Rollins Will Hold a Jayson Werth-like Press Conference Tomorrow

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After the loss on Friday night, the Phillies told reporters that Jimmy Rollins would hold a media session at some point this week. Last night, on Twitter, J-Roll™ hinted that it might be on Tuesday… or at least not Monday. Why? [UPDATE: Tomorrow at noon]

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Ah, a showman. J-Roll™ wants maximum coverage for his presser. Plus, he's golfing today.

Here’s the deal: Rollins told SI.com’s Jon Heyman that he wants a five-year contract, something the Phillies would be foolish to give him. Not totally unlike Derek Jeter, Rollins and his agent are probably going to draw on a number of ancillary factors when they try to demonstrate J-Roll’s™ value to the organization as a whole. They’ll likely bring up the fact that Rollins is the longest tenured Phillie and played a pivotal role in the team’s recent success. Rollins demonstrated these talking points when he told Marshall Harris, on CSN, that his 2007 “team to beat” statement may have been the single most important factor in helping the Phillies achieve five straight division titles. 

If you don’t think this is all part of a plan for Rollins and his agent, you’re wrong. A few weeks ago, Rollins asked fans to tell him when they became such "fantastic" fans. A number of “team to beat” answers filtered in.

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Then his PR folks had fans take part in this weird We Love You, Jimmy video (which is pretty much the only video on “JimmyRollinsTV” that hasn’t been promoted in some fashion) outside of Citi Field in New York last month.

There’s a reason for all of this.

Rollins is 32 and his been injured in each of the last two seasons. His .344/.531/.875 and .349/.437/.786 slash lines in 2007 and 2008 have taken a downturn in 2010 and 2011: .320/.374/.694 and .338/.399/.736, respectively. Not to mention that his doubles totals have gone from 38 in both 2007 and 2008 to 16 and 22 in the last two seasons. His triples? Even worse: from 20 and 9 in 2007 and 2008 to 3 and 2 in 2010 and 2011. Only his fielding can still be considered an attribute among the best in the league.

So, where to turn? Value.

Last year, Jeter got himself a substantial bonus because the Yankees basically had to keep him around- he was and is the face of their franchise. Ticket, jersey, and merchandise sales all roll up to make a guy like Jeter worth more to the bottom line than he is to the win column. Presumably, Rollins and his agent will try to build a similar case. Don’t think that “team to beat” comment won’t come up in negotiations. Don’t think that We Love You, Jimmy video won’t be played. Don’t think the notion of Rollins being owed some money for past success won’t play a part. And don’t think Rollins won’t point to sales of that ugly t-shirt and, yes, even his follower count on Twitter to demonstrate why the Phillies, as a business, can’t afford to lose him. Here’s the problem, though: as someone who does this whole sports blogging thing for a living, it’s pretty obvious to me that more than half of you don’t want to see Rollins return, if he carries with him a high price tag. And his value as a marketing asset is nowhere near the level of Halladay, Lee, Utley, or even Victorino, Howard, and Pence. 

So, you can expect a lot of “here’s what I accomplished” talk tomorrow, but not too much discussion about his .268 batting average in 2011. Also, this will be “the Phillies’ decision”:

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31 Responses

  1. He has such a misplaced sense of entitlement. He thinks he deserves Jeter cash for accomplishing about half as much and by being about half as important to the publicity aspect. I, for one, unfollowed J-Roll because he tweets like a douche and basically I hate his whole attitude when it comes to baseball. It’s not about the fucking money, it’s about being in a town where you can succeed and not swinging at THE FIRST MOTHERFUCKING PITCH. goodbye, asshole.

  2. I hate to fill this board up with crazy talk, but can either Rollins or Utley play third? As the franchise looks towards the future and both these players begin to slow, a move to third may be a legitimate option. Jimmy has been swinging (inappropriately) for the fences for the past 2+ years. Jimmy is not a traditional lead-off hitter. Jimmy is fricken awesome though. I wonder if he moved to third and tried to put on 10-15 pounds if he could remain viable as less of a triple/average guy and more of a fielding/slugging 3rd baseman.

