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Jimmy Rollins takes some shots at Jose Reyes

Oct 1, 2011, 10:03 AM EDT

Philadelphia Phillies v  New York Mets Getty Images

While preparing for Game 1 of the NLDS against the Cardinals yesterday at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, Jimmy Rollins still managed to keep up with one of his favorite hobbies: Tweaking Mets fans.

The big topic of the day? Jose Reyes‘ decision to take himself out of Wednesday’s season finale following a bunt single in order to preserve his lead for the National League batting crown. Rollins told Mike Puma of the New York Post that he would have done things differently.

“I would have played the whole game,” Rollins said. “I’m like, ‘Hey, I fought this hard to be in this position and I’m going to see it through to the end.’ My personality, I’m going to ride it out. I worked this hard to be this good and put up these numbers, I would like to see it all the way to the end.”

Keep in mind, Rollins is a .272 career hitter and has never batted higher than .296 in a full season in the big leagues, so he will probably never have to worry about being in the the same situation. Sorry, most of you guys know I’m a Mets fan, so I at least had to get that one out of my system.

Anyway, that’s not all. Rollins also questioned Reyes’ motivation in the past, hinting that he wasn’t a team player in previous seasons.

“He did everything he needed to do, and when you see that coming from another player, you see them putting the team first,” Rollins said. ” ‘It’s not about me. I’ve got to push the issue for the team. I put myself in position that puts us in position.’ In previous years you just didn’t get quite that feeling from [Reyes] being in the other dugout. This year you really did. It was like, ‘This man is doing everything he can.’ “

If Reyes wasn’t doing “everything” he could from 2006-2008, when he was one of the best players in baseball, well, I feel pretty cheated. More realistically, though, whatever drop in production we saw from 2009-2010 was because of injury, not because he wasn’t a team player. It’s important to understand that Rollins is also looking out for himself here, as he will also be a free agent this winter. Rollins, who turns 33 in November, can’t touch Reyes in terms of production at this point, but will clearly try to argue that his leadership and intangibles are worth a similarly significant investment. And hey, can’t blame the guy for trying.

  1. notsofast10 - Oct 1, 2011 at 10:10 AM

    So all you do is defend Reyes and cut into Rollins? You should not write on your beloved Met’s team hear, you are not objective! There are many things I could say about what Reyes did, but let’s just say it wasn’t right and you defending him is homerism journalism at best!

    • D.J. Short - Oct 1, 2011 at 10:14 AM

      Didn’t defend Reyes’ actions. I don’t care about the batting title to begin with, but I was more upset about him leaving the game because it could be his last game with the Mets. The batting title was meaningless to me.

      And I never claimed to be a journalist. I’m a fan, like you. I think I make that pretty obvious here. Not trying to hide it.

      • notsofast10 - Oct 1, 2011 at 10:21 AM

        Sorry but by ripping Rollins you are defending Reyes!!!!

      • D.J. Short - Oct 1, 2011 at 10:22 AM

        Not really, two different things.

      • bigleagues - Oct 1, 2011 at 10:55 AM

        And you guys are discussing two entirely different players. I don’t fault Rollins for (desperately) marketing himself. He is, afterall, obviously heading into the twilight of his career. In fact, I think he is already working on his second career – being a comedian. Rollins – who will be 33 next season – recently told John Heyman (who is a jokester himself) that he is seeking a 5-year deal. And we all know that 33 year old SS’s don’t get 5-year/8-figure deals without offering substantial offensive production – an aspect of Rollins game that is fading fast.

        Having said that, I love watching Jose Reyes play but I agree that he should have played the entire game. He posted great numbers in just 126 games this season. Yet, it cannot be argued that he is a new post-healthy phase of his career. Yes, he had a strong September after missing most of July and August, but for 3 years now, the Mets have been derailed by injuries to the gear that makes the engine go.

        Whether or not he is back with the Mets, I think Reyes will get less than has been speculated.

      • D.J. Short - Oct 1, 2011 at 11:20 AM

        Yes, totally agree with your conclusion, bigleagues. I don’t doubt that Reyes was motivated by his contact status, but he isn’t unlike most other players in that regard. At the same time, he has produced at an elite level in the past. Will he continue to do so? I think it’s a question of health more than motivation. It always will be with him.

