I was desperate to see the starting rotation together for the first time too, but the Phillies Press corps really had a great time trying to erase Joe Blanton from reality.
It’s like the press exists on some different plane where information has to be said ten or 12 times before it counts as “real.”
I can understand why the Phillies denied me press credentials. You’re not going to let a guy who thinks an article like this is newsworthy into all the sexy masquerade parties Phillies journalists get into. But perchance if I, or any of the other forward-thinking Phillies bloggers out there, were to be in that room, things would have gotten beyond these repeated objectives:
- Get Cliff Lee to say something disparaging about New York.
- Get Cliff Lee to say something wonderful about Philadelphia
- Make Joe Blanton feel like not even a person.
- Compare the rotation to other rotations from the past.
- Have you guys won the World Series yet.
And that about sums it up.
Did they really need a press conference to answer these questions? No. They wanted a photo-op with the four of them sitting there, and oh look there’s Joe Blanton I guess we’ll include him since he bothered to come and all.
Cliff has stated many times throughout the winter that:
- He is not going to say bad things about anyone.
- He enjoyed his time in Philly and would like to re-live it.
Every person who likes baseball and has a keyboard has compared the rotation to:
- That Braves team
- That Orioles team
Joe Blanton has remarked that
- He just wants to play baseball, and he will play it as best as he can, because he is a baseball player
And friends and enemies of the Phillies alike have cleared up the notion that the World Series is
- Won by playing great in the regular season which has not started yet
At least the pitchers themselves backed each other up, most notably Cole Hamels to Joe Blanton, in a gesture of class that had the room full of press genuinely baffled.
These journalists could have held their press conference in all of their own individual cubicles and performing Google searches. Of course, there didn’t yet exist an image of the rotation together and looking pissed as they answer the same fucking questions for the eleventy-billionth time, so that’s pretty much what today’s press conference was about: making it visual.
And it was totally worth it! Check out this spectacular imagery, brought to us by Jayson Stark, which portrays Roy Oswalt as a headless torso with its arms folded defiantly.