It's the All-Star break in Major League Baseball, which is nice for Phillies fans because they don't have to watch their team lose for a few days.
And heck, we even got the added bonus of one of baseball's best and brightest saying something nice about us.
Who are the rudest fans in the NL East? Not the Phillies fans!
That's about as big a win as Philly can hope for this week. Harper will be a free agent after the 2018 season and literally anything he says about our city could be twisted to mean something ... more.
This isn't the first time Harper has spoken highly of Philly.
"I enjoy playing in Philly," Harper said last fall.
Then back in April he said he enjoyed playing at Citizens Bank Park.
“I just feel really good here,” said Harper, who has 12 career home runs at CBP, more than he’s hit in any ballpark other than Nationals Park. “Ever since I came up in 2012, I felt great. It’s a fun place to play, a fun ballpark to play in. You see the ball pretty well here. I just let the rest take care of itself, I guess.”
It’s a fun place to play, huh? They seem to boo you guys pretty good here, Bryce.
“I feel like every single park we go to [we’re that way], pretty … not liked,” Harper said with a grin. “I don’t know. I love coming in here and playing in this park, being able to play in front of these fans. I enjoy being in Philly for a few days and playing against great Phillies teams.”
Now we know he thinks Phillies fans are less rude than Mets or Braves fans -- which may or may not be accurate. So we have that going for us.
Will the Phillies sign Harper in 2019? Here's a good list of reasons why they should from back in March.
We've seen it plenty and we love it.
Joel Embiid talking trash and trolling the opposition.
But is he ever concerned with possible payback?
It doesn't sound like he is, and for pretty decent reasons.
Embiid, entertaining us like always, explained those reasons beautifully on ESPN's Tuesday edition of "SC6."
Here was his answer:
Oh, no, I'm not worried about that. If those guys that want to get their feelings hurt, if they're not strong mentally, that's not my fault. I think when it comes down to it, and if we all got to square up, I mean, I'm 7-2 and I'm a big dude. I don't think you want to try me. And I'm African, too, so.
That's the whole point of playing basketball — having fun, go out there, have fun, kick someone's ass and just play basketball.
Not sure if Embiid will ever have to square up with an opposing player. He may have to look out for a big dunk when he's protecting the rim or some extra fire from the competition, but it's good to know he's ready to rumble if necessary.
For the video of Embiid on "SC6," you can watch it here, via The Athletic's Rich Hofmann.
There was a time as Sixers fans when being 16 games into the season meant it legitimately felt like there was no chance the team would ever win another game of basketball. Now, we're beating teams at home by a lot because we're better than them, moving to multiple games over .500, and -- as of last night -- even breaking even with our overall scoring differential. Yawn.
The Philadelphia 76ers beat the Utah Jazz last night by a score of 107-86. Joel Embiid had something of an off night (15 points on 7-16 shooting), our shooters couldn't quite get it going (4-15 from deep), but we still won by 21. It wasn't quite a blowout, but it definitely wasn't a nail-biter. It wasn't an upset or a moral loss or a validating triumph. It wasn't anything, really, except a win.
In it's own way, of course, that makes it the most meaningful W of the season for Philly. It has been a very long time -- maybe since the Doug Collins era -- since the Sixers won a game without it being a referendum on either team. The Sixers simply won because they're a better team with more good players -- especially with the Jazz missing a couple key dudes, though we also beat them in Utah a couple weeks ago without Joel Embiid, so whatever. And the Jazz aren't even the worst team in the league, or really even one of them -- they're just a not-totally-terrible team that the Sixers are still decisively superior to.
Long have I dreamed of wins like this, to have a game where there was nothing to say in the recap except how there's nothing really to say in the recap. Next time the Sixers pick up another W this casual -- and it probably won't take all that long, either -- I won't even be able to write this column again. I'll probably have to try writing in haiku or cryptogram or something to attempt to make the story interesting.
And that's fine: After four years of historic losing, we'll trade narratives for Ws any time. You keep it real boring, Sixers.