Thome & Phillies vs. Raul & Yankees on TV Today!

Thome & Phillies vs. Raul & Yankees on TV Today!

It's a gorgeous day in Clearwater, and the Phillies will host the New York Yankees in the opening day of their Grapefruit League schedule. Raul Ibanez has moved on to the Evil Empire, but we ain't mad at him. The image of Raul in that classic NY cap will be cleansed the moment we see Jim Thome stroll to the plate wearing bright red once again.

Both players are DH'ing in their respective new teams' starting lineups today, which you can see below, along with some Phils stories of note. The game starts at 1:05 and will be televised on Comcast Sportsnet in Philly.

The Phils will roll out the following lineup:

Rollins SS
Victorino CF
Pence RF
Thome DH
Wigginton 3B
Mayberry 1B
Brown LF
Kratz C
Martinez 2B
Hamels P

For the Yankees, we'll initially see:

Gardner LF
Granderson CF
Swisher RF
Ibanez DH
Chavez 1B
Martin C
Nunez SS
Hall 2B
Nix 3B
Nova P

(Note: Edited from first posting)

Raul photo courtesy Ryan Lawrence of the Delco Times, who also has some video. [@ryanlawrence21]

With the open of spring training comes a look at some positional battles, as well as some health watching with this particular Phillies team. Notable among the lineup's absentees are Chase Utley and Placido Polanco, who will miss both games this weekend. Per Jim Salisbury, Charlie Manuel says it might be a while before Chase plays, with an aim toward having him healthy and feeling good to start the season. Sully says Utley's on board with that plan, and also discusses the goals for Polanco, some of the bullpen jobs up for grabs this spring, and who else will pitch today after Cole turns in a likely two innings. We should get to see Jonathan Papelbon among them. [CSN Philly]

Todd Zolecki gives us a look at what Shane Victorino might be looking for in a long-term agreement to stay with the club. Shane wants to stay in Philly and might be willing to give a hometown discount, but he's also looking for a 5-year deal. His agents will talk to the Phillies during spring training with hopes of getting something done before the final season of his current contract begins. Zo puts in some good work on looking at where Shane ranks among his peers in certain areas, as well as what the comps might be. What do you think is reasonable for retaining Victorino? [ Phillies]

Gotta appreciate the way's sports tweeter teased this one today: "Phillies pitcher Mike Stutes gets a valuable lesson from his parents' home movies. Seriously. @magelb has more." []

Spring training baseball on your TV… Doesn't get a whole lot better than that in early March. Sweeping shots of bright green fields interrupted by brighter red jerseys with a backdrop of palm trees being pulled in one direction or the other by the Clearwater wind—aw hell. I'm rambling like Sam Waterston in Lebowski...

Best of NBA: Dwyane Wade hits dagger 3-pointer in Bulls debut

Best of NBA: Dwyane Wade hits dagger 3-pointer in Bulls debut

CHICAGO -- Dwyane Wade scored 22 points in a triumphant Chicago debut, Jimmy Butler had 24 and the Bulls won their season opener, beating the Boston Celtics 105-99 on Thursday night.

Wade nailed a 3 from the corner in the final minute to make it a five-point game. Taj Gibson added 18 points and 10 rebounds, and the new-look Bulls got off to a winning start after missing the playoffs last season for the first time since 2008.

Isaiah Thomas led Boston with 25 points. Avery Bradley had 16, and Jae Crowder 14 points, but the Celtics came up short after opening with a win over Brooklyn the previous night.

The Bulls remade their roster in the offseason, jettisoning one hometown superstar and welcoming another when they traded Derrick Rose to New York and signed Wade to a two-year deal worth about $47 million in a move that stunned Miami.

The three-time NBA champion and 12-time All-Star is off to a good start with the Bulls after 13 seasons with the Heat.

Wade hit 4 of 6 3-pointers in this game after making just seven all of last season (see full recap).

New-look Hawks roll past Wizards
ATLANTA -- Dwight Howard dominated the boards in his Atlanta debut, Paul Millsap scored 28 points and Tim Hardaway Jr. ignited the new-look Hawks to a 114-99 victory over the Washington Wizards in their season opener Thursday night.

Howard grabbed 19 rebounds to go along with 11 points, just what the Hawks expected from their new center, and it certainly wasn't unusual for three-time All-Star Millsap to lead the way in scoring.

But Hardaway's performance was totally unexpected given the way he struggled in his first season with the Hawks, when he was largely confined to the bench and even forced to spend time in the D-League.

He scored 21 points, matching his high in an Atlanta uniform, and broke open a close game with back-to-back 3-pointers in the fourth. The Hawks, who led only 81-80 heading to the final period, outscored the Wizards 33-19 over the final 12 minutes (see full recap).

Best of NHL: Canadiens rally past Lightning for 6th straight win

Best of NHL: Canadiens rally past Lightning for 6th straight win

MONTREAL -- Max Pacioretty scored the tiebreaking goal in Montreal's three-goal third period as the Canadiens beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-1 Thursday night for their sixth straight win.

Alex Galchenyuk and Torrey Mitchell also scored to help Montreal improve to 7-0-1. Carey Price made 29 saves to win for the fourth time in four starts this season.

Alex Killorn scored the lone goal for the Lightning, who lost against an Eastern-Conference opponent for the first time this season. Ben Bishop stopped 23 shots.

With the scored tied 1-1, Pacioretty got the go-ahead goal at 10:23 by beating Bishop glove-side. Blown coverage by the Lightning left the Canadiens' captain all alone on the edge of the face-off circle, and Bishop couldn't see the shot with Andrew Shaw posted firmly in front of goal.

Montreal remains the only NHL team still undefeated in regulation (see full recap).

Crosby's late goal gives Penguins win over Islanders
PITTSBURGH -- Sidney Crosby scored the tiebreaking goal late in the third period to lead the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 4-2 victory over the New York Islanders on Thursday night.

Patric Hornqvist, Evgeni Malkin and Phil Kessel also scored -- each getting his third of the season -- to help the Penguins win for the third time in four games and improve to 5-0-1 at home.

Crosby, playing for the second straight game after missing the first six with a concussion, scored with 2:25 left as he caught a pass from Scott Wilson at the top of the crease and quickly turned to his forehand to put the puck behind Islanders goalie Jaroslav Halak.

Kessel added a power-play goal to cap the scoring 32 seconds later.

Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 35 shots while starting for the eighth straight game.

Travis Hamonic and Shane Prince scored for the Islanders, and Halak finished with 31 saves (see full recap).

Streaking Red Wings win marathon shootout vs. Blues
ST. LOUIS -- Henrik Zetterberg scored in the eighth round of a shootout to give the Detroit Red Wings a 2-1 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Thursday night.

Zetterberg's goal gave the Red Wings a six-game winning streak.

In the shootout, St. Louis' first shooter, Alexander Steen, scored but then Vladimir Tarasenko, Kevin Shattenkirk, David Perron, Nail Yakupoc, Robby Fabbri, Patrick Burgland and Dmitrjij Jaskin all came up short.

Gustav Nyquist scored on Detroit's second attempt but Frans Nielsen, Dylan Larkin, Andreas Athanasiou, Tomas Tatar, Riley Sheehan and Darren Helm all missed.

St. Louis had the better chances in overtime. Center Jaden Schwartz missed a wide-open net early in the extra session. Jori Lehtera was stopped on a breakaway midway through the period by Detroit goalie Petr Mrazek (see full recap).