Points by Suns’ Devin Booker during 130-120 loss to Celtics

The Greek god of wrestling previews Saturday’s card for Tommy Dreamer’s “House of Hardcore VII,” which signals a return to the old ECW Arena. Achilles Heel also tells you why you should go out of your way to watch Impact Wrestling next week, why Ring of Honor’s tag team tournament and when WrestleMania tickets will go on sale.

The Phillies’ payroll is almost double the Royals’ payroll, but the biggest difference between the World Series-bound Royals and the Phillies is the qualities they value in players while building their respective teams.

It’s time for end-of-the-year fantasy awards. After handing out some hardware and selecting his All-NFL Fantasy Team, Jacob Fischer recaps Thursday’s top fantasy performers, implies that Aaron Rodgers will have a big game against the Bucs and suggests a lineup for Sunday.


A quick look at 10 sports stories in the news…

1. Bobrovsky shuts out Flyers Former Flyer Sergei Bobrovsky makes 36 saves, registering his 7th shutout this season as Blue Jackets beat visiting Flyers, 1-0. Flyers, with just 8 games remaining, trail Islanders, Bruins by 6 points in chase for final wild card berth in Eastern Conference, but must jump over Lightning (trail by 5 points) and Hurricanes (1 point) as well. Alexander Wennberg deflects in shot by Kyle Quincey for game’s only goal. Flyers goalie Michal Neuvirth makes 20 saves. Flyers visit Penguins on Sunday (7 p.m.).

2. Embiid has surgery Sixers center Joel Embiid has arthroscopic surgery to repair torn meniscus in left knee. Surgery was in Los Angeles, where Embiid will remain for “conservative” approach to rehabilitation, according to doctor who performed surgery in statement released by Sixers. Embiid played 31 games during rookie season, which is actually his 3rd season since being draft by Sixers. He did not play during first 2 seasons due to injuries.

3. Dallas Green dies Dallas Green, manager for 1980 Phillies team that won franchise’s 1st World Series title, dies of kidney disease at age 82. As Phillies farm director, Green helped build the team that excelled from 1975-83, including 1980 World Series win. Green began his professional baseball career as pitcher for Phillies. He later coached and managed in minor leagues, served as scout and adviser in Phillies organization. He left Phillies to become Cubs GM, then later managed Yankees and Mets before returning to Phillies organization.

4. Saric, Sixers bounce back against Bulls Dario Saric pours in career-high 32 points, grabs 10 rebounds to help Sixers bounce back from 25-point loss to Thunder with 117-107 triumph over host Bulls. Shawn Long contributes 18 points, 7 rebounds in just 20 minutes. Sixers recover from early deficit, build 26-point lead, then fend off late charge by Bulls. Jahlil Okafor sits out again with knee soreness. Sixers visit Pacers on Sunday (6 p.m.).

5. Kentucky, out-Foxes UCLA De’Aaron Fox pours in 39 points to lift 2nd-seeded Kentucky past 3rd-seeded UCLA, 86-75, in South Region. Wildcats will face top seed North Carolina, a 92-80 winner over 4th-seeded Butler, on Sunday (5:05 p.m.). In East Region, 8th-seeded Wisconsin battles back from 12-point deficit in final 4:15, only to have 4th-seeded Florida prevail, 84-83, when guard Chris Chiozza dribbles length of floor and  drills 3-pointer at buzzer. Gators will face 7th-seeded South Carolina, which demolishes 3rd-seeded Baylor, 70-50, on Sunday (2:20 p.m.).

6. Bulldogs fend off Mountaineers West Region top seed Gonzaga fends off challenge from 4th-seeded West Virginia, reaches Elite Eight with 61-58 triumph. Bulldogs will face 11th-seed Xavier, a 73-71 upset winner over 2nd-seeded Arizona, tonight (6:09 p.m.). In Midwest Region, 3rd-seeded Oregon nips 7th-seeded Michigan, 59-58, will face top-seeded Kansas, which erases 1st-half deficit and crushes 4th-seeded Purdue, 98-66, tonight (8:49 p.m.).

7. Phillies find relief in tie Three relievers competing for spots with Phillies pitch Saturday during 3-3 tie with Red Sox in Grapefruit League game. Alec Asher starts, allows 3 hits, 2 runs in 3 innings. Adam Morgan allows solo home run in 3 innings. Joely Rodriguez strikes out 3 in 2 scoreless innings. Morgan, Rodriguez are lefties. Former Phillie Kyle Kendrick limits Phillies to 2 runs in 6 innings. Phillies tie game on Chris Coghlan’s sacrifice fly in top of 9th inning. Clay Buchholz scheduled to start Sunday (1 p.m.) when Phillies host Pirates.

8. Phillies send Goeddel to minors Phillies send outfielder Tyler Goeddel, pitcher Jake Thompson to minors. Goeddel, who spent all of last season with Phillies, likely to end up with Class AA Reading due to logjam of outfielders at Class AAA Lehigh Valley. Thompson started 10 games for Phillies last season. Reliever Dalier Hiniosa, infielder Hector Gomez, catcher Logan Moore assigned to minor-league camp.

