Opening Day 2006

Sunday, April 02, 2006

There are a couple sacred days on the sports calendar, and tomorrow is one of them. Along with Super Bowl Sunday, the opening two rounds of the NCAA tournament and any day with a Game Seven in the NHL playoffs, Major League Baseball's opening day is a cherished event.

There is reason for optimism in just about every city, because this could just be the year that your team gets over the hump, surprises everyone, lives up to expectations, or for one lucky city each year, defend your title.

I am eagerly awaiting the new baseball season, as I once again throw in my homeristic prediction that my Phillies will return to the playoffs for the first time since 1993. So pop in a copy of "Whatever it Takes Dude", then watch Game Five of the 1980 NLCS and grab a hot dog and get ready for a brand new season of baseball!

Here are my questions and keys to success for the Phillies this year, in no particular order:
1. Can the starting rotation stay consistent?
2. Can the relief pitching hold on to close games?
3. Will the strikeouts in the lineup decrease this year?
4. Which Pat Burrell will we see? 2003 or 2004?
5. Will Pat Gillick make a significant move when needed?
6. Will Jimmy Rollins break Joe Dimaggio's streak?*
7. Will April come back to haunt the Phillies as it has in the past few seasons?
8. Will a positive attitude remain throughout the season, even in a tough stretch?
9. Will anyone be able to beat the Braves for the division lead?
10. Will Ryan Howard suffer a sophomore slump?

Play ball!

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