The Phillies have announced their Opening Day roster and were few surprises. Here is how it worked out:
Pitchers (12): Right-handers A.J. Burnett, Justin De Fratus, Roberto Hernandez, Kyle Kendrick, Brad Lincoln, Jeff Manship, Jonathan Papelbon and B.J. Rosenberg and left-handers Antonio Bastardo, Jake Diekman, Mario Hollands and Cliff Lee.
Catchers (2): Wil Nieves and Carlos Ruiz.
Infielders (6): Cody Asche, Cesar Hernandez, Ryan Howard, Jayson Nix, Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley.
Outfielders (5): Domonic Brown, Marlon Byrd, Tony Gwynn Jr., John Mayberry Jr. and Ben Revere.
They also resigned Ronny Cedeno to a minor league deal so he will be at Triple-A until he is needed. And Jayson Nix, brother of former Phillies Laynce Nix, was signed a few days ago and put on the roster as an extra infielder.
Also of note, the Phillies will begin with only 4 starting pitchers as, due to off days, that is all they will need the first few weeks of the season. Relief pitcher Mario Hollands was a bit of a surprise to make the roster as he has pitched in only 3 games above Double-A ball (2012, AAA Iron Pigs). But he was impressive in camp; he will be interesting to watch.
The final spring tune-up on Sunday was canceled due to rain L That was a bummer as I was hoping to meet some of the new players before the game. So I wound up going to the 76ers game instead later that night.
The Sixers finally broke their 26-game losing streak in a dominating performance over the Detroit Pistons. And that win prevented them from becoming the all-time worst team in all major sports. Instead, they are tied. But still worse than the 1961 Phillies, so that is an achievement.
Sixers fans were so relieved, with 5 minutes left in the game, chants of “Thank You Detroit” rang out all over the stadium. Nicely done, Philly fans.
As for the Phillies, Cliff Lee will take the mound in Texas tomorrow against the Rangers for 2014 Opening Day. Finally, some real baseball! Game time is 2:05pm.
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Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography
There’s a hole in the Spectrum! How did that happen? Did no one notice the giant red ball flying towards it this afternoon? It is a historical Philadelphia landmark! And why were all those people just standing around watching the destruction? Oh my!
Wait a second…you say they are tearing it down? It is a scheduled demolition? Soooooooo…they did this on purpose? Oh sorry…my bad.
Just kidding ;o) It was a surreal moment today, watching the Spectrum meet its demise. Although apparently, we can relive that moment everyday for the next 4-6 months, which is the time it is going to take to tear it down with this tiny red ball. Could they not find a larger ball or more efficient means of destruction? Just sayin’…
When the long, drawn out extraction is complete, a brand new entertainment complex called “PhillyLive!” will take the Spectrum’s place, hopefully, in 2012. This will give Philly sports fans a place to wander, eat and party before and after games. Of course the city of St. Louis promised their fans the same type of structure and 4 years later, not a single brick has been laid. Cross your fingers, Philly…
Chairman of Comcast Spectacor Ed Snider spoke before the demolition today. He spoke about his mixed emotions about tearing down the Spectrum and then referred to its official replacement next door as the “Wells Fargo or whatever it’s called building.” The Wells Fargo center has gone though a number of name changes over the years including CoreStates Center, First Union Center (affectionately known as the FU center) and Wachovia Center.
With the Snider name comment and seeing the gaping hole in the side of the Spectrum, my brain began translating the data into an old children’s song. In my mind, “There’s a Hole In The Bucket” suddenly became “There’s a Hole In The Spectrum.” Not familiar with the song? Take a look:
Now that you remember the song, sing along with my newly fabricated lyrics:
There’s a hole in the Spectrum, dear Flyers, dear Sixers,
There’s a hole in the Spectrum, dear Philly,
There’s a hole.
Then trash it Mr. Snider, Mr. Snider, Mr. Snider,
Then trash it dear Mr. Snider, Mr. Snider, trash it.
But where will you play now, dear Flyers, dear Sixers,
But there will you play now, dear Philly, play where?
In the FU, I mean Wachovia, I mean WtF Center, Mr. Snider, Mr. Snider, Mr. Snider,
WTF is it’s name now, Mr. Snider, Mr. Snider, it’s name?
We cannot remember, dear Flyers, dear Sixers,
The name keeps on changing, dear Philly, keeps changing.
Then make up your mind, Mr. Snider, Mr. Snider
Make a freaking decision, Mr. Snider, decide!
It’s the Wells Fargo Center, dear Flyers, dear Sixers,
It’s the Wells Fargo Center, dear Philly, at least it is for now…
We will still miss the Spectrum, Mr. Snider, Mr. Snider, Mr. Snider,
We will still miss the Spectrum, Mr. Snider, miss it.
There’s a hole in the Spectrum, dear Flyers, dear Sixers,
There’s a hole in the Spectrum, dear Philly,
I do hope everyone enjoyed my rendition :O) And while we are on the subject, what is your favorite memory of the Spectrum? Mine was seeing Pearl Jam close the lace down officially last October. Had they rocked any harder, the little red ball may not have been needed at all!
