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Thursday, March 13, 2014

Phils’ Rollins, Sandberg yet to talk

Shortstop Jimmy Rollins isn’t sure why he’s been benched by the Philadelphia Phillies and says manager Ryne Sandberg still hasn’t given him an explanation.

Rollins, 35, who has played all 14 of his major league seasons with Philadelphia, was left out of the lineup for Grapefruit League games Tuesday and Wednesday and again is missing from Thursday’s lineup versus the New York Yankees.

Rollins said former manager Charlie Manuel would always talk to him when he wasn’t in the lineup, but that isn’t the case with Sandberg, who took over for Manuel last August. Rollins called it an “unusual” situation but he said he didn’t want to speculate on why he isn’t playing.

“Obviously he’s upset about something,” Rollins said in reference to Sandberg. “That doesn’t mean it’s over the course of spring training, it could have been one specific incident. But he’s upset about it. That’s something when he’s ready, he’ll let me know.”

In other old school news, bench coach Larry Bowa said Ryan Howard has cooties and called Chase Utley a heinie-head.

eddieot Posted: March 13, 2014 at 03:45 PM | 23 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: jimmy rollins, old school, phillies, ryne sandberg

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. valuearbitrageur Posted: March 13, 2014 at 04:41 PM (#4671074)
Just when I thought the Phillies were going to be bad and boring this year, thank you Mr. Sandberg, this train wreck is going to be great!
   2. Hang down your head, Tom Foley Posted: March 13, 2014 at 04:44 PM (#4671075)
Sandberg assumes Rollins is sleeping with his wife.
   3. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: March 13, 2014 at 05:20 PM (#4671103)
Sandberg assumes Rollins is sleeping with his wife.

I thought that only worked if you could come onto her asking if she'd like to smoke a Cuban cigar.
   4. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: March 13, 2014 at 05:25 PM (#4671105)
Has it not occurred to Mr. Rollins to, you know, ask?
   5. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: March 13, 2014 at 05:57 PM (#4671135)
He practicing for not playing during the season.

Jimmy Rollins' 2015 option for $11 million will vest if he makes 434 plate appearances this season.
   6. BochysFingers Posted: March 13, 2014 at 06:32 PM (#4671163)
Wait a minute, did the season start when I wasn't paying attention? Surely he can't be complaining about not starting... for a Spring Training game?
   7. f_cking sick and tired of being 57i66135 Posted: March 13, 2014 at 06:38 PM (#4671169)
two things:
1, an angry jimmy rollins is much more likely to be productive than a happy jimmy rollins. he definitely plays better with a chip on his shoulder/when he's trying to prove someone wrong.

and 2, jimmy does not seem like he's getting very angry about this. that's not a good sign.
   8. Walt Davis Posted: March 13, 2014 at 06:50 PM (#4671173)
Surely he can't be complaining about not starting... for a Spring Training game?

It doesn't sound like he's "complaining" about that per se, he's "complaining" that he hasn't been told why he's not.

And it's apparently three straight spring training games. Keeping a healthy starting player out of games for 3 straight days is an odd way to help them prepare for the season.

Has it not occurred to Mr. Rollins to, you know, ask?

Doesn't work this way it seems. If Sandberg's sending a message ... when a manager sits a player like this, it's supposed to be obvious to the player why he's sitting. Then it might be incumbent on the player to approach the manager to say sorry, it won't happen again, I'll work on it, etc. Apparently Rollins doesn't know what he's done to piss off Sandberg in which case it would behoove Sandberg to tell him. Of course it's also possible Rollins knows exactly what Sandberg's pissed about and it's a test of wills. But from the quotes, he sounds more befuddled than pissed.
   9. dejarouehg Posted: March 13, 2014 at 07:02 PM (#4671179)
Being a huge fan of Sandberg since he was a rookie, i am really Disappointed if the facts as written are correct. If you have a beef with somebody, be a man and just tell him what it is. The silent treatment b.s. is husband and wife stuff.
   10. RMc's Unenviable Situation Posted: March 13, 2014 at 07:19 PM (#4671186)
Sandberg should be removed from the HoF for this, and replaced by Lou Whitaker. Because racism.
   11. The District Attorney Posted: March 13, 2014 at 07:19 PM (#4671187)
Knowing absolutely nothing about the situation, my inclination is to think that Howard/Utley/Rollins have long been treated deferentially even by "baseball star" standards, and that a new manager needs to thread the extremely fine needle of asserting his authority over them without pissing them off.

* This is hopefully exactly the sort of area where the credibility bestowed by being Legendary Hall Of Famer Ryne Sandberg comes in handy.
** It should be less of an issue with Utley because he's by far the best player of the group and there's no reason to change or reduce his role. Maybe they'll want to move Utley to another position one day and he won't want to, but we're not there yet.

   12. Select Storage Device Posted: March 13, 2014 at 09:41 PM (#4671239)
Though I knew what the headline meant, I still held a prayer it would be about Henry.
   13. Select Storage Device Posted: March 13, 2014 at 09:44 PM (#4671242)
A quick Google search says that I am not above a hack blogger, or SEO.
   14. Select Storage Device Posted: March 13, 2014 at 09:45 PM (#4671244)

Look, I live in Colorado.
   15. stevegamer Posted: March 14, 2014 at 02:36 AM (#4671287)
Utley really has never been a problem player attitude wise in Philly. The biggest thing he's ever done to "upset the apple cart", so to speak, is say "World F****** Champions" when absolutely nobody was prepared for it. And nobody was pissed at that, expect for those who had to deal with him sneaking the f-bomb in.

