Can the Phillies Contend? Ruben Amaro Thinks So.

And he's ticked at your lack of faith.

CBS Philly takes note that Phillies GM Ruben Amaro is feeling pretty defensive about his team’s ability to contend this year:

“I’m a human being and, yes, it [ticks] me off because I know our players are better than the perception,” Amaro told the Inquirer’s Bob Ford on Tuesday. “The team we fielded the last third of the season was not our club. That wasn’t the expectation when we started the season last year.”

The Phillies had significant injuries to key players last year, including former ace Roy Halladay, first baseman Ryan Howard, second baseman Chase Utley, center fielder Ben Revere, and right fielder Domonic Brown.

Putting aside the fact that old, injured players tend to get older and more injured, there’s the implication that the Phillies were ever good in 2013. They weren’t. Yes, the last third of the season was the worst, but the first third was pretty mediocre: 26-28 after 54 games. They got two games over .500 a couple of games after that, but that was the highlight of the season—a slow, not entirely steady ride the rest of the year.

Hey! We want the Phillies to win! We love championship parades! But Ruben’s seeing something here that we aren’t.