Charlie Manuel benched Jimmy Rollins June 25 and called out his club the following night. Since then, the Phillies have gone 16-4, while J-Roll has hit .348/.432/.539.
What happens inside the confines of the Phillies’ clubhouse, and furthermore, inside the players’ psyches, is the hardest part to put into words, but we’ll give it our best shot. On June 26, after the Phillies were a no-show against Jays’ hurler Ricky Romero, the Phillies’ skipper asked his players to take a look in the mirror. Six days later, on a return flight from Atlanta, the Phils actually did it. Now, one could point to many reasons for the resurgence – the poor quality of competition, the intrinsic talent and character that comes with being defending champions, or even the confidence boost from sending five players to the All-Star game. But the fact is, when pushed by an otherwise hands-off boss, his team responded.