We all know 2008 is going to be the Phillies year. The marathon journey to the World Series will be long and hard, but building upon the experience of the 2007 season, the should have a leg up on their competitors. They are after all, the defending National League East Champions. The road map for 2008 has been laid out, as the Phillies earlier this week released next year’s tentative schedule.
After Spring Training wraps up in Clearwater, the Phillies will head home for two exhibition games against the Toronto Blue Jays. The regular season begins March 31 at home against the familiar Washington Nationals, who will have to wait to open their new park. The first Mets series comes three weeks into the season as the Phils host a weekend series April 18-19. In terms of interleague play, the Phils tangle with the American League West next year – Angels at home with trips to Texas and Oakland right after. The Boston Red Sox are back on the schedule as the Phillies geographic rival and will be in Philly June 16-18. The season ends, as always, with a flurry of NL East matchups in September – 21 to be precise. And what better way to wrap up the season than with another home series against the Nationals.
As for the Phillies roster next season, that is anything but finalized. Of course there will be countless rumors flying around this off season, but to follow the World Series buzz of tonight, here is one involving Sox third-baseman Mike Lowell.
Another team Lowell recently expressed interest in is the Phillies. “Where would I fit in the offense? You look at Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley and guys like that, and that has to bring a smile to your face,” Lowell told the Philadelphia Daily News. “And I’ve always hit well in that park. So that would definitely be a team I would consider.”
Lowell had the only three-homer game of his career in Philadelphia, and is batting .353 (24 for 68) lifetime in Citizens Bank Park. His father, Carlos, spent two years at Saint Joseph’s in Philadelphia and played for the Hawks.
“I grew up an ardent Phillies fan because, on that trip with my parents, we stopped at a Burger King and they were giving away baseball cards. I got a Mike Schmidt,” Lowell told Paul Hagen of the Daily News in ’03, when the Marlins were in the World Series. “I asked my dad, ‘Is he a good player?’ He said, yes, he was a very good player. That was 1980 and Schmidt won the MVP that year.”