J-Roll Pregame

Jimmy Rollins spoke with reporters before tonight's game against the Nationals at Citizens Bank Park about, you know, that whole "front-runners" thing.

Here is some of what he had to say:

Surprised by the reaction?
I guess it's a good thing. It's got people talking. It's one of those things. We're people. And athletes turn the page, shall I say, and make a response about how they feel about certain things. It always is like, 'How dare you?' But the thing is you're human beings. We're all human beings. We all have the right to say so. They have the right to say so, and they have.

Why say what you said on that show at that moment?
There's no reason. The question was asked and that's what it was. It's not like I have an agenda or had an agenda. That's what it was, and now I guess it is what it is. They take it, whichever way they want to take it. But it wasn't a false statement. But it wasn't like trying to take a cheap shot at somebody, either.

Regret any part of it?
No, not at all. Not at all.

Theory that you were standing up for Ryan Howard?
I was speaking for a lot of guys. Ryan has had his share. I've had my share. Pat (Burrell) has had his share. I think Chase (Utley) hasn't been touched yet. And hopefully it remains that way. Hopefully it remains that way that he keeps coming out here and putting up numbers that they don't need to. But there are definitely guys when you come back into the clubhouse where you see them from the dugout going to the plate and you can see the expression on their face. It's like, 'I got to try to do something. I've got to try to figure something out.' They're halfway defeated before they get out there. I've been booed plenty of times before. I've been blamed for a number of things. That's just the way it is.

Is it part of the job just to zone out the boos? Are you are human?
If we weren't human it would be easy. But we are a performance based sport. Every sport is a performance based sport. We're already playing a sport where we're set up to fail. So you go up there and you're on deck and people are on you talking to you, you're getting booed, sometimes it gets hard to concentrate on what you need to do. Because now you're like, 'Oh my goodness, there's even more pressure.' I've got 46,000 ... well, not 46. Say about 20,000 fans ready to jump up all over me if I don't do it. So instead of your concentration being on what you need to do, you mgiht lose it for a split second when you're swinging the bat and that results in an out. Not that you wouldn't have made an out if you were 100 percent concentrating on what you're supposed to do, but those are just added things that make it just a little more difficult. That's as a human being. Yes, you get paid to zone things out. But how much can you zone out all the time?

Have players from other teams ever said anything to you about the fans here?
We've had a lot of things said about fans here. Most of them you can't repeat. That's their opinion. They get to come from the outside and look in. I think a lot of teams they ask, knowing it's their free agent year is coming up, they try to get a feel for how the fans are. I think they have a good idea of how the team is. They enjoy the team. A lot of times, and I've actually heard it, they don't want to put their family and kids in a situation where they come to the field and these are the types of things their kids are going to have to sit through and listen to. That's just the truth. Those aren't my words. Those are words that I've actually heard.