Spring training finally starts

February 23, 2024

The Phillies have lots of expectations to live up to this year because of their progress in the past two years. They should have been in the World Series last year, but came up short against the Arizona Diamondbacks. So there will be no question how motivated they will be. It will be a big positive if Bryce Harper can actually play 150 games this season. Since the Phillies have been able to advance so far in the playoffs with his injuries, I can't wait to see how they will do with him healthy. This year he’s going to play first base for most of the season. If he stays healthy, he should be able to hit 35 or 40 home runs over the entire season.

I’ve been surprised how much pressure the media is putting on the Phillies’ new utility player, Whit Merrifield, who has played for the Kansas City Royals and the Toronto Blue Jays in his career. Apparently he has been very consistent for the last three years.  

The first locally televised Phillies game is on TV this Sunday against the Yankees. I’m looking forward to watching!

Last week in golf, Hideki Matsuyama took the trophy at the Genesis Invitational at Riviera Country Club by shooting a 62 to come out of nowhere to win. He is extremely talented, but is just as inconsistent. He has won the Masters on the PGA Tour, but he seems to disappear for long periods of time. 

Two other important things happened in this tournament. One was that unfortunately Tiger Woods had to withdraw again, this time because he had the flu, after only one-and-a-half rounds. I hope he decides to play in the next few weeks, definitely once more before the Masters in April. The second was that Jordan Spieth was disqualified for an incorrect scorecard, because he recorded the wrong score on the 16th hole. I think the fact that he got disqualified for this is a bit overboard. On the PGA Tour, there is live scoring all the time now for every player, and he only made a simple mistake. I think he should’ve had a two shot penalty instead of being disqualified from the entire tournament. With all the technology now used, this shouldn't even be an issue.

I think the NBA All-Star break is a bit too long. It has been eight days since the 76ers have played a game. I think this will probably take away any momentum the teams had before they stopped playing. I also don’t know why they waited until there were only 25 games left in the regular season to have the all-star break in the first place. It should be done halfway through the season. The NBA needs to change the format of the actual game back to U.S. versus the World to try and make it more competitive because the Eastern Conference all-stars won the game with 211-187. That is a ridiculous score. No defense was being played.

  • A 2002 Cape grad and 2007 UD grad, Lewes resident Sumner Spence is one of the Cape area's biggest sports fans. Although he’s used a wheelchair his entire life, he has lived vicariously through his sports-playing father, brother, and friends, who gave him his love of sports. He hopes to provide new and interesting perspectives on the sports stories and issues of the day. Email Sumner at

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