Jimmy Rollins hasn’t been afraid to speak his mind as long as I’ve known him.

He memorably called the Phillies the team to beat in the National League East in 2007. He even maintained they were the best team in the division last season despite an 81-81 finish 17 games behind the first-place Nationals and 14 games behind the second-place Braves.

“With us being healthy you know they’re a second-place team” Rollins said about the Nationals. “But we weren’t.”

But asked following yesterday’s 4-3 loss to the Mets if he still felt the Phillies were the best team in the NL East when healthy Rollins said “There’s a lot of talented teams in the division. The team that we had in the past definitely was. The team going forward we’ll figure that out. There are a bunch of new pieces. We haven’t had that around here for a long time. I’m excited about them. They’re good young players. Big eyed. A lot of hopes and wishes it’s our part to make sure they come true. It’s fun seeing the energy and excitement every single day. The world is still theirs and it’s at hand. They can change it. I was that guy. Now it’s up to me Chase (Utley) and Ryan (Howard) to make sure they do change it.”

The Phillies already have lost 84 games with seven games remaining. Anything can happen next year but as the Phillies get further and further removed from their 102-win season in 2011 it gets harder and harder to picture them winning 90 games and competing for a championship.