- Last Updated: 12:33 PM, October 1, 2011
- Posted: 1:49 AM, October 1, 2011
PHILADELPHIA -- Jimmy Rollins will take his hacks against the Cardinals in Game 1 of the NLDS today, but it may turn out that his best swings of the weekend came yesterday, pertaining to Mets shortstop Jose Reyes.
The Phillies shortstop said he is a Reyes fan. But Rollins also tried to portray himself as the anti-Reyes. In no particular order:
* Rollins said he would have played the entire final game if he were chasing the batting title. Reyes departed after getting a bunt single in Wednesday's first inning and wound up winning the title.
* Reyes was a team player this season, according to Rollins, but that probably wasn't the case in previous years.
* Rollins, citing the fact statistics don't tell a complete story, said he is a winning player and doesn't take a backseat to Reyes.
Rollins did not condemn Reyes for exiting Wednesday's game after raising his average to .337 -- leaving Milwaukee's Ryan Braun needing a 3-for-4 performance to overtake him -- but made it clear he's not a fan of the tactic. Reyes beat Braun .337 to .332.
"I would have played the whole game," Rollins said. "I'm like, 'Hey, I fought this hard to be in this position and I'm going to see it through to the end.' My personality, I'm going to ride it out. I worked this hard to be this good and put up these numbers, I would like to see it all the way to the end.
"I don't think it's lack of confidence with Jose Reyes, but that is the way he wanted to do it. For what reason, I don't know. It could have been outside influences. His agent may have told him, 'If you get up there, if you get a hit your first AB, you come out.' "
Rollins praised Reyes -- who can declare for free agency next month -- as the consummate team player this season, but seemed to wonder what took him so long.
"He did everything he needed to do, and when you see that coming from another player, you see them putting the team first," Rollins said. " 'It's not about me. I've got to push the issue for the team. I put myself in position that puts us in position.' In previous years you just didn't get quite that feeling from [Reyes] being in the other dugout. This year you really did. It was like, 'This man is doing everything he can.' "
Rollins, who is unsigned beyond this year, was asked if it's a positive to potentially become a free agent at the same time as Reyes. Rollins hit .268 this season with 16 homers and 63 RBIs.
"It makes for great comparisons," Rollins said. "[Reyes] had a great year, but with free agency you take a year and a career all into consideration. Then on top of that you take the things you don't see on the field -- the intangibles in the clubhouse, leading the team. Is this guy a winning player? How does he impact the team by himself when he's in the lineup and out of the lineup? They are all great things to compare.
"Baseball is not only about numbers. You get paid a lot with numbers, but you get people to fall in love with you and want you around and give you a little bit more money when you can do all the other things along with putting up good numbers."Follow @NYPostsports