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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Rollins Takes Criticism of Fans to Twitter

          Somehow after a terrible collapse in which the Phillies blew a 4-0 lead with Cliff Lee on the mound and thrust themselves into essentially a 3-game series, where a couple flukes could destroy a 100+ win season, Jimmy Rollins criticized the fans.

          Weak, “J-Roll.” Incredibly weak.

          After telling the press that he was less than enamored with the atmosphere at Citizens Bank Park in Game 2 of the Phillies’ Wild Card Series with St. Louis, he reiterated his point on Twitter. He posted, “Not the result we wanted but that’s the way it is!! Now we just gotta handle biz on the road! Also fans were waaay to quiet tonight.”

          That’s his focus after a game like Sunday, when his team couldn’t tack on to an early 4-run lead? Oh, but Jimmy wasn’t done. He chose to respond to several fans replying to his tweet – never a good idea for athletes.

          When one tweeter referenced the Eagles loss earlier in the day, writing, “@JimmyRollins11 I think they were all in shock. Wasn’t a good day for Philly sports. Hard to take it all in on a day like this,” Rollins wasn’t impressed. He responded, “excuses.”

          Last time I checked I don’t need an excuse to say and do whatever I want as a fan. And the obvious irony of Rollins’ response was rather amazing though no doubt lost on the shortstop. This is also the guy that once called Philadelphia fans front runners, so he certainly doesn’t deserve any slack here.

          Another tweeter said, “@JimmyRollins11 Ouch, Jimmy...Especially with how well the fans have supported you, don't rip them now...That's not smart at all.” Rollins responded, “a true statement is not ripping! Don’t be sensitive.”

          Yet, that didn’t apply to Rollins, who was criticized for getting picked off in a game that ended 5-4. He replied, “if u underwent baseball, then u would know why I ran regardless of the result! Get a baseball IQ then ask questions.”

          Uhm, I understand baseball. Rollins had a good game – through the first two innings against a guy pitching on short rest for the first time in his career. After that Rollins had one hit against a mediocre bullpen, and was promptly picked off trying to steal with two outs in the bottom of the 7th down a run with Chase Utley up to bat. I actually don’t mind the aggressive play, but the bottom line is he cannot get picked off in that situation. It certainly isn’t a night to criticize fans that sell out the building every night.

          The worst part may be that Rollins was continuing to respond on the issue as of last night, telling one tweeter, “get over it! Wah.”

          Full disclosure: I’ve never been a big Rollins fan. He’s got a little too much California in him for my tastes and views himself far too highly. He rarely performs like a true leadoff hitter, and has never stolen enough bases in my opinion. I grew up rooting for Larry Bowa and Ozzie Smith at different times in my life. Rollins has neither the grit of Bowa nor the grace of Smith (on or off the field), yet likes to try on each persona along with many others when it suits him.

          I don’t think any of this will effect Rollins’ play, and, in fact, he may thrive on it. I recently defended on Friday after a week in which he was criticized for talking about his contract because he was answering a question.

          That’s not what he was doing on Twitter. He was the one making excuses. He’s done it before.

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