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Your photo of the day: The Phillies starting rotation

Feb 15, 2011, 8:24 AM EDT


I’m trying to figure out what Joe Blaton’s presence on the dais with Halladay, Lee, Oswalt and Hamels reminds me of more:

(1) Pete Smith being shoehorned into those photos of Maddux, Glavine, Smoltz and Avery in that Sports Illustrated article back in the day to make people think the Braves had “five aces;”

(2) Peter Lawford standing next to Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis, Jr. as if he were a co-equal member of The Rat Pack; or

(3) Aquaman hanging out with the actually useful super heroes in the Justice League of America.

I actually feel bad for Blanton in all of this. Part of me hopes that he rips off a 17-5, 2.98 ERA season while one of the other four stumbles just so he can crow about it back home next winter.

  1. Ralph - Feb 15, 2011 at 8:37 AM

    One of these things is not like the others, one of these things just doesn’t belong…

  2. drunkenhooliganism - Feb 15, 2011 at 8:47 AM

    Rollins is trying to create a buzz about Blanton so the Phillies have to keep him. He’s calling the rotation the Five Horsemen. I think he knows that there’s a good chance that one of the other guys goes down and knows that 60 starts out of Kendrick and Worley means that they’ll have to fight for a playoff spot

  3. steve keane - Feb 15, 2011 at 8:48 AM

    Someone has to fetch Doc a Cutty Shark and water

  4. Alex K - Feb 15, 2011 at 8:48 AM

    Why do Blanton and Oswalt look so mad in this picture? The other three guys seems to be laughing. Weird.

    • Chris Fiorentino - Feb 15, 2011 at 8:50 AM

      I don’t think Oswalt likes the media much. Matter of fact, I don’t think Oswalt likes anything invented after 1970. He doesn’t seem like the “technology” type of guy.

      • Utley's Hair - Feb 15, 2011 at 10:53 AM

        Except that he said he found out about Cliffy because someone texted him while he was hunting.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Feb 15, 2011 at 11:14 AM

        I forgot that UH…but I think it was probably a gift from his wife that he never makes calls with and only looks at when it makes a sound or vibrates. Do you honestly see Roy Oswalt in a texting conversation????

      • Utley's Hair - Feb 15, 2011 at 11:18 AM

        Absolutely, all the while giggling like a schoolgirl, as well.

      • xmatt0926x - Feb 15, 2011 at 2:21 PM

        Agree. This isn’t Oswalt’s kind of thing. He wants 2 things. A ring and a 9 point buck with a slug in its heart laying at his feet. Other than that, he ain’t smiling for anyone.

    • Utley's Hair - Feb 15, 2011 at 11:03 AM

      This was also after Big Joe was asked—in the second question of the presser, no less—whether any part of him was surprised that he was there. He—ya know, the one who jacked that longball in the playoffs in 2008—also had to watch as Cole was asked what it felt like to be the only pitcher up there to have a ring. If anything, that press conference made the media-constructed abyss look bigger. But at least the other guys stuck up for him.

  5. Chris Fiorentino - Feb 15, 2011 at 8:49 AM

    I have to disagree with you Craig. Joe is a big boy(both literally and figuratively) and if he didn’t want to be on the stage, he could have declined the offer to be up there. Or better yet, if the Phillies weren’t so worried about hurting Heavy B’s value, they could have said that there would be an open fight for the 5th starter’s spot, between KK, Heavy B, and maybe even a minor league guy or two.

    • xxakshunxx - Feb 15, 2011 at 9:31 PM

      “if the Phillies weren’t so worried about hurting Heavy B’s value, they could have said that there would be an open fight for the 5th starter’s spot”

      Um.. if Blanton is still on the team there is no fight for the 5th spot, KK isn’t that good

  6. cktai - Feb 15, 2011 at 8:53 AM

    They did mention Blanton was the best hitter.

  7. Chris Fiorentino - Feb 15, 2011 at 9:11 AM

    I never realized just how bad Bobby Cox blew out Steve Avery’s arm. Dude clearly had some serious talent. Between the ages of 21 and 23, he was 47-25 with a 3.17 ERA and a ERA+ of 123, but he also threw 667 innings in those three years. Brutal.

  8. Jonny 5 - Feb 15, 2011 at 9:23 AM

    I don’t think the Phillies are trying to pass Blanton off as anything but one of their starting pitchers. And I’m going to pull a “Fiorentino” here. MARK MY WORDS, Joe will have a banner season in 2011!!!
    He’s probably one of the best 5th starters in the game right now, And surely the best #5 in the NL east. So they have the best pitcher in the game as their #1. They have the (probably) third best pitcher in the game as their #2, which makes him by far the best #2 in the game. They have little Roy and Cole as #3/4 again the best #3/4 in the game by a good shot. And Big Joe bringing up the rear to more than likely pitch better than the opponents #5. The pitching match ups won’t even be there, Roy Halladay will be matched up more evenly than #’s 2-5. The Phillies will be scarier on the field than they are on paper I think.

