Charlie Manuel Refuses to Grant Jimmy Rollins Freedom from Leading Off
By Justin Klugh
Jimmy Rollins was so open and loose lipped in a recent interview that you expected to see orange laser-dots start appearing on his forehead.
But there he was, rattling off the Phillies’ deepest secrets and most taboo topics as if Ruben Amaro hadn’t spent the first day of spring training subtly threatening all of the players’ families.
"“Rollins touched on a number of topics in a wide-ranging interview. He endorsed Cole Hamels for the opening-day start (manager Charlie Manuel has yet to announce who will get the nod), noted that Chase Utley’s legs are stronger, and said he’d be willing to move out of the leadoff hole if that’s what Manuel wanted.”—Jim Salisbury"
Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports
Jimmy Rollins? Out of the leadoff spot?
You know, all these years we’ve been assuming Jimmy would throw a fit if asked to step out of his role. It’s not that anyone at the moment is a surefire superior candidate (maybe Ben Revere, here’s some science that suggests Chase Utley), but if the time came for a move to be made, Jimmy is saying he’d be cool with it.
But that’s not true for everyone.
Charlie Manuel is clinging to this farce as long as he can, his recent snippiness over contract talk spilling over into how he arranges his lineup card.
"“…you can say Pierre hit .300 and Rollins hit .250 or .260, but Rollins’ .250 or .260 had more value to it than Pierre’s .300.”—Charlie Manuel"
Yeah! Or, like, whatever. Charlie’s undying loyalty to Jimmy or the lineup or history is going to keep Jimmy in that spot, until the day the earth opens up and swallows the Sports Complex whole.