The Phillies aren't playing baseball today, so I'm guessing that they collectively decided to cross off that one nagging thing at the bottom of their to-do list: naming an Opening Day starter. I sincerely hope someone in their PR department said "Do we have to do this? It's not like people don't know." Truer words were never supposedly spoken, made-up PR person. Of course people know. Since starting on Opening Day has a lot of symbolic meaning, the Phillies didn't have a lot of options.
A) Retired, selfie-taking Roy Halladay. (Note: not actually an option.)
B) The reanimated, sentient corpse of Cole Hamels' arm.
C) Cliff Lee
D) Kyle Kendraaaaaaahahahah I couldn't even type that without laughing.
With those kind of options, Cliff Lee is the obvious choice. So now it's official. Cliff Lee is the Opening Day starter, and it will be Lee's first Opening Day start for the Phillies. Since this is a slow news day, here are some clips of Cliff Lee being awesome.
He's all "I'm just going to casually throw this baseball over here and catch you sleeping on the job, no biggie."
Remember the time when Cliff Lee threw 10 scoreless innings and the Phillies still lost? I like to focus on the part of that where Lee is amazing and ignore the part where the Phillies blew it.
It's like Lee decided that in June of 2011, he was just going to completely own. And then he did. He threw THREE complete game shutouts. THREE.
Oh Cliff, you scamp.
Ryne Sandberg also went ahead and set his starters for the entire opening series in Texas:
Opening rotation in Texas: Cliff Lee, A.J. Burnett, Kyle Kendrick.— Matt Gelb (@magelb) March 17, 2014
That's also a "well, duh" decision, because I'm not sure who else we expected to see in the top three spots of the rotation. Of course, that leaves the other two spots as yet unearned. Who will get those spots? I'm hoping the Phillies construct some kind of elaborate Wipeout style obstacle course and make the hopefuls run it. "So you want to be the fifth starter, Jeff Manship? THEN BE SURE TO AVOID FALLING OFF THE GIANT RED BOUNCY BALL!"