Hall of Fame third baseman Mike Schmidt, arguably the greatest player in Philadelphia Phillies’ history, voiced his opinion on the 2011 Phillies.
Schmidt said the Phillies are “maybe the best team ever” in franchise history.
He says he loves the group of starting pitchers: Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Roy Oswalt, Cole Hamels, and Joe Blanton, and he loves Brad Lidge coming out of the bullpen.
But he thinks the Phillies’ hitters have some work to do.
“It’s like Tiger Woods can win a golf tournament, or used to be able to win a golf tournament, without playing well,” Schmidt said. “Well, the Phillies seemed to prove to me last year they can win the division without really playing well, without clicking on all cylinders all year.”
Schmidt also said that Jimmy Rollins should be more like Pete Rose, and he suggested that the Phillies’ hitters, notably Rollins, Shane Victorino, Chase Utley, and Placido Polanco, play more small ball.
“They need to be accountable for themselves a little bit more in that regard,” he said. “The game rewards you if you go out on the field every day and you do what you’re required to do to win the game in your role, whether you’re the leadoff hitter, two-hole hitter, cleanup or eight-hole hitter. … The baseball gods will reward you if you go on the field every day and you say, ‘It’s not about me, it’s about what I can do for the team that day.’”
Schmidt also said that he believes 100 wins is without question a possibility.
“Winning baseball is about pitching and defense, and offense is sort of secondary,” he said. “If a team is built around something, and can be built around the four greatest starters maybe ever assembled on one team, you feel like you’ve really got a chance, a strong chance, of having a great year.”