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Jimmy Rollins: the Phillies are still the better team

Nov 5, 2009, 9:55 AM EDT

Take it away Jimmy:

“They were the better team this series. Do I think we’re the better team? I really do. They just executed.”

Um, yeah.

Look, I wasn’t critical of Rollins’ prediction before the Series, because if I was the manager of a team I’d want my players to think they’re going to win. You don’t be cocky or disrespectful about it — and I don’t think Rollins was — but if someone asks you for a prediction, go ahead, say you’re going to win.

But after the fact? Whatever, Jimmy. We can argue all day long about who’s better on paper and whether winning a short series truly means you’re the “best” team and all of that (indeed, I’ve made that argument myself), but in this case Rollins has no leg to stand on:

The Yankees were a better team during the regular season.

The Yankees were the better team during the postseason.

The Yankees were the better team on paper.

The Yankees are the better team from a historical perspective.

Could the Phillies have won this series? Sure, anything can happen.  Are they a good team? Absolutely.  But if they had won it, it would have been an upset, and for anyone to say otherwise is pretty deluded.

  1. Jimmy B - Nov 5, 2009 at 4:33 PM

    Nothing like listneing and reading people’s comments who arent Yankee fans….cry me a river about the money….maybe your team should invest in its club the way George does…maybe you should take the money from the Steinbrenner Stimulus plan and reinvest it in your team not your owners pockets… Hate your owner not the Yankees…

  2. jmk1512 - Nov 5, 2009 at 4:34 PM

    C’mon, really? Of course money can’t guarantee a title, but if you have 50% more of it to spend than anyone else, your chances of making it to the playoffs, and hence your chance of winning, increase exponentially. Do you think it’s a fluke that they final 4 teams this year are all among the top 8 in payroll? Do you think it’s an accident that young people are fleeing the game and that a baseball playoff game can’t attract more viewers than an early season NFL game? Baseball is destroying itself, and its economic systeem — not the Yankees — are to blame. The Yankees are just exploiting it. But to say that it hasn’t contributed to their success is just naive.

  3. Richie - Nov 5, 2009 at 4:38 PM

    Tell Jimmy Rollins that the better team is supposed to execute!!! Next time dont bat under 200, or make stupid predictions. The Phillies had no chance against the Yankees!!! Forget all that best team in the NL, they tried to win with one pitcher>

  4. jmk1512 - Nov 5, 2009 at 4:40 PM

    Phillies traded 4 highly rates prospects for Lee and signed Pedro off the scrap heap for $1 million…didn’t ‘buy’ either one. Yankees payroll is $210 million, Phils is about $115 million. I’d say the Phillies got more of their money’s worth than the Yankees did, dollar for dollar.

  5. Akshay Pandya - Nov 5, 2009 at 4:50 PM

    You are so right.

  6. Zoom - Nov 5, 2009 at 4:57 PM

    Chump Rollins…be a gentleman and a man. You’ll have the winter to think about it and then you can come back. Face it, you blew it; NYY were 10 games better over the regular season. You lost head-to-head. Don’t say stupid things. Hey, did you graduate from junior high school? Admit it dope, you stunk it up when you had the chance.

  7. west coast - Nov 5, 2009 at 4:59 PM

    All these posts are more entertaining than the actual series. You’ve got it all right here: the clear-headed logic of a few on each side balanced out by the 7th grade drop-outs that can’t make a point without dropping f-bombs.

  8. Unimpressed - Nov 5, 2009 at 5:01 PM

    What’s this “we” shit……I didn’t see you playing. The Yankees won, you didn’t do a damn thing except drink beer and play with yourself. Loser!

  9. Jeff Stern - Nov 5, 2009 at 5:09 PM

    Thats just a dumb thing to say… If it were really true the Yankees would win every year.. I seem to remember some team from Fl. with a 16 million payroll winning it over all those teams with huge payrolls..

  10. Chris - Nov 5, 2009 at 5:26 PM

    Last year the Phils spent just shy of 100 million on payroll, the Rays just over 40 million – so for your argument you would need to agree that last year the Phils bought their win – 55 million more then the rays sure looks like a purchased title…
    2007 Sox spent about 143 million in payroll – the Rockies 54 million – wow 90 million more – that sure does look like a purchased title – well only if you think the Yankees bought their’s this year…
    this year the Yankees spen 201 million, the Phils 113 million – 88 million more – seems pretty close to the 2007 Sox win…
    get a clue.

  11. mg712 - Nov 5, 2009 at 5:30 PM

    Yankees won. Period. Just please don’t call them world champions. That honor belongs to Japan.

  12. jjfad - Nov 5, 2009 at 5:32 PM

    “The Yankees have the ability to attract talent because of their storied history, level of success and culture of professionalism.”
    Stop with the bull.. bro. I’m a Yankees fan and you very well know that the only reason we have top caliber players is the amount of $$$$$ we are willing to spend. If other teams are not willing to spend as much they should stop sourgraping.

  13. Nomad - Nov 5, 2009 at 5:41 PM

    I am a Yankee fan in New England which is a harsh sometimes. Irregardless, rivalry is the cornerstone of sport. To argue who is or isn’t better is relative and right now a mute point. The Yankees managed to stay in the mix in the first half of the season and opened up after the Break. They ended with the best record this year. They played the National league team that dominated there. It was one good series until the end and if you payed attention at all, could easily have gone either way at many instances. Unfortunately for Philly, Lee seemed to be the only pitcher who could get anything going. Putting Sabathia on a three day rotation was a brilliant managerial move. Had Philly management done the same then who knows how it might have ended.
    I am more disturbed by the Umpires and some very bad calls and inconsistency. Screw replay…take a look at the guys calling balls and strikes.

