For the second time in the past five seasons, Philadelphia Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins had to meet with manager Charlie Manuel to discuss his lack of hustle in games.
The last time it happened, the Phillies went on to win the World Series. That’s very likely not going to happen this season, barring a complete miracle.
On Wednesday, Rollins was thrown out at first by 15 feet on a grounder in the hole at short. He clearly did not sprint or even run to first.
Manuel still batted Rollins first in the lineup on Thursday but the two had a talk before the game.
“I’ll handle it,” Manuel said. “And if I don’t handle it, that’s my fault.
“Every time I watch a game I see it,” he said. “But at the same time, that gets old after a while. You don’t have to accept it.
“Everybody is going to hustle. That’s my job. That’s for the integrity of baseball. That’s for respect for the manager, the players and the organization. Everything. No matter who you are.”
Rollins admitted that he was mentally out of it by the time he came to the plate in the sixth inning.
“I was just upset before I even got up there,” Rollins said. “I was already out of it. Mentally just upset.”
But Rollins wouldn’t admit why he was upset.
“It’s nothing to be talked about,” he said. “It’s not an excuse.”
He also admitted that he regretted his decision to not run hard to first. But he blamed the loss for the Phillies as a big reason why it was difficult to overlook his lack of hustle.
“Those things only come about when you lose, and that’s the truth,” Rollins said. “Nobody said nothing the day before when you win, or when you go from first to third on a ground ball up the middle, or when you score [from first] on a ball hit down the line. So you take it with a grain of salt.”
Rollins does have a point. His lack of hustle was completely forgotten when the Phillies won the championship in 2008 but this time it could be remembered, potentially for the remainder of his career.
Don’t expect anything to change either. The 33-year old has shown that he does not hustle and never will hustle.
This article was written by Bryn Swartz, the top writer for the Philadelphia Eagles and a featured NFL columnist on Rant Sports. Bryn has written more than 1000 articles in less than two years as a member of Rant Sports. His blog, Eagles Central, was named the 2010 Ballhyped Sports Blog of the Year. To read a portfolio of Bryn’s best work, click here.