Word is that Jimmy Rollins will not make the final roster of the San Francisco Giants, which will likely mean the end of his illustrious career.
They say that the one enemy no one can beat is time. Despite what we all thought, it looks like that rule applies to Jimmy Rollins as well.
The former Philadelphia Philles shortstop was making one last try to continue his baseball career as he joined the San Fransisco Giants for spring training. Despite not having played since he was released by the Chicago White Sox last June, Rollins really felt he still had something in the tank.
The Giants appear to feel differently.
According to Andrew Baggardly of the Mercury News, the Giants have informed Rollins that he will not be a part of the team’s Opening Day roster.
With All-Star Brandon Crawford currently entrenched in the shortstop position, there was honestly little chance of Rollins making the roster. While he is a career .264 hitter with 231 home runs, the Giants saw none of that during spring training. He averaged only .125 while with San Francisco and it would have taken a bit of a miracle for him to be on the roster on Opening Day.
However, that doesn’t mean we have seen the last of Jimmy Rollins.
Rollins apparently has an opt-out clause in his minor league deal that would allow him to try to join another team. The Giants have told Rollins that if he decided to not use the opt-out clause, the team would allow him to play in their three exhibition games that will be played in the Bay area.
Given that Rollins is from Oakland, the chance to play on his home town team, even if only for a couple of exhibitions games, may be too tempting to pass on. Especially if Rollins has decided to finally call it a career.
And if Rollins does decide to retire, it will be the end for a player many consider one of the greatest Phillies to ever wear the uniform.
The list of accolades Rollins accumulated while a member of the Phillies is a long one. He was a three time All-Star, a four time Golden Glove winner, the NL stolen base leader on 2001, the NL MVP in 2007 and was the fourth player to record 2000 hits, 350 stolen bases, and 150 home runs with a single team.
And of course, Rollins became the Phillies all-time hits leader in June of 2014 when he overtook Philadelphia legend Mike Schmidt.
But more important that all the records was the attitude that Rollins brought to the team. While Chase Utley and Ryan Howard provided the bulk of the power, Rollins gave the team the swagger that made them World Series Champions. Who can forget Rollins’ famous quote in 2007 just before spring training that the Phillies were the team to beat in the National League East? The quote became the mantra of the roster and followed the team all the way to back-to-back World Series appearances.
It isn’t an exaggeration to say that without Jimmy Rollins, the Phillies would not have won the 2008 World Series.
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If this is indeed the end for Rollins, there is no doubt that the Phillies will retire his number and add him to their Wall of Fame down the road. His place in Phillies history has never been in doubt. But knowing that Rollins won’t be out there on the field anymore, playing shortstop in the spring air when April rolls around every year is a bit sad.
Whether Rollins ever plays baseball again or not, there is no question that he will always be considered a Phillie through and through.