Phillips entered Wednesday 1 for his last 12 with no walks and two strikeouts. The all-star second baseman asked manager Dusty Baker after Tuesday’s loss if he could be moved up from fourth in the lineup, and the manager obliged. Phillips even hinted at the move in a tweet sent after Tuesday’s game:
Cincinnati Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips loves Twitter. Last year, he even credited the social media site with helping him as a player. As we all know, you can’t appreciate Twitter without dealing with a few trolls.
Most athletes who succeed on Twitter manage to ignore all of the criticism that comes their way. Fans who harass popular players and call them four-letter words are just looking for a retweet or a response, so it’s usually best to ignore them altogether. However, Phillips engages those people from time to time. On Tuesday night, he went hard at one of his haters.
— Brandon Phillips (@DatDudeBP) August 21, 2013
That’ll shut him up. Actually, it will probably make him louder, but that’s a pretty strong comeback from Phillips. The veteran infielder also answered a question about losing in hilarious fashion last season, so we were not surprised to see him fire back. But the girlfriend on the lap call out? That’s next level-type stuff.
H/T Mo Egger
Brandon Phillips signed a six-year, $72.5 million contract with the Cincinnati Reds last April that should keep him with the team for the remainder of his career. Most players would kill to receive that kind of financial stability, but the context in which Phillips agreed to the extension has left him with a foul taste in his mouth.
In a recent interview with Cincinnati Magazine, Phillips said the fact that Joey Votto was given a 10-year, $225 million contract from the Reds makes the $72.5 million he received feel like a “slap in the face.”
“I just feel like they didn’t have to sign Joey to that contract,” Phillips said. “He still had two more years on his. And for (the front office) to go out there and sign him before they sign me, and they knew I was going to be a free agent? I understand Joey’s a good player. He’s one of the best players in this game. But I feel like I am too. I told them that this is where I wanted to be. I begged them. I told everybody I want to finish my career here. And then they give someone a contract who didn’t ask for nothing?
“To this day, I’m still hurt. Well, I don’t wanna say hurt. I’ll say scarred. I’m still scarred. It just sucks that it happened. For (Castellini) to sign somebody for $200 million, there must be a new vegetable or fruit coming out that we don’t know about. For him to do something like that and tell me they didn’t have any more money, that’s a lie. But what can I do? I just feel like it was a slap in my face … But how can someone slap you in the face with all that money. It’s a nice slap in the face.”
The Reds were up 3-2 in the top of the seventh inning with one out and men on first and second following a pair of walks. Ryan Braun was up giving the Brewers the potential for a rally. Braun chopped the ball up the middle, and with his speed, you figure he would probably beat it out. But that’s not how Phillips saw it.
Phillips charged and fielded the chopper with his bare hand, alertly dropped down on his knee for the force out at second, and threw to first from his knees for the double play. The awesome play showcased most of Phillips’ tools; baseball instinct, range, and arm strength.
As if that play wasn’t impressive enough, Phillips homered as the second man up in the bottom half of the inning to give the Reds a 4-2 lead. He also had an RBI single in the third. Phillips entered Saturday batting .287/.331/.485 on the season.
The Reds have a crucial Game 5 of the NLDS upcoming against the Giants on Thursday afternoon, and Brandon Phillips looked ready for it on Wednesday night despite his team’s loss. After San Francisco defeated Cincinnati 8-3 to even the series at 2-2, Phillips rocked his Ray Ban sunglasses while talking to reporters.
Some of you may think this a good look, but others will probably point to the fact that Phillips was wearing his sunglasses at night, was indoors and was trying to make a fashion statement after a loss. Until he starts wearing gnarly jean jackets and ridiculous shoes to his press conferences after playoff games (win or lose), the Reds second baseman will not be on Russell Westbrook’s level. But wearing Ray Ban’s at a completely inappropriate time is certainly a start.
A day after furiously writing on Twitter that a Pirates player had said something racist to him during Monday’s game, Brandon Phillips proclaimed that he has no issue with Jared Hughes and that the two have sorted out matters.
Hughes hit Phillips with a pitch in the eighth inning of Monday’s game, and the two appeared to exchange words as Phillips headed to first.
According to a report from Deadspin, Phillips thought Hughes called him “boy.”
Whatever the case, Pirates MVP candidate Andrew McCutchen played mediator between the two by setting up a phone call for them on Tuesday. Both men were pleased with the results of their conversation.
Bad blood has developed between the Pirates and Reds over the course of the season, as a number of players have been hit by pitches and taken exception to it. Another incident occurred on Monday night when Brandon Phillips was hit by a pitch from Pittsburgh hurler Jared Hughes, resulting in a warning for both teams.
It is unclear whether or not he’s claiming it happened before or after he was hit, but Phillips wrote on his Twitter account after the game that a Pirates player made a racist comment toward him.
— Brandon Phillips (@DatDudeBP) September 11, 2012
Phillips gave no clarification and simply followed up with a tweet about how pleased he was to get the win in extra innings. While we hope it’s not true, it certainly wouldn’t be the first case of racism or cultural insensitivity that we’ve seen in professional sports. Rivalries exist and tempers are going to flare, but there’s no excuse for any player to bring race into a disagreement.
UPDATE: Phillips talked with Hughes and they both say there is no issue.
Photo credit: Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE