Jimmy Rollins Doesn’t Hustle & Why That Bothers Us.

At age 33 , Jimmy Rollins has the resume of a shortstop that most would dream for. A three time All Star, three time Gold Glove winner, MVP, and leader on a World Series winning, perennial powerhouse team in Major League Baseball. So why does he still cause so much discontention and polarization among Phillies fans? You would think the man who coined the term” The team to beat”, the man who lead the team that backed it up with 5 straight divisions, 2 World Series appearances and a World Series title would be held to the same standard as some of the cities greatest athletes of all time, but he’s not. At least not for right now. For all of the good Jimmy Rollins does, all of the clutch hits, diving stops, and bar setting predictions he’s made, there is an at bat he swung at the first pitch out of the zone on. There is a ground ball he didn’t run out, and there is a west coast style smile in a time of despair that reminds us all too well of Donovan Mcnabb. Jimmy Rollins is liked by many, loved by some, but not revered like his resume would suggest. The reason is simple, because for as good as he is, he could be better. He COULD run out ground balls and maybe occasionally beat them out. He could show us that blue collar work ethic we in Philadelphia strive for with that Rocky like hustle, but he doesn’t.  He COULD throw a bat or slam a helmet like Pat Burrell, showing us how much he lives and dies with every pitch, but he doesn’t.He could change his overly aggressive approach and become a consistent .300 hitter we know he is capable of being, but he doesn’t. Jimmy is always going to be the Jimmy HE wants to be. Years from now, we will have a a Wall of Fame ceremony for Jimmy, and his million dollar smile will bring back the greatest of memories. We will see how the positive far outweighs the negative, and how he was the straw the stirred the drink for that 2008 Phillies team that brought us a ring. We will remember that 2007 MVP season when he had a chip on his shoulder so big you could see it popping through your TV or from your seat every single night that season . For now though, we will watch the Jimmy Rollins who at 33 looks like he’s shown them all what he can do and has nothing left to prove. The funny thing about Philadelphia is there is a misconception: We don’t only love winners. We first and foremost love that under appreciated, blue collar, hard worker who put it all out there every day to prove the critics wrong. Somewhere, years from now when we are in a Phillies season that spells nothing but losing and disaster, we will learn to appreciate Jimmy just like we did with Mike Schmidt over time, but for now we will continue to mutter and complain under our breath about the “little things.” One day we will probably realize Jimmys’ greatness is both his strength and weakness. That stubborn I’ll do it my way attitude, but for now we will continue to drive ourselves crazy.

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4 Responses to Jimmy Rollins Doesn’t Hustle & Why That Bothers Us.

  1. SQuigley says:

    Agreed, I have been saying this for a few weeks. If he busts it down the line maybe he beats it out, maybe he forces an error by rushing the infielder, maybe the first basemen drops the ball. Is it too hard to run 90 feet and then go sit back down in the dugout. Jimmy, like many players, seems to have a poor attitude and accepts failure as part of the game.

  2. BMiracle says:

    Just to note: Rollins needs 254 hits to pass Schmidt for the franchise lead. Judging by Rollins’ pace of hitting from his post-MVP-seasons, factoring in a probable amount of rest-days and assuming no trades, retirement, deducted playing time or major injury, then he can be expected to pass Schmidt mid-season 2014. If that isn’t something that will make people step back from the bashing and think about what he’s meant to this franchise, this city, then I do not know what will. Like you said, it is a Schmidt-like relationship for those who don’t see the big picture.

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