Burn, Witch, Burn!
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
We Philadelphia sports fans have a reputation for being passionate and knowledgeable. We also have a rep for running our stars out of town. Remember When Charles Barkley went off about how we ran Scott Rolen, Eric Lindros and Randall Cunningham out of town?
"The media ran Scotty Rolen out of town. Scotty was a good guy but when he turned down the money they turned on him. They ran Eric Lindros out of town and they ran Randall Cunningham out of town…They’re good fans but what happens is that when the press turns against you, they kind of roll with the punches. Once they turn on you, you’ve got no chance."
What about Sir Charles himself? Or Allen Iverson, Andre Iguodala, Curt Schilling, Terrell Owens, Rickey Watters and Donovan McNabb?
And now it seems we are ready to run Domonic Brown out of town for his Twitter love for the Dallas Cowpokes.
Really, all that happened on Sunday was Dom Brown learned an important lesson in Philly civics: the Eagles play at least two Super Bowls every year, both against Dallas. How deep does our irrational, fanatic hatred run? If the Eagles manage only two wins all season but they come against Dallas, the Eagles had a good year.
This is not hyperbole. This is Philly fact.
Dom Brown couldn’t have known this; otherwise he’d have kept his tweets to a minimum. Let’s all rise about this, please, and let Dom live to play another day.
Moving on, we should now ask ourselves if we are running Jimmy Rollins out of town. So many fans seem to want to swap JROLL for a stale bag of Doritos. Or better yet, we’ll pay the cab fare to ride him to the airport or some such trite nonsense.
Let’s be honest: Jimmy Rollins is the best shortstop in Phillies history. We can also say that about Donovan McNabb as quarterback, but Jimmy brought home the bacon in 2008 whereas Donovan blew chunks. It’s different. Shouldn’t we recognize that? Where is the love?
But to quote Sir Charles again, history don’t mean squat in sports:
"Sports aren’t for old people and the Phillies have let their selves get old, and they’re going to be in trouble for the next few years…When I become a GM, I don’t sign old players of what they’ve done for me. First of all, I’ve been paying them $20 million a year, so that’s my loyalty. Obviously you know, my next job is going to be a GM, and I’ll always been honest to my players. Said hey, ‘I’ve been loyal to you. I’ve been paying you $20 million a year, for the last five years, but I can’t pay you when you’re 36, 37, 38 because you’re just a good, solid players. You’e not worth that type of money, you’re killing my salary cap. Listen, people just get older…I love old people, but they don’t get healthy, they die! And I love Jimmy [Rollins]. I love Jimmy. I love Jimmy and I love Chase [Utley], I don’t know Chase. I know Jimmy a little bit, but I can’t pay those guys—and everybody will say when you’re paying someone $10, $12 million a year, that’s a lot of money because…you can’t go out and get free agents. You can’t go out and get free agents, but you can’t make trades, I mean, it just puts you in an awkward situation."
Great quote, Sir Charles, but does this mean we should put Jimmy out to pasture and hand Freddy Galvis the job at shortstop?
This is the same dementia that led to the Bobby Hoying over McNabb nonsense.
Yes, Jimmy needs to change his approach. Yes, he struts and strolls and doesn’t always hustle. Yes, there’s no “I” in team but there is a “me” if you ask Jimmy.
But you know what?
Even having lost a step, even displaying an occasional lack of interest in a lost season, even focusing on his own records, and even though he swings for the fences with a persistent little-man complex that would make Napoleon proud — even so, Jimmy Rollins is twice the player Freddy Galvis is.
Let that sink in.
We love Galvis because he’s an underdog of sorts. Similarly, we loved Wilson Valdez because he showed grit and moxie; he did everything he was asked to do. But here’s the key: he wasn’t asked to do what Jimmy is asked to do and neither is Freddy. When people started wanting Exxon Valdez to start every day over Jimmy it was clearly a case of mass hysteria. Heck, why not let Valdez pitch out of the bullpen more often, too?
To suggest we dump Rollins in favor of Galvis is just plain dumb unless we also discard Cliff Lee, Chase Utley, Chooch, Howard, Papelsmear and every player over 28 for whatever young players we can get for them.
Wait a sec! That doesn’t sound so bad after all. And throw in Dom Brown for good measure.
Break out the pitchforks and torches, Philadelphians! It’s witch-hunting time!!