Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Bench or Not to Bench?

Should Charlie Manuel have benched Jimmy Rollins? Rollins had no problem with it. Why should you?

Bench or Not to Bench?

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Jimmy Rollins accepted the blame for not running out a third-inning pop-up and getting benched yesterday, saying: "It shouldn't happen. . . . I know better."
Jimmy Rollins accepted the blame for not running out a third-inning pop-up and getting benched yesterday, saying: "It shouldn't happen. . . . I know better." RON CORTES / Inquirer Staff Photographer
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I read through the e-mails, surfed the Internets, listened to the radio on my way home from the ballpark last night and this morning on my way to the airport to fly to Atlanta. Most people seem to favor Charlie Manuel benching Jimmy Rollins for not hustling yesterday in a 5-0 victory over the Reds.

Some people don’t. Those that don’t say Rollins should have been afforded more rope.

Of course, a very important piece of information they seem to have overlooked is this: Rollins had been afforded more rope. He acknowledged that he had been warned about his hustle at least twice before.

“Three strikes, you’re out,” Rollins said.

In other words, Rollins understood. He had been afforded the benefit of the doubt a player like Rollins deserves. But then he crossed the line in Manuel’s eyes, and Rollins couldn’t be upset about that. Like Jim Salisbury wrote, it’s easy to bench a role player like Eric Bruntlett or Greg Dobbs or Chris Coste. But it takes guts to bench the reigning National League MVP. Manuel showed yesterday this is his team. He chewed out his players before they got on this 12-4 run. He’s called at least two players into his office twice this season, one of them being Shane Victorino.

He’s called players into his office last season to set them straight, either for their play or for things they’ve said.

It’s his show.

Rollins understands and respects that.

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And, yes, Rollins will be in the lineup tonight. The point has been made.

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Read more about what Rollins had to say.

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Oh, yeah. The Phillies just completed an 8-2 homestand – their best homestand since 1995. Cole Hamels threw his second career shutout (second in his last five starts). He seems to have figured out what ailed him in his previous two starts, where he got rocked: keep the ball down, down, down.

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In the Phillies Notebook, the Phillies begin a killer 24-game stretch in which they play 18 games on the road and teams like the Red Sox, Angels, Braves, Marlins, Cardinals, A’s and Rangers. It won’t be easy, but we should get a true feel for how good the Phillies are after that stretch.

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The Phillies drafted a bunch of dudes yesterday. They’re all going to be super good, or at least they hope.

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