      • kjeroh - Oct 6, 2011 at 12:37 PM

        Just to throw in two cents as a Mets fan: from some of the comments I heard, it wasn’t completely Reyes’ decision: at the time, he could be the first Met to win the batting title; it would be a bright spot to a mediocre, but still surprisingly better than expected, season; and because it could be his last game as a Met, let it end with the title; the game itself had absolutely no meaning. In reality, whether he has the batting title or not isn’t going to really make a big difference in his free agent contract.

        Finally, I really didn’t see your comments as “ripping Rollins.” Putting the comments into perspective is completely different. Rollins and Reyes are two completely different type of players, whose roles on two completely different type of teams couldn’t be more — well different. It is very easy to say “I would do this” or “I would do that” when you’re not in the situation. Rollins has had the luxury of being on very good teams where late season games matter. Heck, winning the title was more important for the team than Reyes playing 9 innings.

    • purnellmeagrejr - Oct 1, 2011 at 11:04 AM

      notsofast – did you mean Homeric Journalism?

  2. rdav29 - Oct 1, 2011 at 10:11 AM

    Would anyone be surprised if the Phillies signed Reyes and then dumped Rollins somewhere else?

    • badmamainphilliesjamas - Oct 1, 2011 at 10:32 AM

      Yes.

    • Kevin S. - Oct 1, 2011 at 10:39 AM

      Only because they can’t afford to add Reyes’ presumptive salary without scrimping elsewhere.

      • badmamainphilliesjamas - Oct 1, 2011 at 10:49 AM

        Not only that . . . Amaro & Co. have been careful to pick up character guys who complement the clubhouse chemistry. Reyes’ bush league move this week says he is not one of those guys.

  3. kingjoe1 - Oct 1, 2011 at 10:14 AM

    Reyes is selfish and a team killer. He wont help a team win a championship; he will only help himself have better stats.

  4. schmedley69 - Oct 1, 2011 at 10:14 AM

    Jimmy Rollins = Winner
    Jose Reyes = Loser

  5. stlducks - Oct 1, 2011 at 10:22 AM

    How can you try to say Reyes was one of the best players from 06-08? 06 he hit .300 then he dropped to .280 and the .297 He never evenled his team in hitting. Then throw in the fact that the mets have not been relevent since my beloved Cardinals beat them in a great series. I would say Jimmy is right, Jose is selfish and will never lead a team to a rimg.

    • D.J. Short - Oct 1, 2011 at 10:30 AM

      2006: 6.1 fWAR
      2007: 5.8 fWAR
      2008: 6.4 fWAR

      • sparkycon - Oct 1, 2011 at 10:47 AM

        i love those saber metrics..there should be one that measures the heart a player has, Reyes would be 0.00

      • halladaysbiceps - Oct 1, 2011 at 10:50 AM

        sparkycon,

        You have my vote for comment of the day. Reyes’ fHEART: 0.0

      • donniebb23 - Oct 1, 2011 at 11:31 AM

        stlducks – You’re really using a 20 point drop in BA as an argument against Reyes being one of the best players in the league? So if he had gotten those 2 extra hits every month during 2007 you would consider him one of the best in the league that year? Puleez

      • sparkycon - Oct 1, 2011 at 4:42 PM

        thank you Mr. Biceps.

  6. halladaysbiceps - Oct 1, 2011 at 10:24 AM

    “I came to bury Caesar, not praise him”. -Roy Halladay

    I’m not even getting into this Reyes-Rollins nonsense, other than to say what Reyes did was a punk move and everyone knows it. He should have finished the game.

    Another Doctober, Phillies fans!!! Are you pumped up? I’m drinking coffee, doing pushups and smoking a cigarette all at the same time this morning. I can’t wait until 5:07 tonight to smoke some Cards tail!!!

  7. espfdps - Oct 1, 2011 at 10:26 AM

    Geesh. Could you be more of a reyes homer lol During what part of 2006-2008 waz reyes ever considered one of the best players in baseball. He had maybe thr most potential, but it never came through fruition until this year.

