Be on time. Hustle.
Those are Charlie Manuel's two rules. Obviously, we know today that Jimmy Rollins has broken both those rules this season. But like I wrote in today's paper, those close to the situation believe that Manuel didn't bench Rollins simply because he showed up to the ballpark a few minutes late yesterday. In other words, if this would have been Rollins' first offense, if Manuel had been happy with everything he has seen so far this season from Rollins, he likely would have given him the benefit of the doubt.
"Stuck in traffic? OK, Jimmy. Just don't let it happen again."
Manuel is not one to make rash decisions. He's not a loose cannon. He's not a manager that gets tough because he loves to get tough (think bouncers in Old City). Manuel likes to tell reporters, "Watch the game." Well, Manuel has watched Rollins show up late to the ballpark at least twice this season and not hustle on more than one occassion. He had enough, and this was his way of telling Rollins that he won't allow that behavior to continue without consequences.
I've heard from people that maybe this means Manuel is losing the clubhouse. That couldn't be further from the truth.
Jamie Moyer on the Rollins situation: "It's unfortunate, but rules are rules. I commend Charlie for standing up for the rules that he has. I think we all need to be accountable to that. Each team has their own rules, and they play not only for their managers and their coaching staff, but they play amongst their teammates. I think you create who you are in the clubhouse and on the field by the way you act and the way you carry yourself. So I'm sure it's something that probably won't happen again. You know, life goes on."
Ashley Fox wrote, "That's a pretty good whack from a veteran who has been around forever. But no other player dared to question Rollins, and maybe someone should. He proclaims to be the team leader. He should act like it. And since he didn't, someone - Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Pat Burrell, someone - should call Rollins on it. There are other players on this team with clout. They, too, should act like it, before the Phillies' season starts spiraling the way the Mets' did last year."
Think somebody on the '93 team would have said something?
In the Phillies Notebook: Moyer's wasted effort and a look at how badly the Phillies have been struggling lately.
Jose Reyes' antics bother the Phillies, but so far they haven't done anything about it.