If you are a long-time Phillies fan than you know there is no greater pleasure than watching Jimmy Rollins come through in the clutch. He follows the flight of the ball, drops his head slightly, runs down to first pumping his fist once and the smile begins to appear. By the time he reaches first base all of the lights are on: the twinkle in the eye, the wide grin, the pure joy. He touches his finger to his lips and points skyward and all is good.
Rollins never lets the lows get him down. He's constitutionally incapable of wallowing when things aren't going well. Last night he came through in the clutch not once but twice when his team was down a run and in danger of dropping a second straight game to Cincinnati. Each time Jimmy stroked a shot to the right side, the first one a triple when the Phils were down to their last out and the second a shot in the gap that plated the winning run in extra innings.
When pinch-runner Jason Werth crossed the plate with the winning run a number of teammates were there to greet him with a modified version of the walk-off celebration at home plate. Werth obliged by approaching the dish gingerly and then tossing his cap at the final moment. A shortened version of pounding followed but the entire celebration adjourned quickly only to reconvene near first base where the smiling Rollins took off his cap and was greeted by a bear hug from Ryan Howard. Then the backslapping and head-patting followed.
In a post-game interview in the dugout Jimmy responded to questions from Harry Kalas and even managed to avoid the brunt of a shaving cream pie, exclaiming that he was also veteran enough to handle that dubious hero's treatment as well.
A few weeks ago Rollins told the press he smiled too much to be the villain New York Mets' fans tried to make him following his now-infamous off-season declaration that the Phillies were the team to beat in the NL East. Jimmy knows himself well. We are lucky to know him at all.