    • paperlions - Oct 1, 2011 at 10:30 AM

      During all 3 of those years he was considered one of the most dynamic players in baseball.

  8. Gordon - Oct 1, 2011 at 10:27 AM

    Quit crying DJ. Change your tampon.

  9. paperlions - Oct 1, 2011 at 10:28 AM

    Rollins knows what he’s talking about. In 2001,2002, 2007, and 2009, when the league lead in outs made was on the line, Rollins played the entire last game to ensure that he would lead the league in that category…but not just for himself, he made those outs for his team.

    Ripping on other players in interviews never makes one look good. Is it really that hard to just not do it?

  10. stlducks - Oct 1, 2011 at 10:38 AM

    You mean when Rollins was MVP and won the WS in 2007?

    Really DJ bring some stats that matter. People bring up those lame stats to prove their point when the real stats RBI, HR, AVG. dont work for them. The Mets are a faceless team going nowhere with or without Reyes. I feel bad for Wright having to be on this team.

    • halladaysbiceps - Oct 1, 2011 at 10:40 AM

      WS was in 2008.

    • Kevin S. - Oct 1, 2011 at 10:41 AM

      Jimmy Rollins played for the Red Sox in ’07?

      • Francisco (FC) - Oct 1, 2011 at 10:53 AM

        And all this time you thought it was Julio Lugo there at SS, it was really Jimmy in disguise…

  11. smb5024 - Oct 1, 2011 at 10:40 AM

    correct rollins never won a batting title…. hed won league mvp and a world championship!!!! get this writer the hell out of here!

  12. dja1287 - Oct 1, 2011 at 10:40 AM

    I don’t know what specific arrangement NBC sports has with this website but it needs to re-evaluate who writes for it and until it does I won’t come to this site ever again. I can deal with the ripping of Philadelphia Phillies but on the basis of incorrect information not just in these articles but the majority or them is mind-blowing to me how these guys are getting paid

    • ditto65 - Oct 1, 2011 at 11:07 AM

      Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

  13. stlducks - Oct 1, 2011 at 10:44 AM

    Yes WS in 08** MVP in 07

  14. ikedavisnose - Oct 1, 2011 at 10:49 AM

    We all know that Reyes is better and DJ is just doing what any Met fan would do and it has been proven that Wright not Rollins should have been MVP in 2007

    Jeez I didn’t relize that this website was turning into a Mets fans vs. phillies fans war zone

  15. Francisco (FC) - Oct 1, 2011 at 10:59 AM

    Yawn, big deal. Considering how Rollins and the Phillies PWNED the Mets since ’07, I say he deserves some bragging rights.

    Anyway that fantastic .205/.279/.333 in September of ’07 was a pretty awesome display of production right there. Yes it’s cherry picking, but I pick that out because that’s when the Mets collapsed. I think only Beltran was hitting and producing what he was supposed to when the rest of that team just gave up. fWAR can’t tell you the whole story.

    • D.J. Short - Oct 1, 2011 at 11:23 AM

      That’s fine. I don’t hate Rollins or anything, I actually find him amusing. And hey, he gets people like us talking, which I think is his goal.

    • Kevin S. - Oct 1, 2011 at 6:50 PM

      Wright hit .352/.432/.602 in September that year, then wound up being the only accountable player on that roster. Definitely got jobbed by the rest of the team choking – he was lights out down the stretch.

      • Francisco (FC) - Oct 1, 2011 at 8:25 PM

        Wright also hit as well! And see the grief he gets? Beltran was also getting a lot of beef! I don’t get it! Why did Reyes get a pass? Actually strike that I’m not certain he got a pass then. But he’s definitely getting a lot of them now.

      • Francisco (FC) - Oct 1, 2011 at 8:28 PM

        Wright is a great Met. They would be doing themselves a disservice if they didn’t keep him. Beltran’s time was past though so that Trade was good, he commands too much money for the services. Still a great hitter though, he should transition to a DH position in the AL by sharing those duties and the outfield.

  16. purnellmeagrejr - Oct 1, 2011 at 11:03 AM

    good column – concise, well written – excellent conclusion that Rollins was doing a bit of salesmanship.

