I’m shocked. Shocked, I tell you!

Should Brandon Phillips have had a triple in the third inning after he admired his drive to the wall a little long, thinking he had a second homer? Baker thought so.

“Probably, yeah,” Baker said. “:It looked like at first, he thought it might have been gone. Then he started running probably halfway but it was a little too late at that time.”

Phillips had to settle for a double. But if he had reached third base on the play, he likely would have scored on next batter Joey Votto’s fly ball to left field.

This isn’t the first time something like this has happened. A similar one occured in Houston last week when a routine fly became a three-run error and Phillips only reached second base instead of third.

There were gaffes last season also. In Kansas City, Phillips ignored a take sign on a 3-0 count and put his team out of a rally. On July 20 in Los Angeles he was thrown out at second base when he thought he had a routine sacrifce fly. He didn’t speed up until the ball fell in front of Andre Ethier, who threw Phillips out at second base. That one cost Phillips a game on the bench. There was also a stern rebuke from Baker that night.

“We’ve all talked to him until we’re blue in the face,” Baker said that night.

“I messed up,” Phillips said, also on that night in L.A. “That’s my second time not hustling this year. It won’t happen again.”

Keep this in mind: no one else on the Reds has a problem with hustling.

Make of it what you will. I can’t get indignant at this stuff any more. It just kills me that Brandon Phillips is the face of the franchise, yet (a) he’s giving one beat writer the silent treatment and (b) he ran out of the clubhouse last night before reporters were allowed in so that he wouldn’t be forced to answer questions. Seems incredibly immature.

BP is starting to hit though, and I’m very happy about that development.

UPDATE: Check out John Fay’s report:

Brandon Phillips’ lack of hustle on the ball off the wall last night was addressed. Phillips ended up with a double, instead of a triple, likely costing the Reds a run.

“He’s been talked to about this,” Dusty Baker said. “We’ve talked to Brandon quite often.

“I guess he’s better than he used to be. We’re trying to get him to the point where he can be a big difference maker every day. He certainly has the skill and ability.”

Is it hard for Baker to watch?

“What’s tough as a manager is when you’ve got an A student who’s getting Bs,” Baker said.

I tried to talk to Phillips. He did not want to talk about it last night. He did give me one quote. However, I can’t use it here.

Face of the franchise!!!

16 Responses

  1. davidmp2

    I understand that it is difficult for a blue collar town like Cincinnati to get behind guys like Brandon Phillips. Having said that, he is an exceptional talent and a very good if not great second baseman. I’m on record as saying this team will never win so long as they trade players like BP, with that said Baker has done nothing to curtail these problems. He plays every day and will continue to play every day. A benching or public fine is needed.

  2. Furniture City Red

    @davidmp2: A benching AND public fine is definitely needed. Baker should have jerked his a** from the game between innings last week in Houston when he got picked off at First while simply not having his head in the game.

    BP is a great talent, and could be a superstar in the League if A) he hustled B)worked harder at his trade, and C)quit appearing at times to just not care.

  3. Bill Lack

    He’s a very good defensive 2nd baseman, he’s average (at best) offensively with a prone to showboating, mental errors, and lack of hustle.

    That being said, the blame for this continuing lies on the manager, b/c there are no consequences for Phillips actions.

  4. Matt WI

    @Bill Lack: Well said regarding the accountability on the manager. Sometimes it’s difficult to discern whether Dusty manages egos or he massages them. A fine line, to be sure.

  5. Travis G.

    It probably stems from his season-opening slump (which shows signs of abating), but he doesn’t look like he’s having much fun at all. Could be a chicken-or-the-egg type of deal, though.

  6. Bill Lack

    Travis G.:

    It probably stems from his season-opening slump (which shows signs of abating), but he doesn’t look like he’s having much fun at all. Could be a chicken-or-the-egg type of deal, though.


    But wouldn’t a real professional play even HARDER when they’re struggling, to make up for the other ways they’re not contributing?

  7. jd45373

    This is ridiculous. You always call him the face of the franchise and he’s NOT.. Bruce and Votto are! You guys always hate on him and pick at any fault so its no wonder he doesn’t talk to the press. The way Fayman handled his joking remark in ST was so bush league and if you knew him you’d know he was playing around with his comments. Try showing him some support, give him the benefit of the doubt and see what he can do for the franchise. He likes Cincy and he wants to play at his very best but it drags a player down when all the reporters are negative. Seriously, show him some love and support and see..

  8. francijx

    @jd45373: I guess I’m the ass for wanting him to not take for granted the millions he makes while not giving max effort. My bad.

  9. Furniture City Red

    @jd45373: Seriously dude?…poor, poor Brandon? Give me a break!….If you (and BP) listen real close you’ll be able to hear the world’s smallest violin playing the world’s saddest song just for you 😐

  10. jd45373

    If you look at every single players faults or mistakes or bad judgement plays (like not hustling) and compare it to BP’s I guarantee there are guys that have more but haven’t gotten the bad press. All I’m saying is that he DOES play hard, everyone makes a mistake every so often, you don’t see his name in the papers about his personal life, so why hate on him ALL the time? You should support everyone on your team. The negativity just breeds. I’ve seen ONE tweet from redlegsnation on a good BP play. And he only had to tie up the game by tagging up to run home to do it.. geez. And if you wanna go into his salary.. well he’s not sittin’ the bench like Junior did, he plays through injuries, and I’m willing to bet he’s donated more of his own money and time to causes than any other current Red..

  11. John

    I’m tired of the showboating and dogging it, and I’m tired of people defending him. He’s not the best second baseman in the league. He’s an above average defender because he’s a former shortstop who has an easier job now — one that affords him the opportunity to be lazy, trot over to grounders in the hole, and flip throws over to 1B. He very rarely gets to anything tough hit up the middle. He has absolutely no plate discipline and is not a team player. When managers and coaches are using phrases like “we’ve talked to him until we’re blue in the face” and when he refuses to talk to beat writers, it shows me he’s got an attitude problem. But hey, at least he smiles a lot. This team would be a lot better off without him. But people will continue to defend him because he’s a good fielder and hit 30/30 a few years ago or something. Whatever.

  12. francijx

    @jd45373: Is this BP’s mom?

    Listen, I want to root for Phillips. I’ll dog on other guys if they don’t hustle, too. And yes, everyone makes mistakes. Its just that I don’t recall people making those types of mistakes more than once. This isn’t an isolated incident. Its not even the first time this season. Its a trend and it needs to be remedied.

    And “sitting the bench like Junior did”? Because he wanted to be hurt, right? He got hurt on hustle plays diving for balls in the outfield (shoulder) or running all out on a play (hamstring). I guess you’re right; BP will always be out there since there isn’t much chance of getting hurt hustling.

  13. Chris Garber


    If you look at every single players faults or mistakes or bad judgement plays (like not hustling) and compare it to BP’s I guarantee there are guys that have more but haven’t gotten the bad press..

    I accept your guarantee, and await the names of the other laggards. Watching nearly every game for at least the last 10 years (since full TV coverage), I haven’t seen anyone come close.

  14. Chris Garber

    “Face of the Franchise” was Phillips’ own desired identity, btw.

  15. Furniture City Red

    I still blame Dusty for putting up with it. I like Charlie Manuel’s approach in Philly – He only has two rules 1 )be on time, and 2)Hustle…He even benched Jimmie Rollins (who I think was the reigning MVP at the time) in ’08 for not hustling…if my memory serves he benched him in the middle of the game.

    Can you even imagine Dusty doing that, or if he did, Phillips taking it like a man as Rollins did?

  16. Truman48

    He needs to hustle or they need to find another team for him.