Hall of Fame second baseman Ryne Sandberg took the reins of the Phillies during last year’s stretch run and guided the team to a 20–22 record. While the skipper encountered no clubhouse turbulence as 2014 wound down, he’s making up for it now during Grapefruit League action in a mini-drama involving veteran shortstop Jimmy Rollins.
Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports:
Ryne Sandberg’s first managerial test arrived with less than three weeks until opening day, and it is one two Phillies managers before him confronted. Rollins, the longest-tenured player in Philadelphia, is often criticized for his aloofness. He was unbothered Thursday about these recent developments, but curious for clarification.
The manager and shortstop have not spoken since Monday. Rollins said he will not seek a conversation with Sandberg; he will wait for Sandberg to come to him.
“Obviously he is upset about something,” Rollins said.
The first hint of any issue came after Wednesday’s game in Sarasota, Fla., when Sandberg offered no explanation for Rollins’ three-day benching. Unprompted, Sandberg praised Freddy Galvis’ “energy and his positive influence.” When asked about Rollins in that regard, Sandberg said, “No comment.”
It sounded like a message for Rollins delivered through the media.