I can’t believe it. Dusty Baker has finally called out Brandon Phillips on the continual loafing. First, let’s let Mark Sheldon set the stage:

Phillips was caught not hustling again on what he expected to be a routine fly out in the first inning. The ball was lost in the sky by right fielder Andre Ethier. Because he wasn’t running hard out of the batters’ box, Phillips missed a chance for a RBI double that would have put him on second with no outs and a 3-0 Reds lead.

“I was just happy I finally did something with runners in scoring position,” Phillips explained. “I hit a fly ball to get the run and I was satisfied with that. I hit the ball in the outfield and was ‘I missed it.’ I put my head down. I didn’t know he missed it until I looked back up. I could have done worse and not get the run in at all.”

Moments later, Phillips admitted his mistake.

“I messed up,” he said. “That’s my second time not hustling this year. It won’t happen again.”

Second, tenth, who’s counting?

Baker was furious with his second baseman.

“We should have gotten some more in that first inning, big time,” Baker fumed. “You have to hustle on that ball there or it’s a totally different inning. That was a rally killer for us.

“We’ve repeated it many, many times. You have to play hard all the time. That was big, real big. We had them on the ropes and we killed the rally.”…

“We’ve all talked to him until we’re blue in the face,” Baker said. “Evidently, this must have started long before I got here.”

Wow. Strong language. (And to give Baker credit, he also criticized Phillips earlier in the season when BP ignored a sign; so this isn’t the first time.)

A couple of us mentioned in the game thread that, while happy about the three-run first inning, it just felt like we should have had more. That rally was definitely stopped in it’s tracks by Phillips’s bonehead play. John Fay says it’s a case of Brandon being Brandon. Heh.

On the other hand, Phillips won the Rold Gold No-Hustle Play of the Day (awarded here).

31 Responses

  1. RiverCity Redleg

    I’m glad he got called out by Dusty, but he did go 3 for 4 with 2 rbi and a sb. While I wish he hustled all the time and I wish he didn’t have to bat 4th, I am glad we have him on our team.

  2. Matt WI

    Nicely said RCR. I’m a BP fan, and he has some serious foot in mouth disease sometimes that makes me cringe, but I like the overall product.

  3. Bill Lack

    Yeah, he called him out…think there will be any repercussions? Me either…

  4. Y-City Jim

    “Evidently, this must have started long before I got here.”

    What was the point of that comment by Dusty?

  5. Sultan of Swaff

    I really object to Dusty the Enabler throwing him under the bus for this loss considering how he kills the team every day with his lineup construction. A good night at the plate and one mental mistake. Still a large net gain. Batting Taveras has cost us at least 20 runs, which is more than Phillips gaffes ever will. Screw you, Dusty. Save your righteous anger for yourself.
    Owings gave us NO chance to win. Just horrible to get staked to a lead and then give it all back and then some in the first two innings of a huge road trip. They might’ve gotten 10 or more off him if Hanigan doesn’t throw 3 guys out. Owings is quietly turning into Josh Fogg. I’m quite certain Matt Maloney can do better than this.

  6. Glenn

    Phillips has a tendancy to showboat and not hustle. Hopefully, Dusty has recognized that and has been speaking with him privately as well as calling him out last night.

  7. Chad Dotson

    I meant to add in the original post, to be fair, that I’m very pleased with BP’s offensive production this year. It’s just all the drama surrounding The Brandon Phillips Show that I can’t stand.

  8. Steve Price

    I must be in the minority here, but I was done with him last year. I’ve been saying all year he needs to go.

    Yes, he’s got talent, and he became my favorite Red. I had heard about his hot dogging antics in Cleveland, but I didn’t see it when he first came to Cincinnati; in fact, I felt he was heads-up kind of player, who had turned “the proverbial corner” and was now using his talents to become a topnotch player. It also looked like he was having fun on the field.

    He even openly admitted that his style of play had changed; that it was no longer “the franchise” (as he called himself as a rookie on another team). This has been highly disappointing.

    He now embodies and does almost everything I try to get my kids to not do on a baseball field. He doesn’t run out flyballs or ground balls, he throws off his back foot on throws to first, he swings for the fences when he bats, and he doesn’t manage the count at the plate. He doesn’t hustle after ball’s he’s missed.

    Yes, he did play when hurt; frankly he shoudn’t have because he hurt the team then, too. (I’m assuming management just needed him.)

    Dusty may have said it started before he got here, but I didn’t notice it until last year, and this year it’s just been awful. It’s possible he started it in 2007 and it just took a while to register. He started batting clean up some in 2007 and hit his 30 homers and that may have brought it on.

    Folks…he’s won one Gold Glove and he finished 22nd in the MVP voting for one year.

    He’s scheduled to make about $10 million next year. I’ve heard other team’s announcers on XM Radio discuss his antics on several occassions. Antics meaning that he doesn’t hustle.

