Rolen: Always a Fan

Growing up, I didn't know them as the "Philadelphia" Phillies. I knew them as the "D**n" Phillies. I don't think it ever clicked that they kept losing, but no matter how bad they were, I still watched. I didn't know any different. I cheered on my favorite team filled with my favorite players. My first favorite player (that I can remember) was none other Scott Rolen.

When Rolen was brought up to the big leagues, he was an instant impact, winning the Rookie of the Year in 1997. In that year, he batted .283 with 21 HR and 92 RBI. The only problem was that the Phillies finished with a 68-94 record.

His numbers continued to improve each year and by adding Gold Glove defense, he quickly becoming a fan favorite. The only thing that did no change was the Phillies losing.

By 2001, the Phillies wanted to give Rolen an extension. However, Rolen refused to negotiate and questioned the Phillies commitment to win. To top that off, he didn't get along with manager Larry Bowa. He turned down a 7-year $90 million contract and was traded before the trade-deadline in 2002.

From then on, I hated Rolen. Actually, I never really hated him, I just hated on him because I was told to. I wasn't old enough to understand the market.

Rolen moved on to St. Louis where he made two World Series appearances including one championship.

Can you blame him? The word "awful" is an understatement as to how the Phillies performed in the late 1990's and early 2000's. If you were told to wait six years for a championship or make two World Series appearances and win one in the next four years, which would you chose?

Rolen has had a great career and it is a shame it has been plagued with injuries. Now, I am old enough to understand the situation Rolen was in. I do not hate him, in fact he remains one of my favorite players.

He'll step up to home plate at the home of the Phillies as a visitor, showered with boos. But it doesn't effect him; he kills the Phillies. He is 9/20 with 5 RBI and a home run this season alone. Of course, I'm not going to root for him when he is playing against my beloved Phillies, but I like to think that Rolen is a big part as to why I have grown to love the "D**n" Phillies.

Call of the Day: Rolen his a grand slam off Rudy Seanez in 2001.

"Driven to deep right center field. It is a grand slam! And the Phillies have
taken a 7-6 lead! What a big blow by Rolen!"


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