Jimmy Rollins on being benched: Ryne Sandberg is obviously upset about something
Jimmy Rollins and Philadelphia Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg appear to be wrapped up in some sort of spring training feud. Rollins claims he is perfectly healthy, yet he was inexplicably scratched from the lineup on Tuesday and Wednesday. He wasn’t penciled in for Thursday’s game against the New York Yankees, either.
It seems obvious that Sandberg has benched Rollins. On Wednesday, the 54-year-old manager praised youngster Freddy Galvis when asked about his play at shortstop. He offered “no comment” when asked about Rollins. As of Thursday morning, Rollins said he had no idea what was going on and that Sandberg hasn’t spoken to him about it.
“Obviously he’s upset about something,” Rollins said in a lengthy interview with Ryan Lawrence of the Philadelphia Daily News. “That doesn’t mean it’s over the course of spring training, it could have been one specific incident. but he’s upset about it. That’s something when he’s ready, he’ll let me know.”
Rollins added that Charlie Manuel would always tell a player if he had an issue with him, whether the player agreed with it or not. On Monday, Rollins was asked about the Phillies’ offense struggling in spring training and his response was “who cares?” Rollins would not rule out that Sandberg could be upset over that.
“Possibly. You got the point of the conversation, and it’s true. … It’s apples and oranges,” he told Lawrence. “No matter how much you want the orange to taste like an apple, it’s an orange. No matter what. No matter how much you want these games to count for something, when April comes around, people aren’t talking about this.”
Rollins continued to insist he had no idea why he has been removed from the lineup. He did, however, make it clear that he doesn’t agree with it.
“Everyone is allowed to have their opinion,” he said. “That doesn’t make it right.”
Sandberg is obviously setting a message, and I’m sure the “who cares?” comment has plenty to do with it. He’s in his first full season as manager of the team and is likely making an example out of Rollins, who is one of the team’s longest-tenured players.