NL East execs not short on optimism
February is almost over, and the executives of the NL East are bubbling over with confidence in the squads they've assembled.
The truth is, it's spring training. Everybody has a chance today, whether they actually, legitimately have a chance, or the execs and players have been briefed by public relations to say ambiguously positive things despite them being the Marlins.
Here is the real and unreal happiness of our division's suits and ties.
Ruben Amaro, Phillies general manager
“Listen, I don’t want to be foolhardy, but I do believe we have the talent to make a run at the National League East this year. And if we’re making a run at the National League East, it puts us in position to win the World Series.”
Mike Rizzo, Nationals GM/President of Baseball Operations
"My prediction is, we are going to be a well-prepared, well-motivated, well-trained ballclub. It's not going to go just 25 deep, but 40 deep. We are looking to play not 162 games, but 182 games. That's our goal. We want to play meaningful games in October -- and I think we have the talent level to do it, the character to do it."
David Samson, Marlins President
"What Spring Training means to me is it's a new beginning. To me, the best thing about baseball is every 12 months you get to walk on the field in Spring Training, when pitchers and catchers report, and you have the hope that that year will be your year."
Jeff Wilpon, Mets COO
"We played .500 ball over our last 100 games of last season. If we can do that for the first 100 games of this year instead of the last 100 games, we'll be in a good spot. So I'd like to see us get to that same spot, if not better."
John Schuerholz, Braves President
"We were only a couple plays away from going further and who knows how far we could have gone with last year's team. But that is last year. It's a good positive experience to build upon."
[PICTURED ABOVE: A positive experience.]
"There's a lot of enthusiasm that I feel already with the players arriving [to Spring Training] and working. Everybody feels that every year at every camp. I understand that, but that is the nature of the early days of Spring Training. But I feel good about our team and I think everybody else does as well."