The same goes for Philadelphia Phillies manager Charlie Manuel, who benched star shortstop Jimmy Rollins for failing to run out a ground ball during Thursday night’s 3-2 win at Citizens Bank Park over the visiting New York Mets.
It was the second such lackluster play by Rollins in as many weeks, and this time Manuel had seen enough.
“You want guys to be able to go out and hustle,” teammate Ryan Howard said. “He knows better. He knows better. It’s simple, be on time, hustle. That’s it. That’s two things that you can control. Go out there and do it. Charlie took care of it.”
The issue had first arisen in Miami two weeks ago earlier when Rollins failed to run out a routine ground ball.
It didn’t appear promising for him against the Mets following his sixth-inning pop-up in front of home plate, so he began steering off towards the dugout about halfway up the first base line. Mets pitcher Jonathan Niese dropped the ball, however, prompting Rollins to resume running full-speed. He rounded first base, but his initial lack of hustle forced him to return to the bag.
Rollins then stole second, but was eventually thrown out trying for third following another base-running blunder.
An irate Manuel was waiting for him as he made his way back into the dugout. Rollins had been replaced in the lineup when the Phillies returned to the field.
“I asked him if he thought he ran to first base,” Manuel said. “He gave me an answer like, ‘No, not at the end’ or something like that. That’s all that was said.”
Rollins had very little to say about the matter following the game.
Manuel “already told you what happened – there you go,” the shortstop said as he exited the clubhouse.
Manuel has reprimanded Rollins three other times in the past for breaking team rules, including twice in 2008, the year the Phillies won the World Series. That year, Rollins was benched for being late and for a lack of hustle.
“I’ve got two rules,” Manuel said. “Be on time and hustle. Running balls out is definitely part of it.”
Manuel said he was unsure if the discipline would continue Friday night when the Phillies open a three-game stand in Atlanta against the Braves.