By Alex D. Brown
The 2012 Philadelphia Phillies enter Spring Training after a disappointing end to the 2011 season. The team is equipped to make another championship run and anything short of a World Series title will be seen as a failure.
Spring training began this week for the Philadelphia Phillies down in Clearwater Florida and Philadelphia is ready for the start of baseball. The team has some new faces, adding closer Jonathan Papelbon, and making major improvements to their bench adding players like Jim Thome and Ty Wiggington. The team also lost some key players including the fourth member of the big four Roy Oswalt. The Phillies also allowed former all star Raul Ibanez to leave as a free agent to the New York Yankees.
Despite not having Roy Oswalt to who has not made his mind up where he will play next season, and losing all star first baseman Ryan Howard to injury for the start the season, the Phillies are built to win a championship. The “big three” give the Phillies the most dominant pitching staff in all of baseball that is perfect for a playoff series. The offensive has struggled, but with names like Utley, Pence, Rollins, and Victorino the offense should have no problems putting runs on the board.
All the pieces to the puzzle have been put into places for the Phillies to make another run at the World Series. Veteran Jim Thome told Phillies insider Jim Salsbury “This may be my final season, and Philadelphia gives me a great chance to finish off my career with a ring.” There a certain buzz and excitement with the 2012 team. New closer Jonathan Papelbon told Comcast Sportsnet Philadelphia “I think this year, more than any other year, I’ve been more excited to get into the clubhouse than any spring training.”
There are high hopes for the 2012 Phillies. The city of Philadelphia experienced their first championship in 25 years in 2008 when the Phillies won the World Series. Fans in Philadelphia thought last season a trip down broad street was guaranteed, but were heart broken when the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Phillies in 5 games in the National League Division Series. The 2012 team has begun their long journey that will hopefully end with them on a parade float in early November. Anything less then that will be seen as a failure in the eyes of the team and the fans.