Manuel really did a great job dealing with players, and letting them know what was going on. Sandberg will probably never get to be as good at it as Manuel was, especially if he's not communicating at this point. He wasn't really deferential, just really a straight shooter with the players. And he absolutely got a raw deal last year.

Everything I see/hear shows a confused Rollins, which is a bad thing. Sandberg doesn't have any credibility bestowed upon him as a manger from his playing career, and he's following the best manager the Phillies have ever had - or darn close to it.

   16. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: March 14, 2014 at 09:25 AM (#4671347)
This is shades of the Bobby Valentine/Kevin Youkilis situation in Boston. At some point a player whether a star or not deserves a fair measure of communication crom his manager. Sandberg doesn't have to kiss Rollins' ass but it's not that tough to pull him aside and tell him what's going on, particularly when that is what Rollins is used too. If Sandberg wants to go a step further and tell Rollins that in the future he probably won't give him a heads up for whatever reason that's fine too but the way this is being described it sounds like Ryno ain't exactly killing it in the communication department so far.
   17. Textbook Editor Posted: March 14, 2014 at 09:40 AM (#4671363)
Jose--Youkilis was never accused of "dogging it" or half of the "attitude" things leveled at Rollins over the last few years, so the parallel is not an exact one. Rollins is really a shell of his former self and with the option for 2015 kicking in at ~430 PA, I can see where Sandberg's been given marching orders to do a Galvis job-share with Rollins at SS if at all humanly possible. Rollins won't be on the next Phillies team that makes the playoffs, and it's insane to pay him the money he's owed in 2015 should the option kick in, so really this is all setting up where Rollins & Galvis platoon at SS all year.

At this point, only nutso Phillies fans want Rollins around in 2015 on that salary, so the fanbase (finally) should be behind this move. Far, far, far too much deference has been given to Rollins the last few years, especially about his ridiculous "need" to bat leadoff instead of where he should be hitting (6th-7th-8th) based on his production and OBP.

Amaro gets killed (rightly so!) for the Howard extension, but when all is said and done it's possible the Rollins extension will return less WAR/$ than the Howard one will, even taking into account the year Howard lost to injury... I'd almost put the Rollins extension up as the 2nd stupidest thing Amaro's done, and there's a lot of moves jockeying for that designation.
   18. GregD Posted: March 14, 2014 at 09:52 AM (#4671381)
I assume like #17 that Sandberg is intending to piss people off. That's a more common management strategy in sports than in regular offices. Whether it's a good one, I dunno, but I'm not positive that sports teams can only work on a modern HR communication model. One thing baseball managers are always working against is complacency; my understanding is that Casey kept everybody guessing specifically to get them on their toes, except for the guys he didn't worry about. Obviously you can end up going too far--Martin!--but even then it can have a good short-term effect. There's much more churn in sports than in other fields so I'm not sure building a work force happy over the long term is a goal.

The bigger point is Textbook's. Rollins is not a very good player and--leaving aside the subjective question of his "hustle"--he makes absurd and counter-productive demands on the team. Sending him the message now that he's not calling the shots is a good one. Sending the other players the message that the Phillies aren't going to be an old-folks home with lifetime achievement awards is also good for keeping the young players motivated. It isn't going to breed short-term happiness in the clubhouse, that's a lot less important than making the transition.
   19. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: March 14, 2014 at 10:25 AM (#4671428)
Manuel really did a great job dealing with players, and letting them know what was going on. Sandberg will probably never get to be as good at it as Manuel was, especially if he's not communicating at this point.

I'm pretty sure that if you look up "players' manager" in the mythical baseball dictionary, you'll find a picture of Chollie. And since the CW has always been that when you fire a players' manager you should replace him with a redass, I don't think Sandberg was hired to be as good at it as Manuel was. Because if you look up "slave to CW" you'll find a picture of RA.
   20. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: March 14, 2014 at 10:55 AM (#4671468)
TE - The issue in my mind is not so much that Rollins should be starting or anything like that but there is a right and a wrong way to handle the situation. It seems based on the little I've read on the topic that Sandberg has not handled it as well as he should have. If he wants Galvis in there every day or whatever that's fair but a conversation with Rollins seems in order. It's not about kowtowing or being a player's manager or anything like that, it is just basic management skills.
   21. Textbook Editor Posted: March 14, 2014 at 11:02 AM (#4671473)
According to this Sandberg pulled him aside Thursday to explain, which--I agree, Jose--is likely at least a day or two too late, unless Sandberg aspires to Jose Mourinho-level mind games (which he's sure to fail at in comparison).

   22. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: March 14, 2014 at 11:30 AM (#4671506)
Thanks for the link. And let's face facts, it's March 15th in Ryno's first year as MLB manager. That he erred here does not mean he's doomed to be a disaster. If he learns from this that can turn this into a positive long term.
   23. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: March 14, 2014 at 11:58 AM (#4671533)
When I first read the headline, I thought maybe Sandberg and Rollins hadn't spoken a word to each other for the entirety of Spring Training. That'd be pretty funny.

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