedly start Tuesday for Phillies instead.

4. Lakers display Hart in win over Sixers Villanova product Josh Hart scores 24 points as Lakers defeat Sixers, 96-79, in Las Vegas Summer League. Zhaire Smith scores 16 points to pace Sixers, who drop to 0-2 in round robin portion of schedule. After scoring 40 points in summer league opener against Celtics, Furkan Korkmaz scores just 4 points, making 1 of 9 shots from field, including 0 for 7 from 3-point range. First-round draft pick Landry Shamet will miss rest of summer league after spraining right ankle in opener. Markelle Fultz working on his shot in California rather than play for Sixers’ summer league teams. Sixers wrap up round-robin portion of Las Vegas Summer League on Monday (5:30 p.m.) against Wizards.

5. Croatia ousts Russia Croatia wins on penalty kicks, 4-3, to defeat host Russia, advance to World Cup semifinals. Game tied after regulation, then Croatia scores on header off corner kick in 1st extra session, but Russia ties game again on header off free kick late in 2nd extra session. Croatia’s semifinal opponent will be England, a 2-0 winner over Sweden. On Friday, Belgium scores twice in 1st half, hangs on for 2-1 upset victory over Brazil in World Cup quarterfinals. Belgium’s semifinal opponent will be France, which posted 2-0 victory over Uruguay. Semifinals to take place on Tuesday.

6. Sixers sign forward Sixers reportedly agree to 1-year contract with power forward Nemanja Bjelica, the 2015 EuroLeague MVP who shot 41.8 percent from 3-point range last season while averaging 6.8 points with Timberwolves. Sixers reportedly will use mid-level exception ($4.4 million) to sign Bjelica (6-foot-10, 240 pounds). Sixers acquire wingman Wilson Chandler, draft considerations for minimal cash considerations, according to multiple reports. Sixers seem to be absorbing final year of Chandler’s $12.8 million contract in exchange for getting Nuggets’ 2nd-round pick in 2021 and option to switch 2nd-round picks in 2022. Sixers, guard JJ Redick agree to 1-year contract that brings him back to team. Redick, 34, averaged 17.1 points while making 46 percent of shots from 3-point range last season. Sixers also re-sign backup center Amir Johnson to 1-year contract, reportedly at veteran minimum.

7. Flyers sign defenseman Flyers sign right-handed defenseman Christian Folin (6-foot-3, 204 pounds), who led Kings in hits last season. Folin was with Wild previous 3 seasons. Flyers sign left wing James van Riemsdyk at start of free-agent signing period. ESPN’s John Buccigross reports contract is for 5 years, $35 million. Drafted 2nd overall by Flyers in 2007 NHL Draft, van Riemsdyk spent last 6 seasons with Maple Leafs, scoring 36 goals last season. With top-6 wing checked off, Flyers still looking for veteran defenseman, third-line center.

8. Upsets continue as top seed Halep loses Su-Wei Hsieh wins final 5 games to stun top-seeded Simona Halep, 3-6, 6-4, 7-5, to advance to 4th round in upset-filled women’s Wimbledon draw. In other women’s matches, 25th-seeded Serena Williams avoids upset with 7-5, 7-6 (2) win over Kristina Mladenovic, 7-5, 7-6 (2); Evynia Rodina, ranked 120th in world, knocks off 10th-seeded Madison Keys, 7-5, 5-7, 6-4; unseeded Alison Van Uytvanck, who ousted defending champion Garbine Muguruza in 2nd round, advances to 4th round with 6-2, 6-3 win over Anett Kontaveit; and Ekaterina Marakova, who knocked out 2nd-seeded Caroline Wozniacki in 2nd round, rallies past Lucie Safarova, 4-6, 6-4, 6-1. In men’s draw, 9th-seeded John Isner, who survived 2 match points to escape with 5-set win in 2nd round, has easier time in 3rd round with 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 victory over Radu Albot; top seeded Roger Federer breezes into 4th round with 6-3, 7-5, 6-2 win over Jan-Lennard Struff; 2nd-seeded Rafael Nadal cruises into 4th round with 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 win over Alex De Minaur; and Gael Monfils ousts 11th-seeded American Sam Querrey Jr., 5-7, 6-4, 6-4, 6-2.

9. Atlanta shuts out Union Josef Martinez, Hector Villalba score in 2nd half to boost Atlanta, which leads Eastern Conference, past host Union, 2-0.  Union (6-9-3) will visit Chicago on Wednesday (8:30 p.m.). Union exercise 2019 contract option for Haris Medunjanin, keeping veteran midfielder for at least one more season.

10. Soul lose to Albany Soul fall behind by 16 points by halftime, never able to catch Albany in 71-57 loss in regular-season finale. With victory, Albany (8-4) finishes in 1st place after Soul, Albany Baltimore enter final day of regular-season tied for first place. Soul (7-5) get 3rd seed, will host 2nd-seeded Baltimore (8-4) in 1st round of playoffs on Sun., July 15 (6 p.m.). Baltimore will host 2nd game of 2-game playoff series on Fri., July 20. If teams split games, team with best total score moves on to Arena Bowl.

