Rollins speaks out about Phils fans
Reigning NL MVP calls club's supporters 'front-runners'
LOS ANGELES -- Jimmy Rollins understands more than most the stormy relationship players in Philadelphia can have with fans. As a long-tenured member of the Phillies, Rollins understands that accolades and jeers are closely tied to performance.He isn't afraid to state his thoughts, either. Rollins and teammate Ryan Howard appeared on Wednesday's edition of "The Best Damn Sports Show Period," with host Chris Rose and co-host John Salley. Taped in Los Angeles, Rollins was asked if Philadelphia warrants its reputation as a tough sports town. "It can be, yeah," Rollins said. "There are times, like, it's one of those cities ... I might catch some flack for saying this, but, you know, they're front-runners. When you're doing good, they're on your side. When you're doing bad, they're completely against you." A clip of Rollins' appearance was shown on Comcast SportsNet in Philadelphia. Radio talk shows have fielded calls from fans offended by the comments, which are similar to previous comments made by Rollins and other athletes about the city's passionate fans. He noted that Eagles fans booed the selection of quarterback Donovan McNabb in 1999, and he defended teammate Pat Burrell over the years when fans gave him a hard time. When Rose and Salley contended that many cities have fans who boo and cheer accordingly, likening it to a "family," Rollins said, "I hear you. But, for example, Ryan is from St. Louis, and St. Louis, it seems like they support their team, they're out there and encouraging. In Philly, can't be no punk."
Ken Mandel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.