Windy conditions around Bright House ground the opening day flyover. But not to worry: the Spring Training Program and Guide still has Lenny’s on the back cover, and the full team and starting lineup introductions still take place on the field. Revere looks good at the top of the lineup. Ruf looks good behind Howard in the lineup. And as noted in the Tampa Bay Times, “The ballpark smelled of sauteed onions, suntan lotion and undefeated optimism.”
Ruf looked uncertain in left, and the Phils lost their Grapefruit League opener to the Houston Astros, now of the American League. One could excuse the poor performance to the fact that it was only the first game and the Phils had to shake off the rust. Then again, the Astros played crisply and it was their first game. More telling, it was a road game and as spring training devotees know, the road team never has their “A” lineup particularly because Clearwater is such a long trek from Kissimmee. Or, you could choose to focus on how well Hamels and Utley did, and retain your qualified optimism for the upcoming season.
For a Phan, there is no better time of year than when optimism reigns supreme.