Good Lord, Jimmy Rollins Is a Yammering Mess

Jimmy Rollins. Superstar. Photo credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports
Jimmy Rollins. Superstar. Photo credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

Jimmy Rollins spoke at length to the bow tie man himself, little baby Ken Rosenthal. I’m assuming both men spent the interview standing on wooden lifts in front of a life-size cutout of Kevin Hart just to make themselves feel tall. Rollins, for his part, said many things, only some of which I dislike:

Q: What do you feel like now that you no longer are in Philly?

A: Free. I feel like I’m free to be myself without someone on my shoulder. Obviously, everyone has parameters and limits. You have to play within the boundaries. But when you’re a leader, rules are a little different for you. When you’re a superstar, rules are a little different. You’re held to a higher standard, which I love. But it brings added pressure. Which I love. But if someone buds, let ’em bud. Instead of trying to keep ’em within this framework. Just let ’em be who they are at that moment.

The general area, the city [of Philadelphia] being blue-collar, it’s not conducive for a superstar. You can be good, but you’ve got to be blue-collar along the way, keep your mouth shut, just go and work. Where obviously, this is LA. It’s almost like it’s OK to be more flamboyant. You kind of appreciate that the more you’re out there. Because LA loves a star.

So in that sense, I feel free. If I want to “show out” a little bit — from the outside looking in, people might say, “You’re in Hollywood.” But no, in some places you couldn’t do that.

Q: I remember when you said the Phillies would beat the Mets (Before the 2007 season, Rollins said, “I think we’re the team to beat — finally. But, that’s only on paper.” The Phillies had finished 12 games behind the Mets the previous year.) There were only a few times you said stuff that was perceived as controversial.

A: See, that stuff I don’t see as controversial. I don’t perceive that as controversial at all. That was fun. But don’t get me wrong. That’s pressure. What did I say that was so crazy? Everyone wants to win. You ask anyone in our clubhouse. We think it’s our turn. I didn’t think that was controversial.

The knee-jerk reaction here is that you’re supposed to hate this. But you know what? Love it. Generally speaking, Jimmy’s right– we hate individuality unless it’s in the context of being absurdly working man (see: Werth comma Jayson’s hair, Phillies comma 1993). People did make too much of his team to beat comment. CSN, for years, treated it like he declared war on Iran, like it was some crazy proclamation that scared the masses, some of whom undoubtedly wanted the fight.

My issue is that Rollins speaks so openly about being a “superstar.” I think that label’s a bit much, but whatevs. There are, however, only a handful of athletes that can talk about that sort of thing without seeming douchey or overly desirous of putting themselves in that pantheon– guys like LeBron James, Derek Jeter. Rollins isn’t at that level. Speaking freely about the burden of being a “superstar” is exactly the sort of thing that prevented him from becoming fully embraced in this city. And this, too:

Q: Some people felt at times that you acted too much like a superstar. That you weren’t always on time. That sometimes, you didn’t hustle. Did you feel that? Was any of that true in your mind?

A: The superstar part, not even close. On time? When I was late, I got benched. On time, if stretch is at 4:05 and you have to be there at 3, yeah, I’m late. I’m not getting there at 3. Some people get to the clubhouse at 1, but they’re playing cards, nothing to do with baseball. That wasn’t me. If stretch is at 4:20 and I’m walking in at 4 o’clock, I’m on time. Once I get there, I’m about baseball — stretch, batting practice, my cage work. I’m not sitting around hanging out. That was never me. That wasn’t my M.O.

Hustling? Hit the ball to second base, 70 percent is what I gave. When I hit it to the left side, I can’t really see, so I usually run a little run harder, because I don’t know what’s going on. But when it’s in front of me, that’s how it was.

The struggle, of running 90 feet to first and showing up at 3 p.m. to sit around, play cards and watch film, is real.

Read the full thing here.

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31 Responses

  1. Is anyone else sick of hearing that Philadelphia is a blue collar town?

    Its not the 1970s anymore, 4 poor doo-wop singers aren’t huddled around a burning trash can fire, and our economy isn’t based on dock workers and prostitution.

