Phillies Opening Day 2011: Roy Halladay vs. Brett Myers

Phillies Opening Day 2011: Roy Halladay vs. Brett Myers

The 2011 Phillies have already taken us on a wild ride of emotions this year. And the season starts this afternoon.

The Phillies allegedly won the World Series that Monday evening in
Decemeber when word broke that Cliff Lee was returning to Philadelphia
to pitch for a team he enjoyed and a city his family loves. That was
months before the Fightins became the dregs of the NL East through a
deluge of spring training injuries. Dom Brown's career was over before
it started, they said. Chase Utley's career as an All-Star is finished,
they said. Brad Lidge's arm fell off, allegedly. Placido Polanco's elbow
bends funny. The Phillie Phanatic is so stressed his fur has turned a
funny shade of red. Etcetera, etcetera.

Okay, so most of that is a gross exaggeration, but the Phillies do
have a number of questions marks leading into the most highly
anticipated Phillies season of most of our lives.

"Gotta change those question marks into exclamation marks," says Charlie Manuel.

And that's why the play 'em.

Their understated right fielder was beaming on Tuesday evening when
informed he'd get the opening day start in right and a chance to earn
the everyday role. All Ben Francisco was looking for was an opportunity
to show what he's capable of, and now he's got it. Time to execute, and
despite spring numbers being spring numbers, he showed Charlie Manuel
and the rest of the Phillies something at the plate down in Florida.

Wilson Valdez returns to a role he filled adequately last season. He
wasn't flashy at all, and despite being a GDP machine, he was enough of a
stop gap to get this team to the postseason.

Here's your opening day lineup for your Fightin Phils.

As for the opposition today, its the Ed Wade built Houston Astros,
featuring an ex-Phillies opening day starter on the mound in the form of
Brett Myers. The very improved Michael Bourn is the stir to their mock
Philly cocktail and Chris Wheeler's favorite goofy player, Hunter Pence,
bats third in their order.

Of course, Houston doesn't have one of the most potentially
devastating rotations in baseball history. If the Phillies can get
enough out of their lineup until Chase returns (if Chase returns), this
team should return to the postseason. As least season showed us, if you
can get there, it's a whole new ball game. I don't think any Philly fan
would bet against this team, with this rotation, in the playoffs.

But that's months away, with 162 games to be played before they get there. It all starts today.

The snow that turned to rain that turned to drizzle appears to have
stopped for warms ups. No matter. The Doc operates in all types of

Happy Baseball, Philadelphia.

Report: Kings called Flyers about bad goalie Steve Mason

Report: Kings called Flyers about bad goalie Steve Mason

Dealing with injuries in their crease, the Los Angeles Kings called the Flyers to check in on the availability of bad goalie Steve Mason, according to Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman.

Kings starter and otherwise really good goalie Jonathan Quick is out up to three months with a groin injury, while backup Jeff Zatkoff is currently on injured reserve with a groin injury too.

Before eventually brining in former Predators and Coyotes goaltender Anders Lindbach, Los Angeles called around the league to see if any teams might be able to help them find a replacement for Quick. Mason was one of the potential candidates, Friedman said, but Mason's $4.1 million cap hit couldn't fit into their cap situation. Plus, the Flyers don't have any cap flexibility, either.

Mason is 4-2 with a 2.77 goals-against average and .901 save percentage in six games this season.

Sixers fan ejected for flipping Russell Westbrook the double bird

Sixers fan ejected for flipping Russell Westbrook the double bird

Get this guy season tickets! (Just kidding, we don't endorse this kind of behavior and almost don't find it funny at all)

A man who if you were kind of drunk could almost look like Larry Bird's second cousin was ejected from the Wells Fargo Center on Wednesday night for showing a bit of negative emotion directed at Oklahoma City Thunder star Russell Westbrook.

Kids, if you're reading at home, stop....

earmuffs ** He flipped him the double bird ** earmuffs

The fan was later removed from his seat and probably told to act like a decent human.