Jimmy Rollins, wearing a black-knit cap to protect his head from a chilly breeze, flicked the switch that lit the red and white bulbs on the enormous Christmas tree outside Citizens Bank Park Saturday night.
The Phillies, of course, are hoping that come April their shortstop will again be the trigger man for what they still believe can be the most explosive offense in the National League.
Rollins, 32 and entering the final year of his contract with the Phillies, said he has every intention of rebounding from his injury-ravaged 2010 season with a big year in 2011.
"If I'm healthy. Well, I'm going to be healthy, so yes," Rollins said. "All I have to do is stay healthy and I will produce."
The three-time all-star and 2007 National League MVP played in a career-low 88 games last season and batted a career-worst .243 with eight home runs and 41 RBIs. He was hampered most by a calf injury, but also suffered a hamstring injury late in the season. Rollins' injuries and lack of production forced manager Charlie Manuel to move him out of the leadoff spot in the batting order for every game except one in the postseason.
There are a couple of reasons Rollins is confident that 2011 will be different.
"Because I believe in me," Rollins said. "If I don't believe in me, then I might as well quit."
An ultra-confident attitude is certainly nothing new for Rollins, the man who once pronounced the Phillies as the team to beat in the National League East when most everyone else was sure that team was the New York Mets.
Something that is new for Rollins this off-season is his workout.
Two days after the Phillies were eliminated from the National League Championship Series by the San Francisco Giants, general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. suggested that some of his players might need to take a different approach to their off-season workouts.
Rollins has done that with the help of his wife, Johari.
"That's my yoga instructor," he said.
Rollins said he had never done yoga before.
"This is the first time I've even spoken that word," Rollins said. "It's actually been pretty fun. I even have some yoga pants. Don't tell anyone, though. Stretching is boring, but if you're doing yoga, it doesn't seem like you're just sitting there doing stretching. Static stretching works for some people, but the trainers thought I needed to be doing more active stretching, and yoga is a form of more active stretching."
Rollins said he plans to head to Clearwater, Fla., some time next month as he prepares for a season that will likely determine his future with the Phillies.
He watched fellow shortstop and future Hall of Famer Derek Jeter go through some contentious negotiations with the New York Yankees before finally settling on Saturday. Rollins believes he will play well enough in 2011 to force the Phillies to keep him, but he knows the business side of the game can be ugly.
"It's business and [the Jeter negotiations] were the usual: 'We have to make the player look bad and greedy so the fans are on our side,' " Rollins said. "The player is going to say, 'How are you going to do that to me?' but his point never gets across. It is what it is."