    1. I think you’re mixing up the definitions of blue collar and economically depressed. One of my favorite things about the people of the Greater Philadelphia area is that for the most part everyone has had to work hard to get where they are and that work ethic has been passed down to the next generation…I think there are very few cities whose people work as hard as Philadelphians and I love how that translates toward sports fandom

      1. I hear what you’re saying, I just think Philadelphia has evolved beyond the “blue collar” definition. We’re more then the “Carry your lunch to work” description, we’re sophisticated, engaged in the arts, dare I say classy. But that all takes a back seat to the media label of either fans that throw snowballs at (drunk) Santa or blue collar.

        Maybe I just don’t like “hard working and passionate” being associated ONLY to “blue collar”, maybe I just got white guilt and need to shut the fuck up. I think I’ll go with the latter…

        1. this is the most intelligent discourse I have read in the comments at CB, ever. Well done. Back to your regularly scheduled programming

    2. Picking on the poor prostitutes. Hater.

      Next thing you’ll be saying is that the escort /outcall services girls are to blame for the Phillies’ demise. They always run to second base.

      1. I did not disparage our most time honored profession, I just merely pointed out that our economy is totally based on it… You know, like Vegas.

        1. I hope others like me appreciate the fact that you took the time to add a t-bone steak as your profile pick.

  2. Never forget being behind j roll at kop mall
    & he was walking at a snails pace. Was driving me nuts walking up his ass & I couldn’t maneuver around him

  3. The lack of hustle on a grouder to 2nd doesn’t really bother me, it just makes you appreciate the guys who run full steam all the more. How many extra runs over the years did we eek out because Rollins turned it up a notch? The guy had a great career here, was a fantastic glove, and had some big clutch hits over the years (2009 NLCS). And he’s gone; stop breaking his balls (Angelo) about BS that has no relevance to the current state of the team.

    Also, lol, ‘4 poor doo-wop singers huddled around a trash fire’.

  4. It’s dumb for fans to criticize him for not running out groundballs when he had a clear injury history with his legs and that play is like 99.9999999999% an out.

    I don’t think Rollins did this, but I also don’t understand throwing around LeBron James’ name in a discussion about global “superstardom” in a “blue collar town” considering made it big in Cleveland.

  5. I love all 4 Pro Teams in the Philly, but some of the fans can be the biggest idiots sometimes as its embarrassing. Just think, we booed Mike Schmidt during his career! Thats right, this fanbase booed the greatest 3B in the history of Baseball, to the point where he had to wear a wig in 1985 as a joke when he took the field because he was getting booed so much. Then my fellow Eagles fans aren’t much better, as they are one extreme or the other. I still hear idiots call up sports talk radio calling McNabb ‘McChoke’ even though this team hasn’t won a playoff game since they traded him. Now of course McNabb was no Tom Brady or Peyton Manning, but he was still the greatest QB in the history of the team and many (not all) just don’t appreciate him because his has a goofy personality. Even though I grew up here and love all 4 Pro Teams, I don’t know if I would ever want to play here, because its such a fickle fanbase, you don’t know if they will ever appreciate you.

    1. and ron jaworski is an icon in this town even though he really choked in the super bowl throwing 3 INTs and losing to an underdog wildcard team.

    2. schmidt was booed because he choked constantly and hit a ton of homeruns when they meant nothing…down 8-0 or up 8-2……pressure came off him when they added Rose and Schmidt could hide behind Petes prince valiant hair….notice how well he produced those years?

  6. News flash – most athletes are idiots. Who seriously gives a crap what these dudes actually have to say? They don’t, and many have never, experienced life like the majority of us do. They have essentially no perspective and have little introspection.

    Treat them like the dipshits they are and expect that you won’t like what they say. You are supposed to laugh at the intellectual ability of people with a 10th grade education.