9. Eagles consider Kelly green Eagles withdraw all except 1 proposal to NFL for new rules. One of withdrawn proposals would have opened possibility of Eagles changing helmets to match Kelly green uniforms worn by Eagles before switch to current midnight green.

10. ex-Penn State president Spanier convicted Jury convicts former Penn State president Graham Spanier of 1 misdemeanor count of child endangerment over handling of 2001 incident involving former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky. Spanier acquitted of conspiracy and 2nd child endangerment charge. Spanier’s lawyer, who did not produce any defense witnesses, says Spanier will appeal verdict.

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


Sixers 117, Chicago 107
Yankees 3, Phillies 2
(Spring training)

Blue Jackets 1, Flyers 0
Phillies 3, Red Sox 3
(Spring training)

Sixers at Indiana, 6 p.m.
Flyers at Pittsburgh, 7 p.m.
Pirates at Phillies, 1 p.m.
(Spring training)


Phillies at Blue Jays, 6 p.m.
(Spring training)

Senators at Flyers, 7 p.m.
Sixers at Brooklyn, 7:30 p.m.
Blue Jays at Phillies, 6:30 p.m.
(Spring training)

Hawks at Sixers, 7 p.m.
Phillies at Tigers, 1 p.m.
Phillies at Pirates, 1 p.m.
(Spring training, split squad)

Islanders at Flyers, 7 p.m.
Yankees at Phillies, 1 p.m.
(Spring training)

Sixers at Cleveland, 7:30 p.m.
Rays at Phillies, 1 p.m.
(End of spring training)

Devils at Flyers, 7 p.m.
Union at D.C. United, 7 p.m.

Sixers at Toronto, 6 p.m.
Flyers at Rangers, 7:30 p.m.


Villanova’s bid to repeat ends early

Villanova recovers from another poor first half, but the Wildcats are unable to shake Wisconsin, dropping a 65-62 decision to the Badgers in the second round of the NCAA Tournament, ending their hopes to repeat as national champions. ***** In the classic ...
Villanova’s bid to repeat ends early

Brauner a sitting duck

Kentucky’s victory over UCLA extended Jack Brauner’s lead in Bracket Madness to 12 points, but he’s out of potential points. Jack must root against top seeds Gonzaga, Kansas and North Carolina to prevent other players from gaining on him.

Cornering the market

Gordon Glantz envisions the Eagles focusing on cornerbacks as he evaluates their needs in his first mock draft of the Birds’ selections in all seven round of the NFL Draft.

Green stood tall

Dallas Green was a baseball giant, both literally and figuratively. He will always have a special place in Philadelphia sports history for guiding the Phillies to their first World Series title. But he will also be remembered for his honesty, toughness and passion.

Tournament runs

Where does Villanova’s championship run last year rank on the PhillyPhanatics.com top 10 list of men’s college basketball postseason runs by local teams? Check out our list to find out.

Flyers Notebook: Opportunity knocks

March - 6 - 2017 Reporter: Eric Fisher Respond

The Flyers have a unique opportunity to gain ground in the wild card race this week. Eric Fisher also examines Steve Mason’s unusual predicament, the impact of Valtteri Filppula and the respect given to Pierre-Edouard Bellemare.

Heel Turns: TNA receives a makeover

March - 4 - 2017 Reporter: Achilles Heel Respond

The Greek God of Wrestling explains a name change isn’t the only thing that’s going to change for TNA, which will be known as Impact Wrestling. Achilles Heel also previews WWE’s Fastlane and Ring of Honor’s Manhattan Mayhem, explains Randy Orton’s “betrayal” of Bray Wyatt and congratulates Beth Phoenix on being selected for the WWE Hall of Fame.

Eagles’ offseason plans revolve around Cooks

March - 4 - 2017 Reporter: Gordon Glantz Respond

The Eagles coveted receiver Brandin Cooks when he entered the 2014 NFL Draft out of Oregon State. The Eagles’ offseason plans, including the start of free agency this week, revolve around whether they can pry Cooks away from the Saints.

Union preview: Revamped midfield holds key

March - 4 - 2017 Reporter: Eric Fisher Respond

The Union made the playoffs last season for the first time since 2011. Key additions at midfield, striker and center back could determine whether the Union get that elusive first postseason win this year.

Hextall keeps the faith

March - 4 - 2017 Reporter: Eric Fisher Respond

Critics of the Mark Streit trade view Valtteri Filppula as an unnecessary $5 million contract for next season. But Flyers general manager Ron Hextall views Filppula as a player who can help his team.

Flyers trade Streit for Filppula, draft picks

March - 1 - 2017 Reporter: Eric Fisher Respond

The Flyers traded veteran defenseman Mark Streit to the Lightning, who promptly traded him to the Penguins. The Flyers receive veteran center Valtteri Filppula, 2 draft picks.

Jenkins' 3-pointer wins national title