(1) What is frustrating about Brandon Phillips is that he is not hitting, very often he isn’t even trying, and yet everyone — including himself — wants him to be the Face of the Franchise.

Take a look at this piece of nonsense by Hal McCoy. It was printed the day after BP once again refused to give anything close to an honest effort in a loss to the Pirates. So what does McCoy say about Phillips? He smiles a lot, and he drinks milk! What a role model!

(2) John Erardi has a great look at Pete Rose’s move to 3B that really sorta triggered the Big Red Machine into overdrive. It’s a move that you can’t imagine almost any star today making.

The story is spurred by this upcoming book about the BRM by Joe Posnanski, our favorite sportswriter here at the Nation. Poz looks deeper into that Pete Rose story here. All this stuff is in the must-read category.

(3) Now those are some great stirrups!

(4) .297/.458/.581. Great pictures, and I agree with the sentiment.

(5) The Pirates broadcasters, however, think that Brandon Phillips is the epitome of a hustling ballplayer. Sheesh.

35 Responses

  1. Matt B.

    We can only imagine what the Reds’ record would be like if we had that “stupid, fat, lackadaisical, apathetic, slow slob” in left field.

  2. Bill Lack

    33 years ago today, Pete Rose moves to 3B..and the Great 8 becomes the Reds regular lineup…

  3. Jason

    Actually, Matt, we needn’t imagine. Via Fangraphs, Dunn has been 0.6 wins above replacement (WAR), Dickerson and Hairston have been -0.1 WAR each, so, added together, the Reds would have, statistically speaking, generated approximately 0.8 additional wins were Dunn to replace the current platoon. This would make their expected record 14-10 as opposed to the current 13-11. Obviously, this doesn’t account for the current negative run differential of the team, but you get the idea.

  4. Glenn

    Brandon’s starting to come around, but he needs to continue to hustle. He has the tendensy to get down on himself.

  5. Kerm

    C’mon guys we all know that with Dunn clogging up the bases there would be no HAVOC!!!

  6. david

    Chad,

    It’s your website and you can write what you want, but BP isn’t half as bad as you make him out to be. Adam Dunn isn’t half as good as you make him out to be.

    By the way the only stat that matters… wins. The Reds are 35-32 without Adam Dunn.

  7. Chad Dotson

    I like Brandon Phillips. He just isn’t half as good as he thinks he is, or half as good as he gets credit for being. He’s a seriously below-average hitter and a very good fielder. Of course, he’s treated like he’s the greatest thing since sliced bread.

    That’s my only issue with BP. Meanwhile, Dunn (and you deliberately misstated my position on Dunn, btw) was a very flawed player, yet he was the most productive Red of the last decade. Of course, he was blamed for everything that was wrong with the Reds this decade. Everyone wants to blame the best player, instead of the bad players that actually caused the losses (namely, the pitchers during that time).

    And you just did it again. By citing the Reds record since he left, you are saying that Dunn was the reason the Reds lost. That’s just a deliberately obtuse position to take. If you really believe that, I don’t think it’s possible to reason with you.

    But yes, it’s my site, and since my wallet is hundreds of dollars lighter because of RN, I might as well continue to write about Dunn occasionally if I want. That’s just the way it is, for better or for worse.

  8. Kenny

    LOL, here we go again. :p :p :p

    you take Dickerson and I’ll take Dunn, and let’s see who wins more games.

    such a stupid argument. Dunn was/is Dunn. people wanted him to be babe ruth, I guess. he did some things VERY good, he did some things pretty poorly. He is what he is.

    anyone that thinks he’s the reason the reds lost all those game is just willfully ignorant. that’s the only wayt o describe it. it’s just an argument that makes no sense to anyone that has a brain.

  9. jrs1972

    So Adam Dunn Nation has switched their angst and are projecting on Phillips now?

  10. Ben

    What’s crazy is that there are people out there who would really rather have Chris Dickerson than Adam Dunn. It’s just insane.

  11. Chris

    Hal McCoy should be embarrassed for writing that fairy tale. For goodness sakes, he doesn’t have to write a piece ripping BP’s laziness, but to write a slobber-piece about one of the least productive players on the team. He even adopts BP’s delusion that he’s been hitting the ball hard all year, just not getting any breaks.

