Knowing when to be a gracious runner-up

A nice day for a parade
Closing it out while fighting an injury

Jimmy Rollins is not known for keeping his mouth in check. He has spent the past few seasons antagonizing Mets fans in Spring Training by proclaiming the Phillies better than the Mets and the team to beat in the NL East. With the Mets’ injury-inspired fade this year, Rollins was right, and he didn’t let discretion get the better part of him for the World Series.

In fact, prior to the Series, Rollins let his mouth do the talking again. Considering how he hit this Fall Classic, his mouth, in fact, was the only thing doing much talking. “Of course we’re going to win,” Rollins said before the Series started. “If we’re nice, we’ll let it go six. But I’m thinking five, close it out at home.”

Three games into it, and Rollins’ prediction couldn’t come true. After losing Game 1, the Yanks had beaten the Phillies in three straight, and in Rollins’ original clincher, the Phillies had to fight to force Game 6. After the Yankees won last night, Rollins was the only member of the team who managed to make their World Series loss about the Phillies.

“They were the better team this series,” Rollins said after the game. “Do I think we’re the better team? I really do. They just executed. I think we weren’t playing bad, but they were playing that much better. They got the hits, we didn’t. It’s that simple.”

Other Phillies acknowledged the Yankees’ run to a title. “We got beat,” Ryan Howard said. “They were the better team. They outplayed us. You have to tip your hat to them.”

Manager Charlie Manuel praised the Yanks as well. “We just didn’t play as good as we can, but at the same time, we also played a real good team who did a good job, and they’ve had a great season,” he said. “They definitely deserved to win.”

Since Game 2 of the ALDS, when David Robertson pitched out of a bases loaded, no out situation without allowing the run, the Yankees had that championship feel to them. They beat back a pesky Angels’ team and beat a very good Phillies team. After seven months and 114 wins, the Yankees are on top.

I can understand Rollins’ frustration. The Phillies out-hit the Yanks in this World Series, thanks to Chase Utley and Jayson Werth, but the rest of the team didn’t really show up. Rollins, the lead-off hitter, scored just three runs, and Ryan Howard struck out 13 times. His sixth-inning home run last night came too late to save the Phillies.

But Rollins, one of the game’s better ambassadors, should know when to tip his cap to the other team. I understand team pride; I understand riling up the fan base. But I also understand that the Yankees, a better team than the Phillies, won. After the beanings this week, the bad blood will flow between the Yankees and the Phillies in Spring Training. Maybe Jimmy Rollins should save the trash talking for then.

A nice day for a parade
Closing it out while fighting an injury
  • Salty Buggah

    Pfft, whatever. I ignore people like these. Many people are bringing up the old too much money/it took you 9 years??? argument but whatever, the YANKEES ARE THE WORLD CHAMPIONS!

  • JobaWockeeZ

    No, Jimmy Rollins it’s not that simple. The Yankees had much better pitching than your team. They prevented that big hit, not because your team failed to do so.

    Honestly this guy shows no respect at all for the Yanks.

  • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside
    • Hikker

      That’s awesome.

  • dkidd

    we played the phillies, we beat the phillies, end of story. i don’t think the yankees should indulge in a “bad blood” narrative with a national league team. for one thing, it gives the phillies too much credit. and it’s not worth alex getting hurt in a spring training brawl

  • Jackson

    I’m sure Jimmy Rollins has a nice spot reserved on his back for the seam imprint he’ll be receiving in spring training.

  • crux

    Loved that Jeter referred to the predictions when he was up on the stage.

    • Raf

      ha caught that too when he was up there

  • Thomas

    This reminds me of Rollins: (SFW)

    starts about 25 seconds in and ends about at 1:30.

  • Keanu Reeves

    I wouldn’t expect anything else of Rollins, who is quickly becoming one of my least favorite players.

  • TheLastClown

    Could someone remind me why J-Roll won the MVP over Holliday who put up better numbers, counting stats, etc, across the board in 70 LESS ABs?

    • Thomas

      Better defensively at a harder position, doesn’t play at Coors, and has more public attention. I would have voted for Holliday, though.

      • TheLastClown

        Or Fielder, or D-Wright, or Chipper Jones.

