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Why does Jimmy Rollins always seem to be in Charlie Manuel’s crosshairs?


When Jimmy Rollins grounded into a double play late Saturday afternoon against the Mets, Charlie Manuel removed him from the game. Why does Jimmy Rollins always seem to be in Charlie Manuel’s crosshairs?  Photo: www.reclinergm.comRollins seemed to be limping around as he was trotting the bases.
Afterwards, Rollins replied “Absolutely not” when asked if he was alright. On Sunday however, everything seemed to be fine and there were no apparent issues.

Jimmy Rollins has done and said some remarkable things during his 11 full seasons with the team.

At the same time, Jimmy Rollins has also done and said some things that make us scratch our heads, too.

This all seems to have started in June of 2008, when Rollins, then the reigning NL MVP, failed to run out a pop up during an afternoon game against the Reds. Rollins was removed from the game by Manuel, and he admitted his mistake and moved on from the incident.

A month later, Rollins showed up late for the rubber game in a crucial series against the Mets in New York and Manuel again benched him. The Phillies lost, and fell out of first place.

In June of 1999, Rollins performance was so lackluster that Manuel benched him again in the final game of a World Series rematch against the Rays and for the next three games as well.

And then there was Saturday’s incident.

Since the Phillies handle all of their issues in-house, nothing is ever leaked about any possible issues. But make no mistake, as professional of a team as the Phillies are, every club has issues.

Domonic Brown failed to run out a ground ball against the A’s in which the infielder dropped the ball and he would have been safe. Manuel kept him in the game.

Some of Manuel’s moves regarding Rollins are justifiable. When you’re getting the money these guys are getting, you should hustle on every play. When you are making millions to play a kids game, you should be on time ALL the time. That makes my skin crawl beyond belief when I see such  incompetence. But truth be told, how many players on this team let alone all of Major League Baseball actually bust it when getting out of the batters box? Not many. I’ve seen other Phils not named Rollins or Brown do the same thing. But they don’t get benched. Is Rollins a target of Manuel’s for some reason or another?

Who knows? I’m not in the Phillies’ clubhouse, so I don’t have all the answers.

But it is quite interesting.

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Joe Vallee is a lifelong Phillies fan and former Phillies batboy. Joe has claimed to have seen about 98% of every Phillies game since the early 1980's.

Contact Joe at jvallee@philly2philly.com

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Rollins photo: www.thesportsbank.net

Article photo: www.reclinergm.com