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.

No. 16 Villanova vs. No. 23 Albany: With or without Bednarczyk, can Wildcats rebound?


No. 16 Villanova vs. No. 23 Albany: With or without Bednarczyk, can Wildcats rebound?

No. 16 Villanova (5-2, 3-1) vs. No. 23 Albany (4-2, 1-2)
Villanova Stadium, Villanova, Pa.
Saturday, 3:30 p.m.

Fresh off a rare loss, Villanova looks to get back on track during its homecoming game against another nationally ranked foe. Here’s a look at the matchup:

Scouting Villanova
The Wildcats saw their five-game winning streak snapped in resounding fashion as they were shut out for the first time since 2004 in a 23-0 loss to Richmond. Sophomore quarterback Zach Bednarczyk left the game in the second quarter with an injury, a big reason why the Wildcats finished with just 222 yards of total offense. But despite the final score, Villanova’s defense played well again with Austin Calitro and Rob Rolle each hitting double digits in tackles. The unit is ranked fifth in the FCS in scoring defense (16.3 points per game) and sixth in total defense (237.9 yards per game) and has scored four defensive touchdowns.

Scouting Albany
After winning their first four games, the Great Danes lost their next two, a 36-30 triple-overtime heartbreaker to Richmond followed by a 20-16 setback to Maine. Sophomore quarterback Neven Sussman led Albany with 187 passing yards and 75 rushing yards. But for the season, their offensive strength has been with sophomore running back Elijah Ibitokun-Hanks, who’s second in the CAA in rushing, averaging 105 yards per game. Albany’s defense is only behind Villanova in points allowed per game (19.3) in the CAA, but interestingly enough is last in total defense (420.2 yards per game). The Great Danes lead the league in turnover margin (plus-15), led by linebacker Michael Nicastro and safety Mason Gray with three interceptions apiece.

Series history
Villanova has only played Albany twice, beating the Great Danes, 48-31, in 2014 and steamrolling it, 37-0, last season. 

Storyline to watch
The big question going in is whether Bednarczyk will play with Villanova saying it will be a game-time decision after the QB suffered a concussion last week. If he can’t go, Adeyemi DaSilva will get the start in his place after replacing him in the second quarter vs. Richmond. DaSilva is a promising player but Bednarczyk was coming into his own this season and his absence would naturally be a difficult one. Of course, the Wildcats have been through this before with Bednarczyk taking over as the starter last season when star John Robertson went down with an injury of his own.

What’s at stake?
Villanova still has a chance to win the CAA but probably can’t afford a second loss in the league. And of course, there’s nothing better than winning in front of a homecoming crowd.

A lot depends on whether Bednarczyk can play … but even if he doesn’t, the Wildcats’ dominant defense may be enough to get the job done. 

Villanova 20, Albany 17

Anthem singer at Sixers-Heat game kneels during performance

Anthem singer at Sixers-Heat game kneels during performance

MIAMI — A woman performing the national anthem before an NBA preseason game in Miami on Friday night did so while kneeling at midcourt, and opening her jacket to show a shirt with the phrase "Black Lives Matter."

The singer was identified by the Heat as Denasia Lawrence. It was unclear if she remained in the arena after the performance, and messages left for her were not immediately returned.

Heat players and coaches stood side-by-side for the anthem, all with their arms linked as has been their custom during the preseason. Many had their heads down as Lawrence sang, and the team released a statement saying it had no advance knowledge that she planned to kneel.

"We felt as a basketball team that we would do something united, so that was our focus," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "Throughout all of this, I think the most important thing that has come out is the very poignant, thoughtful dialogue. We've had great dialogue within our walls here and hopefully this will lead to action."

The anthem issue has been a major topic in the sports world in recent months, starting with the decision by San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick to not stand for its playing. Kaepernick cited racial injustice and police brutality among the reasons for his protest, and athletes from many sports -- and many levels, from youth all the way to professional -- have followed his lead in various ways.

"All I can say is what we've seen in multiple preseason games so far is our players standing for the national anthem," NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in New York earlier Friday, at a news conference following the league's board of governors meetings. "It would be my hope that they would continue to stand for the national anthem. I think that is the appropriate thing to do."

The NBA has a rule calling for players and coaches to stand during the anthem.

Heat guard Wayne Ellington often speaks about the need to curb gun violence, after his father was shot and killed two years ago. He had his eyes closed for most of the anthem Friday, as per his own custom, though was aware of Lawrence's actions.

"At the end of the day, to each his own," Ellington said. "If she feels like that's the way she wants to stand for it, then more power to her."

Making a statement in the manner that Lawrence did Friday is rare, but not unheard of in recent weeks.

When the Sacramento Kings played their first home preseason game earlier this month, anthem singer Leah Tysse dropped to one knee as she finished singing the song.

Tysse is white. Lawrence is black.

"I love and honor my country as deeply as anyone yet it is my responsibility as an American to speak up against injustice as it affects my fellow Americans," Tysse wrote on Facebook. "I have sung the anthem before but this time taking a knee felt like the most patriotic thing I could do. I cannot idly stand by as black people are unlawfully profiled, harassed and killed by our law enforcement over and over and without a drop of accountability."