The Phillies and the Braves will kick off what they're calling Major League Baseball’s Civil Rights Weekend as the first place Phils look to bounce back from their series loss to Atlanta just a week ago. As part of the festivities, both team's will wear their city's Negro Leagues uniforms for the Saturday afternoon game and will wear throwbacks from 1974 for Sunday's series finale.
Braves legend Hank Aaron was a big part of the reason MLB chose Atlanta as the place to hold Civil Rights Weekend. Phils beat writer Todd Zolecki takes a nice look at the relationship current Phils like Jimmy Rollins have with Aaron, including what it feels like when a legend knows your game.
"It's kind of intimidating," Rollins said this week at Sun Life Stadium. "You know who you are. You know who he is. And everybody else knows who you are, but you're like, 'He doesn't know who I am.' But they pay attention. The old timers pay attention. That's the cool thing."
You can see much more on the special weekend at MLB.com including videos from many of the Phillies talking about Aaron, Jackie Robinson, etc.
Tonight's lineup: J-Roll, Victorino, Polly, Howard, Benny, Raul, Orr, Chooch, and Hamels.
The Phils currently sit 4.5 games up on the Braves and 3 up on the Marlins. The rotation currently sits at Hamels tonight, Blanton tomorrow, and Halladay on Sunday, but Joe the Lumber's "cranky" elbow could prevent him from throwing on Saturday in which case you'd likely see Vance Worley.
There were some interesting articles recently, including an ESPN piece, which touted the Braves up and coming staff as actually being better than the Phils' Four Aces. Crashburn Alley did a nice job taming that notion quite a bit, but the point is still true: the Braves have some real good pitching going lately.
They'll throw Brandon Beachy (1-1, 2.98) against Cole Hamels (4-2, 2.83) this evening. 7:35 start time.
For a full breakdown of the Civil Rights Weekend activities, check out the AJC.