The surest sign of spring for many sports fans is the start of the baseball season. The Phillies first take the field Thursday against the Pirates in Pittsburgh.

We took the measure of the team with Jason Weitzel, founder and lead writer of the sports blog Beerleaguer.com.

The Phillies have been in the playoffs every year since 2007. Weitzel said he expects to see them back again this year in the post-season. But this season is critical, he said: "This is probably their last shot at a title with this core group."