Up until December 2014, Jimmy Rollins was the longest-tenured player on the Philadelphia Phillies. He won a World Series and a National League MVP during his time in Philadelphia, but after a winter trade, the 36-year-old shortstop is a newly minted member of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Raised an Athletics fans in Alameda, Calif., Rollins dreamed of playing in California early in his career, but sustained success with the Phillies halted that. Now back on his native side of the country as an elder statesman in MLB, Rollins reflected on his 15-year career in Philadelphia with Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal. He admits that life in L.A. breezy, especially compared to the cauldron of Philadelphia sports. "I feel like I’m free to be myself without someone on my shoulder," Rollins said of leaving Philadelphia.
"Obviously, everyone has parameters and limits. You have to play within the boundaries. But when you’re a leader, rules are a little different for you," he said. "When you’re a superstar, rules are a little different. You’re held to a higher standard, which I love. But it brings added pressure. Which I love. But if someone buds, let ’em bud. Instead of trying to keep ’em within this framework. Just let ’em be who they are at that moment."
"The general area, the city [of Philadelphia] being blue-collar, it’s not conducive for a superstar. You can be good, but you’ve got to be blue-collar along the way, keep your mouth shut, just go and work. Where obviously, this is LA. It’s almost like it’s OK to be more flamboyant. You kind of appreciate that the more you’re out there. Because LA loves a star."
On the insatiable appetite of the Philadelphia sports market, Rollins said unabashedly, "They will tear your butt up, eat you alive."
Somewhere, Donovan McNabb, Terrell Owens, Allen Iverson, and Charles Barkley are screaming, "Well no shit, Sherlock." Philadelphia isn't for stars—it's for heroic Mark Wahlberg movies, Rocky, and Sam Hinkie (who's only included in this group because his white-collar nerdiness balances the scales).
Best of luck to Sam Bradford this season.
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[via CBS Philadelphia]