    And that’s Fanboy talking aside.

    Now the Offense needs to look more like the Phillies looked early in 2010 and everything will be alright.

    • Jonny 5 - Feb 15, 2011 at 9:26 AM

      That’s if he isn’t traded. I almost forgot…..

    • Chris Fiorentino - Feb 15, 2011 at 9:34 AM

      I just wish the Phillies would have had a little more foresight and said there would be an open competition for the 5th spot. Then all of this would have been moot. Even if they had Heavy B in mind, they should have kept it quiet. But they really wanted to keep his value up, so they installed him as the #5, all the while paying KK millions. How important is the #5 starter anyway? I mean…with all the off-days, especially early, you can probably skip the guy 10-15 times during the season and keep the staff on regular rest. Then when September comes, and the Phillies have a 20 game lead, they can bring up a couple guys for spot starts to give the Big 4 some rest for the playoff push.

      Now about the offense…there’s only one thing I want to see more of this year…REST FOR CHASE F’ING UTLEY!!!!! I don’t care if you have to handcuff him to the freaking trainer’s table. The guy needs a day off every week.

      • xxakshunxx - Feb 15, 2011 at 9:36 PM

        yea just what the Phillies would need is to have all their Aces get cold by not playing in September so when October comes around they have to get back in the swing of real competition.. are you serious???? Not to mention it’s not guaranteed all 4 will stay healthy the entire year.. if you keep Blanton as your #5 then if you have an injury to any of your starters you dont have a problem.. I wouldnt be as confident having KK as my 4 and Worley as my 5 if they ended up trading Blanton and one of the 4 got hurt…

    • paul621 - Feb 15, 2011 at 8:45 PM

      If Halladay is #1 and Lee (probably) #3, who do you have at #2? I love Lee, but I think you’re selling Felix Hernandez or Tim Lincecum short. Grenkie and Wainwright deserve to be in the conversation too. Either way, that’s roughly top-5 for Lee. Go Phils!

  9. yankeesfanlen - Feb 15, 2011 at 9:24 AM

    Nice picture of a 60’s German-made fixed lens Kodak Rangefinder only sold in U.S. as black-market/production overrun.
    Oh, and the Phillies are there too, with one of our pitchers. Those things were hard to focus.

    • Jonny 5 - Feb 15, 2011 at 10:34 AM

      I have a pretty cool 1918 folding Jr. Kodak. All it needs is film and it’s ready to go.

      • yankeesfanlen - Feb 15, 2011 at 10:44 AM

        If you can find the film on ebay, I want to be there at a Walgreen’s in Mercer County when you take it to get developed. We can make a day of it.

      • Jonny 5 - Feb 15, 2011 at 10:55 AM

        Should I wear an ascott, knickers, and driving goggles????

    • roycethebaseballhack - Feb 15, 2011 at 12:22 PM

      My Mom bought one of those cameras in the 50’s, and I used to learn photography with in the 70’s. I still have in my collection, and it still works perfectly.

  10. milemarker17 - Feb 15, 2011 at 9:24 AM

    How bad for Joe can you really feel, Craig, when you’ve just brought this to the attention of far more people than would otherwise have known of it?

    • jkcalhoun - Feb 15, 2011 at 9:32 AM

      A similar picture and a video have been on the front baseball page at since last night — which is usually a good indication that there was some TV coverage as well — so I think we have to revise the “far more” to a “some more”.

      • Lukehart80 - Feb 15, 2011 at 9:39 AM, they still cover baseball? I thought it was just for football and podcasts.

  11. jkcalhoun - Feb 15, 2011 at 9:40 AM

    Our 13-year-old: Aquaman is pretty useless. With mock awe: He can use whales!

  12. delawarephilliesfan - Feb 15, 2011 at 9:48 AM

    “Part of me hopes that (Blanton) rips off a 17-5, 2.98 ERA season while one of the other four stumbles just so he can crow about it back home next winter.”

    Shocking to hear that Craig wants a Phillies pitcher to stumble :)

    • Chris Fiorentino - Feb 15, 2011 at 9:55 AM

      That’s not fair, since in the same sentence, he says he hopes Heavy B rips off a 17-5 record with a 2.98 ERA…and he did say “one” of the other four stumbles. 😉

  13. The Common Man/ - Feb 15, 2011 at 9:55 AM

    Craig, are we going to have to go around and around about Aquaman again? The dude was the boss of SHARKS!

    • Craig Calcaterra - Feb 15, 2011 at 9:57 AM

      I would sooner renounce my citizenship than admit that Aquaman had any merit as a super hero.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Feb 15, 2011 at 10:01 AM

        The only good thing ever related to Aquaman was when Entourage used him as a character for Vinnie Chase to play.

      • BC - Feb 15, 2011 at 10:03 AM

        Aquaman had only marginally more merit than the Wonder Twins. And whatever the heck their monkey was called.

