Monday, August 18, 2008

Phils, Rollins Come Home To Take Medicine

Maybe Jimmy Rollins should give Mike Schmidt a call to see if he still has that wig Schmitty wore when he ripped the fans way back when.

After a lousy 2 - 5 road trip, the Phils are coming home from California a bedraggled group of underacheivers. That is no exaggeration; they scored only 6 runs over the weekend over the course of 3 games and they are hitting .202 for the month of August so far. And don't forget; all of the pre-season pundits predicted that hitting would be the part of the game that would not leave the Phils this season.

Further compounding issues is their wayward MVP shortstop, Jimmy Rollins, whose ill-timed and inaccurate pronouncements that Philadelphia fans are "front runners" will only exacerbate the emotions of a fanbase who know passionless athletic displays when they see it. This Phillies team has been the model of inconsistency this year and their MVP and leadoff man has been the leader in the clubhouse when it comes to coming up short this season. That Rollins called out the fans is a classic case of denial. If there is one player who needs a healthy dose of introspection, it's Rollins. Relative to last year, he is having a disappointing season replete with high profile benchings for being late and for not hustling. If there is one player who should be keeping his mind on his business on the field instead of what goes on in the stands, it's JRoll.

The fascinating thing to me is that I can think of no other entertainment medium where the performer actually calls out the fans that paid to be in attendence. No where else would this be acceptable; the closest I can think of is the heckler in the comedy club, who gets publicly put down by the comic. Can you imagine movie goers disliking a movie and the star of the movie coming out in the press and ripping the movie going public? That's career suicide, right?

Apparently, it's OK to criticize Philadelphia fans. We've all seen the hack, "they threw snowballs at Santa" articles. Rich Hoffman, a veteran sportswriter who should damned well know better, wrote an article that somehow, Rollins a "victim" who should be allowed to have "his say" when it comes to the fans. A "victim"? Really? Let's review Rollins salary:

2001 Philadelphia Phillies $200,000
2002 Philadelphia Phillies $355,000
2003 Philadelphia Phillies $450,000
2004 Philadelphia Phillies $2,425,000
2005 Philadelphia Phillies $3,850,000
2006 Philadelphia Phillies $5,000,000
2007 Philadelphia Phillies $8,000,000
2008 Philadelphia Phillies $8,000,000

Anytime anyone wants to "victimize" me in this fashion, please give me a call. I'm available, trust me.

Also, Hoffman asserts, Rollins should have his "say". Good. No problem. He has every opportunity in the world to mouth off to the press, like he did on "Best Damned Sports Show". He has the opportunity to speak to the press everynight. But guess what? Because he's having a miserable year, he hasn't been talking much, so says Mike Radano of the Courier-Post.

Rollins has been different this year -- from the third game of the season, when he bailed on a postgame interview session to the countless times when his only postgame comment was "peace and out."

Ok, so he doesn't feel like talking and he's having a bad year, but this is somehow the fault of the fans? Not one fan has struck out this year and not one fan has hit into a rally killing doubleplay or failed to hustle out a ball. But Rollins has. The second you accept money to play a child's game, being criticized and booed is part of the deal. If you don't want to be booed, feel free to give up the paycheck and play slow pitch softball.

But until that day, feel free to shut up and play.


The Phan said...

Nice blog! Let's go Phillies! Gotta sweep the Nats..

GM-Carson said...

Campaign Cheer is in full effect tonight!