Lowe the Silencer
Well, the opener is out of the way. Only 161 more to go. For some reason, going 162-0 wasn’t going to happen. By the same token, we won’t finish 0-162.
What a perfect weather evening. Parking lots east of Citizens Bank Park were filled starting in the early afternoon with tail-gate parties. Seemed as if everyone was wearing Phillies red.
The pre-game show as great. Love opening day player introductions. Fans really get into unleashing their emotions that were bundled up during the cold, winter months.
As usual, loudest cheers were for Ryan, Chase and Jimmy. Brad, Jamie, Cole also got great receptions. Matt Stairs, off his dramatic, game-winning pinch homer in the World Series, is a cult hero. Amazing what one at-bat can do.
Unfortunately, the high volume of enthusiasm was turned down low by Derrick Lowe. He silenced both the crowd and Phillies bats. His sinker was a stinker.
Losing on opening day seems to be our norm. We’re 1-5 in the last five years, all at Citizens Bank Park and 3-7 this decade. Perhaps we need to open the season on the road.
As Todd Zolecki says in his Zo Zone blog, “Relax.” How you finish a marathon is the bottom line.
Pre-game focus now shifts to Wednesday’s World Series ring ceremony. Once again, we urge fans to arrive early. The festivities will start at 2:15 for the 3:05 game. If you can’t be there, phillies.com will carry the ceremonies live. Just close your office door and tell your boss you have a 30-minute headache.
Minors League Notes
Current issue of Baseball America lists the top 10 minor league ballparks. We have two of them, FirstEnegy Stadium in Reading is ranked #3; Bright House Field in Clearwater, #10. Reading’s ballpark was built in 1951. The other nine top-ranked ballparks have all been built this decade.
In league-by-league rankings, Reading is first in the Eastern League and Clearwater, first in the Florida State League. Lakewood’s FirstEnergy Park is #3 in the South Atlantic League.
Rosters are set for the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, Reading Phllies, Clearwater Threshers and Lakewood BlueClaws. Season openers (all teams are home) are Thursday night: IronPigs face Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees; Phillies, Harrisburg Senators; Threshers, Dunedin Blue Jays, and BlueClaws, Delmarva Shorebirds. Do BlueClaws dine on Shorebirds?
Once the minor league season is underway, I’ll again provide a Weekly Minor League Review in Phillies Insider, complete with a player and pitcher of the week. Will aim to post every Tuesday or Wednesday. The first post will appear April 21 and will include games from April 9 through