Philly might be the City of Brotherly Love, but the former Phillies shortstop thinks it’s no place for superstars. His reasoning, he revealed in an interview with FOX Sports, is that Philadelphia’s blue-collar ways don’t exactly mesh with players aspiring to be stars.
Rollins also said he now feels “free” that he’s no longer in Philadelphia.
“I feel like I’m free to be myself without someone on my shoulder,” he told FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal. “Obviously, everyone has parameters and limits. You have to play within the boundaries. But when you’re a leader, rules are a little different for you. When you’re a superstar, rules are a little different. You’re held to a higher standard, which I love. But it brings added pressure. Which I love. But if someone buds, let ’em bud. Instead of trying to keep ’em within this framework. Just let ’em be who they are at that moment.
“The general area, the city (of Philadelphia) being blue-collar, it’s not conducive for a superstar. You can be good, but you’ve got to be blue-collar along the way, keep your mouth shut, just go and work. Where obviously, this is LA. It’s almost like it’s OK to be more flamboyant. You kind of appreciate that the more you’re out there. Because LA loves a star.”
Rollins doesn’t think this is something that only happens in Philadelphia, though. He believes it has more to do with the differences between East and West Coast ways of thinking.
“I think the East Coast, in general, you get the Big Three — Boston, New York and Philly,” he explained to Rosenthal. “Tough. Not impossible. But if you’re scared, you’re not secure, you don’t know yourself, yeah, you’ll get beat up. But if you can stand strong, believe in yourself, be confident and handle the pressure … there are different pressures on the East Coast than on the West Coast, that’s just the way it is. But if you can handle those pressures, you’ll be fine.”
The Phillies traded Rollins to the Dodgers over the winter in exchange for a pair of prospects. The 36-year-old is hitting .316 with two RBIs through 13 spring training appearances so far.
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
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