Phillies fans don’t seem happy unless they are fussing about Jimmy. If he isn’t walking enough, they complain. Drop him in the order, they cry. If he’s swinging early in the count or for the fences, they protest. No patience! And if he’s proclaiming the Phillies are the team to beat in the NL East, they howl about his providing bulletin-board material.
C’mon, fans, lighten up and enjoy the talents and personality of one of the most enjoyable players to come to these parts in many a season. Rollins is fun to watch, on the field, in the dugout or outside the lines. Few, if any, players in memory enjoy playing the game more.
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In a piece he wrote last Sunday, estimable Inquirer columnist Jim Salisbury noted there were the usual number of stories coming out of training camps about players who were issuing ultimatums of one sort of another about getting their due on the field and in their bank accounts. “Disrespect” is the common word heard uttered by many of these disgruntled “sign-me-or-else” types, as
On the surface, it’s hard to figure how someone making north of $10 million a year could ever see himself as unappreciated. Sure, if a player with less talent, experience or statistics is making more money I can understand how someone would want to be paid as well, but is this “disrespect” or other forces at work? As
“Disrespect” is today’s sporting buzzword for a multitude of perceived injustices, virtually none of which have any foundation in reality. While it would be easy to slough off such talk as posturing or negotiating, it still grates in the context of its current usage as opposed to its original and real meaning. If anything, it’s misuse by many of today’s athletes is disrespectful of language.
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I and virtually every other blogger I read shudders at the thought of the Phillies going into the coming season with Antonio Alfonseca as the set-up man in the bullpen. It isn’t as if the 34-year old righthander hasn’t pitched well at some previous stops – his 2004 season in
Spring Training doesn’t offer relief pitchers much opportunity to show their stuff, but I would be very surprised if when the Phillies broke camp at the end of March they didn’t bring Fabio Castro north with them. Charlie Manuel may have “protected” Castro last season when they were forced to carry him on the 25-man roster as a Rule 5 player, but in his brief outings the youngster showed a lot of promise. He has a live arm and good stuff. What he lacks at this point is command, and there’s only one way to find out if a pitcher has that, and it isn’t throwing to the bullpen catcher.