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Isn’t it time for some Joe Blanton love?

February 14, 2011
Joe Blanton during pregame warmups against the...

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Poor Joe Blanton ūüė¶

All the 2011 Spring Training love is being heaped on his high-profile Philadelphia Phillies rotation mates Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels. Everyone is either forgetting, dismissing or mock-trading the mundane Joe.

You know what I hope Joe Blanton thinks when he hears a phrase like, “Poor Joe?”

“I’m sorry, I wasn’t paying attention, this enormous 2008 World Series ring is distracting me.”

“Also, I was just thinking about that homerun I hit in the 2008 World Series. Only Philly pitcher to ever do that.”

During a Phillies press conference today introducing the team’s vaunted super-rotation, a lousy reporter (whose name I wish knew so I could trash him here), began to ask Hamels if he was imparting any wisdom to the 4 other ringless pitchers on the da√Įs. Quickly, Hamels stopped the questioner and pointed out, “Joe has a ring, too.”

The reporter was flummoxed, never actually apologized and only said, “yeah, you got me.” As if Hamels had tricked him.

Dimwit. Seriously, somebody get me that guy’s name.

Listen people, I realize Joe doesn’t get the ink (or have the stats) of the other guys, his ERA is a little higher, his win/loss total in Philly is an above average 36-24 and he has this good ol’ boy look to him, but the big fella can pitch. He can eat up innings. And he’s durable, no major injuries in his time in Philly.

Having four superstarter pitchers is great. Four superstarters and a rock solid 5th starter is even better. Please don’t bring up Kyle Kendrick as a replacement. He’s more average than Joe.

So you think he should be trade bait? For who? What position?

As this mildly revamped team hits the field for the first day of spring training, there’s not a single GLARING hole in the field, which means there’s no reason to unload Blanton for a patch trade.

Will he be trade bait as the season progresses and weaknesses emerge, maybe. But right now, there’s no sense unloading a solid, proven 5th starter without a REALLY good reason. And thanks to the devoted Phillies¬†fan-base¬†funneling¬†cash into management’s coffers, there’s no way the team can cry poor, no matter how much their payroll rises.

I think I need to get a Blanton t-shirt.

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