Mike Schmidt spent about 30 minutes fielding questions for a small group of reporters today at Bright House Field, and the Hall of Fame third baseman had some interesting things to say.
I'm in the middle of transcribing the tape, but for right now I'll leave you with his thoughts on the Phillies' offense, which in his opinion has underperformed the last few years. Specifically, he zeroed in on Jimmy Rollins, who he said hasn't played within himself.
"I look for Rollins to push a 200-hit year," Schmidt said. "I look for Victorino to have a 200-hit year. We are talking in those terms. 100 walks. 200 hits. Sort of out-there goal for these guys that you haven't seen in the last few years. They are part of a winning team, don't get me wrong, but I still think they are underachieving as players. Jimmy Rollins can't do what Pete Rose did. Just take a year. Pete Rose had 200 hits 10 straight years. Jimmy's faster, you know.
"I just think Pete understood more what his role was. Jimmy kind of gets to being Jimmy. Jimmy needs to be more Pete Rose-like in his approach to the game, and more accountable for getting on base and understanding that offensively, he's about running and getting on base and getting hits and leading the lead in hitting. He wants to look at the USA Today or the Inquirer or whatever and see his name right up there in the top three in hitting. It should be, right? So should Victorino's. And they now feel that way. So I look for big things all the way around."