Pearl Jam photo by Jenn Zambri Photography; Spectrum photo by Philly.com
Ryan Howard showed everyone today why he is an All-Star; Howard went 3 for 3 with 3 RBI and 2 walks. But more importantly, he came up to bat in the 9th inning with 1 out, 2 men on base and the Phillies trailing by 3 runs and he saved the day. Howard nailed a 3 run home run to centerfield to tie up a game which, until that moment, looked like a sure loss for the Phillies against the last place Pirates.
Howard had some help though; Raul Ibanez, in his first start since coming off the DL, doubled after Howard’s home run; it was Ibanez’s 2nd hit of the night. After that, Pedro Feliz singled, Jayson Werth was walked to load the bases and Paul Bako stepped to the plate. You may be asking, Bako who? Bako, in his 12th year in the majors and playing for his 10th different team as a back-up catcher, made name for himself in Philly tonight. He whacked a single through a hole in the infield, scoring Ibanez and giving the Phils an 8-7 win. Bako is batting only .214 and his lifetime average hovers right around only .230, but that did not matter tonight. With his second hit of the game, he got the job done.
The Phillies really needed some heroics tonight after Cole Hamels had another bad outing. In 6 innings, Hamels allowed 6 runs on 7 hits, which included 3 home runs. Hamels even allowed a home run to Andrew McCutchen, who had only 1 homer the entire year until tonight. Another went to Delwyn Young, who in a 4 year career, had only 5 home runs until Hamels helped him to #6. Can you say BAD location? Apparently, Hamels can and we all wish he would unlearn that particular phrase.
The bullpen had a bad night too; Chad Durbin allowed 2 runs, one of which scored when Scott Eyre came in to relieve him and walked a run home; a combination bad effort. But we are all entitled to have bad days, and for the Phillies pitchers, this was certainly one of those; especially since it came against the Pirates. But it was all erased with the outpouring of offense late in the game.
Only one game left before the All-Star break! The Pirates will try to salvage a game and the Phillies will try to stop them; 1:35pm tomorrow.
Sale At The Spectrum
Did anyone else attend the Spectrum sale earlier today? I was there and oh boy, what a mess! For the first time ever, the Phillies, Sixers and Flyers joined forces to host a blow-out sale of discontinued merchandise at low prices.
I spoke to a Spectrum representative as the horror was unfolding and he told me that they were expecting, and only prepared for, 500 people. What they got was thousands upon thousands and as a result, a lot of very unhappy customers. Check out lines, which began with 2 cashiers on each side (Phillies side & Sixers/Flyers side) took hours to get through. No exaggeration…hours. And it was like watching cattle being herded; the small shopping area was jam packed with shoulder-to-shoulder shoppers and you could barely move. Meanwhile, thousands of other shoppers formed a line outside the building waiting to be let in.
I got there early, as I expected a crowd, unlike the Spectrum management, so I did get in with the first group and got some pretty cool stuff. But, it took me over 2 hours, with help, to do so. Most of the merchandise was old playoff gear, but a few nice finds were there. And the lines began to thin out after the management added a cash only line and a few more cashiers. I do believe that next year, they will be a bit more prepared. At any rate, it was a real adventure.
Photos by Jenn
The Philadelphia 76ers hosted “Phillies Night” on Saturday at the game vs. the New York Knicks. An annual tradition, those participating were the Phanatic, Brad Lidge, Shane Victorino, Ryan Madson and some guy, possibly from the Reading Phils,
whose name I could not make out when they announced it. If anyone knows who this guy is, please let me know! Mystery guy replaced Cole Hamels who was scheduled to appear, but was a no-show. We know he was in town because he taped “Meet the Phillies” at Citizens Bank Park earlier in the day. No statement was made as to why he did not appear. I assume his wife decided he was not allowed to play basketball, for fear his million-dollar arm may fall off :O) Or maybe he felt he needed 4 days rest in between events. Just a guess…
Anyway, Brad Lidge gave the ceremonial “tip-off” before the game:
And during half-time, the 4 guys had a “3-point shoot-out,” which Victorino won, hands down. Madson and Lidge should not quit their day jobs. Although, Lidge looked like he had more fun than anyone else :O) He was all smiles.
The World Series trophy was on-hand for fans to check out. And during game time-outs, the Phanatic and the ball girls tossed t-shirts to the crowd, raced some weird giant, inflatable bunnies and wandered around with the Sixers dancers. They even played beach ball volleyball in my section…got whacked on the head a few times, but I think I will live…not much up there to injure :O) It was entertaining to see the Phanatic play with Hip-Hop, the Sixers mascot. Hip-Hop is a grown man in a giant, scary bunny outfit. Not sure who came up with that one, but I am sure it was after a nightmare having to do with large rabbits attacking them. Or maybe they have seen Monty-Python’s “The Holy Grail” one too many times? You be the judge.
I have put together a Photo Album of these, and more Phillies shots from the game, a Donavan McNabb (Eagles) sighting, and some Sixers game shots as well. Enjoy!
And for the football fans, I have also started a Miami Dolphins page, The Dolphin Pod! All Dol-Fans, and anyone else who wants to say hello is welcome!
Remember also to check out our homepage My Team Rivals and our Phillies, Flyers, Eagles, Billy Penn Curse, Reinstate Pete Rose, Phillies Mets Rivalry, Phillies Marlins Rivalry, and Phillies Braves Rivalry pages!