Five Phillies Aces
From the moment the Phillies starting five arrived to spring training, their every action was documented, by pen, recorder, microphone and camera.
So it's only fitting that the first of many pictures that was taken went viral when the five aces landed in Philly tonight. The SI cover for the magazine's annual Baseball Preview issue.
This is the third straight year a Phils pitcher has been on the cover before the season. Roy Halladay was on the SI Preview issue last season, Cole Hamels was on the cover in March of 2009.
I thought this year's cover is interesting for one reason: Cliff Lee is front and center. A little odd since Halladay is the unquestioned ace of aces, but Lee's arrival did take the rotation to a different level (just as Roy Oswalt's arrival did last July) and Lee is the fresher story as the guy who turned down more money from the Yankees).
Anyway, enjoy the photo (and the ribbing of cover jinxes from your non-Phillies fan friends).
But do yourself a favor and take time to read the actual story within SI's pages, which I plan to do when the magazine lands in my mailbox this week. Gary Smith is the best sportswriter in America.
So set aside some time and enjoy.
(Oh, and as for that cover jinx: the Phils pitchers are 50/50. While Hamels struggled through 2009, don't forget all Halladay did was throw the 20th perfect game in baseball history, win 21 games, win the NL Cy Young Award and pitch the second no-hitter in postseason history in his playoff debut).