When watching a Cincinnati Reds game on television or in person, it’s hard not to like second baseman Brandon Phillips. He’s is a great player and seems like a great person, at least while he’s on the field.
He will do silly, childish, things during games to make people and other players laugh. He shows off his snow white teeth by smiling and laughing often, and he’s always having fun. But he can get mad sometimes, and when he does, it’s not pretty; so he’s pretty much baseball’s version of Metta World Peace.
Everyone that has followed the MLB in the last three years knows what he said about the St. Louis Cardinals. He called them out for complaining, pretty much, with a few explicit words here and there. It’s one thing to disrespect another team, but yesterday he disrespected a journalist for the Cincinnati Enquirer.
C. Trent Rosecrans asked Phillips about his on-base percentage, and Phillips blew up.
“Hey Dusty [Baker], that fat motherf***** on the end, he worries about my on-base percentage,” Phillips said. “Why don’t you tell him to have me bat eighth with my on-base percentage if he’s worrying about it.”
Rosecrans tried to explain his question better, but Phillips interrupted him and continued, “Fat motherf*****! Make him happy, Dusty. Fat motherf*****. I’m tired of you talking that negative sh** on our team, dog!”
Phillips then left the room, leaving Baker with a smile on his face and a journalist who seemingly wasn’t affected by Phillips’ comments.
Things like this happen in the sports media business. Players get angry over dumb things and absolutely explode. Phillips’ outburst was caught on camera and thanks to social media, thousands of Reds fans have seen it. I’m sure he will lose some fans, and a lot of people will lose some respect for him. He lacked class and acted like an idiot. Perhaps he’s not the saint we thought he was.
The things that happen off the field say a lot about what kind of people athletes are. But if you look at Phillips on the field, he is still, without a doubt, the best second basemen in the National League.