        Hell, Howard & Utley were more deserving IMO

    • Salty Buggah

      Yea, that was stupid. Even by WAR, Holliday had Rollins beat. One of the weakest MVP (and Pedroia) of all time? I think so

      • Thomas
        • TheLastClown


          But why did the Dodgers play 165 games that year?

          • Chris

            There was a 3-game tie breaker instead of the one game playoffs they do now.

        • Salty Buggah

          OK, that’s maybe the MOST stupid MVP.

          • Thomas

            My theory is this:

            Fans: With great seasons from Aaron, Robinson, Mays, Musial, Davis, and Howard (plus really, really good ones from many others) and some excellent pitching years like Drysdale’s and Purkey’s, there is absolutely no way the BBWAA can screw this up.

            BBWAA: Sounds like a challenge to me.

            • A.D.

              But teh SB!!!!!!

              • A.D.

                If you want to make a case where you consider all his single + SB as a double at least then his OPS gets up to the 800’s

          • toad

            I think Mays and Robinson split the smart writers’ vote, and the dumb ones all went for Wills. For all the SB, Wills scored the same number of runs as Mays, fewer than Robinson, and just three more than Aaron. How Aaron got zero first place votes escapes me.

    • Hey Philly, Yankees ain’t the Rays

      Anti-Coor’s bias?

  • Kiersten

    He can say whatever he wants. We won, he lost, end of discussion.

    • Tom Zig

      My sentiments exactly

  • pete

    i tend not to care about what players say, except when it comes to where they want to play and stuff like that, or injuries, etc. Jimmy Rollins is a pretty insignificant figure in baseball right now, in terms of his utter mediocrity as a player. i’m just confused as to why people bother to get riled up by the stuff he says.

  • Chili Davis

    I wonder what Jimmy will say at this time next year when the Yanks win another one.

    • Hey Philly, Yankees ain’t the Rays

      “Yeah? Well I can jump higher than Cody Ransom. If I hadn’t just myself, I’d show you.”

      I want a DVD that’s just his at bats against Mo on a loop.

      • Hey Philly, Yankees ain’t the Rays

        html fail.

        *If I hadn’t just (nonspecific injury)’d myself*

  • Hey Philly, Yankees ain’t the Rays

    “Since Game 2 of the ALDS, when David Robertson pitched out of a bases loaded, no out situation without allowing the run, the Yankees had that championship feel to them.”

    This is a tad conservative, IMHO. I’ve felt they had a championship feel to them since the twins weekend with the walkoffs. That may be overzealous, but if not the whole second half then certainly by the time we massacred the sox at home in early august, this team has absolutely had that quit-losing-ever-’98ish-yes-we’re-that-much-better-than-everyone-championship feel.

    And I don’t even know how long ago TSJC became certain. Probably before I discovered this site in December.

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      And I don’t even know how long ago TSJC became certain. Probably before I discovered this site in December.

      I first anticipated us winning the 2009 World Series back in 2007, when we decided not to trade for Johan Santana but instead to keep our elite prospects and sign Sabathia instead. I then moved that “anticipation” to “we’re the favorites, irrespective of what the MSM will crow about Boston and Tampa Bay” when we signed Sabathia.

      But, when I became “certain” we’d win? As in, “I’m 100% sure of the fact that we’ll win the 2009 World Series, and there’s not a single shred of doubt in my mind”?

      December 23, 2008.

      Ever since that day, I’ve known we were gonna win it all, and not one single thing since that day has ever made me question that, not once.

      • Hey Philly, Yankees ain’t the Rays

        That’s about what I would have guessed. Thanks for clearing that up.

  • Tampa Yankee

    Even Kanye thinks Rollins talks to much

    • Hey Philly, Yankees ain’t the Rays

      Derek Jeter, I’ma let you finish, but the Phillies had two of the best world series game wins of ALL TIME yo.

      /REALLY tired joke’d

  • Jake H

    I’ve decided that he actually has no idea what he is talking about. You got beat. Man up and admit it. You look very stupid when after being beaten you still can’t admit you were wrong.

  • Andy in Sunny Daytona

    I came. I saw. They kicked my ass.


