After spending 15 seasons with the Philadelphia Phillies, shortstop Jimmy Rollins found himself in a new city and clubhouse this spring.
Rollins came to the Los Angeles Dodgers in a trade this winter and is now spending Spring Training in Arizona. For the 36-year-old, it’s a bit of a homecoming in the sense that he’s back on the West Coast. With the Phillies, Rollins was an MVP, a World Series champion and a team leader, but with the team in a rebuilding phase, the shortstop was willing to be traded to a contending team. He’s now on a new team, but still is expected to bring leadership to the Dodgers.
In an interview with Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, Rollins gave some insight on the transition from Philadelphia to Los Angeles:
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.
The Dodgers are one of the historic franchises in baseball, but have became one of the more popular franchises the past couple years after a low period with Frank McCourt as the owner.
Even though big-time personalities Matt Kemp and Hanley Ramirez are gone, the Dodgers are still seen as favorites and still have superstars like Yasiel Puig, Adrian Gonzalez and Clayton Kershaw on the roster. Under manager Don Mattingly, the team has been seen having fun in the clubhouse and dugout while maintaining the on-field attitude that has won them consecutive NL West titles.
If Rollins can feel free to be himself and produce for the Dodgers, then it will make the transition that much easier.
Dodgers 2015 Spring Training – Scott Van Slyke