    I’m afraid he’s become untradeable…he doesn’t seem to get the respect of other team’s managers (no all-star games).

    In the offseason, I thought we might be able to get real value for him, but I don’t know anymore.

    As for being glad to have him on the team…he’s an average offensive player (don’t let the homers fool you). I feel many of us are glad to have him because he bats fourth and plays second base. That’s more of a function of the fact we don’t have any power hitters, few good hitters, and no minor leaguers ready to play 2b…(Chris Valaika, please develop….).

    How does he set an example for the younger players?

  9. Chris

    1. Good for Dusty for stating the obvious.

    2. Bad for Dusty for the weak-a$$ “this must’ve been going on befor me” nonsense. You’ve been the manager too long to be blaming stuff on your predecessor.

    3. Bad for BP for excuse-making and bs justifications. What – guys who hit sac flies don’t have to hustle?

  10. WORLD

    Dusty, by inspiration or by fiat from Big Bob, ought to move the young man at shortstop where he belongs. SS is more important than 2B and you can find second sackers. The fact that he can “dictate” to the Reds that he wants to stay at 2B is fodder for his p*ss-poor attitude.

    He is talented to be sure. But he either needs to shape up or be shipped out, to borrow a phrase.

    I wouldn’t have him on my team. He breeds bad will among the other players who are busting their ass or want to as they watch from the pine.

  11. WORLD

    “to shortstop” would be more accurate.

  12. abcisme

    Until Dusty puts his money where his mouth is and sits BP for a game or two, then nothing will come of this.

    The bigger problem I think is the Micah Owings experiment. I say it should come to an end. He doesn’t seem to be able to go any more than 4 innings. If Volquez was anywhere near ready to come back, this wouldn’t be an issue but the fact we don’t have an available 5th starter now really hurts when we’re already down.

  13. Mr. Redlegs

    Fact is, star players and veteran players rarely (if ever) get benched for these types of things. Contrary to popular belief, they are NOT on the same ground as young or role players, and their their overall worth as producers, if you will, far outweighs the so-called public “message” fans think should be sent. These things are almost always handled internally, and yes, they get addressed.

    This is not high school, where you are teaching; this is not the minors, where you don’t want precedents established; this is the major leagues, where the players are under constant TV, media, Internet and fan spotlights. Managers are not going to show up their star players or a respected veteran in the public’s eye. The player knows he screwed up. He’s usually fined and lectured.

    They get it.

    The issue here is: What to do to make all these Phillips “antics,” if you will, cease from being a recurring issue, if not drama. THIS is what Baker is talking about when he says, “Evidently, this must have started long before I got here.”

    To interpret that quote any other way is not assessing blame. It’s making a point, an accurate point, that the “antics” have been a careerlong problem, and that’s a major reason the Reds got him from the scrapheap.

  14. Mr. Redlegs

    That should read . . . “that’s a major reason the Reds were able to get him off a scrapheap.”

  15. GRF

    I am sorry, but the “it must have started before I got here” comment is just pathetic. No one in any position of responsibility should be spouting that kind of CYA stuff, it just kills any sense of responsibility. I am now angrier at Dusty than I am at Phillips.

  16. brublejr

    I like Phillips as a player, sort of, but his antics just wear on me big time. I don’t have as much of a problem with him not hustling out of the box because frankly, it should have been a can of corn. But, to not bust it out of the box then try to take the extra base on an OF with a very good arm, that is just stupid. He should have been standing on 1B. I think he tried to make it to 2nd to make it appear he was hustling…

    For the money he is going to be owed over the next few years, I think there are only two options for him.
    1.)Move him to SS right now. Don’t care how he feels about it, it will make the team better right away.
    2.) Trade him for prospects that include a top SS prospect.

  17. Travis G.

    I don’t think Dusty’s blaming anything on his predecessors; I read that comment as a pointed criticism of the player. Basically, it sounds to me like Dusty’s saying Phillips was a horse’s ass when he met him and he’s a horse’s ass today.

    Managers make judgment calls about whether a player will respond better to public or private criticism, and I think Dusty’s frustrated that Phillips hasn’t seemed to respond to either method. From what I hear, Phillips is not as beloved by his teammates as he is by many fans, and sits alone in the dugout talking on his cellphone while the other Reds play cards and video games in the clubhouse. If his teammates don’t like him and his manager doesn’t think he can reach him, it might be time to cut bait with him.

  18. Joe B

    And the rest of the Team????? When do the call outs start for them?? Last I looked only one hitter was within 20 RBI’s of BP and he’s missed half the season.