  3. Utley can’t play third; he’s left handed. In all of mlb history, you can probably count the number of left handed third basemen on one hand.

  4. I don’t understand all the Rollins hate. Do any of you actually remember the days back when the Phillies sucked? Jimmy played a big part in turning this team around. I get that he’s the most vocal out of the “core” group of guys that turned the team around and that puts him out there for a lot of criticism, but the guy’s been playing for under his value for his whole career here. If he gets a reasonable extension (no more than 3 years), I’d gladly have him stay here. If not, then I wish him nothing but the best and thank him for everything he contributed to the team for the past 11 seasons. I don’t have a problem with him trying to maximize his value at all, it’s his right to do so after all of these years.

  5. @mk- he throws right handed, but still unlikely
    Kyle, can you or anyone else who is literally pushing J-Roll out the door offer any idea as to who the hell would play short in his place? Even with his decreased numbers he means a lot more to the lineup than people are giving him credit for.
    If he leaves you are talking about the possibility of having a below-average shortstop on the same side of the field as an aging, broken down Polanco. I think the Phillies need to suck it up and pay him- there are no other options.

  6. @Dan
    Chase’s throws are a comedy of errors from 2nd base, I can only imagine what would happen if you triple or quadruple the distance you’re asking him to throw the ball.

  7. Some other stats you forgot to include:
    Rank among shortstops in 2012:
    4th in steals
    11th in OPS
    8th in RBI (as a leadoff hitter)
    5th in HR
    Oh and all the other guys above him (Tulo, Asdrubal, Castro, Peralta, Hardy, etc.) are all already locked up. And we can’t afford Reyes.
    It’s easy for your numbers to decrease when you are using an MVP season as a benchmark- a downgrade from those still puts him as a top 5-8 shortstop in the league when you include his defense.

  8. I was on the fence with Jimmy – until he Twitted (spelling intended) that the fans were too quiet in Game 2.
    Fuck him. 200 st8 sellouts (at outrageous prices so those dolts can live in mansions and fly private jets) and that muther-fukker complains.
    Go to the Marlins and play in front of 6,500 (mostly tourists) spectators.
    He only hit 19 points higher than Valdez and Valdez is a much better SS.
    Adios you little jerkoff.

  9. The Phils tried Utley at third the first time that Polanco was here, because Polanco was our 2nd baseman at the time, and Chase at third was epic Phail. Polanco was traded then….

  10. @ Deezy/”muscles”
    Chase Utley is a saint, slow your roll right now. If “yous guys” don’t like Utley at third what about J-roll.

  11. The problem with J-Roll, is that he let his two good seasons go to his head, and he has this California kid attitude of thinking he is greater than he is. He at NO point in his career was UNDERPAID to deserve payment NOW. He had ONE GREAT season, which just happened to be the year he made a claim, AFTER he was asked and had no choice but to answer the way he did. It’s not like he just came out and proclaimed we were the team to beat….he is a GOOD player, but everything about him is overstated and overrated to make him seem better than what he is.

  12. Phillies need a shake-up, even if it means a downgrade at SS. If that young kid is ready to play, let’s get him experience. Apparently he was ready to field in the pros at 14 and he had a great minor league season hitting. Bye J-Roll.

  13. I say if J-roll wants more than 3 yrs he has to go.
    Unless Amaro can get Reyes I would keep Jroll for 3yrs contract only.
    Anything more than 3 yrs would be foolish for the Phillies to do and thus J-roll should go.

