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No one is buying Ryne Sandberg’s claim that benching Rollins wasn’t about sending a message

Mar 14, 2014, 11:12 AM EDT

ryne sandberg phillies getty Getty Images

A couple days after the Ryne Sandberg-Jimmy Rollins foofaraw broke, Ryne Sandberg is still insisting that benching Rollins for a couple of days is not a disciplinary thing or about him sending a message. People in the know aren’t buying that.

Jim Salisbury of is one. He wrote last night that the timing was too perfect to accept that it was merely about wanting to give Freddy Galvis reps:

Sandberg’s there’s-nothing-to-see-here story became a little tough to believe when it became clear he was bothered by a recent comment that Rollins made in the Philadelphia Daily News.

On Monday, with the losses and the 0-fers piling up, Rollins said something to the effect that he wasn’t concerned about the way things were going because it was just spring training.

“Who cares?” he said.

The comment hit the paper Tuesday morning, the same day that Rollins was abruptly scratched from the lineup.

And then there is this tweet from Jayson Stark this morning:


Apparently Rollins and Sandberg spoke yesterday. For everyone’s sake apart from the reporters, you hope they resolved things. Because this sort of drama is no way to start off a season.

  1. alangyo - Mar 14, 2014 at 11:21 AM

    Got to love a green manage not understanding that he shouldnt push his aged shortstop who has had leg problems recently.

    It’s probably not a good thing to hustle everything in ST, heck it isnt even good to hustle all the time during a game that counts.

    maybe Ryne’ll learn from this.

    • raysfan1 - Mar 14, 2014 at 11:28 AM

      The post and attached article both make it clear the issue was Rollins saying “who cares?” about spring training, not about anyone’s perception about hustle.

    • mox19380 - Mar 14, 2014 at 11:50 AM

      I’d agree with you if Jimmy’s “hustle” issues were only apparent this spring. he has a history of lack of hustle which has resulting in at least one benching and at least one verbal warning from the previous manager Charlie Manuel. He was benched last year by Sandberg for lack of hustle as well.

      It’s clear that Ryno is sending the message that if you don’t hustle you won’t play. for a guy seeking to vest his option for next season as well as break some team records, benching him is probably the best way to get your message across.

      I think J-roll and Ryno are going butt heads more than a few times this season

      • alangyo - Mar 14, 2014 at 12:05 PM

        Yeah, i’m an idiot. was just going off day old twitter reaction. maybe some good will come from this and i’ll set my thumbs down record.


    • rdanie29 - Mar 14, 2014 at 6:04 PM

      I think you, and most people, are missing the point of Sandberg’s actions. You could tell from his Hall of Fame induction speech that if he ever became a manager, he would be an old school, no nonsense manager. This is about showing an aging lineup, who were 16 games under .500 last year, who is in charge of this team. And it ain’t Rollins and his who cares attitude.

  2. toodrunktotastethischicken - Mar 14, 2014 at 11:22 AM

    The Phillies season already has enough of a negative perception going into it, as a fan I’m just hoping for the best but preparing for the worst.

  3. thedoubleentandres - Mar 14, 2014 at 11:27 AM

    Sandbergs like recycled toilet paper…doesn’t take cr@p off anybody

    • 18thstreet - Mar 14, 2014 at 1:10 PM


    • fissels - Mar 14, 2014 at 1:29 PM

      That’s really bad

  4. halladaysbiceps - Mar 14, 2014 at 11:41 AM

    Jimmy Rollins popped his mouth off like he does breaking-balls about not caring about ST and it cost him 3 games.

    Sandberg didn’t like it and laid down the law. I like it. Jimmy Poppins thinks this is a joke. Ryno wasn’t laughing.

    • dcarroll73 - Mar 14, 2014 at 4:42 PM

      Once again biceps takes his hard-a$$, pro-authority stance. Was his father the Great Santini or what?

  5. kcroyal - Mar 14, 2014 at 11:44 AM

    I still can’t believe how old Ryne looks. It seems like 5 minutes ago he was turning double plays.

    • chadjones27 - Mar 14, 2014 at 1:38 PM

      If Amaro had his way, he may want Ryne to start playing

      • dcarroll73 - Mar 14, 2014 at 4:47 PM

        Hey, I’m likin’ this – a return of the player-manager just like in the good ol’ Ty Cobb-Tris Speaker days (let’s just hope Dutch Leonard’s great-grandson isn’t lurking somewhere.)

  6. philadelphialovescheesteaks - Mar 14, 2014 at 11:48 AM

    As a fan, I am sorta hoping for a complete collapse. Maybe then they will realize they have to do a complete overhaul on upper management.

  7. moogro - Mar 14, 2014 at 11:54 AM

    Sandberg could have avoided this controversy by getting on the same page in private with Rollins before the inevitable questions about the days off.

    • paperlions - Mar 14, 2014 at 1:48 PM

      Really? You don’t think “obvious public spectacle” was the way to go?

      • Francisco (FC) - Mar 14, 2014 at 2:26 PM

        Is there such a thing as a non-obvious public spectacle?

      • paperlions - Mar 14, 2014 at 2:27 PM

        Um….sure, you know, subtle public spectacles.

