Jimmy Rollins made a name for himself with his play on the field helping the Phillies overcome the Mets in the NL East in 2007 and ’08 and also trash talking the division rivals. Prior to the 2007 season, he declared the Phillies “the team to beat” in the division, and he was eventually proven right when the Phillies toppled the Mets in historic fashion in the final three weeks of the season. As a result, Rollins became a villain in the eyes of the Mets and their fans.
So it came as a bit of a surprise to hear what he said Saturday about the Mets. Via ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick:
“This was my No. 1 landing spot,” Rollins said from Los Angeles’ spring training camp, “and I considered the Mets to be No. 2. They have some arms over there — oh my gosh.”
Rollins said about playing the Mets last season, “that team wasn’t that bad”. He added, “when you look to the future there, it looks pretty bright.”
Rollins saying the Mets were his “No.2 ” is interesting as the Mets had interest in trading for Rollins but backed off after it was believed he wouldn’t waive his 10-and-5 rights for them.
The Dodgers acquired the 36-year-old Rollins in a trade with the Phillies in December, sending away pitchers Zach Eflin (acquired from the Padres in the Matt Kemp trade) and Tom Windle. Rollins finished the 2014 season with a respectable .243/.323/.394 slash line along with 17 home runs, 55 RBI, and 28 stolen bases.
On Sunday, we learned that while the Nationals would continue to pay their minor leaguers throughout the month of June, their weekly stipend would be lowered by 25 percent, from $400 to $300. In an incredible act of solidarity, Nationals reliever Sean Doolittle and his teammates put out a statement, saying they would be covering the missing $100 from the stipends.
After receiving some criticism, the Nationals reversed course, agreeing to pay their minor leaguers their full $400 weekly stipend.
Doolittle and co. have not withdrawn their generosity. On Wednesday, Doolittle released another statement, saying that he and his major league teammates would continue to offer financial assistance to Nationals minor leaguers through the non-profit organization More Than Baseball.
The full statement:
Washington Nationals players were excited to learn that our minor leaguers will continue receiving their full stipends. We are grateful that efforts have been made to restore their pay during these challenging times.
We remain committed to supporting them. Nationals players are partnering with More Than Baseball to contribute funds that will offer further assistance and financial support to any minor leaguers who were in the Nationals organization as of March 1.
We’ll continue to stand with them as we look forward to resuming our 2020 MLB season.
Kudos to Doolittle and the other Nationals continuing to offer a helping hand in a trying time. The players shouldn’t have to subsidize their employers’ labor expenses, but that is the world we live in today.