Why should Roy Halladay(notes), Cliff Lee(notes), Roy Oswalt(notes), Cole Hamels(notes) and, oh yeah, Joe Blanton(notes) have all the shared press conference fun? Here's a shot of the Atlanta Braves' top four starters — Jair Jurrjens(notes), Tim Hudson(notes), Tommy Hanson(notes) and Derek Lowe(notes) — trying to fill five notebooks with one media session on Tuesday afternoon in Orlando.
And don't think the rival NL East juggernaut that's been assembled up in Philadelphia has escaped the notice of the four men who hope to slay it this summer. Here's Atlanta Journal-Constitution beat writer David O'Brien on running into Lowe for the first time this spring:
First thing I said to him was, "The rotation." Meaning, do you think about it. But before I could finish asking him, he responded without hesitation.
"Philllies. Oswalt, Halladay ... wait, what's that?"
He knew, of course, I meant the Braves' rotation.
The Braves rotation — which will probably be filled out with either Mike Minor(notes) or Brandon Beachy(notes) — won't rival the caliber of Philadelphia's, of course. But if Hudson and Lowe can stay healthy, Jurrjens can return to form and Hanson takes the next step and inherits the ace role from Hudson, they have a shot to again be a good foil for the Phillies in the division. As an impartial observer who wants the Phourmidable Phour put to the test in a pennant race, I'm hoping the Braves can mount the challenge and earn a nickname of their own. Any suggestions?