Phillies' "Phantastic Phour" rotation arrives | News
Clearwater, Florida - One of the most anticipated spring trainings opened in Clearwater, where the return of ace Cliff Lee has created a pitching staff that some liken to the best in baseball history.
"No one here has thrown a pitch yet," said Lee, as he tried to squash comparisons before the season even starts. But he does say, he turned down more money elsewhere and came back to Philadelphia for the chance to win championshps.
"Obviously I played here in the past and enjoyed myself, I thought we had a really good team at that time, and since then, they've made a couple of additions that I think made the team that much better. So, I felt like if I ever got an opportunity again to come back and be a part of what's going on here, I'd take advantage of it."
Lee joins a staff that now boasts Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels, Roy Oswalt, and Joe Blanton. The first four - all solid No. 1 caliber starters - have already been referred to by the media as the "Phantastic Four." However, that doesn't go over too well with the close group. In Monday's press conference, the aces made a point to say that their 5th starter, Blanton should not be overlooked in the rotation and needs to be included in any coined nickname. Blanton and Hamels are the only two in the mix who have World Series rings, won in 2008 against the Rays.
Halladay shares Lee's sentiments that he feels the Phils have great potential to win a World Series.
"Everybody up here works quick," said Halladay. "They're aggressive, they go after guys. It's fun to watch guys pitch like that. Kind of keeps you in it, to see guys attacking. It's fun to watch."
Halladay is projected to be the Phils' Opening Day starter. It has not been confirmed, but Lee seems likely at No. 2.