  • The Iron Horse

    This needs to happen more often –

    • Hikker

      Yes Ouch! But needed.

  • Tank Foster

    Well, I remember Joe Torre saying this when the Yankees lost to the Angels in the division series I think in 2005 – that the Angels played better, but he still thought the Yankees were the better team.

    I think it’s tough to be too hard on Rollins for this. I think part of the winning athlete mentality is that you simply never, ever accept that you’re not the best. Even when your head knows you’re not, you’re heart must believe you are. You see it with golfers, who invent weird things like grain and spike marks and a fluffy lie and so forth to explain their miscues.

    I wouldn’t describe his comments as gracious, but I don’t think they are arrogant or jerky. If he said them to me, I’d smile and say, “well, maybe you’re the better team, but your hitting is only about equal to the Yankees at best, and your pitching is obviously worse, but yeah I guess you could still be better overall.”

    • The Iron Horse

      boo this man

      • Tank Foster

        Nah….didn’t everyone see Jeter talk to Rollins every time he was on second? I’m sure Jeter was joking with him about the prediction, and was probably rubbing it in a little with the comment in the trophy presentation.

        Don’t hate me…I hate Rollins, I’m just trying to be fair.

    • Kiersten

      It’s different. In 2002, the Yankees WERE the better team and just lost in a short series. The 2009 Yankees have been the best team in baseball since May and far and away favorites to win the World Series. Thus, Rollins just sounds like a moron when everyone else in the baseball world knows the Yankees were the better team.

  • Tank Foster

    Oh and Jeter also said this, or things similar to this, about past postseason losses, saying things like “you might be a better team if you play them 20 times, but it’s about who gets hot in the playoffs.” Some Yankee player said after the 2003 WS “we ran into a bunch of talented young, hot pitchers” the implication being they were on a roll and were able to carry an inferior team.

    Hey guess what Jimmy, you lost, no matter how you slice it. And the more you talk, the worse you look. Go practice hitting breaking balls.

    • The Iron Horse

      yo whatever. i’d tell jimmy rollins what he could do with himself but people on these posts like to show disgust from their high horse

      • Rose

        The Iron Horse says:
        November 5th, 2009 at 3:46 pm

        high horse

        I’m going to go out on a limb and say that you like horses. lol

      • TheLastClown

        Yeah, I hate clear expressions of thoughts/feeling/ideas too.

        They’re always covered in icicles after coming down from the rarefied airs of the high horses.

  • Chili Davis

    Rollins seems like the type to desperately exclaim, “You can’t fire me! I quit!”

    • Hey Philly, Yankees ain’t the Rays

      Hamels already has the engine running.

      • Chili Davis

        lol, very true.

  • Nady Nation

    This is ridiculous. Sorry, Jimmy, but once you step out of the JV league, you run into legit teams. The Yankees were “playing much better” and “executed” b/c they’re not some bullshit NL team the Phils are used to mowing down. Just shut up and continue on being an overrated baseball player.

  • Rose

    Rollins is just mad because his team no longer has a shot…and the Yankees clearly cemented…not only being the team of the century (which we already knew)…but being the team of the decade as well…

    • Rose

      Sox fans are REAL mad about this one too might I add…they were EXTREMELY bitter this morning (and last night)…

      • Steve H

        Some of them are claiming that the year 2000 wasn’t in this decade. I kid you not, I have several FB posts saying this, that the Sox won 2 titles this decade, the Yankees only one……So does the year 2000 not belong to any decade, or does it qualify as it’s own one year decade, naturally dominated by the Yankees.

        • Rose

          They’re just idiots and are getting the “millennium” mixed up with “decade.”

          So 1990 WASN’T in the 90’s?? It’s still considered the 80’s?? I don’t see how that makes any sense at all.

          I saw that before a few times when the playoffs first started…I quickly dunked their heads in the toilet though.

          • Steve H

            It really does boggle the mind.

          • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

            “They’re just idiots and are getting the “millennium” mixed up with “decade.”

            So 1990 WASN’T in the 90’s?? It’s still considered the 80’s?? I don’t see how that makes any sense at all.

