I have no idea who created this phenomenal Joe Blanton inspired nod to Shepard Fairey's "Andre the Giant Has a Posse", but it's kind of amazing (I wish I did know who created it so I could give proper credit, but perhaps in keeping with the street artiness of it the artist prefers to remain unknown?). How long until they start popping up all over Northern Liberties?
The timing of this is spot-on as fans have rallied around Blanton since the Phils pitching staff held their State of the Rotation press conference this week. Blanton was pretty much a forgotten man during the media session. At one point Cole Hamels had to remind a reporter that, yes, Blanton helped win a World Series back in 2008.
Between the belly, the awful chin beard, his status as the forgotten man of the staff, and the way he rocks his cap brim angled up like a truck driver you'd think that Joe has major Phillie cult status potential. I know I get a kick out of him using his glove to wipe his brow between every pitch in the same sort of way I loved when Charles Barkley would grab a towel, wipe the floor, and then wipe his face.
Based on nothing other than appearance he's the one guy on the roster who looks like he'd fit in with the '93 Phillies. When he was here Matt Stairs would've too, but at this point Joe B. is the lone guy who wouldn't look out of place hanging out with Dykstra, Daulton, Kruk, Incaviglia, and the rest of that team. This fact alone is enough reason to give the guy cult status.
Regardless, the fact remains that the Phils won a World Series with a playoff starting rotation of Cole Hamels, Brett Myers, Jamie Moyer, and Joe Blanton. Yeah, it's beyond amazing that one through four they'll trot out Halladay, Lee, Oswalt, and Hamels, but at the end of the day they're guaranteed nothing.
I've been a fan long enough to remember the Jose de Jesus, Bobby Munoz, Shawn Boskie, Jeff Juden dark days. The fact that Joe Blanton, who won Game Four of the '08 World Series (and also homered in that game), is now the fifth starter is nothing short of miraculous.
Joe Blaton, 6'3", 245 lbs. of Fifth Ace. Bottom line, Joe Blanton has a posse.