Results tagged ‘ Derek Jeter ’

Rollins Is Getting Ready for 2011


Thumbnail image for rollins 0623 2010.jpgIn between lighting the Christmas tree in front of Citizens Bank Park and sitting down for a radio interview today, Jimmy Rollins helped the Phillies sell some six-game ticket plans.

“I’m working on my six pack,” he said, looking into a flip cam. “You can get yours at phillies.com.”

The sales pitch worked in more ways than one. Phillies fans also are curious about Rollins’ health following a disappointing 2010. He played just 87 games because of hamstring and calf injuries and when he played he struggled. He hit .243 with eight home runs, 41 RBIs and a .694 on-base-plus-slugging percentage, which was his lowest OPS since 2002 (.686). Rollins, who is entering the final year of a six-year, $46.5 million contract, is confident he will bounce back.

“If I’m healthy,” Rollins said. “Well, I am going to be healthy, so yes. All I have to do is stay healthy. I’ll produce.”

Why is he so confident?

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They Are Who We Thought They Were

werth 0624 2010.jpgJayson Werth said something following yesterday’s 12-3 victory over Cleveland that made a lot of sense to me:

“Honestly, the standings and all that stuff make no difference right now. What we did in ’07 and ’08 coming down the stretch, we made up a lot of games in not a whole lot of time. There’s no reason to worry or get too upset. We’re the same team that’s done what we’ve done the last three or four years here, and I think some people need to remember that.”

In other words, the Phillies do this every year so why flip out?

The Phillies just swept the Indians. They have won six of their last eight games. They enter this weekend’s series against the Blue Jays just 2 1/2 games behind the Braves and just 2 games behind the Mets in the NL East — and that’s after playing poorly for more than a month. Now I’m not saying the worst is behind the Phillies. I’m not saying they’re making the playoffs. But the panicking over the offense — Make a trade! Release somebody! Call up Domonic Brown! — that seemed crazy to me a couple weeks ago seems a little sillier today.

Werth is hitting .857 (6-for-7) with one home run and three RBIs in his past two games, and .395 (15-for-38) with two doubles, three home runs, 10 RBIs and eight walks in 12 games since June 10. Combine his recent turnaround with Chase Utley hitting .394 in his last nine games, Ryan Howard hitting .417 in his last six games, Raul Ibanez hitting .300 in his last 14 games, and Jimmy Rollins returning to the lineup, and it’s easy to understand why the Phillies are playing better.

Slumps happen, folks.

Derek Jeter was hitting .189 with three homers and 17 RBIs in 43 games through May 25, 2004. Everybody in New York freaked. He hit .336 with 20 homers and 61 RBIs the rest of the season to finish at .292. Mark Teixeira hit .191 with seven homers and 17 RBIs in 29 games through May 12 last season. He hit .315 with 32 homers and 105 RBIs the rest of the way. And who can forget that Rollins hit just .205 with six homers and 27 RBIs through 70 games last season? He hit .288 with 15 homers and 50 RBIs the rest of the way — his .334 on-base percentage and .510 slugging percentage better than his career average.

And let’s not forget this: the Phillies are a second half team under Charlie Manuel. They were 229-217 (.513) before the All-Star break from 2005-09, which ranked 11th in baseball. They were 218-146 (.599) after the All-Star break, which ranked third in baseball and first in the National League.

I’m not saying it will happen again, but until they don’t there is no reason to think it won’t.

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The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter. His Phillies book “The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly” is available online, and at Delaware Valley bookstores!

Who's Your Daddy?

martinez 2004 alcs.jpg

It’s the Yankees vs. Pedro Martinez in Game 2.

Who’s your daddy? We’ll find out.

Here is what the Yankees had to say about Martinez facing his nemesis:

Johnny Damon

“Five years ago, Pedro and I accomplished something awesome. We get to face each other in the World Series. Only one of us is going to be the winner, and hopefully it’s me. I’m sure it’s going to be crazy, but our fans are going to be behind our team so they’d like to rattle Pedro. But I think Pedro has said it time and time before that a kid coming from where he grew up in the Dominican Republic, he’s able to have the world focus on him. He’s definitely come a long way since he started playing baseball.”

Does he think Pedro will thrive in this situation? “Let’s hope not. Pedro knows how to handle himself. Pedro was the best pitcher in this league for many years. He knows what it takes to be in the spotlight. He’s thrived in the spotlight before. Our job is to try to beat him. The way he pitched against the Dodgers, he looked pretty special. That’s not what we want to say.”

Does he think the ‘Who’s your daddy?’ chants bothered him? “I don’t think so. I think Pedro knows how to be dominating out there. He knows how to rise to the occasion. He feeds off of it.”

Jorge Posada

“Hopefully, we get to him like we did with the Red Sox.”

Derek Jeter

“Is he pitching Game 2? He’s always enjoyed playing here and pitching here. He’s had success here, too. I’m sure he’s looking forward to it. He’s always been a challenge for us, whether it was Boston or the Mets. He enjoys being in the spotlight and pitching in these games and he’s always been tough and I’m sure he’s going to be a huge challenge for us.”

What comes to mind when thinking about facing Pedro? (Laughs) “A lot of things come to mind. Some things I can’t say. He’s a competitor. He’s a guy when we were facing Boston all those years, he’s a guy that you looked forward to facing. You didn’t want to do it, but you looked forward to facing him because he was a challenge. Pedro is going to go down as one of the best pitchers to ever play this game. What he did, especially for the Red Sox all those years, we had a lot of battles with him. You always look forward to that challenge, even though it’s a tough challenge.”

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The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter.

J-Roll Picks the Phillies in Five

Jimmy Rollins picks the Phillies to win the World Series in five games, six if they’re nice. I picked them to win in six.

What did Derek Jeter think about this?

“He’s a nice guy so at least he gave us six if he’s going to be nice,” Jeter said. “I got no comment on that. Jimmy likes to have fun. He likes to have fun and joke around.”

Rollins predicted a Phillies-Yankees World Series earlier this year in Playboy magazine.

“He got us. This is what he wanted,” Jeter said.

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The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter.

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