Primaries pique Rollins' interest

Primaries pique Rollins' interest

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Jimmy Rollins sat in front of his corner locker intently examining the newspaper on Wednesday.

Not for Tuesday's baseball scores, but for the results and analysis of the Tuesday's presidential primaries.

"I usually grab the sports section, but I'm trying to catch up on the Texas race," Rollins said.

Following a short discussion about the early part of Spring Training, Rollins was visibly more enthused about the political race in which Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton pulled off surprising wins over Sen. Barack Obama in Texas and Ohio.

"I knew she had won in Rhode Island and Ohio, but I fell asleep waiting to see what happened in Texas," Rollins said. "It's definitely gotten a lot more interesting."

Rollins has been actively involved in several community programs and charity events since entering the Majors in 2001.

Besides hosting his own celebrity bowling tournament to raise money for the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation as well as the Arthritis Foundation, Rollins, along with teammates Ryan Howard and Shane Victorino, is a member of the Action Team/Volunteers of America. Administered by Volunteers of America and the Major League Baseball Players Trust, the Action Team was created to encourage young people throughout the United States to volunteer in their communities.

"I'm actively involved with a lot of different things, but I'm not currently active as far as being a part of a specific campaign," said Rollins, who also started the J-Roll's Reader's Club in 2002 to provide incentives for inner-city children to read.

"If I were, though, I'd probably support Obama," Rollins said. "He's a breath of fresh air and he's not bogged down in the Washington politics. He's not trying to be politically correct, so to speak. He is what he is, and he's straightforward with the American people."

Rollins is well-versed when discussing the current presidential race and politics in general.

"I know [President George W. Bush] messed it up with the whole NAFTA thing, but he just received bad information and that's going to happen," Rollins said. "And the way that Clinton and Obama are going at it is similar to the way Bush and [Sen. John] McCain did when they were running for President [in 2000]."

Rollins did say that he leans toward the Democratic side and that he does like to stay in tune to current events, but would not commit to running for office. Yet he did leave the possibility open.

"You never know," Rollins said. "I'm not thinking of doing anything like that now. But people have approached me about getting involved. I'm not saying it's out of the question. It's something that interests me, so you never know."

Chris Girandola is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.