. . . the Phillies’ manager is the diametric opposite of Bobby Valentine when it comes to handling his players if they should make a mistake or talk to him privately.
Apparently, Manuel was less than thrilled when shortstop Jimmy Rollins, a veteran who knows better by far, jogged it up the first base line on a by-the-book ground ball to shortstop Wednesday against Miami. The manager and his shortstop sat down behind closed doors afterward.
Both men talked about it to the press after they had their private confab, but neither man tried to make it sound as though the other were simply looking to stick it to him. And neither seems to have left any impression that he couldn’t care less whether the other knows the truth.
We have two rules: Hustle and be on time. We’ll see. That’s all I have to say. This is between Jimmy and me. After talking to him, I think he’s ready to play. He should be running hard from now on. We’ll see.
Thus spake Manuel. Now, Rollins:
I was just upset before I even got up there. I was already out of it. Mentally, just upset. Those things only come about when you lose, and that’s the truth. Nobody said nothing the day before when you win, or when you go from first to third on a ground ball up the middle, or when you score (from first base) on a ball hit down the line.
He went on to say being upset—possibly at the game already being beyond the Phillies’ recovery, since they lost, 9-2; possibly over his frustrating enough season after signing a lucrative three-year deal after last season, trying to live up to it even as he begins aging—was no excuse for not hustling.
Some published reports in the Philadelphia press suggested “the veteran-laded clubhouse” hasn’t done as “three team sources” think ought to have been done and chastised Rollins among themselves. But Rollins and Manuel have handled things the right way. Neither man let the other bury him; neither Manuel nor Rollins showed any inclination to leave each other roasted.
The folks in Boston might care to take note.