CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Jimmy Rollins says he is out of the prediction business.
Just like the countdown to pitchers and catchers, Rollins' prognostications are an annual rite of spring. This spring, he would only go so far as to say Roy Halladay is the best pitcher in the National League East rather than the Mets' Johan Santana.
When asked if he had any predictions about the Phillies, Rollins treaded lightly.
"We do have a chance of doing something special," Rollins said. "Actually, Frank (Coppenbarger) came and told me National League champs that go to the World Series three years in a row win two out of three. Sounds like some pretty good odds."
A TV reporter followed up with, so what's your prediction?
"You just got it," Rollins said.
Rollins said he has some goals of his own. The first one is to steal 50 bases, something he has never done in his career. He came close in 2008 (47 steals) and 2001 (46 steals). He said he already talked to first base coach and base stealing guru Davey Lopes about attaining 50 steals.
"Will it happen? Let’s see," Rollins said. "But that’s my goal. It’s a place I’ve never been before. So it gives me something to shoot at."
He went beyond the steals, too.
"I’m trying to keep the errors under three this year," Rollins said. "That would be nice. Still trying to score 150 runs. I never hit .300. I’m still working on 200 hits. So there are a lot of things for me to do. If I do those things, hopefully I’ll be doing a good enough job to help us bring another championship."
Rollins said he was pleasantly surprised the Phillies picked up his $8.5 million option for 2011 in December.
"That’s cool," Rollins said. "That’s real cool. I’ll just go out there and relax and play. I’ve only been in this organization. It’s never dawned upon me to leave. Seems like if you’ve been a part of winning and have been a good person they pick your option up. It’s definitely a blessing."
As for any other predictions, Rollins said they aren't necessary any longer.
"At this point, it’s just for fun and laughs," Rollins said. "Everybody knows what needs to be done and what’s expected and more importantly everybody believes. Every year you come in to spring training and of course we’re supposed to win. We’re a major league ball club, they pay us to win. But believing in it and watching it happen is completely differ. Now that we have that (belief) it’s no longer necessary to be said. Players that come in here they know what’s expected here."