      • The Common Man/ - Feb 15, 2011 at 10:17 AM

        You mean the citizenship in the country protected by Aquaman’s ability to defeat Black Manta’s tidal wave generator?

      • Jonny 5 - Feb 15, 2011 at 10:59 AM

        Aqua man might be able to kick Wonder woman’s A$$. If she had one arm tied behind her back. And that’s a maybe still.

      • schmedley69 - Feb 15, 2011 at 8:57 PM

        The Wonder Twins monkey was named Gleek.

    • schmedley69 - Feb 15, 2011 at 8:55 PM

      I’ve always been an Aquaman guy myself. Aquaman and the Wonder Twins were the coolest Super Friends. I’ve been crossing my fingers and hoping that they’d make an Aquaman movie since I was a little kid.

  14. BC - Feb 15, 2011 at 9:57 AM

    Blanton is sort of like the Les Straker of the 1987 Twins.

    • The Common Man/ - Feb 15, 2011 at 10:10 AM

      Except instead of two decent pitchers, the Phillies have four? And Blanton’s way better? Right.

      • BC - Feb 15, 2011 at 10:13 AM

        Straker was on par with Blanton before he blew his arm out. A .500 pitcher with OK stuff and a 4.00 ERA.

      • The Common Man/ - Feb 15, 2011 at 10:47 AM

        Straker struck out 3.8 guys/9 innings in his career. In no way or shape was his stuff “ok”. Straker benefited from a strong Twins defense and a whole lot of luck.

      • BC - Feb 15, 2011 at 11:32 AM

        Blanton isn’t exactly a strikeout machine either, though.

    • Chris Fiorentino - Feb 15, 2011 at 11:42 AM

      Wouldn’t Joe Niekro be the Joe Blanton of the 1987 Twins? Except the 1987 Twins didn’t have a guy as good as Doc or Oswalt. I’d compare Viola with Lee, since Sweet Music did have about 4 or 5 pretty special years. But Blyleven was older than Methuselah, so was Lefty. Berengeur, Straker, Smithson, Portugal, Niekro? Really? Ugh.

      • BC - Feb 15, 2011 at 12:03 PM

        I thought Niekro retired after 1986.

  15. Old Gator - Feb 15, 2011 at 10:53 AM

    Blanton’s mother must have been a brood parasite.

    • scatterbrian - Feb 15, 2011 at 1:50 PM

      Old and classy.

      • Old Gator - Feb 15, 2011 at 9:46 PM

        Anyone bother looking up “brood parasite” before getting sanctimonious about it?

    • cur68 - Feb 17, 2011 at 3:25 AM

      Well it may be interpreted that you you dissed Mrs. Blanton, that’s all. Shouldn’t go for the dude’s mom (even as a pretty slick and totally apropo comment). BTW he does look a bit like a different species sitting there now that you’ve said that. A boobie among tits. Manomanoman! I couldn’t leave it alone, could I?

  16. Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Feb 15, 2011 at 12:25 PM


    • Jonny 5 - Feb 15, 2011 at 1:02 PM

      That name is catching on.

    • Jonny 5 - Feb 15, 2011 at 1:04 PM


      • Utley's Hair - Feb 15, 2011 at 5:52 PM

        I like the Phurious Phive. (I’ve sat through Kung Fu Panda so damn many times…)

    • Chris Fiorentino - Feb 15, 2011 at 3:23 PM

      Lean Back!!! Lean Back!!!!

  17. akeemdropsdaball - Feb 16, 2011 at 12:38 AM

    Cliff Lee: “So then I go, “Wait, you want me to go to New York? Where fans cussed out and spit on my wife? YEAH RIGHT!”

    Cole Hamels: Tee hee…

    Roy Halladay: “Hey, at least you weren’t going to Toronto. I try to say nice things and make up great memories I had with the Blue Jays, but honestly, how many time am I gonna say “A.J Burnett really was a great teammate”?”

    Roy Oswalt: Neither of your comments were amusing to me.

    Joe Blanton: =(

  18. dirtyharry1971 - Feb 16, 2011 at 10:12 AM

    When 2011 season is over and the air clears this group will be known as the biggest bust ever. Oswalt is on the decline, Hammels is gonna look a LOT more like his 2009 self cause thats a lot closer to the pitcher he REALLY is. Doc is going to visit the DL, lots of millage on that arm and you will be left with Lee and Blaton, good luck

    • cur68 - Feb 17, 2011 at 3:10 AM

      Doc hasn’t pitched hard in 4 years. Plenty of life in that paw. Excellent breaking pitches, pitches to contact (and an easy ground out) and the customary favorable calls from the umps will see him be his usual self. He’ll have another no-no this season or Calcaterra will eat something. Lee is a beast, so’s Oswalt. Hamels only has to be Ok as does Blanton. Don’t need luck. Best line up in baseball.

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