March 3, 2012; Clearwater, FL, USA; Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Cole Hamels (35) throws a pitch in the first inning against the New York Yankees at Bright House Networks Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE

Phils Drop Grapefruit Opener, Raul Ibanez Looks Weird as Yankee

It is very easy to look at the Yankees and want to exact vengeance upon them at every plausible opportunity.  There is a small part of me that wanted Cole Hamels to throw a complete game shutout as the starting offense teed off on the random dreck the Yankees sent out to the mound. Brighthouse Field is not the setting for retribution.  Spring training is not designed to whet our (it makes me feel slightly more rational to use “our” when I obviously mean that I have an unhealthy amount of vitriol built up against the Yankees) appetite for Yankee destruction.  Hell Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter didn’t even make the trip.

Dreams of vengeance aside, spring training at its core is a training exercise.  The main objective is to train while not incurring any injuries and possibly filling out the last few spots on the forty man roster.  We are regaled by broadcasters with the notion that several players are “in the best shape of their careers.”  We are shown some glimpses of various top prospects and shown the last gasp of a number of former major league stars.  Mostly, we are reminded that the players are simply training, that these games do not count.

Cole Hamels is a really good pitcher.  Even in the opening day of spring training, it is evident that the guy is a bad ass.  The run that he allowed in his two innings of work came on a bloop double from Raul Ibanez.  If Cole was working on anything, it was not apparent today.  Based on a meaningless appearance in a random spring training game, I am predicting that he will win this year’s Cy Young award.

We also got a chance to see Jonathan Papelbon.  He is a good pitcher and he very well could be a very nice man, but I am having difficultly separating this notion from the fact that he seems like an absolute douchebag.  My mind will probably change if he pitches like he did last year, but mostly I can’t get the image of him dancing after the Red Sox won the world series.  Of course he can do whatever stupid dance he wants if the Phils win another ring.  He pitched a scoreless inning and looked to be in midseason form.

Offensively, Hunter Pence and Kevin Frandsen homered and everyone else managed to keep parts of their bodies from exploding/falling off.  8-6 loss for the Phils.

Tags: Cole Hamels Jonathan Papelbon Posted Spring Training

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