PhilsWeek! – Ryne Sandberg vs. Jimmy Rollins: The Passive Aggressive Battle of the Century!
By Mike Lacy
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Welcome to PhilsWeek! – a fun* look back at the week that was and all the exciting happenings surrounding everyone’s favorite major league baseball team: The Philadelphia Phillies!
*Note: Amount of fun experienced may vary.
Super Big Phillies Issue of the Week: Jimmy Rollins and Ryne Sandberg Have a Passive Aggressive Feud
It seemed somewhat curious when Jimmy Rollins sat out three straight exhibition games. Missing one game in Spring Training is routine; missing two is a bit unusual, but still nothing too out of the ordinary. But when a regular sits down for three straight games? That’s when people start asking questions.
Most people assumed that Rollins was suffering from some sort of injury, but it soon became clear that he was completely healthy. Instead, manager Ryne Sandberg was apparently trying to send Rollins a message. Apparently, Sandberg took offense to Rollins saying “Who cares?” when asked about his poor performance thus far this spring.
That’s fine in itself. Sandberg is a new manager with a clubhouse full of veterans who had gotten very comfortable with doing things a certain way. And that was great when the team was winning division titles every year. Now that the team is coming off two straight seasons out of the playoffs, maybe it’s good that some of these guys get shaken out of their comfort zone a bit.
The problem is that Sandberg seems to be making his point as passive aggressively as possible. Instead of talking to Rollins directly, Sandberg sent his message by benching him and making cryptic statements through the media. If you want to make a point – especially with a longtime veteran like Rollins – I feel like there are probably better ways to go about it.
To his credit, Rollins seems to be taking it all in stride. Based on his recent interview with Jim Salisbury, the incident hasn’t made him any more eager to leave Philadelphia.
"I don’t know. If we’re in absolutely last place with nowhere to go and change is obviously on the horizon, then at that point I’d think about it. But anything short of a complete disaster, I’m wearing red and white pinstripes."
It will be interesting to see what happens the next time Rollins says something that Sandberg doesn’t quite agree with.
Pennant Year Song of the Week
Winning the National League pennant isn’t something the Phillies do all that often; it’s only happened seven times in team history. Each week, I’ll take a song from one of those years that somehow ties into the events of the past week.
We Don’t Talk Anymore – Cliff Richard, 1980
Perhaps the whole situation with Rollins and Sandberg could have been avoided had the two men just sat down and talked to each other. Hopefully, if there’s a problem in the future, they’ll deal with it by having a nice heart to heart.
Right Player, Wrong Uniform
There are some players who played their entire careers with a single team, and it’s impossible to imagine them in a different uniform: Mike Schmidt with the Phillies,Cal Ripken with the Orioles, and Derek Jeter with the Yankees are prime examples. On the other hand, there are some players who you might associate with a certain team…but they also had a forgettable stint (or two) with another team. You might not remember their time with those other teams, but the internet never forgets!
Steve Carlton – White Sox, 1987
Most Phillies fans would prefer to think that Steve Carlton‘s Hall of Fame career ended after he was released by the Phillies. Unfortunately, this baseball card featuring Carlton on the White Sox proves otherwise. Carlton couldn’t seem to accept that he simply didn’t have it anymore, and spent the last couple years of his career bouncing around the majors.
The Week Ahead
The exhibition season continues, and we’ve reached the point where most veterans wish that it was already over. Then again, considering how the Phillies have played so far, it’s probably good that they have a couple more weeks to prepare.
While the hitters try to round into midseason form, the battle for the fifth starter spot should continue to rage on. It should be fascinating since all of the candidates have fared pretty well, but nobody has seized the spot decisively. This battle will likely last throughout the remainder of Spring Training…and perhaps beyond.
Inane Rap Lyric of the Week
“I’m hungry for cheese like Hungry, Hungry Hippo.” – Project Pat, Ballers
Nothing says “street cred” like name dropping a children’s board game.
See you next week for another installment of PhilsWeek! Be sure to follow me (@MikeLacy_215) and That Ball’s Outta Here (@FS_TBOH) on the Twitter!