Rollins Presser: Jimmy and Ruben Talk Contract Details, Reveal Probable Fourth Year

Rollins Presser: Jimmy and Ruben Talk Contract Details, Reveal Probable Fourth Year

Jimmy Rollins has another four years in order to cement his legacy as one of the greatest Phillies of all-time. And that's coming straight from the man who signed him.

Both Rollins and (bearded) Phillies GM Ruben Amaro, Jr. were before the media on Monday evening to answer questions surrounding Jimmy's new deal and his future with the team.

Over the course of twenty minutes, they fielded and responded to inquiries regarding other offers, other players, other cities and other acceptable spots for the shortstop within the Phillies lineup. [video, notes and a pretty cool picture below]

In a somewhat unsurprising move given his outspoken nature, Rollins was plenty candid about turning down offers from other clubs, specifically the Milwaukee Brewers. Referring to them first as "a team out in the Midwest," he eventually admitted that the Brewers' deal would have afforded him both an extra year and an increase in pay. Still, Rollins stressed that he didn't want to feel like just another "rented player," but valued instead his long-time role as a part of the plan to build something special here in Philly.

Speaking of the extra year, it remains unclear as to whether that other offer from Milwaukee would have meant a fourth or maybe even fifth season for the 11-year veteran. Though his new deal with the Phillies is only guaranteed for three, Jimmy began hinting almost immediately that it was really more like a four-year deal. After multiple references to the exact nature his contract option, Amaro admitted that it is actually of the club, player and vesting variety.

With that as the case, Rollins will have the right to tack on a fourth year at his discretion. In terms of specific vesting details, though none were explicitly stated, Amaro also claimed that every one of the benchmarks needed to trigger the "appropriate mechanisms" are numbers that Jimmy has achieved in nearly every year of his career as a Phillie. While Rollins will ultimately have the right to exercise a one-year extension regardless of those contingencies, the tiered vesting option could allow for him to make more money in the process.

As for where he sees himself now that he's back with the club, Rollins maintained that he stills views himself at the top of the Phillies' lineup. After running through a brief bit of club history and name-dropping both Doug Glanville and Marlon Byrd, the oft-criticized lead-off man made it clear that as long as he's still able to steal bases, he's still the man for the job.

And finally, so as not to disappoint, Jimmy did grace us with a few of the gems we've all come to expect when he's been granted both free reign and a working microphone.

First, to set your mind at ease, no, he does not begrudge Jose Reyes' his extravagant new deal with the Miami Marlins. That said, he also refuses to consider the former-Met as $75 million better than he. Next, in addressing past teammates who have gone the opposite route in free agency and taken the larger offer, Rollins also was quite understanding of Jayson Werth's decision to go to Washington ("I mean, of course they're not going to beat us, but he can always play well"). And finally, though he seems genuinely in favor of this year's Winter Classic, citing the die-hard nature of both the Phillies and Flyers fans, he also has a distinct vision for life after outdoor hockey. "When the game is over," said Rollins, "come dig it up and replace it."

And there you have it. Jimmy Rollins is officially back with the Philadelphia Phillies, the organization with which—he reminded all who were listening—he's been a part since the age of 17.

With that in mind, we were prompted to offer up this picture of a very young Young James interacting with the fans in Clearwater circa 2001. Little did we know this kid would become a future WFC. Welcome back, Jimmy.

Travis Konecny, Ivan Provorov show glimpses, Alex Lyon stars in Flyers' split-squad loss

Travis Konecny, Ivan Provorov show glimpses, Alex Lyon stars in Flyers' split-squad loss

NEWARK, N.J. — Split-squad games have their advantages and disadvantages.

The Devils presented a hefty NHL-laden lineup against a Flyers unit with one NHL forward — Scott Laughton — Monday night at the Prudential Center.

Not surprisingly, the Devils won, 2-0. Among the prospects to watch in this one were forward Travis Konecny and defenseman Ivan Provorov.

The one player who absolutely shined in this was goalie Alex Lyon, who finished with 29 saves on 30 shots.

Konecny was again at right wing but this time on Andy Miele’s line with Laughton, who’s been at left wing all camp.

“Miele can distribute the puck and makes plays and Scotty Laughton brings a more veteran presence and some power and speed on the left wing,” head coach Dave Hakstol said. “Add the ability that Travis has, it fits pretty well with those two.”

Konecny worked on the first-unit power play in the right slot. He lost a puck in the corner, regained it and fed Corban Knight for a near goal in the paint.

He had a shot, turnover and hit going into the final period and handled himself well against older veterans.

During a third-period power play, with the Flyers behind, 1-0, he got a rebound in the high slot but chose to pass the puck rather than reposition himself for a shot on goalie Anders Lindback.

