It's now been four days since the "four aces and the fifth Beatle" press conference. It's been over two months since the Phillies stole Cliff Lee from the Rangers and Yankees. It's been more than half a year since the Phillies traded for Roy Oswalt (plus $11 million). And it's been over a year since the Phillies acquired Roy Halladay.
And yet I still have the same reaction when thinking about these three joining Cole Hamels and Joe Blanton to form the Phillies 2011 starting rotation: holy shit!
I have a theory - the older you are, the more you're having these "holy shit" moments and the longer they're lasting. For those of us who have been Phillies fans for long enough, there's just too much cognitive dissonance to dissipate after such a short period of time. Sure, as I detailed at the start here, the Phillies dream rotation has been growing in stature for over a year now. But, we've too long suffered through rotations that have included the Calvin Maduros, Matt Beeches, David Palmers, Jerry Koosmans, and Brandon Duckworths of the world.
But now Joe Blanton is our fifth starter. And Cliff Lee chose the Phillies.
It just doesn't make sense. Maybe it will make more sense when we start seeing these guys in action and they really feel like a Phillies rotation. But, until then, I still can't help but stare at this group in photos or their names in print and wonder if someone's playing a cruel practical joke on me.
How else can you explain this quote from Lee on Monday? "For me, it was the Phillies all the way. I played here before on what was a really good team and they've made some additions since then to make them even better. I felt like this was the best chance to win a world championship."
To newer phans, this quote makes eminent sense. The Phillies are a franchise that wins. But, to older fans, it's just another "holy shit" moment that we better get used to.