  8. holleywood9 - Mar 14, 2014 at 11:57 AM

    The tom thibs of mlb… I think it’ll be a good thin for the phils or any mlb team for that matter. Still wish the cubs would’ve kept him

  9. thebadguyswon - Mar 14, 2014 at 12:21 PM

    Wow…might be a short managerial career for Ryno.

    • halladaysbiceps - Mar 14, 2014 at 12:32 PM

      Really? I think it will be a shorter Phillies career for Jimmy Poppins. I guarantee Ryne Sandberg will be managing the Phillies a lot longer than Poppins will wear a Phillies uniform. Take it to the bank.

      • thebadguyswon - Mar 14, 2014 at 12:53 PM

        Oh I would agree with that. Rollins will be gone. But if Sandberg is ultra high-octane all the time, he may end up like Bowa – a bench coach.

    • paperlions - Mar 14, 2014 at 1:51 PM

      Yep, it is really hard to be that intense and last as a MLB manager. Each season is a LONG grind, you just can’t stay at that level of intensity and have players not tune you out….if you are always that fired up, you have no way to ratchet it up when you need to make a point.

      If he is just trying to set the professional tone he’s looking for, I understand, but then talking to Rollins in private was the way to go.

      • scotttheskeptic - Mar 14, 2014 at 7:36 PM

        Having watched Rollins his entire career, and his responses to criticism from media/fans/anyone, and his sulking and pouting when moved out of the lead-off spot, etc… I believe it is very possible that Sandberg attempted to talk to Rollins quietly. If so, Rollins wouldn’t listen – and that is nothing new.

      • paperlions - Mar 14, 2014 at 8:01 PM

        It’s possible, I guess. But a manager getting upset about a veteran saying that winning and losing and 15 AB sample sizes aren’t anything to worry about in spring training is stupid. The purpose in ST isn’t to win or lose but to get ready for the season. That’s all it is good for.

        The fact that Sandberg is worrying about the wrong things and reacting so strongly is not a good sign for his effectiveness as a manager.

        If he did talk to Rollins and it didn’t go how he wanted it to, what did he think he would gain by benching Rollins in ST? There is no way he gained anything. All he did was piss off his SS and damage his relationship with the guy….or if he is lucky, it had no effect. You don’t get to just throw a temper tantrum and bench a player because he doesn’t say some meaningless crap you wish he would have said. His job is to manage people, and until he has the gravitas to treat people like crap and get away with it (a favorite tactic of old LaRussa), he’s going to have to figure out how to deal with different types of people.

      • scotttheskeptic - Mar 15, 2014 at 11:20 AM


        I believe this was a doomed relationship from the moment Sandberg was named interim-manager. The two individuals are diametrically opposed in their approaches and styles, and Rollins’ history of non-responsiveness, at best, outright rejection, at worst, of coaching and instruction make this an oily rags next to the water heater situation – a guaranteed bad outcome.

        Whether Sandberg was right or wrong in benching Rollins, I have to believe that this runs much deeper, and was probably meant more to send a message to the younger guys (you know, those under age 32) about the overall expectations. Also, as I’ve stated before, Rollins is the longest-tenured player on the roster, and others will follow his lead.


      • paperlions - Mar 15, 2014 at 11:25 AM

        I think you are right. These personalities weren’t going to work well together and Sandberg probably doesn’t have any effective options for getting Rollins on board with his approach to work. Really, this is something that should have been addressed in the off-season by trading Rollins, but there was little chance of the Phillies doing that because of their impression that they might still be a good team and because they probably think Rollins should have some trade value (which he doesn’t at his current salary). It is a tough situation for Sandberg, to be sure.

        I guess I had not considered that they probably had some discussions about this type of thing last year and that Sandberg is probably already tired of the “I don’t give a crap” attitude Rollins can project at times.

  10. joshfrancis50 - Mar 14, 2014 at 1:00 PM

    I feel like this is more of a kerfuffle than a foofaraw.

  11. baseballisboring - Mar 14, 2014 at 1:51 PM

    Injuries, drama…sorry Phils fans, it actually has nothing to do with you, but your team is very easy to root against.

    • halladaysbiceps - Mar 14, 2014 at 2:14 PM

      Again. Really? I don’t know what team you are a fan of, but I would say my team is better than yours. Stick to your team, Pugh.

      • baseballisboring - Mar 14, 2014 at 2:41 PM

        My team just won the World Series…

      • jjschiller - Mar 14, 2014 at 3:55 PM

      • dcarroll73 - Mar 14, 2014 at 4:51 PM

        Man, biceps REALLY needs to get his meds level looked at. He’s getting very sensitive about any perceived slight.

    • schmedley69 - Mar 14, 2014 at 4:59 PM

      And like the Red Sox didn’t have any drama in their recent history. How quickly we forget.

  12. dinofrank60 - Mar 14, 2014 at 11:08 PM

    Sandberg should know this; Rollins ain’t going bust his butt trying to make the team. Rollins knows he’s the starter at SS, so why try to act like he’s 22. Sandberg should remember how he was when he was an old vet.

    Having said that, trade him. He’s too old to try to get a new attitude, to go along with the program merrily and willingly. Why waste time; it’s better for your team and it’s better for Rollins. Work on the younger guys.

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