  14. First: Stop. Chase can’t play short. Just. Stop.
    Second: You offer J-Roll a nice, respectable contract right around the mark of 3 years with a vested 4th year option, and if he balks at it, you tell him to go talk to “moneyball”. The Giants will sign Reyes. That is going to happen.
    I’m sad to see you go Jimmy. Thanks for some great memories. We’ll see you in 5 or so years, when we retire #11 in red pinstripes.
    face

  15. DM, I bet you think Ryan Howard is worth every penny as well, and there was nothing wrong with him playing out every AB in the LDS. Jimmy was great. I give him credit for turning this team around, along with Utley, Charlie, Hamels… Blah, blah, blah. He’s been underpaid, yada yada. And he’s an amazing Jeter-esque player who simply CAN’T put on another uniform…
    But here’s the thing, guy…
    1. Jeter, my ass. The Pinstripe 2 jersey is arguably the most recognizable piece of player memorabelia in sports. Period. If not, it’s at least THE most recognized of an active player. In all of professional sports. World Wide. The end.
    Oh yeah, last time I checked, as much a part of the core of this team as Jimmy was, he didn’t help bring 5 titles to the city. One. He also has 9 less All Star appearances and one less each All Star and Series MVP. (Which totals no MVPs, to Jeter’s one of each.) Jeter had 5 full seasons more time with the team before re-signing last off-season. Get off the “Jimmy is Philly’s Jeter” argument. It just doesn’t add up.
    2. There is no such thing as paying a player for what he’s already done in his career if it’s going to hurt you in the future. Jimmy is on the decline. FACT. If you pay him what he wants, for the amount of time he wants, and he doesn’t get hurt every year like he has been, you’re stuck with him in your lineup almost every day. I don’t like that, not one single bit. His offense has declined, and while his defense has made up for his ‘unorthodox’ leadoff role, that is also declining. Not for nothin, but last year when Valdez was your every day SS, how much of a difference, on both sides, did you really see? Five years is too long. It’s about 3 years too long, if you ask me. Especially when you’ve had substantial stints on the DL over the past 3 seasons.
    Sure, someone will be willing to over-pay for him (See also: Nationals/Jayson Werth 2010 off-season deal). Just like I did with Jay Dub, I will wish him well when it happens, so long as he absolutely sucks when he comes back to Philly. But we have entirely too much depth, and entirely not enough need for his antics to put out that kind of money on that kind of contract.

  16. As long as RAJ concentrates on resigning hamels this team wins the division again next year regardless of who’s playing short. In order to compete this team needs to stay centered on pitching and upgrade the bullpen. All of these “athletes” have lower body issues in thier early 30’s? That being said, look at what Ibanez did this year with stepping up his core and lower body training. You hit with your legs and all these guys need to step up the effort on the pins in the offseason and make sure they’re hitting off a solid foundation next year.

  17. No Joe, I’m actually not in the “Ryan Howard is worth every cent of his contract” camp at all. I think that his contract is probably the worst in franchise history. I also don’t see Rollins as a Jeter-esque franchise player that deserves more money now because he’s been underpaid for his tenure here and shouldn’t put on another uniform because he *is* the Phillies either. That’s crazy talk. But I do thank the man for his contributions over the past 11 seasons and wouldn’t mind him staying, even though I know he’s probably going to be gone soon. I also wouldn’t be surprised if he did wind up with a team like the Nationals, since they proved last off-season that they’re willing to grossly overpay an aging player to a ridiculous contract.
    All I was trying to say is that I don’t get all of the hatred towards the guy. I know it’s because he has a big fucking mouth, but that’s never really bothered me. I wish him the best and thank him for his service. Now if he goes to another team and starts smack talking the Phillies organization, then fine, he can go fuck off, but until then I’m not going to hate on the guy.

  18. This continues a pattern of Lunations triggering the Grand Irrationality. Last month the Sun biseptiled Pluto; this month the Moon septiles Neptune. So it’s more of the same of what we’ve been dealing with since all the planets from the Moon through Jupiter crossed the Aries zone of the Grand Irrationality, followed by the June 2011 Solar Eclipse in the Gemini zone. At least we’re done with the Cardinal T-squares for a while!

  19. For a long time I covered up the neighbor’s chain-link fence with Morning Glories. A fabulous show. Granted, one afternoon I heard a little child ask her Mommy “What are those plants on that lady’s fence?” and Mommy answered “Weeds,” but that sting went away by the next morning.

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