  14. palehose - Nov 5, 2009 at 5:42 PM

    The Yankees have spent well over a billion dollars in salary since 2000 trying to win, and they finally did. Doesn’t mean they’ll win next year, or the year after that. The more they spend just makes it more satisfying to beat them. I was pissed when the Angels beat the Yankees in the 2005 playoffs because I wanted to see my White Sox beat the crap out of them with our much smaller payroll and the real ‘team’ attitude. I don’t mind seeing the bullseye put right back on the Yanks. Bring it on in 2010!

  15. Alex - Nov 5, 2009 at 5:48 PM

    Geez a bit harsh dont you think? This is what people talk about when they talk about classless Yankee fans. I am a huge Phillies fan and I can admit the Yankees certainly played better when it mattered. You guys won….no need for this hate filled post. There are major concerns from a MLB perspective regarding spending, but the Yankees are just doing what is allowed. I hate it, but its perfectly legal.
    Calling the Phils “One Year Wonders” is ridiculous. We won last year and came all the way back to try and defend and it went to six games. We are still the best team in the NL going into next year. Congrats on your win, but try to be a little gracious.

  16. Tony Cobas - Nov 5, 2009 at 5:53 PM

    palehose we gladly except it…last i checked Chicago White Sox spend and as from the results of this season they spend unwisely…sorry pal your White Sox smaller payroll is only 7th behind the Yankees so dont give me this self righteous commie “attitude”…but your from Obama land and that explains that. Oh and as for real team…it takes a real team to play the game…this team is as real as it gets, so add another title to us, and stop your typical Chicago girl crying…you probably dont know what a real team looks like if it slapped you in the face.

  17. Tony - Nov 5, 2009 at 5:55 PM

    As a Yankee fan that is celebrating this victory like a mad man…no most Yankee fans dont think that the Phillies are one year wonders…in fact there is a good chance that all this can happen again next year. If you ask Utley…he was booed at Yankee stadium but that only means we respected him and his ability to hurt the please dont take one comment from one fan as over generalization…we dont think…just like we dont think all Phillie fans are dumb and have no clue about baseball…it would be unfair…good luck and see you in October/November next year.

  18. Shely - Nov 5, 2009 at 5:55 PM

    Everyone has an opinion, however two things are clear.
    1: Baseball is not the same as it used to be, and never will be. That is because of the money paid to average as well as great performers. The real losers are the KC’s, Cinti’s, Milwaukees etc.. Not Philly. Nothing to cry about from them. The small markets will not be able to compete with the large cities on a long term basis, even if they win on occasion. So Philly, stop crying and realize that you have the capacity to pay players almost as much as NYC. Maybe they outspent you, but you have a big payroll too.
    2: Rollins is nuts! The better team won!
    Shely from a small market.

  19. joe - Nov 5, 2009 at 5:57 PM

    best roids money can buy!!!

  20. Alex - Nov 5, 2009 at 6:03 PM

    Your right and I am sure that idiot doesn’t represent the majority of Yankee fans. Any baseball fan knows how difficult it is to get back to the World Series the following season….the kinda focus that takes over a LOOONG period of time. This Phils team is for real and will be for years to come. I already can’t wait for next season for a possible rematch. Great for baseball and for both of us as fans. Congrats and hopefully we will get a shot at redemption.

  21. vegasguy - Nov 5, 2009 at 6:09 PM

    Capone has it exactly right. Pohlad in Minnesota was a billionare and refused to spend money and let talent walk away while he lined his pockets. Detroit, which might be the most financially troubled city in America has an owner who is losing money but still trying to put a good product on the field by paying top dollar for free agents. As a fan of sports in general, how can you not like a team or franchise that does everything they can within the rules given to put a winner on the field. Winning teams bring fans to the stadiums which generates revenue which allows teams to bring in players when needed. Don’t hate the Yankees because they want to win while your owners want to get rich.

  22. barry ell - Nov 5, 2009 at 6:56 PM

    boo hoo!!!!

  23. AWN92 - Nov 5, 2009 at 7:10 PM

    You can have all the money in the world. If you can’t execute, it doesn’t matter. Look at all the money they spent the last 8 years and where did it get them. Last year they didn’t even make the postseason and their payroll was HIGHER in 2008 than in 2009. I’d have more respect for you if you just said “Yankees Suck” and left it at that. Execution is the name of the game, and the Yankees did just that.

  24. KenB - Nov 5, 2009 at 7:25 PM

    Hey es14891…… are nothing more than a cry baby punk. What a leadoff guy your Phillies have in “Whining Rollins”. He couldn’t carry Jeter’s bat. Suck it up punk.

  25. Chuck - Nov 5, 2009 at 7:43 PM

    The Yankees have been willing to spend the money it takes to win. Granted the Yanks have made mistakes along the way picking the wrong personal – like many other teams. Nevertheless they’ve made the commitment to win and are willing to step up each year to do so. Other clubs are happy to take George’s money and not put much back into their organizations. You need to look no further than the Pittsburgh, Oakland, Baltimore, Kansas City to illustrate my point.
    The Yankees have made star players throughout each league rich by raising the bar to astronomic heights. I don’t think you’ll hear any of today’s ballplayers complain much! Unless baseball adopts the NFL model of distributing television money equally, we should expect this situation to continue.
    Give the Yankees their due. They put a best possible product on the field, built a stadium like no other and constantly try their best to grow their legacy. Others could do the same, provided one has deep enough pockets, a mega TV market, smart marketing and of course a branding second to none.

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