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Phillies SS Jimmy Rollins Back In Good Graces After Benching

Jimmy Rollins’ stay in Philadelphia Phillies purgatory was a short one.

The star shortstop was back in the lineup against the Atlanta Braves on Friday night, one day after being benched by manager Charlie Manuel for failing to run out and infield pop-up for the second time in as many weeks.

The two men met in Manuel’s office prior to the Phillies’ 8-5- victory in 10 innings at Turner Field to make things right again.

“He walked in there,” Manuel said, “and manned up.”

A day earlier, Rollins was benched for not running out an infield pop-up. It had been two weeks to the day since Manuel first admonished him for a similar lack of hustle. Manuel said he viewed the latest offense as disrespect toward him, his teammates, and the entire organization.

Rollins said the act was not premeditated and reached an understanding with Manuel.

The shortstop conceded that he does not hustle on every play.

“It just doesn’t happen that way,” Rollins said.

He does not believe it is an issue.

“There’s obviously a spotlight on it,” Rollins said. “If I was the only player to ever do that and do that in this game today it would make sense. But I broke the rule, like I said. That was the result of it.”

Manuel said he briefly contemplated sitting Rollins again Friday. Rollins figured he would play because the player didn’t make a scene when removed and confessed to the gaffe.

Rollins attributed the incident to the immediate frustration to overtake him because he realized the weak hit wouldn’t be driving in a teammate in scoring position.

Rollins said he had spent time prior to that game working on his right-handed and was simply disappointed with the outcome from that particular at-bat.

“The first thing was ‘You didn’t get the run in,’ ” Rollins said. “Second, it’s like ‘Damn, you were just in the cage literally working on that. How do you do it again?’ And that was really about it. That’s all that went through my mind.”

Manuel said he could understand that, but let Rollins know that those feelings still don’t preclude him from always running hard down the basepaths.

“I don’t want to try to have to make Jimmy run,” Manuel said. “I want Jimmy to want to run. I want Jimmy to want to run because you’re supposed to run and you should run. That’s what baseball is all about.”


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