Gabe Kapler addressed the coconut in the room

Gabe Kapler addressed the coconut in the room

“Coconut oil is a phrase,” Howard Eskin said while seemingly stumbling for the right words.

Most people wouldn't go there. Eskin did. He called it the "elephant in the room."

He said it at the press conference during which the Philadelphia Phillies introduced their new manager, Gabe Kapler.

He said it while attempting to ask a question directed at Kapler and team GM Matt Klentak about Kapler’s unique and interesting lifestyle website and whether it should raise any concerns.

The question, like the blog post, was a bit awkward.

But Kapler handled his first uncomfortable moment as the Phillies manager like a pro.

In case you are unfamiliar, we wrote about some of the out-there stuff on Kapler’s lifestyle website earlier in the week.

There’s an entry about coconut oil and it’s a little, well ... risqué.

Kapler took the question about whether he was proud of the content in stride and answered thoughtfully. 

“Much of what I have written is several years old,” Kapler said. “And when I was writing that I was in a different mindset than I am now as the manager of the Phillies. Even with that said, if you look through the various posts, there is some tongue-in-cheek stuff that I had directed at players to try and make them laugh. Thinking through it, there are some things I may have written a little differently. Certainly, we all make mistakes and miss the mark from time to time. If you go back and look at those posts, they were meant for health. They were meant to help people be more prepared and stronger. They are imperfect. I am imperfect. But I’m also very proud of a lot of the content that I would encourage people to go back and dig into and find the stuff that really does hit the mark.”

Anyone who has ever written anything that was published to the Internet probably has a thing or two they aren't exactly proud of. I thought the way Kapler handled the question was about as good as you could hope. If anything, as I wrote earlier in the week, it shows he's a unique thinker and not afraid to speak his mind.

Klentak added some thoughts of his own.

"As we try to move the needle here, as we try to move this organization forward here, there's an element of risk, new behaviors, trying new things and that's inevitable," Klentak said. "That's part of what we are excited about with Kap's arrival here."

More from Kapler's intoductory press conference here.

The Process is ready for primetime

The Process is ready for primetime

Basically, you saw everything you'd want to see from Ben Simmons, Dario Saric and Joel Embiid during the Rising Stars Challenge on All-Star Friday night, as they kept doing what they've basically done all February: winning. 

Ben Simmons was electric all over the court, ending with 11 points (5-5 FG, mostly dunks), six boards, a game-high 13 assists and a team-high four steals. A still-locked-in Dario Saric was the beneficiary of a handful of those dimes, ending with 18 points (7-11 FG, 4-7 3PT), three boards and five assists. 

Joel Embiid had an underwhelming stat line in his thankfully clipped playing time (just eight minutes after sitting out Wednesday's game -- we'll see him more on Sunday), ending with just five points and two boards, and not exactly displaying the defensive dominance we're accustomed to from our big man. But the five points came on back-to-back possessions in the third, where JoJo nailed a top-of-the-break three and then scored on a dunk following a Fultzian spin move to the basket, showing the range of his skills in an appropriately breathtaking (and Internet-slaying) manner. 

And of course, the Sixers -- I mean, Team World -- won handily, outscoring Team USA in every quarter and ultimately triumphing 155-124. Even though Sacramento's Bogdan Bogdanovic took home MVP honors on the night for his white-hot shooting night (26 points on 9-16 FG, including a handful of Steph Curry-esque extended pull-up triples), I thought Simmons was the best all-around player on the floor, another thumb in the eye of the All-Star committee that snubbed him (four times!) for the proper game on Sunday night. 

Perhaps more importantly, the Sixers' presence just dominated the game altogether. Hell, they made up 3/5 of Team World's starting lineup -- no other team had more than two representatives, across both squads, though the Lakers would have were Lonzo Ball available -- and in the broadcast booth, the TNT guys couldn't stop talking about Embiid all night, comparing him to Hakeem and debating whether they'd ever seen a big man of his versatility before. 

And to think, this year they'll actually be represented on Saturday and Sunday, too. Hopefully Ben and Dario get a nice, relaxing All-Star break from here -- they've certainly earned it -- and now, it's Embiid's spotlight. The Process is ready for Primetime, baby, and longtime Trusters should make sure to enjoy this moment as much as JoJo himself undoubtedly will. 

Chris Long defends LeBron James after attack from Fox News host

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Chris Long defends LeBron James after attack from Fox News host

Chris Long is beloved by Philadelphians for much more than rocking a full-lenghth faux fur during the Eagles' Super Bowl championship parade. Most in Philly respect Long because he is one to speak his mind on whatever topic he sees fit. He's also a man of action, not just talk.

So when Fox News host Laura Ingraham attacked LeBron James and Kevin Durant for expressing their views on Donald Trump, Long stood up for his fellow athletes.

"Keep the political commentary to yourself, or as someone once said, 'shut up and dribble,'" Ingraham said.

As someone who hears "stick to sports" on a regular basis, this commentary hit close to home for the Eagles defensive end.

Long took exception and wanted to point out some of the people Ingraham's own network has on for their own political commentary. He launched into a Twitter thread pointing out some of the political experts.