Thursday, February 27, 2014

Baseball is Back!

2014 Topps Upper Class #UC-26
Blue Jays 4, Phillies 3 (7 Innings - Rain)
Spring Training Game 1 - Wednesday Afternoon, February 26th in Clearwater
Record - 0-1

One Sentence Summary:  For the love of all things good and pure, baseball - sweet, sweet baseball - is back.

What It Means:  See above.  Also, for the fourth straight year, I'll be recapping each and every Phillies game from the Grapefuit League season.  These posts won't contain any breaking news or hard-hitting game analysis, but they will feature the occasional marginally amusing commentary and a baseball card somehow related to the game.

What Happened:  The Phils lost 4-3 in a rain-shortened game.  Pitchers Roberto Hernandez and Phillippe Aumont were touched for two runs a piece, while non-roster invitee Jeff Manship tossed two scoreless frames.  Ryan Howard and Marlon Byrd contributed RBI-singles for the Phillies in the first.

New Phillies announcers Jamie Moyer and Matt Stairs made their debuts in the booth, and I honestly enjoyed listening to a television broadcast for the first time in many years.

Featured Card:  I feel like I need to feature a newish 2014 baseball card in the first game summary post of the year.  This is Howard's Upper Class insert card from the Topps flagship release.  I really don't see the reason for this particular insert set, other than to perhaps take a subliminal dig at the departed Upper Deck?  Upper Class seems like an insert set name that Upper Deck would have used back when it was still producing baseball cards.

Camp Head Count:  57.  As the exhibition season begins, the Phillies sit at 57 active players on their roster.  They'll whittle that count down to 25 prior to the regular season opener in April.

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