Shane Victorino: '(Phillies) the Favorites'
Thanks are due to Shane Victorino, then, because the Phillies outfielder snapped us back into reality with some comments about the year to come. The Phillies outfielder was at an event in Philadelphia this week and shared his thoughts about who was the lead dog in the hunt for the 2011 title.
"I'm not one to sit here and make predictions or make bold statements to stir the pot," Victorino said, "but I think if you look on paper, we're the favorites to win it all."
On the one hand, we're not quite sure that Victorino understands what it means to stir the pot. You generally are guilty of doing that when you declare yourselves World Series favorites before the first player has been sent packing from big-league camp.
On the other hand, Victorino isn't really that far off because he hasn't made all that bold of a statement. This isn't Pedro Alvarez saying the Pirates will win the World Series. Since the Phillies signed Cliff Lee, there have been plenty of people calling them the odds-on favorites to win their second title of the Charlie Manuel era. While you can sit there and make arguments for the Red Sox or a Giants repeat, it's hardly shocking to hear someone call the Phillies the best team on paper.
Mostly, though, Victorino's broadside has us feeling like Punxsutawney Phil. We're looking for our shadow desperately hoping that we see something that brings us closer to the start of the baseball season. Victorino could be right, although the best team on paper doesn't wind up drenched in champagne all that often, but we're really just eager to start finding out because winter's had us in her grip long enough.