Play Ball!

Opening day here, the 128th in Phillies history.

Time to begin a six-month marathon with the goal of playing October baseball again.  Last NL team to win three straight pennants? 1942-43-44 St. Louis Cardinals.  It is a lofty mountain for the Phillies to climb.

All sports have an opening day, but baseball is bigger.  Winter is behind, warm weather in front.  Baseball every day consumes our lives. 

President Obama will throw out the first ball today, the 100th anniversary of a President making that ceremonial first toss.  He’s scheduled to visit the Phillies in their clubhouse.  Last May, the Phillies visited him in his house.

Since the Phillies are opening on the road this year, they will have their second opener at Citizens Bank Park a week from today.  They’ll be excitement this afternoon in DC but nothing compared to next Monday.  Phillies fans will be pumped. 

Team took an early afternoon AMTRAK charter train to DC yesterday.  They worked out in late afternoon.  This morning, the busses are scheduled to leave the hotel at 9:30. Chances are the buses will be mostly empty.  Charlie and his staff and players will be at the park before the busses depart.

Last time the Phillies started the season on the road was 2004, a 2-1 loss to the Pirates in Pittsburgh.  Last opening day win: 8-4, the next season against theWashington Nationals.

Opening day hasn’t been that friendly for the Phillies:

**56-69 in club history, plus back-to-back ties, 1923-24. 
**winless in last four.
**Citizens Bank Park season openers, 1-4.
**2-3 on April 5 openers.
**7-5 in decade openers.

Yep, the Phillies are beginning their 13th decade of existence.  The Phillies are the oldest, continuous, one-name, one-city franchise in all of professional sports.  Truly, an extraordinary tradition.

Notes:  Happy birthday today to Ross Gload, 34.  Wouldn’t it be something if he celebrated with a game-winning hit . . . Did you see where two Phillies Alumni, Doug Glanville and Curt Schilling, will be part of ESPN TV and . . . Pedro Martinez threw out the ceremonial first ball for the Red Sox last night against the Yankees.  Does that mean he is retired?  No one knows as he didn’t talk to the media . . . Deepest sympathy to Davey Lopes and his family.  His brother, Michael, died in a fire on Friday night in his Providence, RI, home.



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