  19. Steve Price

    I do find fault with him not hustling out of the box. In the big leagues, teams win when other teams fail. A misplay in the outfield (whether misjudgment or sun) almost always puts a runner in scoring position, this time with no outs. The same happened for the Dodgers in the bottom of the first and the runner was on second standing up, not first. It’s not like Phillips is a slow runner. Players can’t take advantages of other team’s mistakes if they wait until they make them to take advantage. It’s like backing up a play…a player doesn’t wait until the ball is missed; the miss has to be anticipated.

    Second, Baker was distancing himself from the problem. As manager, he has ways of making the problem go away, and if he can’t manage this he’s not qualified. Sitting the bench is justified for anyone. The New York Yankees and Miller Huggins benched Babe Ruth for subordination; surely Dusty Baker can bench Brandon Phillips.

  20. Steve Price

    Phillips has more rbi than other players because he’s batting fourth and a product of his lineup position….he should write a thank you to Joey Votto every day for the opportunity to drive him home.

    Didn’t we chase Adam Dunn and Ken Griffey, two real stars, out of Cincinnati for the perception of low effort?

  21. RiverCity Redleg

    I don’t have the stat, but I would put BP’s RBI/RBI Opportunity ratio up against anyone on the team not named Joey. Ramon Hernandez may be up there, but that’s it.

  22. pinson343

    Phillips is a strong all around player, including his hitting. He’s a good RBI guy, if we had anyone else in the order (not counting Votto) batting cleanup they would not have nearly as many RBIs.

    This would be a terrible team without him. Having said that, his screwups and self-centered atttitude has cost the team a number of times this season.
    He would be a better player, maybe much better, if he grew up a bit.

    For last nite’s game, his baserunning blunder killed the 1st inning rally. Yes Owings sucked and yes we should have continued to hit Schmidt but those are separate issues.

    His loafing after hitting the ball and then his trying to take 2nd anyway were both bad baseball. There’s no point to arguing which was the bigger mistake, they were both costly mental errors.

  23. WillRedCHI

    Can we start the free Mr. Lehr campaign? I think he has earned himself a shot at that #5 spot. I don’t see why we can’t mix him in next time around the rotation and have Owings miss a turn.

  24. Steve Price

    splits listed as : Batting average/on base percentage/slugging percentage

    Brandon Phillips career splits with runners in scoring position: .270/.330/.435

    Brandon Phillips total career splits, all plate appearances: .263/.312/.430

    Brandon Phillips career, two outs, runners in scoring position splits: .230/.301/.410

    Information compared to anyone else is changing the question. The point of this thread is Phillips attitude and performance. I don’t think any OPS in the 700’s is what we really need from a clean up hitter.

    We all know the Reds can’t score runs…it’s kind of like comparing your family to the families that get “super nanny” to “help” them out…if you’re being compared to the lowest common denominator it really doesn’t mean much.

    (my luck…somebody reading this had family member or friend featured on the show…if so, my apology for using that example).

  25. Travis G.

    Here you go:

    For all you Dusty Baker detractors, well, the Cincinnati Reds manager climbed a step on my respect ladder today.

    Even though the Reds are facing a tough lefthander in Randy Wolf and need all the offensive help they can get, Brandon Phillips is NOT in tonight’s lineup.

    It is obvious punishment for another incident where he didn’t hustle.

  26. Chris

    I can see the counter to my point about Baker’s comment, but I think I stand by what I said. There are ways to say, “BP’s been a jerk for a long time” without making it sound like it’s out of the current manager’s control.

    I also get Mr. R’s point re: star players. My response is twofold (1) Very few stars act like BP does — most likely because that crap isn’t conducive to greatness; (2) Jimmy Rollins was benched last year for not hustling. Small sample size and all, but it can be done, and done in a way that certainly didn’t hurt the Phils.

  27. Glenn

    Phillips just needs to grow up and sharpen his approach to the game. He’s been around too long to still have his head up his ### the way he sometimes does.

  28. Steve Price

    Brandon Phillips is not a star player. He’s a “star” player on the Reds.

    Sean Casey was a star player on the Reds. Casey leaves the Reds and can’t even get a starting job on the Pirates or Tigers.

    This needs to be kept in perspective, and that’s what Phillips can’t do.

  29. Mike F

    Brandon Phillips is a star player. Period. He had a 30/30 season, hits for power from a middle infield slot, steals bases, scores runs, and plays gold glove claiber defense. He is only behind the incredible Chase Utley in terms of all-around second basemen in the national league. To say otherwise is to try to tear the guy down because you don’t like him because of his lack of hustle or whatever.

    If Phillips is not on this team, our record probably stands at 10-15 games below .500 rather than just 5 games below. When Votto was out, Phillips stepped up big time and carried the offensive load for the team. Besides Joey, NO ONE ELSE on the team can hit and drive in runs. Do you want a team that sucks but allows you to feel better about yourselves because of hustle and effort, or do you want a team that can at least score SOME runs?