CLEARWATER, Fla. — Aaron Nola was scratched from his start Monday afternoon and sent home from Spectrum Field with what Phillies manager Joe Girardi said was the flu. Nola was scheduled to make his fourth Grapefruit League start, keeping him on schedule to start for the Phillies on opening day March 26 in Miami. Girardi smiled Monday when asked if the Phillies have decided who will start for them on opening day, knowing it’s almost an open secret that it will be Nola. “We have an idea, but we haven't announced it yet,” Girardi said. Nola was replaced Monday by Ramon Rosso, a hard-throwing right-hander who will open the season in the triple-A rotation. The game against the Yankees will begin at 1:05 p.m. and be aired on NBC Sports Philadelphia Plus.
Flu my hand sanitized sack. You can't just throw around somebody of this importance having the "Flu" and not have a borderline crisis on your hands. Now, Aaron Nola is a healthy specimen of beauty who is in his biological prime. Even if it is the Coronavirus, fine. He's most likely going to pull through. Even if the virus makes its way through the clubhouse I suppose everyone should be OK with the exception of maybe the Uncle Jay Bruce (yes, Arrieta and McCutchen are technically older, but Cutch is too cool to get taken down by Corona and Jake would sweat/piss it out, whiskey style). But God forbid if it's actually Covid-19 and it takes out Girardi or the beloved Cholly, who isn't the hitting coach anymore but who would just hanging around talking baseball shop because that's what Charlie Manuel does. Nope. This team doesn't need any of that Corona crap distracting them heading into the season that could and should bring October playoffs back to South Philly.
Now get healthy, Aaron. If he isn't dead, King Nola will be a certified Cy Young candidate as well as one filthy son-of-a-bitch. Now let's all come together, loosen up the pants, and indulge in some good ol' fashioned baseball porn courtesy of the King himself. These damn pitches should come with bail money.