CLEARWATER, Fla. -- The Phillies announced Monday morning that single-game tickets will go on sale beginning Wednesday at 8:30 a.m.
"In less than two months, the Phillies finally return to Citizens Bank Park for Opening Week," Phillies vice president of sales and ticket operations John Weber said in a statement as players continued to gather here for Wednesday's first spring-training workout. "The 2013 season officially gets underway the weekend of April 5 with a great matchup against the Kansas City Royals and leads into a three-game series against ... the New York Mets. We look forward to welcoming back our fans for what is sure to be an exciting season."
The attendance figures early this season should be fascinating to watch for the Phillies. Their National League record streak of 257 straight regular-season sellouts ended last August, but they still managed to lead all of baseball in attendance with more than 3.5 million fans.
Whether the Phillies can maintain that kind of interest will depend on how well they play. It did not matter in recent years what opponent showed up to play in South Philadelphia. The fans were there to see the home team because they were that good. A few more seasons like 2012 and that is sure to end.
The first homestand has its good points and bad points.
On the positive side, the Phillies open the season against two teams that were a combined 146-178 last season, so the opportunity for a good start is in front of them.
On the flip side, it's not all that exciting to think about season-opening home series against the Royals and Mets. Even though Kansas City figures to be improved with the addition of true ace James Shields from Tampa Bay, they are still one of the least attractive and familiar teams in baseball.
Go ahead, try to name 10 Royals.
We'll spot you former Phillies lefthander Bruce Chen, who led the team with 34 starts last season.
A home opener against the Royals is example No. 5,478 as to why interleague play on a daily basis stinks. The Phillies, in fact, may be stuck with the worst home-opening series in baseball. The same weekend they're playing the Royals, the Yankees will be playing the Tigers in a rematch of the American League Championship Series and the Cardinals will be playing the Giants in a rematch of the NLCS.
The Nationals will be playing the Reds in a battle of two 2012 playoff teams.
Sorry, the Phillies vs. the Royals just does not get the juices flowing unless its a highlight reel of the 1980 World Series on MLB Network.