(To listen to past PhillyPhanatics.com’s Blog Talk Radio shows, please click here.)


Phillies 17, Pittsburgh 5
Las Vegas Summer League
Celtics 95, Sixers 89

Phillies 3, Pittsburgh 2
Albany 71, Soul 57
(regular-season finale)
Atlanta 2, Union 0
Las Vegas Summer League
Lakers 96, Sixers 79

Pittsburgh 4, Phillies 1

(July 9-15)

Phillies at Mets, 4:10 (Game 1)
Phillies at Mets, TBD (Game 2)
Las Vegas Summer League
Sixers vs. Wizards, 5:30 p.m.

Phillies at Mets, 7:10 p.m.

Phillies at Mets, 7:10 p.m.
Union at Chicago, 8:30 p.m.

Phillies at Baltimore, 6 p.m.

Phillies at Miami, 7:10 p.m.

Phillies at Miami, 4:10 p.m.
Eintracht Frankfurt at Union, 7 p.m.

Phillies at Miami, 1:10 p.m.
Freedoms at Orange County, 8 p.m.
(season opener)
Arena Football League playoffs
Baltimore at Soul, 6 p.m.

(July 16-22)

Freedoms at San Diego, 10 p.m.

MLB All-Star Game, 8 p.m.

Freedoms at New York, 7 p.m.
U.S. Open Cup

Orlando City SC at Union, 7 p.m.

Orange County at Freedoms, 7 p.m.
(home opener)

Padres at Phillies, 7 p.m.
Washington at Freedoms, 7 p.m.
Arena Football League playoffs
Soul at Baltimore, 7 p.m.

Padres at Phillies, 7 p.m.
L.A. Galaxy at Union, 7 p.m.

Padres at Phillies, 1:30 p.m.
Freedoms at Springfield, 7 p.m.


Summer vacation

PhillyPhanatics.com will be on "vacation" from July 9-19. Updated stories and information will start again on July 20. Thank you for reading.
Summer vacation

Do you like Sixers draft?

Did you like what the 76ers did in the NBA draft? Was trading Mikal Bridges the right move? Did they get enough with their other picks? Share your thoughts in Voice of the Phanatics.

JVR returns

The Flyers are bringing back left wing James van Riemsdyk, whom they drafted second overall in the 2007 NHL Draft. Van Riemsdyk spent the past six seasons with the Maple Leafs, scoring 36 goals last season.

Fish ‘n Chips

Eric Fisher’s notes-style column about a variety of topics. This week Eric serves up opinions on the Sixers coming up empty in their pursuit of another star player, the Flyers’ signing of James van Riemsdyk, and the World Cup being marred by penalty kicks and players faking injuries.

Top 10 at No. 10


With the 76ers, barring a trade, slated to pick 10th overall in Thursday’s NBA Draft,  PhillyPhanatics.com presents its Top 10 list of the best players selected at No. 10 during the past 50 years. It was a lot easier to assemble a Top 10 than a bottom 10, which indicates that the 10th pick usually isn’t a top-level player.

James joins Lakers

July - 1 - 2018 Reporter: Eric Fisher Respond

The 76ers are having a meeting with Rich Paul, LeBron James’ agent, in Los Angeles today (Sunday), according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Sixers head coach/interim GM Brett Brown is part of the group representing the Sixers.

Heel Turns: Smackdown superior at tag

July - 1 - 2018 Reporter: Achilles Heel Respond

The Greek God of Wrestling says that Smackdown’s tag team division is far superior to Raw’s tag team division. Achilles Heel also reveals (sort of) a Ring of Honor title spoiler, reminds fans that WWE is in Philly this Friday, and remembers Matt Cappotelli, who died at age 38.

Phillies Notebook: Free agents not paying off

June - 30 - 2018 Reporter: Eric Fisher Respond

At the midpoint of the season, the Philllies’ free-agent signings haven’t paid off, which could be a warning to the 76ers and Flyers as they pursue free agents. Eric Fisher also examines Odubel Herrera’s inconsistency, Zach Eflin’s excellent June and Rhys Hoskins’ rebound since returning from a broken jaw.

Don’t expect big splash

June - 30 - 2018 Reporter: Eric Fisher Respond

Former Flyer James van Riemsdyk (pictured) is among the top free agents available on the wing, which indicates the dearth of elite free agents available. Flyers general manager Ron Hextall says the Flyers are seeking a top-six wing, a third-line center and a veteran top-4 defenseman.

Sixers hunting for stars

June - 29 - 2018 Reporter: Eric Fisher Respond

The 76ers have the salary cap space to acquire LeBron James via free agency, but there are a lot of moving parts in the NBA. The Sixers could acquire two superstars in the next few days or come up empty.

Summer of … nothing?

June - 26 - 2018 Reporter: Eric Fisher Respond

The 76ers have put themselves in position to acquire an elite player this summer. But Eric Fisher hopes the Sixers have a backup plan if the big fish — LeBron James, Paul George and Kawhi Leonard — end up with other teams.

Justify captures Triple Crown