CLEARWATER, Fla. — Jimmy Rollins’ name was whited-out on the Phillies lineup card Tuesday morning. Someone in the clubhouse called to tell the shortstop not drive to Orlando for the day’s game against Atlanta. He would not play as scheduled. He did not appear in Wednesday’s lineup, and he will not play Thursday. That is three days on the bench in the middle of spring training for a regular. “Oh, it is unusual,” Rollins said. “But I’m not going to try to second guess or predict or come up with a reason why.”
The manager and shortstop have not spoken since Monday. Rollins said he will not seek a conversation with Sandberg; he will wait for Sandberg to come to him “Obviously he is upset about something,” Rollins said. The first hint of any issue came after Wednesday’s game in Sarasota, Fla., when Sandberg offered no explanation for Rollins’ three-day benching. Unprompted, Sandberg praised Freddy Galvis’ “energy and his positive influence.” When asked about Rollins in that regard, Sandberg said, “No comment.” It sounded like a message for Rollins delivered through the media. “Well, everyone is allowed to have their own opinion,” Rollins said Thursday. “It doesn’t make it right, but he’s the manager so he gets to have the last say.”
Hey Jimmy. This isn’t Cholly anymore playing with his dentures and giving everyone the benefit of the doubt. You’re now playing for a Hall Of Famer who isn’t afraid to show you whose dick hangs lower. You think Ryno spent all the time coaching in the minors and playing second fiddle in the majors is going to come in and let the team run him? In the words of a blogger who probably can’t walk around the diamond without once without having a stroke: “For Sure Not”.
Rollins is by far the best SS to ever put on a Phils jersey. Like it or not, he will be in the talk for Cooperstown when it’s all said and done. Also like it or not, Jimmy has a lackluster, “We’ll be fine” attitude in any situation. Guy is privy to not hustling all the time, too. Ryne knows this. I highly doubt he thinks Freddy Galvis is a better option at short, but if sending this message in Spring Training ends up winning more games in the Summer, you do what you have to do.
Now will it work? I’m gonna say no. Most of this core is stuck in the 2007-2011 mentality of thinking they’re good enough to just show up and win. This team is old as balls and is playing like it. They got one hit the other day. That’s all they got, ONE GODDAMN HIT, and a couple other games with just one run. The bats don’t all of a sudden wake up and injuries don’t instantly heal on opening day. But dammit if I don’t admire Ryne for coming in hot and reminding this team who is boss and what the bottom line is: WINNING*. Love it or leave it, James.
*Would be a lot easier for Ryne to play the tough guy and win if they actually had some young talent instead of guys older than he is. Thanks Ruin Tomorrow Jr.