Cole Hamels says it's an "honor" to start on opening day and he'll "cherish" his first assignment when the Philadelphia Phillies begin the...

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CLEARWATER, Fla. — Cole Hamels says it’s an “honor” to start on opening day and he’ll “cherish” his first assignment when the Philadelphia Phillies begin the season at Atlanta.

Hamels already has a World Series ring, a pair of postseason MVP trophies and a lucrative contract. He’s gone from ace of a championship team to being the No. 4 starter in a star-filled rotation and now back to No. 1. Even before Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee joined the Phillies, Brett Myers got the nod over Hamels for opening day. Now it’s finally Hamels’ chance.

“It’s something I will cherish,” he says. “It’s something I’ll be able to remember for a really long time. At the same time, it’s going to be a great season.”


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Alfredo Aceves hit Tampa Bay’s Sean Rodriguez with a pitch and the two had a heated exchange that nearly escalated into a fight in the fifth inning of Boston’s 9-2 victory. Rodriguez hit his third home run of spring training off Aceves in the third inning after Desmond Jennings reached on a bunt single. With one out in the fifth things turned nasty. After being hit by Aceves, Rodriguez had to be restrained near first base.

Justin Turner, the leading candidate to replace injured David Wright at third base for the New York Mets, sprained his right ankle. He was taken to a hospital for X-rays, but was walking well later.

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