Mondays are a downer. Yesterday more so than usual given that our promise of opening day baseball in Philadelphia was taken from us and replaced with a dreary, wet, and boring day.
But the baseball gods will reward our patience today with the promise of 60+ degrees and sunshine come first pitch at 4:07 pm at Citizens Bank Park.
And the Phillies return from the road with a respectable record of 3-3. They very easily could have been 4-2 or even 5-1 had a couple of bounces gone their way in Texas. But 3-3 seems okay at this point. We can still keep that tiny bubble of hope alive when they trot out onto the green grass at CBP later this afternoon.
And while there's cause for concern, namely in the overpriced maybe-over-the-hill closer department, there's also reason for optimism. Come on, it's opening day, we have to at least try.
Marlon Byrd reminds us what a reliable right fielder can be like, Dom Brown is off to a nice if quiet start at the plate, Chooch is making Ryne Sandberg really think everytime he writes a name after Ben Revere on the lineup card, and Chase Utley showed us maybe he hadn't lost his pop this spring, he was just saving it for the real thing. Chase is hitting .458 after six games. That'll sure get a rise out of South Philly when they hear the first notes of Kashmir later today.
I'm going to hop on the Broad Street line in a few hours, crack open a beer or two in the parking lots with some friends, then head in to the game with my dad, brother, and a friend and sit in right field. We'll probably enjoy a few cold ones, eat some peanuts, maybe enjoy some Bull's BBQ, and definitely talk some Phillies baseball.
It's good to have it back.
Sixers head coach Brett Brown is in Australia this week, where he has accused longtime friend and former Australian men's national team assistant coach Shane Heal of defrauding him of $750,000, according to the Australian Associated Press.
Brown invested $250,000 into each of three companies for which Heal was the sole director. Brown wasn't given a legal title regarding the companies and didn't know the specifics of how the money would be used.
"I assumed that the money was going to be used for what Shane told me it was going to be used for," Brown said. "Because it was a friend that I had for 25 years."
Heal was charged last year by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission following an investigation relating to alleged misconduct in 2008, 2009 and 2010, according to the AAP.
The sides return to court in Brisbane on July 20.
Heal played in the NBA for the Minnesota Timberwolves in 1996-97 and was with the San Antonio Spurs in 2003.
A day after going 0 for 5 with five strikeouts, Odubel Herrera is leading off for the Phillies in their series opener Friday night against the Reds (see game notes).
It's the first time Herrera is leading off since last Aug. 19, a span of 84 games.
Cesar Hernandez gets the night off. He's been dealing with a groin pull for 10 days, manager Pete Mackanin said Friday.
Andres Blanco bats second and plays second.
Maikel Franco is back in the six-hole after going 1 for 5 with two strikeouts in the cleanup spot Thursday. Tommy Joseph bats fourth and Michael Saunders fifth.
Cameron Rupp, who walked three times in Thursday's win over the Rockies, catches Aaron Nola and bats seventh.
1. Odubel Herrera, CF
2. Andres Blanco, 2B
3. Aaron Altherr, LF
4. Tommy Joseph, 1B
5. Michael Saunders, RF
6. Maikel Franco, 3B
7. Cameron Rupp, C
8. Freddy Galvis, SS
9. Aaron Nola, P