Reasons to get excited for Phillies baseball: At least we get to watch Cliff Lee every fifth day

Reasons to get excited for Phillies baseball: At least we get to watch Cliff Lee every fifth day

They're not really built to be a win now team. They haven't been bad enough over the past few seasons to have promising young pieces to look ahead to a bright future. And their spring was one for the crapper.

So aside from "it's always nice to have baseball around" and "the lines at Citizens Bank Park won't be very long," what do Phillies fans have to look forward to over the next 162 games?

Admittedly, there aren't many reasons that will get you super stoked for baseball in Philadelphia this season, but it's opening day and we're trying to be optimistic here.

Cliff Lee

Without a doubt, the most redeeming quality about your favorite baseball team this season is that you can bank on Cliff Lee taking the ball every fifth day and working with incredible precision. Plus he's got that attitude many have come to love. No matter how bad the guys playing behind him are, you can count on Cliff to throw a gem every couple of weeks. That's certainly worth tuning in for.

Jimmy, Ryan, Chase, Cole

They're getting older, absolutely. But there's no denying these were the guys who gave us the greatest run in recent Phillies memory. Perhaps it's a bit foolish to hold on for so long, but we do have one last campaign with these players. There's probably something worth savoring in there.

Kid ain't afraid to get dirty

Cody Asche and Dom Brown

From a late season call up in 2013 to your opening day starter in 2014, Asche is one of the young guys who we're just getting to know who could be around when this team ever turns back into a legit contender. You could put Dom Brown in that category as well, but obviously he's had a rockier path. We know a little bit more about what we have in Brown, but we don't know if he plateaued in 2013 or if there's room for him to turn into one of the game's greats.

Ryne Sandberg

Loved Charlie Manuel to death but it was time. Ryne Sandberg clearly has a different attitude in running his club. We got a taste of it last year, but this is the first time it's his club from day one. It'll be fun to watch and learn what we have in a manager all season long. Early indications point to him wanting things done the right way all the time.

Ben Revere

Watching him run into a wall in centerfield every once in a while is pretty entertaining.

Franzke and L.A.

If anyone can make bad baseball a little more fun, it's these two.

Jamie Moyer, Matt Stairs, and Michael Jack

This is going to be one of the biggest changes to the fan experience this season. I don't think we got enough out of spring from these guys to really know what we have from the new TV crew.

Maikel Franco and Jesse Biddle In Waiting

The kids could be the next studs we grow to love. Could get our first glimpse of them at CBP later in the season.

Nobody Expects a Damn Thing Out of this Bunch

Maybe Ruben Amaro Jr. does but everyone else expects very little out of the 2014 Phillies. When you expect next to nothing, they only have to play a tiny bit above expectations to surprise you. So maybe we'll all get a pleasant surprise this summer.

Hopefully it'll be fun for more than a few weeks.

First pitch today shortly after 2:00 pm.

NBC Sports Philadelphia Internship - Advertising/Sales

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NBC Sports Philadelphia Internship - Advertising/Sales

Position Title: Intern
Department: Advertising/Sales
Company: NBC Sports Philadelphia
# of hours / week: 10 – 20 hours

Deadline: November 20

Basic Function

This position will work closely with the Vice President of Sales in generating revenue through commercial advertisements and sponsorship sales. The intern will gain first-hand sales experience through working with Sales Assistants and AEs on pitches, sales-calls and recapping material.

Duties and Responsibilities

• Assist Account Executive on preparation of Sales Presentations
• Cultivate new account leads for local sales
• Track sponsorships in specified programs
• Assist as point of contact with sponsors on game night set up and pre-game hospitality elements.
• Assist with collection of all proof of performance materials.
• Perform Competitive Network Analysis
• Update Customer database
• Other various projects as assigned

Requirements

1. Good oral and written communication skills.
2. Knowledge of sports.
3. Ability to work non-traditional hours, weekends & holidays
4. Ability to work in a fast-paced, high-pressure environment
5. Must be 19 years of age or older
6. Must be a student in pursuit of an Associate, Bachelor, Master or Juris Doctor degree
7. Must have unrestricted authorization to work in the US
8. Must have sophomore standing or above
9. Must have a 3.0 GPA

Interested students should apply here and specify they're interested in the ad/sales internship.

About NBC internships

Sixers-Raptors observations: Not much life without Joel Embiid in blowout loss

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USA Today Images

Sixers-Raptors observations: Not much life without Joel Embiid in blowout loss

BOX SCORE

TORONTO — The Air Canada Centre has become a tough place for the Sixers.

Nothing has changed with a new season.

The Raptors defeated the Sixers, 128-94, Saturday night for their 16th win in the past 17 games against the Sixers, including 10 in a row at the Air Canada Centre.

The Sixers have problems beating the Raptors at home as well as away, which pretty well takes care of all the possibilities.

Say this for the Sixers, after falling behind by 17 points during the first quarter, they had the lead down to eight in the second quarter on a pair of free throws by former Raptor Jerryd Bayless. It was 62-49 for Toronto at the half.

Then there was the second half.

The Raptors raced out to a 72-51 lead early in the third quarter, with Serge Ibaka scoring eight of their first 10 points. Kyle Lowry finished the scoring in the third quarter with a three-pointer to increase Toronto’s lead to 102-71.

• Amir Johnson got the start at center with Joel Embiid missing the second half of a back-to-back to rest his left knee. Johnson knows his way around the Air Canada Centre, having played for the Raptors for six seasons before going to the Boston Celtics for the past two seasons. He received a nice cheer during the pregame introductions and then scored the game’s first basket on a dunk.

• Jahlil Okafor took over at center 5:27 into the first quarter and quickly scored to tie the game at 13, but he was out of the game after playing 2:49 after picking up three quick fouls.

• Ben Simmons had his third consecutive double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds. He also had eight assists. He already had accomplished something never done before in franchise history entering the game against the Raptors. The rookie forward recorded double-doubles in his first two career NBA games against the Washington Wizards and the Boston Celtics. He is the 11th player in NBA history to do so.

• Toronto guard DeMar DeRozan was listed as questionable for Saturday’s game because of flu symptoms. No such luck for the Sixers, he was in the starting lineup and looked quite well as he pumped in 15 points in the first quarter on 4 for 4 shooting from the field and a telling seven free throws in eight attempts. He finished with a game-high 30 points.

• As if the discrepancy in free throws has not been enough of a problem in the early going for the Sixers, Markelle Fultz missed three of his first four free-throw attempts against the Raptors. Toronto was 24 for 28 from the line in the first half and the Sixers were 12 for 18. Toronto made 30 of 36 foul shots on the game and the Sixers made 22 of 36. 

• Toronto reserve Lucas Nogueira scored on a breakaway dunk during the third quarter, which may redefine garbage time.

• For those who thought the 17 turnovers committed by the Sixers in each of their first two games were bad, what do you think of 20 turnovers Saturday night?

• Raptors center Jonas Valanciunas was restricted to 15 minutes (five points, four rebounds) because of a sprained left ankle. He had a double-double in the team’s opening game win over the Chicago Bulls.