The Fab Five????

10 Feb

On Sunday the long wait will finally be over.  The Phillies pitchers and catchers will report to Clearwater for the first step in what many of us hope will be a season to remember.  All this hype is definitely making me nervous (you know how I feel about being the frontrunner) and Brad Lidge didn’t help matters with this little gem:

“Everybody realizes we’re the team to beat.  To a man, every one of us feels we need to win the World Series.”

OK, Brad, is that really necessary? Don’t you think the Phils are enough of a target already???

The starting pitchers, too, had an announcement yesterday.  It was reported that Halladay, Lee, Hamels, and Oswalt have said that they won’t appear in photos or take part in interviews without Joe Blanton.  In fact, they will not appear at their first press conference scheduled for Monday unless Blanton, too, is invited.  Their point?  If the story is about the Phillies starting rotation, there are five of them and they should all be there.

Of course that had the sportstalk world buzzing.  The prevailing point of view from callers and hosts was that it was  ridiculous to include Joe Blanton in the conversation and the press conference, that nobody wants to talk to him, that he clearly isn’t of the caliber of the other 4.  There were even some who said that Blanton should be embarrassed by the gesture of his fellow starters and say thanks but no thanks.

I think they are all missing the point.  To me, it was a classy and meaningful thing to say. Certainly the Fab Four know they are a story and will have to deal with that throughout the year.  But taking this stand isn’t just about Joe Blanton.  It says right from the start that they know they are part of a team and it will take contributions from every one of them to get where they want to go.

Gestures in sports are meaningful and in an age where too many of our superstar athletes are all about themselves, (Can we ever forget LeBron’s ridiculously hyped, self-indulgent “The Decision?,”) I find it refreshing that four pitchers, true stars in their own right, make this “decision” their first public statement.

No, it won’t end the focus on the Four Aces or the intense pressure they will face to win it all.  But behind closed doors, where championships are won and lost, it sends the clear message that the Phillies are a team.

And for this fan at least, it makes me glad they are my team.

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3 Responses to “The Fab Five????”

  1. geetie February 10, 2011 at 7:29 pm #

    CLASS will tell. On this Valentines Day, who needs chocolates? Well, maybe just a few.

  2. Neil T February 18, 2011 at 3:40 pm #

    Being a diehard Red Sox fan, I’ll keep tabs on your baseball club from Philadelphia this season. And now after reading this on CBSSports.com, I might be forced to pay close attention: “Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels comprise the best quartet in the history of western civilization, trumping Seinfeld/Alexander/Louis-Dreyfus/Richards and the Beatles.”

    • girlsbestphriend February 18, 2011 at 3:54 pm #

      Hey Neil All these years and I didn’t know you were a Red Sox fan. Thanks for the quote.
      I hope you’ll keep reading.

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