From this morning’s Enquirer:
Brandon Phillips was not in the lineup Friday against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
“His numbers aren’t real good against (starter Ian) Snell,” Reds manager Pete Mackanin said. “He can use a day off.”
But Phillips did not run hard on either of two double plays he hit into Thursday night in Washington.
“That could have something to do with it,” Mackanin said.
It did. But Mackanin chose to leave it at that.
Phillips plays the game with great flair and emotion. He’s the only Red who seems to get mad every time he makes an out. But the emotion works against him at times. Thursday was an example of that.
Mackanin obviously didn’t want to make a big deal out of the benching, and Phillips probably will play today.
But Mackanin also knows even though he’s an interim manager, he has to keep control of the club.
One of the things that hurt Jerry Narron in the clubhouse was the players’ thinking that he was uneven in handling discipline. He benched Edwin Encarnacion for not running out a ball in April but didn’t do the same thing with Josh Hamilton in June.
Mackanin handled the Phillips issue in his low-key manner. Had he pulled Phillips after not running out the first ball, it would have been a bigger deal.
Mackanin met with Phillips behind closed doors before batting practice.
Sounds like Mackanin handled this correctly. He made his point, but didn’t feel he needed to embarrass the player publicly. And doing it to team and media favorite Phillips sends a message also.