Tuesday, August 26, 2008

This Has All Been One Big Misunderstanding

So I was watching the Phillies last night when something dawned on me. Maybe there's been more than meets the eye in the 2008 version of Jimmy Rollins. For you see, since his stint on the disabled list early in the year, 2008 Jimmy Rollins has not been remotely like 2007 MVP Jimmy Rollins or even the happy-go-lucky, hustling Jimmy Rollins of years past.

But then last night, the old Jimmy was back. The Jimmy everyone loves. The Jimmy that doesn't spout off at the mouth about his hometown fans. The Jimmy that doesn't suck. In the Phils' 5-0 win, he, along with Jayson Werth, was the catalyst for the team, driving in the first two runs and scoring the third for an impressive 3-for-3 night with a single, double, triple, hbp, walk, run and two RBIs. It was almost as if the J-Roll of old had gone away, only to return when his replacement hit rock bottom.

And you see, that got me thinking … Could it be that the real Jimmy Rollins has, in fact, been gone since April 8, the night he sprained his ankle going back to 2nd at Shea Stadium? I contend that Jimmy Rollins started the season with every intention of replicating his 2007 season. But when he got injured and was placed on the disabled list for the first time in his career, he got a taste of what having some time off feels like.

And you know what? Jimmy liked it. Why should he be busting his ass night in and night out when he could sit at home, relax and collect a fat paycheck? So when his time to return approached, Jimmy took a page out of the old Calvin and Hobbes playbook. He broke out his trusty old cardboard box and favorite sharpie, and whammo, his duplicator was born.

Like Calvin (which is James Rollins' middle name by the way), Jimmy duplicated himself to get his clone to do the work. That way, Jimmy could stay at home and read comic books with his stuffed tiger … or something like that.

It was a full-proof plan. That was, until his clone started to get him in trouble. You see, Calvin's clone kept doing and saying dumb things, which got the original Calvin in more trouble than even he could get into himself. I'm sensing some eerie parallels here.

Just as Calvin's duplicate caused him problems, so has Jimmy's. For starters, the duplicate version was simply not as good at baseball as the original. He didn't hit very well, and apparently Rollins forgot to mention to his clone that running was a part of the game. Then, the clone seemed to get even more relaxed, even after causing Jimmy to be benched for not running out a pop-up. He decided to show up late for a game against the Mets. Then he defied the original Rollins, saying his manager was wrong for benching him.

The real Jimmy was beginning to get nervous. He watched as his duplicate began to destroy his season and to some extent his reputation. But Jimmy enjoyed his time off, so he sat down Jimmy No. 2, explained to him he needed to cool it down a bit and start trying a little harder. But Jimmy No. 2, getting more and more frustrated that he was asked to do all the work while that no-good original got all the credit, decided to sabotage Jimmy No. 1. So on national television, with his team in the middle of a divisional race, clone Jimmy bashed original Jimmy's fans, making the public in Philadelphia turn on him.

To make matters even worse, Jimmy No. 2 went in a 5-for-50 funk, scoring just two runs and driving in 0 runs in 12 games. Well, finally Jimmy No. 1 had enough. He broke out his cardboard box, set it to transmogrifier and got rid of that pesky clone.

And last night, the real Jimmy Rollins made his triumphant return. Inspired by the incredible hustle of Jasyon Werth, who somehow beat out a play at second base to set up Rollins for his 2-run single and later scored on a ground ball to second from second base, Rollins ignited the team. He finished a home run shy of the cycle and began to win back the fans his duplicate had alienated. This has to be the case right?

It sure took a while, but we're awful glad to have the real Jimmy back. Let's hope the clone doesn't resurface any time soon.

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