Last week, Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins found himself on the hot seat again, as Ryne Sandberg benched him for a few spring training games. The source of the problem, it seems, was Rollins answering "Who cares?" to a question from Ryan Lawrence of the Daily News about the Phillies' hitting struggles this spring.
In addition to benching Rollins, Sandberg also sent a not-so-thinly-veiled message through the media. He said Rollins "knows where he needs to be in March" and praised Freddy Galvis for his "energy and positive influence." Sandberg later backtracked from his remarks a bit, but the point was clear.
Now comes word that Sandberg isn't the only person among the Phillies' brass who has issues with Rollins at the moment. There are others, according to ESPN's Buster Olney.
"... [S]ources indicate that some in influential positions in the organization want Rollins to lead, by investing himself more thoroughly in daily work and setting a strong example for others. If Rollins isn't going to do that, the sentiment of some is that the team would be better off moving him as soon as possible."
All right then. "Some in influential positions" are complaining, and this is news.
But we don't know who they are.
That is a problem on a few levels. And I say that as someone who has used anonymous sources in my own reporting on various sports plenty of times. It's a common practice and a useful one at times, and it's not going away.
But I don't use it in a situation like this.
It's one thing to criticize Rollins' lack of hustle and work ethic, which isn't new. It's another to toss barbs from behind a wall without being accountable for it.
Whether or not Rollins is traded, here's hoping he gets an honest accounting from his critics within the organization. He at least deserves that, and so do Phillies fans.