Shortstop Jimmy Rollins has spent his entire career with the Phillies -- that's a dozen seasons. His contract is up at the end of this year, but no one is all that jazzed right now about talking about what’s going to happen AFTER the Phillies finish up this all-out run at a championship, least of all Rollins.
J-Roll had a brief interview with David Hale, and in the interview he offered this sobering thought about the whether or not it would be difficult to walk away from the team come fall:
"I’ve never thought about it. I could say yes or no. My personality is no. I’ve never been attached to anything. I understand everything is temporary. Life is temporary. And if there’s anything to hold on to, it’s life. Beyond that, I understand anything can happen. It can be taken away from you at any moment. So I’ve never been a guy who’s just been attached to one thing or one place. I’ll take the situation for what it is. Whether I stay here, play here, I’ll keep it moving. If I’m not, same thing. I don’t worry about the past. I look forward to what I have now. I live in the moment, I guess."
It’s kind of sad to think you could spend a dozen years playing in one place and develop little to no attachment to the place itself. But there’s also something healthy about the way Rollins is looking at things. The man’s a professional. And part of being a professional means knowing that you can be traded or moved at virtually any time.
So it makes sense to join any team with a certain kind of detachment, an understanding that every situation you will find yourself in will be a transient one. Your teammates will change. Your manager will change. Things will happen that you may not like.
In many ways, it’s the exact opposite of being a fan. Being a fan means buying in emotionally to the team FOREVER, no matter the circumstances. But players can’t do that because that would be foolish. You can't give yourself entirely to a team or city, because you know your time there may be short. It’s one of the reasons why fans and athletes often don’t see eye to eye. But for Jimmy Rollins, it's what you have to do if you want to keep some semblance of sanity during a contract year.