Bob Brookover: Phillies manager Joe Girardi looking forward to a new season and hoping for a new NL East champion

PHILADELPHIA — Joe Girardi thinks this opening day is going to be a bit different than most and he’s right. Last year, of course, was the mother of all unusual opening days — and seasons, for that matter. No fans, except for the Phandemic Krew stationed just outside the center-field gate at Citizens Bank Park. The ballpark noise was as artificial as the turf at Veterans Stadium that used to destroy the knees and backs of elite athletes. Seats occupied by cardboard cutouts looked kind of cool and some of them even had terrific stories behind them. FanGraphs and BaseballReference agree, however,…

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HEDGE accordingly