Jimmy Rollins: Blue-collar Philly is ‘not conducive for a superstar’
There was once a time when Jimmy Rollins was a fan favorite in Philadelphia. The 2007 NL MVP won four Gold Glove Awards, made three NL All-Star teams and helped his team capture a World Series title in 2008. Then, the Phillies went down the tubes and Rollins went with them.
Now that he has landed with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Rollins has had time to reflect on his 15 seasons in Philly. During a recent interview with Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, Rollins was critical of Phillies fans for not letting players “be who they are at the moment.”
“The general area, the city (of Philadelphia) being blue-collar, it’s not conducive for a superstar,” he said. “You can be good, but you’ve got to be blue-collar along the way, keep your mouth shut, just go and work. Where obviously, this is L.A. It’s almost like it’s OK to be more flamboyant. You kind of appreciate that the more you’re out there. Because L.A. loves a star.
“So in that sense, I feel free. If I want to “show out” a little bit – from the outside looking in, people might say, “You’re in Hollywood.” But no, in some places you couldn’t do that.”
D.J. Short of Hardball Talk brought up a very valid point when he noted that Allen Iverson is one of the most beloved players in Philly sports history. You know, the Allen Iverson who supposedly bought new clothes every time his team went on a road trip because he didn’t like luggage. And the same A.I. who wore this to his jersey retirement ceremony.
Philadelphia is an intense sports city, but winning and success almost always trump everything else. Cities like Boston, New York, Chicago and Philly generally care more about a player producing than they do about his personality. The stench of losing is likely still too fresh for Rollins to realize that.