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Jimmy Rollins still feels the NL East runs through the Phillies, saying this to CSN Philly:

"It still runs through Philly.... [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. ... We were undermanned. You'd write the lineup every single day and we're undermanned against a lot of teams. As soon we got healthy, you start to see us turn back around and catch our rhythm. ... Everyone's a little angry, 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 were 44-31 after Chase Utley and Ryan Howard returned to the lineup in the second half last season.

You know, at this point, I actually miss the old Team-To-Beat debates. I think Rollins has a point, considering how well the Phillies played in the second half. They made a helluva run at the Wild Card, but fell short. I think they'll be fine, but they keep getting older and they're always one-bad-bet-on-a-reliever away from falling apart. At the same time, the division is getting young. I'm biased, but I think the NL East is a lot of fun to watch. If the Mets young players continue to evolve, and if Jon Niese, Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler can be what we hope they can be, the Mets can eventually be right in the mix as well. I don't think the division runs through any one team. I think it's going to be very much up for grabs year in and year out and I think that's great for everyone, especially fans.

Tags: MetsBlog , Matthew Cerrone
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