Immediate Impact: Francisco, Valdez, and Mayberry Help Phils to Opening Day Win

Immediate Impact: Francisco, Valdez, and Mayberry Help Phils to Opening Day Win

While their passion is undeniable, some
Philly fans' fickleness is both predictable and unbecoming. It's these
fans who wait an entire off-season for baseball to return to
Philadelphia on the first day of April, crossing off every day that
passes on their calendar, only to let their first boos rain down less
than two hours after the first pitch of the season. A little patience,

Now, to be fair, the Phillies offense was not creating
much of anything at the plate, and they were certainly not making Brett
Myers and the Astros pitchers work, so maybe a little ribbing couldn't

In fact, Jimmy Rollins said after the game that hearing it
from the fans before the bottom half of the ninth may have lit a fire
under their asses.

"We had a couple of fans jumping on us right on top of our dugout," said
Rollins. "It was kind of comical. He was talking about American Legion
ball, and how his team would have done better than that. I don't know,
but maybe it inspired us. The next inning we came out and only made one
out and found a way to win."

Jimmy led of the bottom half of that final inning with a single. That
was followed up with more singles than we've seen in some entire
homestands in recent memory from this club. A single by Ryan Howard, a
lone popout by Raul, and singles by Ben Francisco, Carlos Ruiz, and then
the walkoff winner from John Mayberry Jr.

The veterans like Jimmy and Howard stepped up, but they got assits
from the guys many list as question marks. Charlie must be pretty
excited with the transformation into today's exclamation marks.

So where does this opening day in Philadelphia rank in recent
Phillies history? According to Jimmy Rollins, the same spot he batted in
the order today, third, behind the opening of Citizens Bank Park and
the day they received their World Series Championship rings.

this one may have ranked a bit higher for John Mayberry Jr. who hit his
first career walkoff winner and received a lovely shaving cream pie to
the face from Ryan Madson.

As mentioned, John Mayberry Jr. wasn't
the only non-regular to come through late in this one. Ben Francisco
notched a key hit as did Wilson Valdez that kept this game alive.

"That's why we're here," Wilson Valdez said. "I learned from last
year. I'm the kind of player who likes to learn everyday. When I had a
chance to play, in that kind of situation, I just try to do my job. We
fight and make things happen."

The rest of the team appreciates the greener guys stepping up in the clutch.

"It's good to get it out of the way," Ryan Madson said of the
immediate contributions from guys like Benny, Wilson, and Mayberry. "If
you can do it once, you can do it 100 times."

And they'll try to do it again tomorrow with Cliff Lee on the mound.

Sevyn Streeter claims Sixers stopped her from singing national anthem

Sevyn Streeter claims Sixers stopped her from singing national anthem

Performing artist Sevyn Streeter was scheduled to sing the national anthem Wednesday night before the Sixers' season opener but says she was replaced because of the jersey she was wearing.

Jemila Worthy, a member of the Sixers' dance team, sang the anthem instead.

Streeter says change was made because she was wearing a jersey with the words "We Matter" displayed on the front.

"I'm at the 76ers game to sing the national anthem," she said in a video on Twitter, "and the organization is telling me that I can't because I'm wearing a 'We Matter' jersey."

The Sixers responded with the following statement:

"The Philadelphia 76ers organization encourages meaningful actions to drive social change. We use our games to bring people together, to build trust and to strengthen our communities. As we move from symbolic gestures to action, we will continue to leverage our platform to positively impact our community."

In the Sixers' preseason finale against the Heat in Miami, Denasia Lawrence performed the anthem while wearing a "Black Lives Matter" shirt and kneeling on one knee (see story). She said she did it to protest racial oppression.

Streeter is the latest to use the national anthem as a stage to protest racism and social injustice. San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began the well-documented movement by refusing to stand during the anthem, and various other professional athletes have made their own statements.

In a protest planned by safety Malcolm Jenkins, a handful of Eagles raised their fists during the anthem before the team's Week 2 game against the Bears on Monday Night Football.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.