An Era Ends in Philly: Jimmy Rollins Traded to the Dodgers

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I knew this day would come. I knew the day would come that the Phillies decided (whether wrongly or not) that it was time to move SS Jimmy Rollins for a package of younger players. I knew there would be a day Rollins didn’t don his No. 11 jersey, trot out to shortstop at Citizens Bank Park, and lead off the Phils’ lineup. Even though I knew this day would come, it doesn’t make it any easier. When the news broke, I broke into a few tears and called my dad to talk about the trade. He just said, “ya know, that’s life,” and in an instant, a part of my childhood was gone. This was the article I never wanted to write.

As a fan of Rollins since he played for the Phillies’ minor league affiliate, the Reading Phillies, it has

Jimmy Rollins (above) has spent his entire 15-year career with the Phillies.

Jimmy Rollins (above) has spent his entire 15-year career with the Phillies.

been over 15 years of my life that I’ve cheered for the “little guy.” He was easy to cheer for, and soon became my favorite player. I just loved his style of play. Rollins is a dynamic speedster, and has served as the ignition of the Phillies’ offense for over a decade. He holds the all-time team record for hits and doubles, won an MVP in ’07 and a World Series in ’08, and only Hall-of-Fame 3B Mike Schmidt has played more games in a Phillies’ uniform. Rollins has cemented himself as one of the greatest players in Phillies’ history, and he will be sorely missed.

Of course I’m biased, but they simply shouldn’t have traded Rollins. His personality and leadership in the clubhouse and on the field helped create a culture in Philadelphia, and led to one of the greatest 5-6 year periods in franchise history. Now, the team is looking like they are going the route of the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers, and holding a “firesale” before tanking this season. I couldn’t even tell you who the team plans to play at shortstop next season. I don’t think that they even know. Overall, this move has Ruben Amaro, Jr. written all over it, and all in all, I’m positive this move won’t work out in the Phillies’ favor. Two unidentified minor league pitchers is the haul the Phillies got for Rollins, one of their franchise’s all-time best players. It’s highly unlikely that either of those arms will be able to have an impact on the franchise the way Rollins did.

Rollins inspired this generation of Phillie fans. He was and always will be our lead off hitter, and our leader. There were too many great memories, and it’s sad that they’re over now. As a fan of Rollins, I will root for him to succeed wherever he goes, even if I selfishly wish he would’ve been a lifetime Phillie. Thank you, Jimmy, for giving me and millions of other fans all those memories. We will never forget you.

Now, I must make a trip to Philadelphia when the Dodgers come to town next summer, to welcome Jimmy back home.

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NFL Season 3/4 Mark

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WOW! It’s already fantasy football playoff time, as we are entering Week 14 of the NFL season. With only four games left, its time to see where the contenders are, and who still has a shot at making the NFL playoffs.

AFC East

1. New England Patriots (9-3)

T-2. Buffalo Bills (7-5)

T-2. Miami Dolphins (7-5)

4. New York Jets (2-10)

Since the last update, the Patriots continued to extend their lead atop the division, while the Bills and Dolphins are dueling it out for second. As for the lowly Jets, they are already looking forward to their top 5 draft pick, and their upcoming coaching search that should begin early next month. The AFC East is a pretty straightforward division, and expect Brady to add yet another division title to his resume.

AFC North

1. Cincinnati Bengals (8-3-1)

T-2. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-5)

T-2. Baltimore Ravens (7-5)

T-2. Cleveland Browns (7-5)

Johnny Manziel (above) may be named the Browns' starting quarterback for their late season playoff chase.

Johnny Manziel (above) may be named the Browns’ starting quarterback for their late season playoff chase.

This is the most competitive division in the NFL and continues to surprise fans around the league. It’s still possible that three teams from this division make the playoffs, while a team that could finish .500 or above could miss the postseason. Now, the Cleveland Browns are thinking of starting rookie QB Johnny Manziel in the midst of their playoff push. Could this division get any crazier? If I had to guess, I’m going to say that Cincinnati will win the division, much in part to the tie they have in their record. However, I still believe the Steelers and Ravens have a good shot at making the AFC Playoffs, while I expect to Cleveland to crumble under the pressure late in the season. This should be fun to watch.

