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Welcome Back, Young James

May 10, 2008, 2:58 AM EDT

J-Roll

Jimmy Rollins is back and boy did we miss him. In case you didn’t catch it, the reigning NL MVP returned to the starting line up last night in San Francisco and went 3-5 with a HR, a double, and 3 RBIs.

The Phillies won 7-4.

Seeing Jimmy back and fairly healthy surely brings a smile to Phillies fans everywhere. But that’s not where Jimmy’s influence ends. The Daily News’ David Murphy, who spends more time with the team than just about anyone not named Todd Zolecki, thinks Rollins return will have huge implications on the club.

Murphy writes:

But I’m convinced that Jimmy Rollins is one of those rare athletes
whose presence really can invigorate a team. It’s why I disagree with
those who say he shouldn’t have been MVP last year. By now, I’m sure
you all know he singled, doubled and homered in his first start in over
a month. But beyond that, I’m convinced his presence made his teammates
better. Not in a concious way. Jayson Werth and Greg Dobbs didn’t walk
up to the plate thinking, "I’m going to single now because Jimmy
Rollins is here." But baseball is a team sport, and sometimes we forget
about it, and a good baseball team is a beautiful thing to watch. The
past month, the Phillies really haven’t been a complete team. They’ve
ridden some spectacular individual efforts by guys like Pat Burrell and
Chase Utley. Werth got hot at the right time. Eric Bruntlett gave them
everything they could have asked for.

But there’s just something about this offense, this team, when
Rollins is in the line-up. Everything clicks. Shane Victorino gets to
hit second instead of first. That’s where he belongs. Werth gets to hit
sixth and bring some speed to the middle of the order. Pedro Feliz gets
to hit seventh. Carlos Ruiz gets to hit eighth.

Why not get one more experts opinion. How bout Cole Hamels? 

I asked Hamels if we make too much of the impact Rollins brings to the entire team.

"Absolutely not," he said.

Murphy also thinks Jimmy’s attitude can help get The Big Guy out of his wretched slump. Howard did get some good wood on a few pitches last night.

We tend to agree with everything Murphy is saying here. Jimmy is simply one of those guys you’d want on your bowling team even if he’s never bowled a game in his life.

Good to see him back on the field.

>>How much does Rollins mean to this team? [Daily News]