    1. I would have to disagree with the comment about them not experiencing life like the majority of us do. I would say that a high % of athletes come from middle class families (most black athletes come from low-middle class). So I would say they do have experiences that are similar to us average folk until they are about 18. After that, they go to college on full scholarships, take bogus classes, have sex with whoever they want, and make millions after that….

      P.S. I have no data whatsoever to back up any of the above information

  7. It’s kind of funny how Philly fans are described and presented in a certain way. “Blue collar” “working class” we want you to “shut and go to work” we don’t want a “superstar personality” we are “demanding” of how we want the players to play.

    All of this BULLSHIT is how we are presented to the population by the MEDIA in this area.
    It’s not us. It’s not how we are. It’s how our media IS. It’s how our media portrays us as well. I do not, and never will buy into any of this bullshit, and i wish nobody else would either. It has saturated into our brains and made us think we are what we are told we are. When in reality we are just the most easily sterotyped population in the country.

  8. BTW, Jimmy is well on his way to a HOF career. For a baseball player that is superstar staus. So, Jimmy is just telling it like it is. You can’t have a problem with that even if it is pretentious.

  9. Kenny Rosenthal is my hero

    His run on sentences are actually longer than mine

    And he went Penn
    Like me

    I love Penn

  10. There aren’t any blue collar jobs anymore. Look at all you people….commenting on some interweb blogging blog from the safety of your climate controlled, florescent lit office. People work in front of screens now, which is why they have the time to be here.

    Also:
    1. Josh Innes is fat and just the worst. HAHAHA Tony his jokes are soooo funny.
    2. Mike Miss sucks, too.
    3. Do. Not. Care. about Jimmy saying what he said. Move on, #hotsportstake people.
    4. But seriously Innes is FAT

  11. Everything Rollins said is right. We love to hate our athletes/coaches. Its embarrassing. This city has a history of it. Like someone above said, we booed Schmidt, the greatest 3B to ever play. People still hate McNabb. Ill never understand that. He along with Reid are responsible for the most successful era in Eagles football, but are constantly ripped. “He smiled on the field.” Who cares. Youd be smiling too if you were getting $100 million to play a game. People love Jaws and he was a marginal player in this city but is treated like a god. People hate on Rollins even though he helped bring our only championship since ’83. People hate Ryan Howard. Another key player in the 08 title. Was he not supposed to sign that contract? He got injured. It was a freak thing that definitely can kill a career. Its not his fault his success was so short. Lets not forget he was kept in the minors too long because Thome and his contract were taking up a spot at 1B. And now today. People rip Chip Kelly. Why? He took a 4-12 team to the playoffs in his first year and won 10 games with a backup QB two years in a row. he also did it with someone elses players. And now hes doing it his way. If it goes wrong, guess what, were still one of a handful of teams without a Lombardi trophy.

    1. Asshole. When you say “We” you mean “Me”. You are one of the few vocal assholes who perpetuate this stereotype.

      Thanks for that.

  12. I bet Jimmy Superstar hits about .220 this year before deciding to take it easy for the rest of the season

  13. Jimmy is a good player, not a superstar.

    Of the legit superstars we had…. Schmidt, Erving, Halliday, Carlton, Chamberlain, AI, Barkley, only Schmitty had a hard time from the fans. And that was largely his doing.

    So I don’t buy the premise.

  14. The problem I have are the fans who treat sports talk radio as gospel and / or attend our events and prove the stereotype of the “Philly fan” and act like it is their duty to act like buffoons. As a fan base we are loyal and passionate. I’m not sold on the fact that we are all that intelligent from a sports standpoint. People still refer to McNabb puking in the SB. Have you even SEEN video of this?

  15. I’ll never forget the billboard that blowhard Missanelli had put up for Rollins. What a fucking dickhead, Rollins fucking rules. My distaste for that fucking dickhead started at the exact moment I heard him bragging about it on the radio. Innes and Brunos take is similar to Kyle’s, which, hey: all fine. I, for one, had no problem with his honesty. JRoll is the fucking man. I’ll always appreciate the way he played defense.

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