Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Some pregame notes

WASHINGTON -- Jimmy Rollins strolled into the clubhouse at Nationals Park with a Barack Obama poster tucked under his left arm. He's looking for an autograph when the president visits the clubhouses prior to throwing out the first pitch of today's game.

Some pregame notes

Yong Kim / Staff Photographer
Yong Kim / Staff Photographer YONG KIM / Staff photographer

WASHINGTON -- Jimmy Rollins strolled into the clubhouse at Nationals Park with a Barack Obama poster tucked under his left arm. He's looking for an autograph when the president visits the clubhouses prior to throwing out the first pitch of today's game.

When Rollins sat down, he looked up at the TV near his locker. ESPN was on. And, of course, the discussion centered around the Eagles' trade of Donovan McNabb.

Frank Coppenbarger, the Phillies' director of travel, informed Rollins that he is now the longest tenured athlete in Philadelphia. Rollins made his major-league debut at the end of the 2000 season. EDIT: My bad. Actually, the Flyers' Simon Gagne is the longest tenured athlete in the city. Rollins is now No. 2. Thanks to sfm5003 in the comments.

"I guess that means I'm on my way out," Rollins joked.

Roy Halladay has faced eight members of the Nationals roster before. Catcher Ivan Rodriguez has had the most success, batting .379 (11-for-29) with two home runs. Adam Dunn is 3-for-7 lifetime vs. Halladay with a home run. Second baseman Adam Kennedy has a .296 batting average in 27 at-bats

The Phillies have lost four openers in a row. Their last win was April 4, 2005 against the Nationals, an 8-4 victory. It's the first time the Phillies are opening on the road since 2004.

Halladay is making his eighth opening day start, which ties him with Washington's Livan Hernandez as the active leader. Houston's Roy Oswalt and Chicago's Mark Buehrle will also make their eighth opening day starts today.

Ten players on the Phillies' opening day roster were originally drafted or signed by the club. This year's opening day roster has 12 players who weren't on last season's opening day roster.

The Nationals have literally rolled out a red carpet for Obama. He will throw out the first pitch at 12:55. The real first pitch is 1:05.

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