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Circle These Dates

I figured now would be a good a time as any to take a look at the Phils’ 2005 schedule. We all know Opening Day is this Monday against the Nationals. It should be a fun launch for the new team, but I expect (read: hope) the Phillies to sweep the series. The rest of April entails a heavy dose of NL East action, so it would be a great time to get hot and build an early lead in the division. Later in the month (April 25-27), the Fightin’s make their first trip to RFK and if anyone’s planning a road trip, let me know I have extra tickets. Fortunately, the Phils will have a good chance to not repeat last season’s mid-year collapse as 34 out of 54 games are at home during the months of June and July. Interleague play against the AL West starts during a 13 game home stand in the begining of June when Texas comes to town. Then it’s off to Seattle and Oakland before returning home to battle the Red Sox June 24-26. (This brings up an interesting point as to whom will be the new interleague geographic rivals of the Phils. Previously, this role has been split between Boston and Baltimore, but with the Nats in Washington, DC, Peter Angelos should be able to regularly beat up on his beltway bretheren, this time on the field. Most likely, this will leave the Phillies with Boston and the remaining Canadian club, Toronto, as interleague rivals. Then Toronto would have to split rivals with the Phils and the Orioles other former “rival” Colorado. This is all speculation of course, we’ll see what happens when the ’06 schedules are released.) This year’s All-Start Game is July 12 at Detroit’s Comerica Park. Is it too early to pencil in Bobby Abreu and Randy Wolf? Haha yes, of course it is; maybe Thome, but even that’s a question mark with his reoccuring back issues. The waning days of the season, as always, have the Phillies focused on their NL East counterparts in 25 of their remaining 31 games. My prediction for the season: 89-73, finishing 3-5 games out of the wild card. Of course, I hope they prove me wrong…

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