You know, we all had a good laugh at this absurd article from The Onion that accused Brandon Phillips of taking pretzels to the field as a between-pitches snack. Funny, right?

Well, the best humor is always based in truth. And the truth is that Brandon Phillips is a lazy player who does not always have his head in the game.

We’ve documented this trend many times this season. Now this, per Hal McCoy:

Brandon Phillips made a la-de-dah throw from second base, a lob that bounced in front of first baseman Joey Votto and skipped past for a throwing error that led to two unearned run (sic). Then Phillips hit one that he thought was a home run and went into his strut, but the ball hit the top of the wall and bounced back in.

Phillips is being short and snippy with the media since we all reported that he refused to look for a sign from the third base coach in Kansas City and swung at a 3-and-0 pitch when he had the take sign.

Embarrassing. Embarrassing. Embarrassing. Phillips has too much talent to piddle it away.

If you are tired of The Brandon Phillips Show, stand up and be counted.

36 Responses

  1. AnnapolisRed

    Me. I blame some of it on Dusty. The players take their cue from their leader and if he isn’t going to do anything about it Brandon is going ot continue to act this way. I guess that is what being a players manager is all about.

  2. Charlie Scrabbles

    Phillips has been worth about 20 runs above replacement so far this year, so it’s hard for me to complain when every once in a while he embarrasses himself like this. i certainly dont like it, and it’s immensely frustrating to watch, but 95% of the time he’s the 2nd best player on this team by a wide margin. it’s hard to complain about a guy like that.

  3. GregD

    The Rold Gold no-hustle play of the game goes to Brandon Phillips.

  4. pinson343

    I’m tired of his lapses and the importance he places on being every fan’s hero.
    And I’m especially tired of Dusty putting up with it.

    But without him our lineup (offesne and defense) becomes so pathetic that I don’t think I could even bear to watch it.

    And he does want to be on the field, regardless of pain. He took no time off at all for a hairline fracture of his thumb. As a result he keeps aggravating the thumb, which keeps it from healing and has to be affecting his hitting.

    Soriano of the Cubs BTW is a much sloppier and more selfish player than BP. Now that he’s no longer putting up monster numbers, Cub fans want to run him out of town. It was easy to see that coming when he signed the long-term contract.

  5. CeeKeR

    You know, I too get tired of some of his “antics” but look at the alternative. The town of Cincinnati has already run out Dunn because he was “lazy” and now it looks like Phillips is next in the crosshairs. That’s fine, but if you want to root for a team full of Rosales’ (you know, lots of hustle but not lots of talent) you can’t expect to win much. Personally, I’m sick of every decent player being made a scapegoat within the Reds organization. Sure, Phillips should hustle on every play – I agree. However, WHO would you rather the Reds play? The Reds have very little offensive talent as it is…let’s not run out of town one of the few guys who can hit a baseball.

  6. David

    So when BP doesn’t run hard its laziness. When Adam Dunn didn’t run hard all you guys came to his defense saying, how do you know he isn’t trying hard, bla bla bla. Yeah, I said it. It’s the same thing. The exact same thing. So everyone who was excusing Adam Dunn, you should think long and hard before coming down so hard on BP.

  7. Kenny


    Brandon Phillips is a great fielder. He is NOT a great hitter, near the bottom of 2Bs last year. Average at best. Average hitters don’t get the benefit of the doubt on stuff like this.

    And that throw last night was just LAZY. No other way to describe it. A complete joke that someone who thinks they should be the face of the franchise would mail it in like that. Some leader….

    As far as Adam Dunn, he ALWAYS played hard. Yeah, he was big and not extremely quick, so the idiots that call Tracy Jones said he was lazy. No way. He played hard and he played EVERY SINGLE DAY.

    Give me Adam Dunn over Brandon Phillips every single day.

  8. The Mad Hatter

    When Adam Dunn walked people claimed all he was doing was clogging the bases, when BP walks everyone shouts from the rooftops of improved plate discipline, rather than the fact he doesn’t see anything to hit because there is no protection in the lineup.

