Jimmy Rollins would like the Philly crowd to be a bit louder

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I’ve been told by several people, with absolute certainty, that Phillies fans are the best in the world, so I was rather confused when Jimmy Rollins took to Twitter last night and made the following observation:

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He later tweeted, in response to someone defending the fans, that “This is the playoffs & they’re at game 4 [of] the regular season”

I dunno. It’s hard to tell from TV, but the crowd seemed to be into it well enough in the first few innings. Getting shut down by a bullpen that had no business shutting anyone down like it did will sap even the craziest fan.  I mean, take this guy for example:

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Three hours before that pic was taken I have it on good authority that he was smiling and saying “go team!’

Ugly, joy-killing games happen, Jimmy. Part of life and baseball. Especially when they come as the result of 17 double-switches and all of that.  I don’t think you’d get any different response from anyone else.

Martin Maldonado and Willson Contreras say they’re willing to pay fines rather than follow new mound visit rule

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On Monday, Major League Baseball announced some changes aimed at improving the game’s pace of play, something that has been a pet cause for commissioner Rob Manfred. Among the changes was a limit on mound visits whether from managers and coaches, the catcher, or other defenders. Each team will have six non-pitching change mound visits per game and one additional visit each inning in extra innings. Craig wrote more in depth on the changes here if you happened to miss it.

Angels catcher Martin Maldonado says he is going to do what’s necessary to stay on the same page with his pitchers. Via Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register, Maldonado said, “If the game is on the line, I’m going to go out there. If we’re at six [visits], and it’s going to be the seventh, I’m going to go out there, even if I have to pay a fine. I’m there for the pitchers.”

Cubs catcher Willson Contreras said as much on Tuesday. Per Josh Frydman of WGN News, Contreras said, “What about if you have a tight game and you have to go out there? They can’t say anything about that, that’s my team and we just care about wins. If they’re going to fine me about number seven mound visit, I’ll pay the price.”

Exhibition games haven’t even started yet, but two notable backstops — the lesser-known Maldonado won a Gold Glove last year — are clearly not happy with the rule change. As Craig alluded to in his article yesterday, arguments between catchers and umpires (and, subsequently, managers and umpires) are probably going to become more frequent, which would likely end up nullifying any pace of play improvements.

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Update (4:43 PM ET): In response to this, Manfred said that if a catcher or coach made a seventh mound visit, there would have to be a pitching change (via Fletcher). However, chief baseball officer Joe Torre said (via SB Nation’s Eric Stephen) that the seventh visit cannot trigger a pitching change. The umpire would simply have to prevent the seventh mound visit.