The Philadelphia Phillies are prohibitive favorites to not only win the NL East in 2011, but to go all the way and win their second World Series in four years. There’s plenty of big bats on offense, and the top four in the starting rotation is just silly: Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, and Roy Oswalt. Of course, the Phillies have been highly regarded the two years as well yet failed to really live up to their expectations.
General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. is confident that the club will manage sky-high expectations just fine in 2011. In an interview with 98.5 The Fanatic in Philadelphia, he talked about that, the camaraderie being built on the club, and whether he’d entertain a Ryan Howard for Albert Pujols trade offer. (partial transcript via: SportsRadioInterviews)
How will the Phillies handle being the overwhelming favorites to win the World Series throughout the season?
“Pretty much how they handle things normally. I don’t think these guys get too panicky. You don’t…they just try to play and they have in a way taken on the personality of Charlie [Manuel] and you know played one day at a time. I know that their goal is to be in the playoffs and hopefully win the World Series, but I don’t think they let that cart get out too far in front of the horse.”
What went went into the decision of the starting four aces (Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels, Roy Oswalt, Cliff Lee) to include Joe Blanton when doing media interviews? Is that a good thing?
“As far as doing five instead of four? That was purely from the players standpoint. They would refuse to do any of this unless Joe was involved, so that was really the players. I think it’s the right thing. Absolutely, he’s certainly a part of the rotation and it shows a lot of camaraderie amongst the group. I think it means a lot. I know they have a great deal of respect for each other and how they go about their business, so I think it was the right thing for them to do.”
Check in at The Good Phight for extensive Phillies analysis and fan discussion as the 2011 MLB season rapidly approaches.