  9. pinson343

    On another timely topic, Fay’s blog quotes from an interview with Aaron Harang:
    The frustration was evident when Harang was asked about pitching without much run support. “I’ve been pressing a lot,” Harang said. “I’m going out there trying to be perfect. I’m trying not to think about it, but after a while it eventually gets to you.”

    Harang should not be talking like this after the way he pithced last nite. Also Bronson Arroyo took a shot at the offense when he said the other day: “We knew coming out of Florida that we’d have to pitch quality starts to win.”
    I’m sure without even looking it up that in fact Arroyo has some wins that weren’t quality starts.

    But the big point here is that when you have good pitching and a very weak offense, it’s just a matter of time before the pitching is affected by the pressure. In past years, with a good offense and weak pitching, the offense would eventually feel the pressure.

    YOU NEED BALANCE. WJ’s approach this off-season was fundamentally wrong.

  10. doug

    I frankly don’t care if a guy doesn’t ‘hustle’ on an infield grounder. It may be the most overrated thing in the sport.

  11. GRF

    Harang did not pick the best time to go public with complaints about lack of run support.

    As for Phillips, where is Dusty in all this? The behind the scenes stuff is supposed to be his strength, and he should have been able to address this before it became noticeable enough to become a public issue. I am with Dave that failing to run out an occasional grounder is not the end of the world, but the play last night cost us runs and Willie has been doing it too. What worries me is it is becoming a trend.

  12. Joe

    A lazy play often does not have a great outcome in the score, but sometimes it does. And besides, these guys wre paid tons of money to play a game, and they should take some pride in it. A lot of people that make far less money try to do their jobs as perfectly as they can. It’s not a big thing to run hard on most ground balls, but not doing so shows that the player isn’t trying as hard as he can to be as good as he can be.

  13. Joe

    I think Phillips really wanted to be the “face of the franchise” (for whatever reason) and he can see that Votto is way more popular with the fans and a better hitter. So maybe that has something to do with it. But more likely, he’s just kinda lazy.

  14. jason1972

    Brandon Phillips is among the least of the Reds worries right now. He’s a net positive on the team’s performance. If this were a realistic contender without multiple holes in the roster, then we would have the luxury of pointing out Phillips’ inconsistent hustle.

  15. JerBear

    The problem is you don’t win championships with guys like Phillips as your leader, and Phillips wanted to be leader of this team. I’m not sure he is, but it just reminds me of Chad Johnson on the Bengals. It has an effect on the team.

    I think this team kind of has weak leadership. I don’t see Dusty as a strong leader in the Clubhouse. Phillips seems conflicted between two worlds. He wants the fame, the attention, the accolades…but he wants to win I believe also. I think sometimes those other things get in the way of his true potential though. It’s a little sad.

    They could really shake things up by trading him, but it’s not gonna happen.

    I wonder what would happen though if we had a manager like Lou Pinella who sent Milton Bradley home the other day after inexcusable behavior. I think Phillips would possibly blossom under a manager who was a little tougher on him.

  16. JerBear

    I give Mccoy a little credit for speaking out on Phillips too. Not sure if the other writers would speak the truth like that. Phillips is a guy who needs someone just to tell him how it is.

    Ever since he went off on Josh Hamilton the other year I’ve never had too much confidence in him. You can’t be jealous of your own teammates and be much of a leader.

  17. Chris

    Lots of stuff here:

    1. I watched that play 4 times, and I’m convinced that BP actually slipped when he planted his foot to throw.

    2. I’ve been sick of Phillips’ act for quite some time. I am the last one who needs to see “show hustle,” but guys DO need to run out possibly-close grounders (or GIDPs, in Phillips’ case), and balls that stay in the ballpark. I am also convinced that his cool guy “snap” popup catching style is going to result in a Dave Parker-esque horrible error some night.

    3. BP just needs to shut up, stop preening and strutting, and play hard, TEAM baseball.

    4. BP is a good ballplayer. Not as good as he thinks he is, or as good as he could be, but he’s good. He has a good deal of range at 2b, a strong arm, and doesn’t bail out on double plays. He has exceptional power for a middle infielder, and is much more patient than he used to be. He can’t hit for average, overswings, and tries to pull the ball too much (causing all the GIDPs). He’d be an excellent #6-hitting shortstop.

