Prior to opening up a three-game weekend set with the Cincinnati Reds, Jimmy Rollins sat down with Todd Zolecki, to address the Phillies first month and one half of baseball. The biggest point of discussion between J-Roll and Zolecki, was the potential that many long-time Phils (including Rollins) could be dealt at the July 31st trade deadline, if the Phillies don’t demonstrate that they can truly compete for the playoffs over the course of the next couple months.
“We’ve just got to make sure we do what we need to do before they blow it up,” Rollins told Zolecki.
It’s interesting to here J-Roll talk about the possibility of the end of this era in Philadelphia, because his prediction that the Phillies were “the team to beat”, prior to the 2007 season is what sparked the magical five year run from 2007 to 2011, that even produced a parade down Broad Street. Still Rollins believes that the Phillies could turn to the same spot that they did in 2007 when the Phillies playoff run began.
“It’s like ’07,” Rollins said. “That’s what it’s like. Pitchers go down. You’re like, ‘Gosh darn it, man. That’s not expected.’ Then our offense had to kick it in with some crazy numbers. It looks like that’s where we’re going to have to go.”
As nice of a fix as that sounds, Todd Zolecki points out the obvious-this team isn’t half the team hitting wise that they 2007 Phils were. But when Zolecki brought up that notion to the current longest tenured Phillie, Rollins showed off some of his old confidence.
“We’re healthy enough to be that good,” Rollins said. “We’re starting to have more good days than bad days. And that’s where it starts. Everybody likes to talk about little things, but what’s small and what’s little is actually big. Scoring runs, getting two-out hits, etc. — those are things we’re starting to do better, more efficiently. And over the course of the season, as the season gets even deeper, that’s going to be even that much bigger. So just because the record is where it sits now, those things get overlooked. But when you look at baseball, those are things that start turning and going your way.”
I think the consensus feeling around Philadelphia is starting to be that, while we hope the Phillies have one more run like Rollins alluded to above, it just feels like it is time to turn the page and begin the next era of Phillies baseball. I hope I am wrong, and most observers of the Phillies for that matter, but if I’m not I think it would be foolish for Ruben Amaro not to consider moving long-tenured Phillies like Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins, and Carlos Ruiz at the trade deadline if it helped the Phillies to be a better team in the future.