About a month ago, Charlie Manuel randomly started talking about how much he loves Bernard Hopkins. The Phillies manager watched a TV interview of the Philly native and boxing star and came away so impressed with his desire to win.
"I know he wants to be a champion," Manuel said then. "I know he wants to excel at what he does. I wish he could hit. I'd sign him. If he could hit or run, I'd sign him."
Instead, he'll settle for Hopkins addressing his team prior to tonight's game against Boston.
Manuel has scheduled a 3:45 p.m. team meeting when Hopkins will speak to the players and coaching staff.
The Phillies, well, they don't need much motivation right now. They are 50-30, the best record in the majors. They reached 50 wins in 80 games, the quickest a Phillies team has accomplished that feat since the 1993 pennant winners.
Manuel can eclipse Danny Ozark as the franchise's third-winningest manager with a victory tonight.
He'll field the same lineup as Tuesday, only with Brian Schneider catching and Vance Worley pitching.
Jimmy Rollins 6
Placido Polanco 5
Chase Utley 4
Ryan Howard 3
Shane Victorino 8
Raul Ibanez 7
Domonic Brown 9
Brian Schneider 2
Vance Worley 1
The Red Sox, meanwhile, will go with a drastically different starting nine. David Ortiz will play first base for the first time this season. He played there in four games last season.
That means Adrian Gonzalez shifts to right field, a position he has played for exactly eight professional innings (back in 2005).
Jacoby Ellsbury 8
Dustin Pedroia 4
Adrian Gonzalez 9
Kevin Youkilis 5
David Ortiz 3
Jarrod Saltalamacchia 2
Josh Reddick 7
Marco Scutaro 6
John Lackey 1
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