AFC South

1. Indianapolis Colts (8-4)

2. Houston Texans (6-6)

T-3. Tennessee Titans (2-10)

T-3. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-10)

Not much has changed with this division. The Colts are the clear favorites, the Texans are stuck in mediocrity during their new head coach’s first season, and the Titans and Jaguars are in the midst of rebuilding projects. This continues to be the most predictable division in the NFL.

AFC West

1. Denver Broncos (9-3)

2. San Diego Chargers (8-4)

3. Kansas City Chiefs (7-5)

4. Oakland Raiders (1-11)

This division has gotten tighter, as both the Chargers and Chiefs are waiting for the Broncos to stumble and take advantage of their mistakes. However, QB Peyton Manning is as steady as anyone, and will help lead his team to the postseason again. Although, the Chargers and Chiefs will definitely be battling it out for a playoff spot against the bottom three teams from the AFC North. It should be an interesting race down the stretch. Oh, and Oakland won a game. Woo.

NFC East

1. Philadelphia Eagles (9-3)

2. Dallas Cowboys (8-4)

T-3. New York Giants (3-9)

T-3. Washington Redskins (3-9)

The Philadelphia Eagles have shown that they are the class of this division and one of the best teams

The Philadelphia Eagles (above) are looking to secure their postseason spot in the coming weeks.

The Philadelphia Eagles (above) are looking to secure their postseason spot in the coming weeks.

in the NFL. So far, the Eagles are a perfect 3-0 in their division, with three of their last four games coming against those same division opponents. I fully expect them to be a top seed heading into the playoffs. The biggest question is how the Dallas Cowboys will respond to their Thanksgiving Day blowout at home against the aforementioned Eagles. While Dallas was a surprise for much of this season, it will be interesting to see if they are able to rebound and make a push for a Wild Card spot. The Giants and Redskins are already looking forward to the changes they will make during the off season.

NFC North

1. Green Bay Packers (9-3)

2. Detroit Lions (8-4)

T-3. Chicago Bears (5-7)

T-3. Minnesota Vikings (5-7)

Of course, QB Aaron Rodgers has helped lead his Packers back to the top of the NFC North. However, the Detroit Lions are right on their heels, and have the makings of a playoff team. Lions’ coach Jim Caldwell has truly gotten the most out of his players, and has them in position to at least challenge the Packers. While the Bears are immensely talented on offense, QB Jay Cutler has played awfully this past month, and the defense has matched his effort. The surprise of the division may be the Vikings, who are only two games under .500 while starting rookie QB Teddy Bridgewater. The future is now for Minnesota!

NFC South

T-1. Atlanta Falcons (5-7)

T-1. New Orleans Saints (5-7)

3. Carolina Panthers (3-8-1)

4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-10)

Currently, the winner of this division could finish the season with a record of 5-11…. 6 games under .500. Obviously, that would be a record, but it’s something I can’t imagine. While every team in this division has been disappointing, the New Orleans Saints have taken the cake, after being picked by many to pick the Super Bowl during the preseason. Both the offense and defense have looked lost this season, and yet, the Saints are still the best team in this division. The Atlanta Falcons hurt themselves too often late in games to trust them, and the Panthers and Bucs are already looking forward to adding pieces to their rosters this off season. I’d expect the Saints to take this division, but with a .500 record at 8-8.

NFC West

1. Arizona Cardinals (9-3)

2. Seattle Seahawks (8-4)

3. San Francisco 49ers (7-5)

4. St. Louis Rams (5-7)

The Cardinals are continuing their surprise run, but for how much longer? The entire division has gained ground on Arizona in the past month, which has seen them lose QB Carson Palmer to an ACL injury. The Seahawks’ defense is hot again, and looks as if it is coming into form just in time for the postseason. I’d definitely expect both of this teams to be in the post season. On the other hand, the 49ers are struggling with injuries, and it’s showing on the field. There are many rumors that coach Jim Harbaugh will be moving onto a different team after this season, and so far, the performance is matching the reports. At the bottom of the division, the Rams are showing why they are a team on the rise, after beating Oakland down 52-0 this past Sunday. St. Louis isn’t technically out of it yet, but this season is more about gaining experience for the upcoming seasons, when they should be good enough to make a playoff run.


It’s hard to believe that the NFL season is moving by so quickly, but there are already only four games left! Watch and enjoy as we watch the playoff picture take form during this last month of the regular season.