Can you believe it's been 10 years?!
Jimmy Rollins can't.
The greatest shortstop in Phillies history was on hand Sunday in Clearwater for the Phillies' Alumni Day, along with Charlie Manuel, Brett Myers, Pedro Feliz, Scott Eyre and a few others.
"It hit me that it's been 10 years — that's crazy," Rollins told reporters. "Pretty soon, it's going to be 20 years. A lot has changed in 10 years."
It sure has. How weird is it to think of 2008 as a simpler time?
Way back then, there was no Mike Trout or Bryce Harper in the majors. There was some newfangled technology called the iPhone. Baseballs hadn't yet been juiced. There were six million people on Twitter; now there are more than 330 million. The U.S. recession caused by the housing bubble was about a month old. Few knew what the word "meme" meant. Some kids were actually graduating college and — get this — finding jobs.
Rollins will always be "Young James" around these parts, even though his playing days are probably over. He hasn't yet officially retired, but don't be surprised if that inevitable announcement comes in the form of a one-day contract with the Phillies.
"If I get signed to a one-day thing, I'm playing," Rollins said in true Jimmy fashion. "If they just want me to retire and announce that, it's fine. But if you sign me to a contract, I don't do honorary contracts. I'm going to play that day."
He could probably still go out there and play a week's worth of errorless games at shortstop. It's still pretty ridiculous the man won only four Gold Gloves.
Adam Haseley had one heck of a first week in Double A.
The Phillies' first-round pick in 2017 (eighth overall) was promoted to Double A Reading on July 11 and responded by going 5 for 13 (.385) with a double, two homers and two walks in his first four games.
As a result, Haseley was named Eastern League Player of the Week in his very first try.
Haseley has already been promoted four times over the last calendar year. Last summer, he began in the Gulf Coast League, was promoted to Low A Williamsport after three games, then made it to Class A Lakewood by season's end.
He began this season at High A Clearwater and earned the promotion to Reading after hitting .300 in 354 plate appearances.
All told, Haseley has hit .296/.352/.423 with 27 doubles, seven triples and 10 homers in 616 plate appearances in the minors.
The 22-year-old University of Virginia product was a more polished prospect than the previous year's No. 1 pick, Mickey Moniak.
Moniak, who turned 20 on May 13, has hit .242 with a meager .268 OBP in 75 games at Clearwater this season. The power has been slow to come around, and Moniak has slashed just .247/.290/.350 in 999 plate appearances the last three seasons.
There's still plenty of time for Moniak, but he can't be satisfied with how he's hit to this point, nor can an organization that used the first overall pick in the draft on him. Some baseball people have questioned whether Moniak will grow strong enough to consistently drive the baseball as the quality of pitching he faces increases.
Rounding out the first-round pick updates, Cornelius Randolph has struggled even more than Moniak. Randolph, drafted 10th overall in 2015, has hit .215 with one home run in 80 games at Double A this season.
Randolph was drafted for his offense specifically but things haven't clicked yet. He's hit .252/.346/.362 with 17 homers in 1,328 plate appearances since being drafted.
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Manny Machado heard the "We want Manny" chants from Phillies fans when the Orioles came to town the first week of July, and he was asked about it on Monday during his media session several hours before the Home Run Derby.
“Philly. I did hear that nice ovation when I was there," he told reporters. "That was pretty awesome.”
Machado was asked all of the usual questions. What's your priority in free agency? Where would you want to go ideally? Are you eager for a deal to be done?
"Definitely, 100 percent," he responded to that last one. "Get it over with already and not answer these questions anymore."
The widespread perception is that, wherever he lands this month, Machado will receive multiple humongous offers in free agency. Offers nearing or exceeding $300 million.
Most athletes would say this, but for Machado, it's about more than dolla-dolla bills.
"Money doesn't bring happiness," he said. "What's gonna make me happy? Being happy. As long as everything comes together for my wife and my family."
And not that it needed any reinforcement, but it's abundantly clear that Machado wants to play shortstop. That will likely play a large role in where he signs this winter.
"I'm the player I am today because of [the Orioles]," he said. "They gave me the opportunity to go back to shortstop, where my heart was. I will forever be grateful."