The Phillies have gone from 102 wins in 2011 to 81 wins in 2012 to 73 wins in 2013, but that isn't stopping closer Jonathan Papelbon from being confident in their chances for 2014. Here's what he told reporters on Monday:
Jonathan Papelbon: "if I was a gambling man I would take us to go all the way" pic.twitter.com/Y1zd6il5wD— Jeff Skversky (@JeffSkversky) February 17, 2014
Well, if Papelbon was a gambling man, he'd probably be out a ton of money after the season. Sure, the Phillies could go all the way, crazier things have happened, but it would take a lot going right while a lot goes wrong for a bunch of other teams, including those in the NL East.
I think there's a chance Philadelphia will be better this year than they were a year ago -- Marlon Byrd will help, ditto replacing the last remains of Roy Halladay with A.J. Burnett -- but you really have to squint to see them as a contender right now.