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What Jimmy Rollins Can Learn From Terry Francona

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What Jimmy Rollins Can Learn From Terry Francona
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“You can do a lot with two inches.”

That’s what my son said while pondering his binder preferences at Staples.

Maybe you can.

You can also do a lot with two pitches. Cole Hamels tossed his curve into his limited repertoire but it was his fastball and change-up that ruled the game.

As a result, Ricky Botallico said Cole Hamels has “turned the corner.”

Are you kidding me?

That’s like saying my child is safe because he hides a cheap Swiss Army knife under his pillow to fight off perspective burglars. I said, “What you gonna do… file his nails to death?”

No doubt Cole had a hot night against a tough interleague rival. He threw 116 pitches—76 for strikes, sent eight batters back to the bench bitching, walked one, and allowed one earned run on three hits. But the question remains: Has he turned the corner?

Let’s just say he put on the blinker. Except for excessive home runs and walks allowed this year, it looks like he’s recovered from his 2009 hangover. But Cole is more comfortable pitching with an offensive cushion and the lineup gave him that. He’s also less flustered when his fielders aren’t flubbing and he got that too.

But showing mild displeasure as the result of a bad strike call can’t be considered a new level of maturity.

Maybe he’s outgrown the terrible twos, but all moms know when your pitcher is tired and grumpy all you can do is put him to bed.

I’m just the girl to do it.

I’m sorry, was I thinking out loud?

In this 5-1 Phillies win, the lineup was restored to its previous luster—if only for a moment. Jimmy Rollins stepped to the plate first while Shane Victorino was demoted to seventh because it let him watch more guys bat in front of him.

That’s a warm, fuzzy feeling I thought you could only get by rolling naked in polar fleece.

Not that I’d know anything about that.

But then Jimmy limped to first base in the sixth and Juan Castro took his place—again. Saturday I predict Shane will bat leadoff—again. And I’ll bet Wilson Valdez, freshly outrighted to Lehigh Valley, is packing enough socks and underwear to come back for at least 15 more days—again

The injury report has also changed the life of Paul Hoover. I’m willing to bet he’s found himself a home as permanent backup pitcher. It was an untimely strain for Brian Schneider but one man’s misfortune becomes another man’s wife.

Just ask Jayson Werth. An injury to Geoff Jenkins is what gave every girl the option to drool over the bearded wonder and gave Jayson the opportunity to prove he was an everyday player.

Now he’s landed on baseball’s 50 best list at a humble 49th. He’s behind like, well, everybody, but look on the bright side: Hanley Ramirez made the top 50 best players in baseball but he won’t make the top 50 best teammates.

And I’m certain my boobs are as big as they’re gonna get but my butt isn’t.

Did you hear? Pat Burrell was released from his duties as a pinch hitter for Tampa Bay. He can now be had for a cool $350,000—that’s what a player is worth when all he has left is one tool.

He’d get picked up faster placing an ad in the personals.

Baseball’s a tough crowd. What if I was off my game? Would I be put out to pasture with the other middle-aged innuendo junkies and see people hold up signs in my honor that read, “Mom or Machine?”

And if contracts are all about ability to perform, maybe Jimmy Rollins is coming closer to being considered a trade alternative to keep Jayson Werth. Jimmy has been around longer than any of the Phil’s original draft picks on the current 25 man roster. He was chosen in 1996 and is playing his eleventh season with the team. He’s spent more time as a Phillie than Pat Burrell or even Brett Myers who found a new home because he couldn’t get his mojo back after surgery.

Now Jimmy’s injured—again.

Like Terry Francona told the struggling David Ortiz, “You don't take for granted the time together.” With Ruben Amaro Jr. weighing options to keep his outfield intact, this might be a no-brainer.

Unless Jimmy’s calf can turn the corner.

See you at the ballpark.

 

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