  17. sandpiperair - Oct 1, 2011 at 11:05 AM

    Is there even any question that Reyes is a much, much better baseball player than Rollins at this point? Way too many Phillies fans on this board.

  18. drmonkeyarmy - Oct 1, 2011 at 11:22 AM

    Not related to Reyes but I would like to point out something out relating to Antonio Bastardo…here is the reason why I’ve always stated that they should have kept Danys Baez around…he is a bullpen whisperer.

    http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/phillies/20111001_Danys_Baez_mentors_Antonio_Bastardo_-_again.html

  19. Chris Fiorentino - Oct 1, 2011 at 11:28 AM

    Reyes is a better player than Rollins but I would rather have Rollins on the Phillies the next three years than Reyes. Jose is nothing but drama while Rollins does nothing except lead and win. The Phillies have to sign Rollins because he is still a top 7 SS and he is probably the second beat SS available in the Free Agent market. I’ll give him 3 and $35 million and print out some more cash in the basement of CBP right after the parade.

    • D.J. Short - Oct 1, 2011 at 11:35 AM

      Yep, I think Rollins will be back. He won’t get the five-year deal he wants, but three sounds perfectly reasonable for both parties.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Oct 1, 2011 at 11:44 AM

        With the way he handled the final game of the season, I think Reyes would fit perfectly with the Boston Red Sox or Atlanta Braves :D

    • badmamainphilliesjamas - Oct 1, 2011 at 12:15 PM

      Amen to that. Maybe 3 years with a mutual option for 4 to make him happy. Not many SS on the market and need time to develop Galvis.

  20. YouMadCauseImStylingOnYou - Oct 1, 2011 at 11:56 AM

    How many years in a row have the Phillies finished ahead of the Mets? And yet they still can do nothing but talk about the Mets and their players. Must be sad to have such an inferiority complex to New York.

    • badmamainphilliesjamas - Oct 1, 2011 at 12:27 PM

      Philadelphia has actually stopped caring about NY. It was actually more fun when the Mets rivalry was worth something.

    • leerosenthall - Oct 1, 2011 at 4:28 PM

      Serously, this is just Jimmy being Jimmy. So waht? You couldn’t pay me to click on a NY Post story, but did Jimmy just go out there and “volunteer” all of these opinions, or did the Post reporter ask him a bunch of questions and then just salivate as Jimmy expressed them? Either way, who really cares?

      There’s no question Reyes is a better ballplayer than Rollins at this point, but I still wouldn’t want to see him on the Phils. Like Carlos Beltran, Jose Reyes is an enormous talent, but he seems to be lacking in some je ne sais quoi. The fact that he genuinely didn’t get why folks were disappointed at his decision to opt out of the last game of the season after a bunt single pretty much proves the point. Doesn’t mean he’s a bad guy or lacks talent; he’s just not the kind of player the Phillies need. A mensch he is not.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Oct 1, 2011 at 4:44 PM

        Like Carlos Beltran, Jose Reyes is an enormous talent, but he seems to be lacking in some je ne sais quoi.

        IIRC Carlos Beltran has the highest active OPS in the playoffs, and might be of all time (after something like 50 PA). The fact you guys still can’t get over one PA is sad.

  21. flyinhighwithvick - Oct 1, 2011 at 12:15 PM

    The bottom line is this……..Rollins MVP Awards: 1……Reyes: ZERO. Rollins World Series Rings: 1…..Reyes: ZERO. Rollins playoff appearances in the last 5 years: 5….Reyes: ZERO.

    Enjoy your day.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Oct 1, 2011 at 3:07 PM

      Luis Sojo world series rings: 5
      Ted Williams world series rings: 0

      Sojo > Williams amirite?

      • Francisco (FC) - Oct 1, 2011 at 8:32 PM

        wait wait wait, what about MVP awards? dude you can’t depend on just ONE stat to make a point you know?

  22. flyinhighwithvick - Oct 1, 2011 at 12:15 PM

    Who are the Mets going to pitch in Game 1 tonight?

    Oh wait…..nevermind.

