Hope Springs Eternal

It says it right there on our front page:

Hope Springs Eternal.

Unless, of course, you happen to be a Flyers fan.

For the seemingly endless slog of Philly pro sports, how appropriate is it that one season is coming to an end just as another begins.

The Flyers lost to the Rangers last night. They are officially eliminated from the playoffs. In the process they managed to do something that has never been done in the NHL before. The orange and white became the first team to compile a 10-game winning streak during the season and still fail to qualify for the post-season.

In the meantime, the Phillies kick off the season today with a late afternoon game in Cincinnati.

I think this Phillies team should be better than last year's edition.

One thing is certain: Gone are the final vestiges of the 2008 World Series champions. Ryan Howard is no longer on the roster.

There are lots of new faces, and the promise of even more talent ticketed for the big leagues in their talent-laden farm system. I would like to entertain the notion that the Phillies could be in the hunt for a Wild Card slot.

The realist in me tells me that is not going to happen.

But it is spring, and a young man's fancy turns to baseball.

Columnist Jack McCaffery notes a few reasons why this team should be better than last year's.