This is an article from the July 14, 2008 issue
The National League 2007 MVP's dad calls him Jim-Bob.
Dan Patrick:What's the strangest thing you've thought standing out there at shortstop?
Jimmy Rollins:There have been times where I look up in the sky and I'm like, it would be niceto be barbecuing right now. But then I remember, it's pretty fun to be playingbaseball. Somebody has to entertain the people.
DP: Give me theentertainer who entertains you most.
DP: Who's the DaveChappelle of the Phillies?
JR: Probably RyanHoward. He's always the referee when we go out and see something that's justout of whack, whether it be a guy dressed up crazy, a girl just way out ofpocket. Let's say you got a girl and she has a stomach that's sticking outfurther than the rest of her body parts....
DP: Sort of likeRyan has?
JR: Yes, somethinglike that. He'll literally blow the whistle, put his hands up; he'll be like,Offsides, too much leading in front of the pack. You're like, This dude iscrazy.
DP: Rank, inorder, the best athletes by sport.
JR: Footballplayers one, they've got to run and deal with the constant hitting. Soccer two,although they like to act a lot. Tennis next, because they are constantlyrunning. NBA four and baseball probably five.
DP: Would yourather have an inside-the-park homer or hit one over the wall?
JR: I like to hitthem over the wall. You get style points.
DP: So you pose abit? Is there a pitcher that you have to be extra sensitive with, as to howlong you stand and watch a home run?
JR: Randy Johnson.I hit a home run off him in '02 or '03, I had a feeling it was gone, but Iwasn't taking a chance of looking at it. I hit it and I just took off running.I was a young dude coming up. I hit home plate and ran all the way in. I don'teven want him to remember me.
DP: Did youguarantee a playoff spot yet for the Phillies?
JR: No, [but] myfeelings from last year haven't left. Right now we're not playing that well,but when the end of September rolls around, we will be.
WITH TRAININGcamp's opening later this month, Brett Favre's body wants to do what it's doneevery summer for years: get ready to play football. This is why he reportedlycalled the Packers and told them that he's itching to play. The feeling can beclose to an addiction, not unlike the kind that Favre had to confront in 1996with painkillers, and maybe it should be treated as such. Sports figures likeFavre (or Evander Holyfield, or Bill Parcells) need their own rehab facility, aplace where they can go to get over their urge to back out of theirretirements. One key difference would be, at this place, instead of pumping upthe clients, therapists would tear them down. ("You're finished! No onewants you back!") Possible sponsor: Lotrimin, the anti-itch cream.
THE NBA brass gavethe SuperSonics the O.K. to move to Oklahoma City for next year—but told themto leave the nickname in Seattle (like they should have done when the Jazz leftNew Orleans). I asked my radio listeners to suggest some new nicknames forKevin Durant's team, and they rallied. Here are my favorites:
1. The Oklahoma City Slickers
2. The Durantulas
3. The SoonerSonics
4. The Okla-Homas
5. The Okie-Dokies
6. The O.C. Umenyioras
7. The Now-You-Seattle, Now-You-Don'ts
Rays of Heaven
ABOUT A month agoit felt like the Rays needed to make a big move before the July 31 tradedeadline, maybe pick up a frontline starter, if they wanted to bring it homeagainst the Yankees and the Red Sox. Now I think it's the exact opposite. TheRays have the second-lowest payroll in baseball, and they entered July with theAmerican League's best record. They just swept the Sox. Wouldn't it be the besttribute to Tampa Bay's young roster—and a continued defiance of conventionalbaseball wisdom—to not change a thing?
THE FINE PRINT:Rafael Nadal, you've just won Wimbledon. Now please return all those sleevelessT-shirts to Scott Baio.
Go toDANPATRICK.COM for more on the All-Star Game and the State Farm Home Run Derbyon Dan's radio show, 9 a.m. to noon ET Mon.-Fri.