Jimmy Rollins gave his new manager the impression that Todd Helton tagged him at first base on a close and important call with two on and two outs in the seventh inning on Tuesday night. Todd Helton, after the game, disagreed.
From CSN's game story:
Apparently, Helton sold the tag well enough to fool both [umpire] Wolf and Rollins. That’s because afterwards, Helton says he never touched Rollins.
“I didn’t tag him,” Helton said of the bang-bang play. “I tried to, but I didn’t tag him.”
I feel like this is a setup up to the Aristocrats joke but this time the punchline, like it always seems to be these days, is "the Phillies!"
You can watch the play in question here.
It's hard to say if the call that went against the Phillies would have changed the outcome of the game in the end, but it certainly killed the Fightins' best chance to make a late come back.
It seems to be a bit symbolic of the Phillie season at this point too. After Charlie Manuel was fired, new skipper Ryne Sanberg hinted that he needed to get more out of his team's long-tenured shortstop.
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Following the game, Sandberg said he basically just went off of J-Roll's reaction to the pivotal play and didn't really argue because Jimmy didn't argue.
“It looked like a close play at first, but J-Roll felt some contact over there, he felt like a tag was applied,” Sandberg said.
So what gives? Did Helton touch Helton with his non-glove hand to fool him? Is Jimmy just rolling over at this point? It's really tough to say.
For what it's worth, the play at third was pretty damn amazing. I was in the car listening on the radio when it happened and Scott Franzke called it one of the best you'll ever see.
The Phillies went on to lose the ball game.
For much more on the bizarre play at first, check out John Finger's recap here.