PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- We have a whole lot of snow on the ground, but somehow, just the sight of those palm trees and the sound of the ball popping in the mitts in Clearwater is enough to give us hope that Spring is upon us.
The Phillies pitchers and catchers have reported to Spring Training, and remember, they had two sessions last year because of COVID-19.
For the most part it's the same team, which makes you wonder how they will end up being better than the disappointing club that failed to make the expanded playoffs last year.
But Joe Girardi said this time of year, especially, hope springs eternal.
Girardi said they're in it to win it, and that the re-signings of JT Realmuto and Didi Gregorious proves that.
He thinks they did a lot to strengthen their pitching and brought in some more power arms.
A huge topic on the first day of workouts was the appearance of Odubel Herrera in camp.
Herrera was suspended 85 games in 2019 after a domestic violence incident, the charges have since been dropped.
Girardi realizes they might have an issue in the clubhouse, with some guys likely not happy to see Herrera back.
He said he's going to urge his players to give him a second chance, arguing that nobody's perfect.
He also said that the collective bargaining agreement does not allow a player to be punished further than he has already been punished," and that he's "not allowed to keep a player from being a participant just because somebody doesn't like him."
It's going to be interesting Spring Training for a number of reasons.
Phillies Spring Training: Phils 'in it to win it', Odubel Herrera seeking 2nd chance