By Sam Bush
The Phillies were delighted to announce yesterday that legendary shortstop Jimmy Rollins has rejoined the organization as a special advisor.
Manager Gabe Kapler might be less delighted.
Because if Kapler starts 2019 as shakily as he did 2018 Phils management might pull the plug and replace him.
Rollins will have duties on both the baseball and business sides of the Phillies’ operation, including spring training coaching, meeting with sponsors and suite holders, fan engagement and community outreach.
Expect Rollins to be in a Phillies uniform at some point this spring in Clearwater, Fla.
“It goes without saying that Jimmy was a huge part of the team’s success during the five-year run of division titles and he is one of the greatest players to wear our uniform,” Phillies executive vice president Dave Buck said in a statement. “His acumen for both business and baseball makes this a natural fit. We are excited to have him back.”
Rollins played parts of 17 seasons in the big leagues, including his first 15 with the Phillies. He is the franchise’s all-time leader in hits (2,306) and doubles (479). He won the 2007 National League Most Valuable Player Award, made three NL All-Star teams, won four Gold Glove Awards, one Silver Slugger Award and was the co-winner of the Roberto Clemente Award in 2014.
Rollins called the Phillies the team to beat in the NL East in 2007. They were from 2007-11, when they won five consecutive division titles, two NL pennants and one World Series.
Rollins finished his career with a .264 batting average, 511 doubles, 115 triples, 231 home runs, 936 RBIs and 470 stolen bases. Rollins is one of 10 players in baseball history to have 2,000 or more hits, 200 or more home runs and 400 or more stolen bases. The group includes Hall of Famers Joe Morgan, Rickey Henderson, Paul Molitor, Roberto Alomar and Craig Biggio.