    I have no idea why all these guys are so enthralled with Brandon Phillips. The only stories I’ve ever heard are that he can be (not always is uncooperative to them. Usually, that leads to bitchy coverage (see Bailey, Homer).

  12. Kurt Frost

    “We can only imagine what the Reds’ record would be like if we had that “stupid, fat, lackadaisical, apathetic, slow slob” in left field.”

    Judging from the last 8 years plus this year so far in Washington…a losing one.

  13. MDREDZ

    Are you kidding about Adam Dunn? There is a reason that there was so little interest in him this off-season. No hustle, 150-200 K’s and AWFUL in left.I’m not comparing him to Dickerson or anyone else currently on the team. Pitching and defense is what wins.I have been so tired the last few years of watching the Reds play bad baseball. Poor defense and failure to advance runners. We clearly need more offense and a guy with solid power, good average and acceptable defense in left is the obvious answer. there are solutions, but AD is not one of them. I liked him, but I for one am glad he’s gone.

  14. Mark in CC

    Don’t forget what he accomplished for Arizona. First to second in one month.

  15. Mark in CC

    “Brandon’s starting to come around, but he needs to continue to hustle.”

    Continue to hustle. He hasn’t strated yet in ’09.

    “So Adam Dunn Nation has switched their angst and are projecting on Phillips now?” Phillips deserves everything he is getting right now. It has nothing to do with the Dunn naysayers.

  16. Chad Dotson

    Adam Dunn is awesome. Clearly the best player in Reds history; maybe the best player in the history of baseball. Also, his tears cure cancer. Too bad he’s never cried.

    Oh, and he’s dreamy, too.

  17. Y-City Jim

    Kenny, I think you said it best. Critics of Dunn are unhappy because Dunn wasn’t what they wanted him to be.

    Would Reds fans be ecstatic over having any of these players? – Khalil Greene, Rich Gedman, Todd Zeile, Bret Boone, Michael Barrett, Orlando Cabrera, Gus Triandos, Frank Bolling, Matt Nokes, or Jeff Blauser. They are all considered to be similar hitters to Phillips. Wonder how many of them hit clean-up?

    Dunn on the other hand – Darryl Strawberry, Jose Canseco, Harmon Killebrew, Rocky Colavito, Reggie Jackson, Troy Glaus, Tom Brunansky, Barry Bonds, Roger Maris, or Boog Powell.

  18. Y-City Jim

    Personally I think Phillips also possesses Dusty’s powers of reality distortion on those who get within a certain distance.

  19. pinson343

    Thanks for posting the Dunn photos, Chad, I enjoyed them.

    As for the comments, we have a Dunn debate about twice a week, and when was the last time anything new was said ?

    About the move of Pete Rose to third base, part of that story was that 1975 was the second time Pete was moved to third. At the start of the 1966 season, the Reds moved Pete from 2nd to 3rd. He was good at 2nd base, was outspoken about not liking the move, and was such a disaster at 3rd base that after a few weeks he was back at 2nd.

    When he was asked to make the move in 1975, he considered how things had gone in ’66, and felt he hadn’t been mature and had not put the team first. So this was a factor in his decision (heard him say all this in an interview).

    Pete was much better in LF, where he’d won a gold glove, he was barely mediocre defensively at 3rd base (an unhealthy throwing arm, for one thing). But yes it made the team so much better. BTW soon after they won 41 out of 50, not 40 out of 50. I don’t have to look that up, it’s something that’s forever imprinted on my mind.

  20. Steve Price

    Y-City…

    Please don’t confuse the fans with a dose of reality. One player doesn’t carry a team, you know. Those other guys must have had twenty-four other superstars on their team who could field, throw, advance runners, sacrifice bunt, hit sacrifice flies, swing at third strikes, not homer, not walk, throw strikes, keep runners off base, not walk opposing hitters, or give up opposing home runs. One would need that to make up for these guys deficiences despite their ability to produce runs.

    Oh…I guess I mean they had a team to support them….

    How many of us have forgotten that Tony Perez wasn’t exactly a gold glover. Those two years of 32 and 35 errors and third base didn’t exactly endear himself to the fans behind first base. He was so bad at 3b, he got Lee May traded to Houston, and May (the Big Bopper) may have been more popular than Tony.

