Shortstop Jimmy Rollins' lack of plate discipline has made him a lynchpin for frustrated fans.
It's been a rough season for the Phillies, to say the least. As the first half of 2012 wrapped up with a three game sweep at the hands of the Atlanta Braves, Jimmy Rollins didn't have much to say about it, according to John Finger of CSN Philly:
“Don’t waste your time, guys,” the longest tenured Phillie said as he exited the room.
Rollins' comments – or perhaps, his lack of one, caused a bit of controversy after the game, as the Phillies but the cherry on what has been an awful sundae that was the first half of the baseball season. But, my question is, does he even need to say anything?
On one hand, I can empathize with the beat writers and scribes who rely upon the players to give them soundbites and quotes after each game. After all, that's how then spin their yarns. A game recap only goes so far without quotes, so the players are instrumental in helping to tell those stories.
On the other hand, I often times feel that there isn't too much that a player can add. After a tough loss, there is only so many things that a player can say after a game. Unless that player can comment on a specific act during a game (say, why he chose to swing on 3-0 instead of taking a pitch), they mostly offer cliches and platitudes about the game and the effort that do little more than take up space in a column.
And in the case of the Phillies and Jimmy Rollins, there is even less they can offer in the form of a quote. It's been 87 games, so what can he possibly say that isn't already well known? It's not as if though he is going to be some kind of Rosetta Stone that reveals the secrets of the team's struggles. Sure, they add some flavor to the proceedings and they can add some entertainment value, but that's about it.
Think of it from the perspective of the players: It's a long season, and they have to answer questions after each and every game. When times are good, it's fine. When times are bad? Not so much. And the season has not been kind to the Phillies, so you can imagine how much of a hassle that can be. Imagine if someone asked you about your job after you made a mistake. Not much fun, is it?
Maybe Jimmy Rollins, who is the de facto captain of this team, should set a better example. Maybe he should be the guy to hang around and give a few quotes to the media. If you ask me, there isn't much to say that hasn't already been said.
I guess that maybe it's just one of the few occupational hazards of a game that makes its players into millionaires, but that doesn't mean that they have to like it.