Friday, August 31, 2012

Rollins in the dog house again, run hard all the time


Jimmy Rollins again is making the headlines for not running to first base with some steam behind him.

Yesterday afternoon, the Phillies played the Mets and Jimmy hit a very high fly into the infield at Citizens Bank Park. Normally, 9.9 times out of 10, this ball is caught. Not on this day though, and even though Rollins made a strong jog to first upon hitting it, it still appeared that he wasn't going full out on this hit.

 This was the pop up hit by Rollins that sailed into the high sky at CBP

Most runners probably wouldn't have just started running as if they've hit a hot shot down third base, and had to get down the line to beat a throw. Rollins threw his bat in disgust and started on down the line, which if the ball had been caught, no one would have said anything.

The pop-up wasn't even dropped yet, and Rollins was just about at first base

So, the Mets drop an infield fly and Rollins is in the dog house again, as he was pulled out of this game and benched by Charlie Manuel. Yes, the play made Jimmy Rollins look bad, and he brought it on himself. Had he just put his head down and started running, he wouldn't be in this mess right now, again.

Is what Jimmy did a lack of respect for his manager or team? I don't think that is the case, Rollins simply made a mistake and made himself look bad in the process. It was only discovered by a dropped ball in the infield. Any other time, the ball is caught and yes, Rollins did run down to first, just not a all out jam down the line.

Rollins has ignited some fans who have been on the fence about some of Jimmy Rollins base running habits over this past season. The range of responses were that we should be replacing him with someone that hustles more, and hustles all of the time.

Columnist David Murphy from the Philadelphia Daily News, made several points on a post game show about Rollins and offered up the opinion that perhaps the Phillies could replace Rollins at lead off position with another player, but defended Rollins as a valuable member of the team.

Jimmy Rollins knows how to hustle, he's a proven superstar who is also a NL MVP, he knows about hustling and that's what got him to the MLB. In the past two years, he's had a few poor judgements on his part. Yes, after you hit that 500th pop up to he infield, your brain probably tells your legs, 'This is an out.' And that probably what Jimmy has fallen into, believing that he can let up a little and not go all out, when possibly he doesn't have to.

The problem with that mentality about not going all out, is that it is seen by players, and fans at the game and it's easy to spot. It's a bit more difficult to see on tv, because most of the time, the camera follows the ball and not the runner, but last night on the broadcast of the game, the announcers themselves spotted it and pointed it out for everyone at home as well.

Being a pro athlete has responsibilities, and Rollins broke one yesterday afternoon. You hustle out every play, and hustle all the time. No one will ever fault you for hustling but they'll be all over you the minute you don't. This isn't Sunday afternoon softball when we just skip around and jog to the next base. Rollins knows this, but somehow he trusted his inner voice that told him, 'Ah, this is just an infield fly, it's going to be an out' - hopefully this voice inside him isn't trusted anymore and he just overrides the situation with hustle, and we know Jimmy can do that.

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