Suspiciously doesn’t mention ‘pop-up hustling’ as one of team’s issues
Hours after losing their second straight game to the new NL East division champion Washington Nationals, Jimmy Rollins discussed how the Phillies were, in essence, the better team. By splitting the season series and watching the Nats dethrone the Phillies, it’s easy to see why J-Roll found Washington so beatable; without, again, beating them yesterday.
“With us healthy, they’re a second-place team. But we weren’t.”
What? He said second place. That’s still pretty high.
No, in all seriousness, that quote will most likely come back to haunt us in some form of horrible irony that Baseball hasn’t even considered yet. Here in the present, it’s difficult to take Jimmy’s words to heart, knowing what we know about the Phillies. The Nationals won the division very decisively, using a combination of solid offense, elite pitching, and “Natitude,” an amalgam of the words “National” and “attitude,” which I actually had assumed was the buzzword CNN was using to promote the presidential debates.
But whether it’s a Twitter trend that’s brought together a formerly and still kind of disinterested fanbase or just a dumb-sounding word a PR intern formulated by understanding the concept of “rhyming,” Natitude has paved over the Phillies and Jimmy Rollins, making anything stated now sound bitter and poor sportsmanly.
So what is Jimmy trying to accomplish by saying this type of comment? Is he re-establishing his vocal leader role? Sparking interest in the team for 2013? Saying something controversial, then disappearing into the fall to let us all scramble over each other with half-baked analysis like frantic rats?
We’ll never know. Unless we come up with a reason ourselves. So it looks like it’s up to us. Again.
The good part about this is, it does instill confidence. I mean, to a lesser extent than if we were still actually playing baseball, but after so many losses, you wonder if these guys are even thinking about this sort of thing anymore. Getting a core player’s take on the squad after a devastatingly disappointing year, and having that take not only be optimistic, but in the form of J-Roll’s trademark cocksure-itude, makes sigh, nod, and look out a rain-soaked window, instead of facepalm and call of work again.
The bad part about this is, they will probably run that quote in Nationals’ circles from now until next spring, and then again next fall, and if the Phillies haven’t lived up to their shortstop’s dreams, we’ll get to hear about how we’re out of excuses and Washington is a team of destiny and all World Series titles prior to 2013 are being nullified in order to pave the way for the Nationals to become the first World Series champions ever.
So in a way, it’s not fair for Jimmy to leave us with such hope. Now we spend a winter wondering “what if?” And also “what is ‘healthy’ anymore for these guys?” And also “Uh oh, I was supposed to pick my kids up from school three weeks ago.”