Charlie Manuel has always said that he has two rules for his teams: hustle and be on time. Jimmy Rollins broke one of those rules a few weeks back in a game against Miami, and was given some heat by Charlie Manuel in a post-game meeting. This time around, there would be not post-game meeting. There would be an in-game benching.
Rollins did not hustle out a pop-up to pitcher Jon Niese in the 6th inning of today's game against the New York Mets. While he did steal second base later in the inning, he should have been there in the first place. Later in the inning, he was caught in a rundown on a ground ball to the right side of the infield off the bat of Kevin Frandsen. Simply put, Manuel was not happy with Rollins. By the time the top of the 7th had rolled around, Michael Martinez had moved from the outfield to play shortstop. Rollins was left on the bench.
Rollins leads the league in infield pop-ups this season, so while it may get tiring for him to run out every single one, Manuel was left with no choice. Now he needs to send a stronger message. Rollins should be benched tomorrow and given the day off. The frustrating thing for the Phillies at this point is that it appears Rollins has given up on the season and his teammates with these types of actions.
While a lot of people have tried to pass this off as Rollins trying to save up steam because he is hurt or just conserving himself because he has had calf issues in the past, that has turned into a completely unacceptable response. If he's actually hurt, we would know. Rollins just is not hustling anymore, and that's a problem; under Manuel's watch, he isn't going to play if he keeps doing this type of stuff.
It's a shame, because the Phillies actually won for the first time in three games, salvaging the final game of this three-game set with the Mets before they head off to Atlanta for a three-game series. What is a shame is that a guy who signed a three-year contract in the off-season has seemingly let the fans and his teammates down. This is the type of stuff that gets you on the wrong side of the fans. Right now, Rollins is not on my good side. He's not on Manuel's either.
While it's too early to say "trade Rollins!" or "Rollins must go!" those thoughts will at least cross minds on a day like this. This has happened in the past, and Manuel has pulled Rollins from the game before. This time it all feels different, maybe because he's been doing it for too long now, or maybe because the team is seven games under .500 instead of seven games over.
When Rollins was asked after the game if he would address the situation, he said "hell no. He [Manuel] already told you what happened. There you go."
This has become a deeper problem for me. It's become a problem of Rollins refusing to answer to media members after situations like these. Rollins is the supposed "vocal" team leader, so it's frustrating to see him act like this after a situation involving him develops. The best thing the Phillies can do is tell Rollins to take a day off to clear his head, and his act, and get it together for the final month of the season. While having a 62-69 record is nowhere near what the Phillies expected this year, it doesn't mean that Jimmy Rollins just gives up on his teammates, his manager, and his city. And if he keeps doing it, it will go from giving up to given up, and his services won't be needed anymore in Philadelphia if quitting is the route he has taken.Sources: Ryan Lawrence/Philadelphia Daily News
Victor Filoromo is a featured contributor for Yahoo! and also contributes to PhuturePhillies.com, a Phillies' prospect blog. He grew up just outside of Philadelphia, and enjoys Philadelphia sports, media, and politics. You can follow him on Twitter @victorfiloromo.
- Sports & Recreation
- Jimmy Rollins
- Charlie Manuel