Lyon impressive
Lyon, the free-agent goalie signed out of Yale, was under siege in the opening period, facing 13 shots. The Devils had a stacked veteran lineup against mostly kids from the Flyers.

He was very good, especially playing the angles from which the Devils like to attack. He also stopped Beau Bennett on a breakaway out of the penalty box with his right pad.

Lyon had a sliding pad save on Bennett in the second period, as well, off a two-on-none break.

Provorov debut
He was paired with Brandon Manning and played the left side.

The 19-year-old Russian showed some speed and worked on the first-unit power play with Konecny. Provorov did some nice stickwork to get around Devils veteran Travis Zajac on the forecheck in the first period.

One aspect that stood out as the game progressed was that Provorov’s passes on the breakout were too quick for his forwards to handle. He’s that talented that he gets the puck and it’s gone before they can catch it in stride.

Lyubimov debut 
Another forward battling for a roster spot is Russian center Roman Lyubimov, who played right wing on Anthony Salinitri’s line with Connor Bunnaman.

He’s very quick to chasing down pucks off the faceoff and very strong in battling for position or puck possession in tight spaces.

He worked the penalty kill in Russia and was on the first unit here, where he had a blocked shot.

Loose pucks 
The Flyers fell to the Islanders, 3-0, in their other game. Anthony Stolarz started in net and made 33 saves. ... With a split-squad game and the Flyers missing players because of the World Cup of Hockey, they had only three NHLers in their lineup vs. the Devils: Laughton, Manning and South Jersey’s T.J. Brennan. … Laughton had a nifty chance late in the second period and missed everything. … The Devils got a goal from Nick Lappin soon after on a second rebound. Nothing Lyon could do. … The Flyers actually outshot the Devils, 10-9, that stanza. … The Devils had an empty-net goal at the end. ... Tuesday’s game at the Wells Fargo Center against the Islanders will be televised on TCN.

Elton Brand on national anthem protests: Sixers working with NBA, having 'discussions internally'

Elton Brand on national anthem protests: Sixers working with NBA, having 'discussions internally'

CAMDEN, N.J. — Pockets of NBA players have increasingly started to speak up about what they believe to be racial and social injustices taking place in the United States.

With San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick's decision to kneel during the national anthem sparking protests from other players around the NFL and various sports, now the NBA as a whole is preparing for potential protests prior to games.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver and National Basketball Players Association union executive director Michele Roberts came together last week to formulate a joint letter to players to express how the two sides plan to take "meaningful action."

Whatever that action is, Sixers veteran Elton Brand is all for it and the overall discussion of issues going on around the country.

"There are e-mails and direct texts from the NBPA. We’re working with the NBA. They’re going to talk to us soon,” Brand said. “My thing is if you want to stand up for something, that’s a good thing. Especially in America, the tensions and the injustices that are going on right now. 

“Even in our locker room we’re discussing who feels like this, who feels like what and ways that we can display how we feel about things. I’m all for it. I stand behind it and stand with other athletes and people that want to stand for a cause. Whatever their cause is, they want to stand for a cause. Our cause may be different.”

The NBA is significantly more diverse than the NFL, and Brand even admitted it’s been an eye-opening experience having talks about issues affecting African Americans inside a locker room with players from around the globe.

“We have a lot of international players,” he said. “I’m looking around the room and there are seven people that aren’t from this country. So you talk about the flag, talk about the constitution and to them it’s like, ‘I represent America because I’m working here, but I’m pro-Spain and I have problems there, too.’ We’re all sorting it out. We’ve had discussions internally also. I’m looking forward to what the NBPA and the NBA have to offer."

What the league and players association come up with will likely serve as something other than protesting during the actual anthem. Unlike the NFL, the NBA has a rule in place that explicitly states players, coaches and trainers must stand on the foul line or sidelines in a dignified posture during the playing of national anthems.

If Sixers players do ultimately decide on some sort of protest before games, they will have the support of the organization to express their rights.

"We haven't been together collectively long enough to have a real robust discussion about it," Sixers president Bryan Colangelo said. "I think we just addressed it briefly this morning with the players in an opportunity to say the following. Basically, we as an organization are going to be supportive of the views of our players. As the league and the players association formulate perhaps an approach, they've already circulated some information to teams. Things are probably still at the discussion phase. I hope to think that's where things are with our players, that they're still at the discussion phase. 

"Once again, I'm assuming that there will be a desire to express an opinion or viewpoint. I've always been supportive of people in society having freedom to express a viewpoint. Again, going back to the league and the players association, in a positive way I think they've always been out in front of some of these social issues and if they can affect social change in a positive way they probably will. You can just anticipate that there's still some unknowns to this, but you can estimate that we will be supportive as an organization as to how our players want to express their views."