Rollins confident heading to free agency

Jimmy Rollins of the Philadelphia Phillies hits a

Jimmy Rollins of the Philadelphia Phillies hits a triple in the ninth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Citizens Bank Park. (Sept. 19, 2011) Photo Credit: Getty Images

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PHILADELPHIA -- Jimmy Rollins, a Bay Area native, showed Sunday that he doesn't have much affection for the City of Brotherly Love.

With the Phillies' shortstop only weeks away from free agency, he took a few swings at his own fan base by crowing about the 49ers' comeback win over the Eagles across the street earlier that afternoon.

"The results were great," Rollins said before NLDS Game 2 against the Cardinals. "With the 3-1 record, [Jim] Harbaugh is doing a great job over there."

Two days earlier, Rollins targeted Jose Reyes, criticizing him for bowing out of Wednesday's season finale in the first inning to protect his batting-race lead. Rollins also jabbed Reyes for what he perceived to be Reyes' more selfish ways of the past, and distinguished himself as a "winning" player as opposed to Reyes' statistical superiority.

What Sunday's comments brought to mind was Rollins' unshakable confidence as he heads to the open market. After five straight NL East titles with the Phillies, two trips to the Fall Classic and one World Series ring, Rollins sounds OK with leaving if it comes to that.

"As far as my legacy here in Philadelphia?" Rollins said. "It's pretty solid."

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Rollins isn't getting the Reyes treatment during his walk year. Citizens Bank Park is always sold out, but you won't find any signs pleading for Rollins to stay. No chants, either.

Maybe that's because the focus in Philadelphia is more on another world championship. Or perhaps the lion's share of the attention is gobbled up by the Phillies' superstar rotation, and specifically the city's love affair with its top two aces, Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee.

When Rollins was lobbed a softball question about Lee's appeal to the fans -- an easy chance for him to gush about a teammate -- he swatted it back. The way it was phrased, "What is it about Lee that they like so much?" seemed to irk Rollins.

"I don't know," he replied without expounding further on the subject.

The Phillies spent more than $56 million this season on their top four starters alone, but Lee's contract jumps from $11 million this year to $21.5 million in 2012. After that, he is guaranteed another $87 million through 2016. What that type of investment means for someone like Rollins, who reportedly is seeking a five-year extension, makes for a murky future in Philadelphia.

The Giants, hoping to capitalize on the Bay Area connection, should be a player for Rollins this offseason. But even if the Mets lose Reyes, it's highly unlikely they would look to recruit the former MVP.

As far as distractions go, Rollins mostly has dodged the subject of his free agency, which wasn't much of a drag on the Phillies' march to 102 wins.

"I think Jimmy has been good," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "I think he has a lot of confidence in himself and I think that he knows he's a good player."

Playing in October does afford Rollins an opportunity that is unavailable to Reyes -- a chance to further enhance his free-agent resume. "It can help some, I think, but I am who I am -- postseason, regular season, regardless," Rollins said. "When free agency comes about, people are going to pay you for what your numbers reflect, not just for a three-week snapshot."

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