Todd Zolecki really dug into Jimmy Rollins’ memories and nostalgia today, and offered a dystopian view of the future.
It was a future in which Chase Utley, Carlos Ruiz, and maybe even Rollins had disappeared from the Phillies’ infield. After some initial obligatory cocksuredness, Jimmy actually started to crack.
“But wouldn’t it be strange come Aug. 1 to see Rollins standing at shortstop with somebody other than Utley at second base, somebody other than Young at third base or somebody other than Ruiz behind the plate?
‘Well, that’s all true,’ Rollins acknowledged. ‘But there’s nothing I can do about it, except play a winning brand of baseball. And if we don’t win, it’s up to the guys up top, whether they decide to blow it all up and ship us out.’
‘That would be different,’ he said.
Would it be a sad moment for a player like Rollins, who has watched the organization build itself from NL doormat to big league powerhouse?
‘Yeah,’ he said. ‘But shoot, I might be gone, too. You never know.'”
We’ve all been thinking it for years. Gone are the days when we’d think, “Meh, even if it happens, it’s years down the line.” Remember when Shane Victorino used to play here?
Jimmy tries to play it off like he doesn’t care about this stuff, like he doesn’t think about it. But behind those sparkling eyes and dazzling smile is the same high school, Vitamin C nostalgia that’s haunting the rest of us. Chase Utley wearing a different uniform? Chooch never squatting behind home plate at CBP again? Michael Young GIDP’n for some other team? That one is less devastating.
But Jimmy’s got the right attitude: “There’s nothing I can do about it.”
Nothing stops the cobwebs from gathering. You can only run stairs until your body rejects everything you want to do it in hopes that it buys you an extra month or two. After conversations like this, it seems foolish to think this is anything but the Phillies’ last ride.
We just have to assume that these Phillies we criticize every night who, when they lose do so so spectacularly that they don’t look like they’ll ever win again, will somehow get it together, fix some of the more dire problems, teach Ben Revere how to get on base, find out what Kyle Kendrick is on and expose the rest of the pitching staff to it, lock Chad Durbin in the equipment shed, and win the World Series.