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Shane Victorino thinks the Phillies will win it all

Feb 3, 2011, 8:23 AM EDT

Philadelphia Phillies  v Los Angeles Dodgers Getty Images

You know, if I had to make a prediction right now I’d probably say that the Red Sox were the favorites to win it all this season. But it wouldn’t be at all unreasonable to pick the Phillies either. Indeed, I bet something like 90% of the people who engage in the prognostication business will pick one of those two teams as champs in their spring predictions.

But even if everyone else is doing it — and even if it’s kind of a sucker’s game to project ahead eight months and pretend any of us knows anything about what will happen — people always seem to go crazy when a ballplayer makes the same sort of prediction.  Shane Victorino is about to find that out. Here’s what he said:

“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.”

Seems like a plain and sufficiently humble enough way to say such a thing. Yet I am 100% certain someone will call him out on it because we don’t like it when ballplayers say it, no matter how reasonable it is. They’re supposed to play the “aw shucks, we’re gonna try our hardest and see what happens game” and never ever suggest that the team they happen to play for is the best.

I’d like to be pleasantly surprised and have there be no one who claims that Victorino is creating so-called bulletin board material or whatever, but I’m guessing someone will run with this in some loopy direction.

  1. Jonny 5 - Feb 3, 2011 at 8:48 AM

    I’ll make a prediction.
    The Phills face the BoSox for the final 3 games of June. And they will beat them soundly in their own house. The Phills are going to hit off the BoSox pitching, and I don’t think the Sox will be able to do the same. That’s what’s going to happen. Sure I’m being a fanboy and all, but it is really what I think.

    • ThatGuy - Feb 3, 2011 at 9:42 AM

      I’ll take the field…

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Feb 3, 2011 at 11:04 AM

      So to put it another way, you’d say Phillies in 5? :)

      I’ll take Phillies rotation over Boston’s, but the Sox lineup is better than the Phils. Also, the Sox have a lot more competition to make it to the WS than the Phils. Would [hopefully] be a good WS matchup though.

      • Jonny 5 - Feb 3, 2011 at 11:13 AM

        I’m not really much for predicting a WS champ. Not before the playoffs, and not before the season for sure. I wouldn’t even be brazen enough to call the Phills as the NLCS, or the NL East champs at this point. But one of my most favorite matchups ever is the Phills vs. BoSox. Yeah it’s interleague, but there’s something that just seems special to me about it. So Yeah, I’d love to see it. Boston does have some heavy hitters, Obviously the best offensive team in the game (on paper) and they’ll be deadly at the plate, but which team is most likely to silence those big dawgs?

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Feb 3, 2011 at 12:06 PM

        Yeah, it’ll be a nice test of the pitching vs hitting if that outcome does play out. However, I think it’s safe to say you guys should at least win the NL E. Nationals/Mets would need an act of God to win, Marlins are dumping some of their better players, and the Braves aren’t in your class. Didn’t the Phillies have injury problems last year? If everyone stays [relatively] healthy, you should walk away with the division. Then of course the playoffs are a crapshoot, but facing Roy/Cliff 3x in a 5 game series, and at a minimum, 4 in a 7 is brutal.

      • Jonny 5 - Feb 3, 2011 at 12:32 PM

        mmmm hmmmm… And let’s not forget Oswalt and Hamels are no cake walk either. I think the Phills became kinda complacent after their super hot start last season, plus the injuries to Utley, Polanco, Rollins, and Howard didn’t help much either. We will see…. I think after the end of last season, and the NLCS impotence at the plate, the Phillies are one of the most under rated offenses out there. Right next to the Yankees really. Everyone thinks both teams have nothing for offense, at least that seems to be the consensus. I know better though. Unless it’s all wishful thinking??

  2. schmedley69 - Feb 3, 2011 at 8:56 AM

    Shane is coming off of a mediocre season. He should worry about his own play before he starts making predictions like that.

    • Jonny 5 - Feb 3, 2011 at 9:05 AM

      Mediocre for who? 3.6 WAR and a 1.2 dWAR says he was somewhat better than mediocre. Sure it was a drop from last season but “mediocre”?

      • schmedley69 - Feb 3, 2011 at 10:04 AM

        Ok, put it this way. Shane did not play up to his potential last year. With his skills, he should be a lot better. He should concentrate on his own game before he starts making predictions.

      • Jonny 5 - Feb 3, 2011 at 10:31 AM

        I agree, He needs to get on base more, and cause more havoc with his legs on the basepaths. Pitchers don’t seem too comfy with him on 1st. He had alot more home runs last season, but struck out more. He gets more runs when he gets on base more often, that’s a fact. I hope he does try to fill that role better this season.

      • schmedley69 - Feb 3, 2011 at 1:01 PM

        Exactly. With his speed, he could be such a huge asset if he learned how to get on base more. That’s why Charlie gets on his case once in a while. Charlie knows that Shane isn’t getting the most out of his potential.

    • bigxrob - Feb 3, 2011 at 9:25 AM

      There you go Craig, your “100% certainty” took until comment # 2.

    • trevorb06 - Feb 3, 2011 at 10:51 AM

      Funny, you must be one of the haters Craig was referring to in this article that don’t like it when ball players who play on playoff caliber teams think their team is the best.

      Ask anybody on the Yankees, Twins, Rays, Tigers, White Sox, BoSox, Rangers, Braves, Reds, Giants, Phils, Padres and a few others I’m not thinking at the moment who they think will win the WS and they will say THEIR OWN TEAM. It doesn’t matter if they’re the star or the one riding the pine. It takes 2 seconds for them to come to that conclusion so they’re not taking any time away from them practicing to be the best player they can be. Get off your hater box, damn, it’s sad.

      On a side note, ask anybody on the Royals, Mariners or Pirates who they think will win the WS and they, too, will say one of the above teams. :-)

  3. outloudgrl - Feb 3, 2011 at 9:13 AM

    Wrong their/there/they’re in the last paragraph there Craig.

  4. loungefly74 - Feb 3, 2011 at 9:53 AM

    I have no problem with victorino’s statement. sure, it can be used as bulletin board material but i would want guys confident on my team. there was nothing bad about it.

  5. mercyflush - Feb 3, 2011 at 9:54 AM

    I dont care about predictions as long as the player goes out and backs it up. Jimmy Rollins stirred the pot in 2007 but put together and MVP season to back up his words.

    Let’s see Shane Victorino come out and play at the level he did in 2009 and try to back up his words.

  6. Brian - Feb 3, 2011 at 10:02 AM

    World Series Winner: Mystery Team

  7. dasher521 - Feb 3, 2011 at 11:31 AM

    The two most important words for any team wanting to win the WS, “… IF HEALTHY …”. This Phils fan says this every year.

  8. seeingwhatsticks - Feb 3, 2011 at 4:47 PM

    The Phillies have won back-to-back paper rings. That’s a dynasty folks.

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