Jimmy Rollins battling slump, Phillies need his spark

Jimmy Rollins got last night off after his wife gave birth to the couple’s first child, a baby girl, on Sunday night.

Whether the Phillies earn their sixth consecutive playoff berth doesn’t solely hinge on the success of Jimmy Rollins.

But it is a main ingredient.

When Rollins acts as the catalyst, the Phillies tend to respond. He’s their on-field leader, their emotional and inspirational director.

Heading into last night’s opener against Washington, the Phillies stood at .500, with a 21-21 record. Not coincidentally, Rollins is struggling. He’s hitting .229 with one home run, seven RBIs and an uncharacteristic three errors.

Rollins has battled through slumps before, but this seems different. He’s 33 and playing in his 13th season with the Phils after signing a three-year, $33 million contract with an option for a fourth year. Unless they trade Rollins, he’s likely to end his career with the organization that selected him in the second round of the 1996 draft.

At some point, the Phillies will need Rollins to spark this club like he has done so many times in the past.

“He could be hitting better, of course,” manager Charlie Manuel said. “He’s gotten off to slow starts before. It’s nothing new to him. He’s going to have to pick it up for us.”

Manuel has watched Rollins take some good swings. The task now is to see Rollins do it every at-bat. The skipper held the shortstop out of the lineup yesterday after Rollins’ wife, Johari, gave birth to a baby girl on Sunday.

“He hooks a lot of balls from the left side,” Manuel said. “Especially the last few days, he’s hitting the ball through the middle, which is a way to get his stroke back.”


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

Local

Oval oasis: Summer of fun kicks off this…

A bold partnership between the Fairmount Park Conservancy and the city's Parks and Recreation Department is kicking off this weekend with family activities re-activating this unused public space.

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

MLB

Jimmy Rollins is key to Phillies success

When John Kruk was asked about what the Phillies need to contend for a playoff berth, the ESPN analyst said Jimmy Rollins needs to play like a MVP again.

MLB

Ben Revere lifts Phillies to avoid sweep

Ben Revere came through with a two-out RBI single against Atlanta’s tough lefthander Alex Wood.

NBA

Season wrap: 76ers make the grade

The 76ers opened the 2013-14 season with a victory over the Miami Heat. The Sixers closed the season with a win at Miami.

NBA

Fantasy basketball: Finding next year's NBA studs

Before we put the 2013-14 fantasy basketball season to bed, it’s worth thinking about next year’s breakouts while they’re fresh in our mind.

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.