            I saw that before a few times when the playoffs first started…I quickly dunked their heads in the toilet though.

            I condensed that for you. You’re welcome.

        • http://Wenevertradeagoodstarter TLVP

          no problem – we’ll win 2010 as well and then there will be no issue with how to interpret things

    • Tank Foster

      Ok, we’re the best this year, no doubt, exorcised all the demons and beat all the teams and people that idiots said ‘had our number.’

      But how are the Yankees the team of the decade when another team has more WS victories this decade?

      • mvg

        I think, though technically wrong, a lot of people are considering the decade 2000-2009, thus giving us and the sawx 2, with the Yanks having two more pennants.

        • TheLastClown

          Technically I guess.

          They’ll have to win next year, so the decade of 2001-2010 also features the Yanks winning 2 out of 4 WS.

          • Rose

            2010 is the start of an entirely new decade. You’re getting millennium confused with decade. The year 2000 wasn’t part of the 1990’s LOL

            • TheLastClown

              Not confused, just aligning my response with the timbre of mvg’s post.

              • mvg

                Nah, she’s right on that. I was thinking it worked the same as the millennium for a second there…

            • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

              The “millenium v. decade” thing has nothing to do with it. There’s two ways to go about this:

              A) Decades and millennia are both arbitrary constructs, and any single year can be the arbitrary start, end, or middle of a decade or a millennium. All of the 2000’s can be considered part of the millennium that spans 1501-2500, for example.

              B) Decades and millennia must proceed forward from a fixed, permanent reference point. That reference point is Year 1 C.E. Therefore, the first decade was 1 C.E. to 10 C.E., the second decade was 11 C.E. to 20 C.E., etc.

              Using this method, the decades would proceed 1981-1990, 1991-2000, 2001-2010, etc. The decades and millennia overlap perfectly. 2000 was both the end of the decade of 1991-2000 and the millennium of 1001-2000. 2001 is thus the beginning of the decade of 2001-2010 AND of the millennium of 2001-3000.

              • Tank Foster

                No, I was wrong in that post above, by my own criteria.

                For me, the “decade” begins with, well, the third number from the right. 1999 ends one decade, 2000 begins the next.

                I’m giving myself one of these:


                Now, having said that, I think stuff like “dyanasties” and “team of the decade” and so forth is stupid stuff to talk about. That’s arguing over crap.

                You play the games, you win the championship, or you lose. It’s fine with me if someone wants to get into a pissing contest with a Blue Sox fan over who is the “Team of the Decade,” but I could care less. The Red Sox are the team of the decade? Fine, ok. Theo Epstein is my daddy.


        • Rose

          How is that technically wrong??

          2000 is still the 90’s?? LOL

          • TheLastClown

            It’s wrong in the sense that the “millennium” started 1/1/01, not 1/1/00. So the “team of the decade” could be interpreted as “the team of the 1st decade of the 3rd millennium”, and in that sense it would be incorrect.

            But that doesn’t matter when you’re talking about decades in general.

            1992-2001 is a decade.

            2000-2009 is a decade.

            The Yankees are the team. Period. Not of the week, month, year, decade, century, or millennium.

            Just straight out. THE FUCKING TEAM.

            • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside


              A decade is a ten year period. What years you choose to begin and end that period are totally arbitrary.

            • Hey Philly, Yankees ain’t the Rays

              +27. And it’s not close. It’s 27.

      • Tank Foster

        *Never mind. 2000…..Mets…..

      • TheLastClown

        Only missed the playoffs once, won in the first & last years of the decade, have the same amount of championships this decade as the Sox, 1 more than everyone else.

        Also we’ve been to more WS than anyone else this decade.

        The case could be made.

  • BxBomber

    Why does anyone give a fuck about this right now? God, I love the Yanks but the persecution complex we have is just asinine. So Jimmy Rollins still feels his team is better than ours after a close WS loss. I felt the same way in 2003 and I’m sure had we pulled out the WS in 2001 Arizona could have said the same thing.

    • Rose

      Who gives a fuck what Jimmy Rollins thinks?? Let him whine about it at home without his 2009 ring. I personally don’t care what he thinks…because he’s wrong…and the majority of America agrees with me.

