Friday, August 17, 2012
Charlie Manuel talks to Jimmy Rollins
ESPN.com news services
Philadelphia Phillies manager Charlie Manuel had a private meeting with Jimmy Rollins after the shortstop did not run out a ground ball in a recent game.
Manuel and Rollins both acknowledged the conversation prior to Thursday's game against the Milwaukee Brewers, stating that the meeting was productive.
"We have two rules: Hustle and be on time," Manuel told reporters. "We'll see. That's all I have to say. This is between Jimmy and me."
Rollins jogged slowly up the first-base line after hitting a routine grounder to shortstop in the sixth inning of Wednesday's 9-2 loss to the Miami Marlins. The 13-year veteran also addressed the situation with reporters Thursday, claiming that his lack of hustle was a product of him being "upset."
"I was just upset before I even got up there," Rollins said. "I was already out of it. Mentally, just upset."
Rollins would not say what he was upset about, but also said it was "not an excuse" for not running hard.
Manuel admitted he considered benching Rollins, but opted against it because he wanted to win the game.
"After talking to him, I think he's ready to play," Manuel said. "He should be running hard from now on. We'll see."
According to a report in the Philadelphia Inquirer, three team sources believe it is a problem that not one player in the Phillies' veteran-laden clubhouse has chastised Rollins.
One of the sources told the newspaper that Rollins has been cited for lack of hustle in the past, but it was overlooked because of the Phillies' overall success.
The five-time defending National League East champion Phillies (54-64) trail the first-place Washington Nationals by 19 games and are 11 games out of a wild-card spot. Rollins believes his lack of hustle has been magnified due to the Phillies' disappointing season.
"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 base) on a ball hit down the line."
A three-time All-Star, Rollins signed a three-year, $33 million contract to return to the Phillies last offseason. He is batting .246 with 14 home runs, 46 RBIs and 20 stolen bases this season.