    One may say that Perez’s offense (and leadership) was so good, that was the reason we kept him…and you’re right. Well, Dunn’s offensive seasons have proven more productive than Perez’s…and before someone comes down on Dunn’s “attitude” again, Dunn’s work ethic was considered stellar by the Reds before it was decided he had to go for payroll reasons.

    In the early days when he and Austin Kearns were coming up through the farm system, the Reds kept those two together so that Kearns’s baseball knowledge would rub off on Dunn and Dunn’s work ethic (from his football days) would rub off on Kearns.

    Let’s just say if Tony had been asked to patrol LF, he may have lumbered about as much as Adam.

    I’m in no way denigrating Perez….he’s a favorite of mine, too, and I used to emulate his batting stance for fun, too, but we didn’t focus on Tony’s defense.

  21. mike

    thinking of Pete’s move. There was a strong manager in place and Pete was asked/told to move.

    Is it time for EE to move?

    The Reds are a .500 team. It’s clear. And their weakness is clear. OFFENSE. How bout the team actually does something about it?

    MAKE A MOVE!

    why wait? Is Dickerson or Hairston or Gonzo or Phillips going to start pushing this offense over the top? @%^#$%^ NO. MAKE A @$%#$% MOVE

  22. brublejr

    Talking about Pete moving “for the good of the team” and that putting them over the top; why can’t Phillips have been moved to short before this season? There are plenty of good canidates for 2nd but they can’t play short very well. What about short for next season? Is there any great canidates?…not really. Should the Reds fall out of contention, in September, Phillips needs to be moved to short for the good of the team.

    BTW, Phillips is NOT a superstar, and yes he has won a gold glove…but so did Pete Rose. Phillips’ range and arm are kinda wasted by playing second…he was brought up as a shortstop for a reason.

    Also, Phillips will make an hustle play (occasionally)…but far more often he is not busting his tail all out. Anyone who says he is a hustle player just does not pay attention to all the games.

  23. Behind In The Count

    I’d like to address quite a few areas so please be patient with me, as patient as Dusty is with Brandon.

    I have listened to many announcers referring to particular managers who are described as old school. Those managers expect players to take infield and outfield practice before games. I heard the announcers talk about how teams just don’t do it anymore. Well, that’s the reason why you see players make ridiculous errors. Votto is hot as a firecracker but do you remember that little dribbler down to first base that went astray. Do you remember the two base wild pitch the other night. Rather than hustling back to the screen he drug his feet a little bit, just enough to give up the extra base. So much of this game is mental and 90% of the Reds’ errors are mental mistakes, mistakes that don’t happen when you practice.

    Respect is something you earn, not something that is handed to you because you’re supposedly the face of the organization. Brandon Phillips does not deserve to be hitting fourth with way he is hitting. I’d be saying the same thing if it were Votto or Bruce, or anyone else in the cleanup spot. How does Dusty expect to keep the respect of his players if he keeps rewarding a player who not only isn’t hitting but forgets to give 100% when he is at bat.

    Last topic, running the bases has been terrible. We get more players thrown out on cut-offs than any team in baseball. Why, PRACTICE AND FOCUS!!

    That ends my Allan Iberson speech for the day. 👿

  24. Y-City Jim

    In the early days when he and Austin Kearns were coming up through the farm system, the Reds kept those two together so that Kearns’s baseball knowledge would rub off on Dunn and Dunn’s work ethic (from his football days) would rub off on Kearns.

    Very interesting story. Perhaps that (along with being healthy) is why Kearns is off to such a great start this season.

  25. GregD

    1) Being the “face of the franchise” means you are also the focus of the fans. Perhaps Phillips got away with some of his shenanigans in the past because the fans were focused on Dunn and Griffey?

    2) Michael Young of the Rangers just won a GG at SS last year and moved to 3B this offseason. He had previously been at 2B for a couple of seasons until the Rangers traded A-Rod for Soriano.

    4) Dunn did his job after moving to Arizona last year. And if you remember, they weren’t adding a bat to the team they’d had all season up to that point…they were adding a bat to replace Hudson’s production. They did win quite a few after the move, but then the bottom fell out on their pitching. They were swept by the Padres, lost 5 of 6 to the Dodgers and swept by the Giants. (Gave up 66 runs in those 11 losses)

    5) Broken record -> speed is not hustle, but too many in the media believe that it is.