  • Patrick

    Reminds me of Matt Leinart when USC lost to Texas. He said the same thing. Oh well, Yanks won it all and Rollins has a long winter ahead of him.

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside


      Remember when the Jets were idiots for taking D’Brickashaw Ferguson with the 4th pick in the draft, and not
      A) trading up for Reggie Bush
      B) trading up for Vince Young
      C) taking Matt Leinart at #4

      Remember that?

      Yeah… good times.

  • AJ

    its funny when Jeter was talking he took a shot a jimmy by saying ” we heard alot of perdictions before the series started” what do you guys think about that? i mean the guys are friends.

    • The Iron Horse

      jeter can even poop on someone’s face in a classy way

      • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        You got that right!

        Mariah Carey

        • The Iron Horse


        • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

          Ha, I just snarfed a little coffee on my desk.

          PS: Btw, I haven’t been around – I went to the game last night and have been struggling through a busy workday today – but here’s a belated congrats to everyone. Last night was awesome… I wouldn’t mind doing this again in 2010. At the end of an amazing season I’d also like to add to the thanks I’ve seen people giving in other comments to the RABbis (awesome nickname, whoever it was who came up with it) for working so hard and giving us such an awesome site, and also a thanks to all the commenters who make it fun and informative and, for those who converse with me, educational, to hang out around here.

          • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside


            I knew Ben was Jewish, but I had no idea about Mike and Joe Pow.


            • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

              Random, but I know you’re a Lost fan… George Minkowski was on my subway leaving the Stadium last night after the game.

              • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside


          • TheLastClown

            I’m going to have to h/t my lady *& myself through proxy of course* for the ‘RABbis.’

            I point out to her the funniest/most insightful/etc. comments on here, as we watch & follow the Yankees together throughout the year.

            She came up with it at an Angel game, one of those in the awful sweep in July. It was a present for her birthday to attend all three games, and we lost all of them.

            Adding to the lexicon ftw! :)

            • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

              Dude, she sounds like a keeper, you gotta lock that down.

              • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                Mooj: It’s okay that you’re a virgin. How old are you? 25? 26?
                Andy: I’m 40.
                Mooj: HOLY SHIT, MAN, YOU GOTTA GET ON THAT.

    • Tank Foster

      I think they ARE friends, and he was needling his friend.

      I think they probably have a sense of humor about it; Rollins and Jeter, and all players to some degree. It’s their job, and they want to win, but maybe they take the rivalry aspect of it less seriously than fans do.

  • Don

    Who cares what he says?

    • king of fruitless hypotheticals

      what who says?


      Just remember Jimmy:

      God hates ugly.

  • Hey Philly, Yankees ain’t the Rays

    I actually feel it is extremely polite of Jimmy to so graciously invite us all to mock his weak performance mercilously.

    So thank you Jimmy.

    And Ryan Howard probably thanks you too for distracting everyone from his EPIC FAIL.

    • TheLastClown


      While it’s not a word per se, “mercilously” invokes, to me, something done with the spirit of mercy.

      Not what you want for Mister Rollins.

      • Hey Philly, Yankees ain’t the Rays

        You know, this is bad. I kinda knew I was misspelling it, but decided I was too lazy to fix it. FAIL.

  • BklynJT

    Just told my Phillie coworker about Rollin’s statement and he was disgusted as well.

    “your boy Rollins is still flapping his mouth”
    “he is?”
    “about how much he came up small?”

    Lovely, just lovely

  • amc5805

    From a pure class/sportsmanship perspective,it would have been appropriate for Joe G. to tip his hat the Phillies on the podium, not just on ESPN News.
    This from a 49 year Yankee fan.

    • Joba Powers (all I needs is a jheri curl mullet)

      Thank you, ambassador of all that is classy and sportsmanlike.


  • Matt ACTY/BBD

    Rollins does not know the meaning of “gracious.” What a douche.

  • Sleepy Carl

    Shortly after the game, Rollins predicted in the press conference that the Phils would win in 9.

  • lordbyron

    Next spring, I’m sure the Yanks will remember all those batters hit by Phillie pitchers during this series and will reciprocate, with little Jimmy a primary target!