    5. Once again, we have people who can’t resist perpetuating the myth that Adam Dunn was lazy. He was not. The guy was a more-or-less awful fielder, but other than that, he played hard. You NEVER saw him pulling the stand-and-watch-it crap that BP does on a regular basis. Hell, over 49% of Dunn’s career plate appearances required no running whatsoever – Ks, BBs, and HRs.

  18. Chris

    McCoy’s article is long overdue. Notice that Phillips has been doing the same stuff all season. Yet no criticism from the press until he started giving them the cold shoulder. Unimpressive, on a couple levels.

  19. JerBear

    Chris, I agree with pretty much everything you said. Funny thing, I also just looked at the replay a few more times. I had seen it last night just once while watching mlbnetwork or something.

    I think he kind of slipped too. I think Mccoy is right on with his assessments of Phillips showing some laziness, but then it’s also not fair for Mccoy or us to judge Phillips effort when we may be wrong.

    Like you said I think he slipped on that throw and wasn’t being lazy after watching it a few more times.

    I really like Mccoy’s reporting….he’s one of the best and more honest than most. And I hope this doesn’t sound mean, but I’ve noticed sometimes he is a little off on the description of certain plays in his articles. I know he’s had a lot of eyesight problems and wonder if sometimes that he is a little off on seeing what happened on a certain play.

  20. pinson343

    (#25) “Phillips seems conflicted between two worlds. He wants the fame, the attention, the accolades…but he wants to win I believe also. I think sometimes those other things get in the way of his true potential though.”

    Absolutely, he is conflicted. He definitely wants to win, his playing hurt shows how much he wants to win.

    But he also wants to be the team leader and the Face of the Franchise. He doesn’t know squat about leadership, he doesn’t understand that he can lead on the field with his talent and by consistently playing hard. Is Dusty telling him this ?

    He does get jealous of better players, he probably even had conflicting feelings about Joey’s great nite the other nite, while he was going 0-5.

    Finally I agree with those who have said that if we’re going to talk about the Reds’ problems, BP is way down the list.

  21. pinson343

    PS I agree with those who say Dunn played hard. But I see no sense in a debate between Dunn-haters and BP-haters.

  22. Y-City Jim

    No one can argue the fact the Brandon Phillips is simply not leadership material. He is far too self absorbed to be a leader.

    Some claim that Phillips is the Reds most fined player but I have a hard time believing too many players get fined by Dusty Baker.

  23. Y-City Jim

    BTW, no Taveras or Hernandez tonight. As decent a line-up as Dusty could put together tonight. Hope it produces and Homer pitches a gem.

  24. Matt B.

    Seriously, finally a competent lineup.

  25. Steve

    Don’t look now, but the Reds have their best nine players in the lineup. Hope they do well enough to catch Baker’s attention. Hanigan is a good start tonight for several reasons, including compatibility with Homer.

    Hal McCoy is the best writer on the Reds. And he often conveys details and context that the others don’t. BUT he has a history of allowing his judgment of players and managers be influenced by their attitude toward the press. I guess that’s probably par for the course for reporters, but still something a reader needs to keep an eye on.

    For example, last year he said he like the job Baker was doing out of spring training, and his evidence for that was how Baker gave reporters more access to him than previous managers.

    Also, last year McCoy was very tough on Homer Bailey, in part because Homer was aloof to reporters. This year, McCoy has done a 180 on Bailey, and again always mentions how much better his attitude is toward the press.

    That’s my biggest pet peeve with beat writers, although in general, like I said before, Hal McCoy is the best in the area.

  26. REDS1

    I think we are being a little harsh here. Why don’t we give him some help. The pressure has been on him to the be the RBI man on this team. He should not be THE RBI man on any team. He is more like a number 6 hitter.

  27. AnnapolisRed

    I don’t think anybody said get rid of Brandon Phillips. I think some of us said grow up Brandon Phillips and the manager should show some leadership. Big difference.