  26. pinson343

    “In the early days when he and Austin Kearns were coming up through the farm system, the Reds kept those two together so that Kearns’s baseball knowledge would rub off on Dunn and Dunn’s work ethic (from his football days) would rub off on Kearns.” (post 21)

    I’d made the statement that nothing new has been said in the Dunn debate for a long time. Now that is new. And my optimimism wrt to Kearns this year was related to his reunion with Dunn (and his health).

  27. Dallas

    I like Brandon Phillips. He just isn’t half as good as he thinks he is, or half as good as he gets credit for being. He’s a seriously below-average hitter and a very good fielder. Of course, he’s treated like he’s the greatest thing since sliced bread.
    ———————————
    Brandon Phillips is a seriously below average hitter? And you said the other guy couldn’t be reasoned with…

  28. Matt WI

    I guess I don’t understand why more of the angst over BP (not) hitting clean-up isn’t directed at Dusty and Walt. Most criticize Phillips instead. I don’t care what Phillips says about where he can and can’t hit… it’s the manager’s job to put the right people in the right spot. Why a second baseman, much less somebody hitting like Phillips right now, is there is bizarre to the point of being negligent. These posts belong in the “Dusty was Misconstrued” file. That and an “Adam Dunn’s Ghost” file.

    And yet, at the end of the day, the Reds are 2 games over .500, which is where most of us think they should be, reminding us once again that line-up construction is only so important. They’re doing well. Use this season to really fine tune what the needs are and really hope they can kick it to the next level with necessary moves in hand next year.

  29. Matt WI

    And really, for those of us that truly care about the Reds baseball, and for most who simply use logic, Joey Votto is the face of the franchise. Who cares who’s on the media cover? Who cares who likes to talk? If BP being brash in any way keeps Votto in the position to keep doing his thing with less scrutinty, so much the better. Votto can be on the cover next year. Or maybe Rosales, because he runs real hard, and lord knows that’s the most important thing.

  30. Behind In The Count

    I have to give you credit when you say it’s Dusty fault. How does Dusty keep the respect of his players when he keeps plugging Brandon into the fourth slot when he fats 200, shows little hustle or focus on offense.

  31. Matt WI

    @ Behind in the Count— I see you raised this point about Dusty earlier. I missed it as I read through some of the other posts. All we can do is hope BP starts hitting if Dusty is going to leave him there. It’s very frustrating that when the season started Dusty decided Phillips would hit 4 that he thinks he must stick to it. Overall, I admire people who can be patient amongst a sea of discontent and show some loyalty, but I don’t see how much longer Dusty can justify this, even if Phillips does start hitting. This should be Bruce’s spot to lose unless EE wakes up. Due credit: nice two out RBI by Phillips yesterday.

  32. David

    Chad,

    I think you mistook my position on your posting. Let me clarify.

    BP is now the poster child for the woeful offense and rightfully so. If he is the “face of the franchise” then he ought to step up his game. However, it isn’t his fault that he is miscast in the cleanup spot. He is a productive player and while he is not off to a great start, I have a hard time with your assertion that he “refused to give anything close to an honest effort.” That’s the same line Dunn-haters used against him when he would miss a ball or “loaf” to first. All I’m saying is that you are being overly critical on the same issues which you defended Dunn.

    As for Dunn, I absolutely think you have every right to post whatever you want. You’ve chosen a forum where others can respond, and frankly, I appreciate that. But when you post pictures of Dunn in another uniform it is somewhat upsetting from a fans perspective.

    There are very few individuals out there that know the extent of the discussions between the Reds and Dunn’s representation. However, based on his comments after being traded “it was one of those pleasant surprises” it didn’t sound like he wanted to be here. So it is upsetting to me when comments are made which suggest the Reds ran him out of town.

    I’m sure it was a hard decision, but one which was made in the best interest of the club. The Reds get absolutely no respect from Redleg Nation when it comes to that move. When I posted the win/loss totals, it was not to say Dunn was the reason for the losing record. It was to say the Reds decided they could win without Dunn, and have proven that they can (thus far).