With Division Crown Within Grasp, Manuel May Be Scoreboard Watching

With Division Crown Within Grasp, Manuel May Be Scoreboard Watching

Charlie Manuel talked for longer than usual prior to tonight's game against the St. Louis Cardinals. Topics ranged from how good of an arm he had as an outfielder back in the day -- a good one, of course -- to how the giant scoreboard at Citizens Bank Park, with all the different information and numbers, reminds him of CNBC's Squawkbox TV show monitoring the stock market.

It's a lot easier to talk at length while being more open when your team is cruising into the postseason. There's a chance the Phillies could take another important step on their quest towards the World Series tonight. If the Phillies beat the Cardinals at CBP and the Mets beat the Braves down in Atlanta, the team will clinch its fifth-straight NL East crown.

I asked Charlie before the game if he'd be checking the scoreboard at all throughout the night with the outcome in Atlanta potentially impacting whether or not he needs to wear goggles later this evening.

"Probably. I've been looking at the scoreboard ever since the season started. This one's big enough to see. Matter of fact, this one's got enough stuff on it, it's kind of like looking at Squawkbox or something."

Clinching the division is a big step, but it's not nearly as big as it was a few seasons ago. Plus, there's the fact that they're doing it with two weeks left in the season. How does this team keep the passion levels so high? How do they keep the foot on the gas?

Manuel said the addition of the pitching staff that is hungry and has yet to win a title is a big part of it. His core guys aren't satisfied with only one title. Cole Hamels famously said on that celebration day at CBP in 2008 that he wanted to ride down Broad St. as a champion again, and again, and again. There's the right fielder who has added tremendous energy to the ball club.

Then there's Philadelphia.

Charlie was asked about the atmosphere that's created here and whether it helps the Phillies retain their passion.

"I think this city, I think the ballpark, I think the fans, I think everything about it," Manuel said. "I think the way that we talk -- the way that our players talk. The attitude of the players has to be that way. All of the things -- the noise, the loudness, the fact that we fill our ballpark up. They like to play here and they like to play in front of our fans."

Those fans wouldn't mind an extra treat tonight.

The plastic is hanging above the lockers, waiting to be draped down. The champagne is on ice.

Could be a nice little pre-party tonight in South Philly. But we all know the real party won't happen for another month and a half. We all want a rager then.

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Tonight's starters are Vance Worley (11-2, 2.92) vs. Jaime Garcia (12-7, 3.68)

Tonight's Lineup: Rollins, Victorino, Utley, Pence, Polanco, Mayberry, Francisco, Schneider, and Worley.

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Clincher? The Braves-Mets game starts a half hour later than the Phils game tonight. If the Phils win, and the Braves game is still in progress, the team said there is a chance they put it on the jumbotron at Citizens Bank Park.

NBC Sports Philadelphia Internship - Advertising/Sales

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NBC Sports Philadelphia Internship - Advertising/Sales

Position Title: Intern
Department: Advertising/Sales
Company: NBC Sports Philadelphia
# of hours / week: 10 – 20 hours

Deadline: November 20

Basic Function

This position will work closely with the Vice President of Sales in generating revenue through commercial advertisements and sponsorship sales. The intern will gain first-hand sales experience through working with Sales Assistants and AEs on pitches, sales-calls and recapping material.

Duties and Responsibilities

• Assist Account Executive on preparation of Sales Presentations
• Cultivate new account leads for local sales
• Track sponsorships in specified programs
• Assist as point of contact with sponsors on game night set up and pre-game hospitality elements.
• Assist with collection of all proof of performance materials.
• Perform Competitive Network Analysis
• Update Customer database
• Other various projects as assigned

Requirements

1. Good oral and written communication skills.
2. Knowledge of sports.
3. Ability to work non-traditional hours, weekends & holidays
4. Ability to work in a fast-paced, high-pressure environment
5. Must be 19 years of age or older
6. Must be a student in pursuit of an Associate, Bachelor, Master or Juris Doctor degree
7. Must have unrestricted authorization to work in the US
8. Must have sophomore standing or above
9. Must have a 3.0 GPA

Interested students should apply here and specify they're interested in the ad/sales internship.

About NBC internships

Opening week affects MVP odds of Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid

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Opening week affects MVP odds of Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid

Ben Simmons had himself a historic first week in the NBA and as a result, his MVP odds have changed substantially.

Listed by Bovada on Oct. 10 at 80/1 to win MVP, Simmons is now at 33/1, tied with DeMarcus Cousins and ahead of Marc Gasol, Blake Griffin and Damian Lillard.

Simmons became the first player since Oscar Robertson to produce at least 10 points, 10 rebounds and five assists in each of his first three career games.

Teammate Joel Embiid had a less successful start to the year, averaging 14.5 points, 13.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists in two games but shooting just 35.5 percent from the field and missing all 10 three-point attempts.

And yet somehow, Embiid's MVP odds have changed from 40/1 to 25/1. He has the same MVP odds as Karl-Anthony Towns and Kristaps Porzingis.

Griffin, at 50/1, is a sneaky good bet for MVP. The Clippers are his team now with Chris Paul in Houston, and Griffin has added long-distance shooting to his game, making three triples in each game. Two games in, he's averaging 29.0 points, 10.0 rebounds and 3.5 assists. 

If he can stay healthy (a huge if) and lead the Clippers to 52-plus wins in a loaded Western Conference, you'd have to think Griffin would be looked at more favorably in terms of MVP odds than someone on a star-studded team like any of the Warriors or Rockets, if Paul returns from his knee injury within a month and affects James Harden's stats even slightly. 

Giannis Antetokounpo and LeBron James look like the two players most likely to win MVP, but 50/1 for Griffin is good value if you think this is the year he stays healthy. If he didn't have a history of injuries, his odds right now would be closer to those of John Wall (28/1) or Towns (25/1).