Originally posted on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 11/16/12

The Philadelphia Phillies may have only finished third in the NL East with an 81-81 record last season, but that’s not stopping Jimmy Rollins from saying that the division still belongs to his club. Rollins, who is no stranger to expressing confidence in his club, doesn’t care that the Washington Nationals were the class of the division last season. “It still runs through Philly,” Rollins said at a benefit earlier this week, via The 700 Level. “[Washington] had one year to win it. It was just like when the Mets took it from Atlanta, it was still up for grabs. I’m sure Atlanta felt it was still theirs, but fortunately we were able to come in and take it the next five years.” Rollins offered some fair reasoning. He says that the team was “on the mend,” and points out that guys like Roy Halladay will be back. For some reason, he also thinks Cliff Lee performed poorly last season. Someone should tell him that just because Lee couldn’t get a win until July (he finished 6-9) doesn’t mean he didn’t pitch well. Rollins also said something that should make the fans optimistic about next season. “Everyone’s a little angry,” Rollins said, “which is good to get a chip on your shoulder and just go back out there and prove that this is still our division, but not only that, but that we’re still World Champions.” The Phillies are older and breaking down, but they did finish the season strongly. Cole Hamels, Halladay, and Lee in the rotation should keep them competitive, but they need hitting. Their offense has gone downhill and could use a boost.

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