Jimmy Rollins Traded: Top Five Moments With The Phillies

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2. Jimmy Rollins declares Phillies “the team to beat” in the NL East

Besides ‘World Phu**ing champions’ (Chase Utley) and “Ya gotta believe!” (Tug McGraw), this might be the most iconic phrase in franchise history. In a lot of senses, these words were the most important, and somewhat misguided words in Phillies history.

Prior to the 2007 season, Jimmy Rollins told reporters this, ironically at the MLB winter meetings. On the surface, Rollins’ words were just flat-out wrong. Led by Carlos Delgado, Jose Reyes, David Wright and a rotation laced with future hall of famers, the Mets had won 97 games in 2006, and finished just a game away from a World Series birth. The Phillies, on the other hand, could rake, but didn’t appear to have a playoff-ready starting pitching staff. Rollins might have been confident in what the Phillies could do, but the Mets were “the team to beat”.

Despite a slow start, the Phillies and Rollins backed up Rollins’ word, overcoming a makeshift bullpen and a five game deficit in the NL East in late September, partially thanks to a Mets collapse, to win the NL East and prove Rollins’ offseason words to be right.

The Phillies would get swept by the Rockies in NLDS, but Rollins’ swagger and MVP season set the stage for four more seasons of NL East titles, one of which led to a parade.