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Jim Thome, Caucasian veteran, not running out a grounder to the best of his ability:
Ho-hum. Just an out, not a big deal.
Jimmy Rollins, African-American veteran, not running out a grounder to the best of his ability:
Big media controversy. One self-proclaimed “irreverent” sports blog described Rollins as running “lazily”. The talk radio switchboard was alight with irate callers because of the shortstop who doesn’t hustle.
Except, you know, he kind of does.
If you are mad at Rollins for not running out a ground ball in the sixth inning of a mid-August game in which the Phillies are 18.5 games out of first place, and you didn’t say anything when Jim Thome did the same back in May… you might be a racist. Or cynically riling up a fan base to boost listenership and/or pageviews.