Rollins Apologizes to Manuel

Jimmy Rollins walked into Charlie Manuel’s office this afternoon at Turner Field and quietly closed the door behind him.

They emerged seven minutes later with smiles on their faces. They appeared to have reached an understanding for the second time in as many weeks about one of Manuel’s two team rules: hustle. Manuel benched Rollins in yesterday’s 3-2 victory over the Mets at Citizens Bank Park because he did not hustle to first base after popping up a ball in the infield in the sixth inning.

“He walked in there and manned up,” Manuel said. “He said he was wrong and apologized to me. “

“You break the rules, that was the punishment,” Rollins said. “Plan and simple. It’s really that simple.”

It should be, but the incident came exactly two weeks after Manuel called Rollins into his office after not hustling during a game in Miami.

So the question is why does this keep happening?

Why can’t Rollins just hustle?

Manuel said yesterday it was a poor reflection upon the manager, the team and the organization when Rollins does not run hard. Rollins did not disagree with his manager because he said he has never been in charge of a clubhouse, but “for me personally I don’t think it reflects on the team or the manager. That’s the player. That’s his issue. I don’t think it reflects poorly just because usually there’s something done about it.”

Asked if Rollins has an issue running hard, he said, “No. No, no, no, no, no. There’s obviously a spotlight on it. If I was the only player to ever do that and do that in this game today it would make sense, but I broke the rule like I said. That was the result of it.”

Rollins said today he knows he does not hustle 100 percent of the time, but he said it is not intentional.

“You get a hit you don’t think about hustle. You just do it,” Rollins said. “It goes the same when you make an out. You don’t think about hustle. You just do it. You just go. You don’t think about, well, I hit this ball now I need to run this hard. It just doesn’t happen that way.”

He explained what happened yesterday.

He had popped up in his previous at-bat against Mets left-hander Jonathon Niese, so he worked on his swing in the cage just before his sixth-inning at-bat. Then with a runner on third and one out, Rollins popped up again. Rollins jogged to first expecting the ball to be caught, but Niese dropped the ball. Had Rollins run hard there is a chance he could have reached second. At the very least Rollins acknowledged he should have been in position to at least see if he could get there, but he wasn’t.

“The first thing was you didn’t get the run in,” he said. “That’s the first thing. Second, it’s like damn, you were just in the cage literally working on that. How do you do it again? And that was really about it. That’s all that went through my mind.”

So it was frustration?

“Confusion more than frustration,” he said. “You’re in the cage working on it. And it’s going right. And then 40 feet from the cage to the field it’s like what happened, you know?”

Manuel said he understood Rollins’ frustration, but it is not an excuse.

“I didn’t do that very many times because you couldn’t get away with it,” Manuel said. “I remember if I was mad on a check swing or something, sometimes I wouldn’t run hard. I learned real quick you couldn’t do that. My managers were a little bit different.”

This is what everybody has to realize about Rollins: some bad comes with the good. The good is one of the best defensive shortstops in baseball and a hitter that entered Friday ranked ninth out of 23 shortstops with a .714 OPS.

Yes, even with Rollins leading the big leagues with 34 infield pop ups he is one of the more productive shortstops in the game.

But the hustle is maddening. Because while not everybody can win a World Series, National League MVP Award, three Gold Gloves and make three All-Star teams like Rollins, even the least talented player in the game can run hard to first base. (It should be noted here that no player has talked to Rollins about it.)

Rollins was asked if he worries he might taint his legacy because of it.

“No, not really,” he said. “They’re isolated incidents. From maybe my third year it was already something. Actually, my first year. Let’s be real. It was always something. That’s the decision people will make. The further you get away from something all that stuff seems to go away anyway.”

It will go away if Rollins keeps running hard, but the reality is there might be other instances like this in the future.

“I think he’ll change for periods of time,” Manuel said. “But he’ll probably always fall back into something like that. There again, that doesn’t mean you let it go. You don’t let it pass.”

And that is why Manuel would not be shocked to see Rollins jog to first base again before the end of the season.

“The only thing about Jimmy is I don’t want to try to have to make Jimmy run,” he said. “I want Jimmy to want to run. I want Jimmy to want to run because you’re supposed to run and you should run. That’s what baseball is all about.”

13 Comments

I can understand Jimmy’s frustration. He’s popping up for a few reasons.
#1 the location of the pitches he swings at
#2 he uppercuts pitches ans the high fastball out of the zone if he hits the ball at all he’s contacting the bottom of the ball with the top part of his bat.Rare for anyone to handle that pitch and get good wood on the ball.
Jimmy is on when he’s banging out line drives.His swing then is remarkable.

Why? He’s popping up for WHAT? Who has control over the location of the pitches he swings at? You’re an idiot.

What you fail to realize is that Rollins NEVER TRIES TO SQUARE THE BALL: he always swings for the fences. His job as a leadoff hitter is to get on base through walks and hits, mostly singles. To do that, he has to hit line drives. He needs to bat .280 or better, get on-base 3/8 of the time, steal bases, stretch singles into doubles and doubles into triples, and occasionally, some balls will BARELY clear the fence. He is INTENTIONALLY trying to hit homers and pitchers ADJUSTED TO HIM. So, he needs to start squaring the ball and TAKING high fastballs. His hits: 75% 1B, 20% 2B, 1% 3B, & 4% HRs (about 9-18 per year). He also needs to score more runs than he drives in and steal bases. He’s NOT doing his job of getting on-base. Charlie and GG fail to see this, it seems.

Ah..He has control of whether he swings at those pitches ,right moron. Maybe you hould learn how to read and think.

I can only aume you’re kidding r never played baseball.

So if you show up on time, hustle, and have ten years or more of major league experience your penciled in every day by Charlie. Simple solutions for simple minds.

“I’m sorry.” That’s a good enough reason to get you back in the lineup, apparently.

Much ado about nothing actually.

Why doesn’t he hustle all the time? Cause he’s lazy by nature. Simple as that.

31,000 fans (and at least a quarter were Phillies phans) on a Friday night in Atlanta, while the team is chasing a playoff berth late in the season. Must have been a lot of high school football games keeping the faithful away.
And it looks like Kimbrel didn’t want to wait until September for his late season meltdown.

The Phills do travel…I’m watching the game and Rliins comes up with the bags loaded and nobody out and what does he do..pop up foul along 1st base .Really disgusted. I don’t think he really wants to play anymore. Is ot possible he signed a contract solely for the money ?

What game were you watching? Rollins was 3-5 with a HR.

“… if you show up on tme, hustle, and have ten years or more of major league experience your [sic] penciled in every day by Charlie.” To that add “and are better than 25 other starting shortstops in MLB” and it actually is a no-brainer. Leave baseball out of it. Look around any work place. There’s value alone in professionals who work hard, show up every day and have years of experience. If they’re also among the best at what they do, then you can “pencil them in” and focus on something else. Managers want to focus on the problem areas. When the guys you count on start slipping, then that’s especially frustrating.

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