  23. bambam08 - Oct 1, 2011 at 12:37 PM

    How can you rip Rollins & then claim Reyes isn’t a me player? Only a Mets fan.
    Sitting himself after one AB to make sure he won the batting title was Bush. Most of the articles I’ve seen on line or in papers talk about Reyes being selfish.

    Rollins maybe trying to help himself in free agency but he speaks the truth.

    • D.J. Short - Oct 1, 2011 at 1:52 PM

      Who cares about who has the highest batting average, anyway? Not me. The batting title was meaningless. As a I Mets fan, I can tell you that my main issue was that he left a game early that could very well be his last with the team. It was an unsatisfying end. It was his decision to make, but I wanted to see four at-bats and nine innings.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Oct 1, 2011 at 3:09 PM

      Exactly, I mean Ted Williams, possibly the greatest hitter in baseball history would never do something like this, except for that one time in 1957:

      http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/BOS/BOS195709290.shtml

      hattip Colin Wyers

  24. cur68 - Oct 1, 2011 at 12:47 PM

    You know what I don’t get? How people write that Reyes is “all drama” and an “act” etc. I never actually see anything in print where Reyes himself says stuff like Rollins just put out there. He never seems to have a bad word for another person, let alone a ballplayer, unless I’m mistaken. He plays at a high level, puts up awesome numbers when healthy and won some awards for which he had no hand in deciding other than playing well. Whenever I see him in a game, he seems to be having a really great time. he’s fun to watch. Where does all this hate come from?

    Was it because he sat out after 1 AB in the final game? Braun sat out, too, in a game in the last week. Yet, no one gets on here and rips him like Reyes is getting ripped. Where are the active players ripping Braun for that?

    Is JR solely responsible for the craptasm that is the Mets? If so, he should have stats that indicate such. Quite the opposite in fact. Does he go to the media and criticize other ball players and team members and run his mouth about internal matters? I certainly haven’t seen where someone alludes to that.

    I think it was the researcher Clifford Nass (The Man Who Lied to His Laptop), who pointed out that there are ways to build yourself up in the esteem of others; by denigrating others, by encouraging others to say nice things about you & by engaging in mutual praise with a peer (they praise you, you praise them). A big “don’t do” was engaging in “self praise”. Self-praise lowers public estimation of the person doing it.

    Here we see an example of Rollins engaging in denigration of a peer and self-praise. How does doing this do anything but lower our perception of Rollins? How is it that this actually seems to work, if the comments on this post are anything to go by, to entrench the “Awful Cancer That Is Named Reyes” perception? If Jimmy Rollins has done anything here, he’s not raised his own stock but further entrenched a perception that might in fact be little more than prejudice if the evidence is anything to go by.

    That’s sad, man.

  25. allday296 - Oct 1, 2011 at 1:16 PM

    Typical Philadelphia, there has to be something in the water, why is he talking about the mets?

    • badmamainphilliesjamas - Oct 1, 2011 at 1:30 PM

      Nearly everyone with an interest in baseball was opining about Reyes this week. Rollins was likely also posturing for his own FA position. Cur, you make some interesting points, but I’m not sure that negativity doesn’t often prevail (unfortunately).

      • cur68 - Oct 1, 2011 at 1:48 PM

        If I had an edit function I’d go back an point out that the negativity sticks, but the self-praise doesn’t. That’s just a killer, isn’t it? You get nowhere trying to pump yourself up but you can entrench a perception of another, regardless of fact. Sad.

        And the facts are compellingly the other way, aren’t they? Reyes certainly passes the eyeball test. Every time I have occasion to see Jose Reyes play, he seems to be having just a great time, producing runs, getting hits, stealing bases, snagging a ball and lacing it over to 1st, whatever. He hardly ever makes a mistake and always seems a step ahead of the opposition. He just makes it look so easy, skillful and effortless you’d swear he wasn’t trying, and all the while with a big grin on his face, like its nothing. This flies in the face of his injury history. He tries too damn hard and plays the same way, if anything. That’s why he keeps getting hurt. If he was selfish and “me first” as he’s made out to be, he’d dog it till he got on a contending team to protect his health then pour it on.

        Wherever he goes next, I sure hope I get to see more of him. That kind of talent, effort and smarts doesn’t come along every day in a pro athlete.

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