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Cincinnati writer calls Brandon Phillips out on his B.S.

Mar 10, 2014, 9:47 AM EDT

brandon phillips ap AP

Brandon Phillips‘ interview with was noted mostly for his “how the [expletive] am I declining” comment, but John Fay of notes that Phillips is either lying or deluded about something else too: the source of his beef with local reporters.

Phillips is not talking to the four daily beat guys who cover the Reds because, he says, they have noted his struggles without noting that he was hit by a pitch on the wrist last June and that that injury may very well have been the source of his struggles. Fay calls Phillips’ b.s. out for what it is:

Phillips can talk or not talk. That doesn’t matter to me. There will be 24 players on the roster who will talk. But the notion that we didn’t write about his injury is blatantly false.

It was mentioned over and over again.

Fay gives examples. And, personally speaking, I remember such comments from him, Mark Sheldon, C. Trent Rosecrans and Hal McCoy, who Phillips is also boycotting.

Fay is mostly diplomatic here, talking about how Phillips may have a big year and saying that fairness dictates that reporters mention the injury as a reason for Phillips’ decline. Frankly, I think they can and should be more pointed with Phillips over this than they are, but credit to Fay and his colleagues for taking the high road.

But kudos, too, for Fay not doing what a lot of writers who deal with difficult players do, which is to remain silent and allow the player to dictate the (false) terms of a given controversy. One can and probably should let a player be delusional if he wants to be, but one should not stand by when those delusions serve to cast aspersions on others.

Good job, Mr. Fay.

  1. rollinghighwayblues - Mar 10, 2014 at 10:01 AM

    “So don’t BS a BSer. ”

    • tfbuckfutter - Mar 10, 2014 at 10:33 AM


  2. nymets4ever - Mar 10, 2014 at 10:56 AM

    lol @ how you sit around rooting for beat writers over the athletes themselves.

    • Craig Calcaterra - Mar 10, 2014 at 11:34 AM

      I think you may need to familiarize yourself with my history before you say silly, demonstrably false things like that.

      • chinahand11 - Mar 10, 2014 at 12:04 PM

        Hey Craig, I liked that article. Don’t care for jerk- rag Phillips.

      • yahmule - Mar 10, 2014 at 8:29 PM

        Craig, I think you need to familiarize yourself with NYM4E’s silly, demonstrably false posting history.

    • chunkala - Mar 10, 2014 at 11:45 AM

      I always disagree with Craig but have you not read his pieces before? He sides with the athletes 99.9% of the time, this just happens to be the one instance he doesn’t. He sides with them to a fault basically because he’s more a baseball fan than an impartial writer. But why root for athletes when 90% of them are scumbags? But of course, you’re a Mets fan, which might explain it.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Mar 10, 2014 at 12:14 PM

        So you disagree with Craig 99.9% of the time, and you think 9/10 athletes are scumbags. Why are you here exactly?

    • masher1965 - Mar 10, 2014 at 6:31 PM

      Easy, the player is a douchebag and the writers have 100 times the class in their little toes .

  3. metalhead65 - Mar 10, 2014 at 10:58 AM

    so phillips isboycoting them but the media and you are still talking about him? they may have mentioned it in the local media but the national media and sites like this sure did not. alll you wrote about was how he did not measure up to your precious metrics and his salary. he did what guys in in the cleanup spot are suppose to do and that is drive inr uns and you metric geeks belittle that like rbi’s do not mean anything.. if he does not want to talk to the media then they should respect that and not write about him. something tells me if he does have have a great season and does not see anything but his stats he wiill end it.

    • jeffbbf - Mar 10, 2014 at 11:03 AM

      He batted 4th in a lineup just ahead of votto and choo. Mario Mendoza could have driven in 100 runs.

      • spudchukar - Mar 10, 2014 at 11:15 AM

        Not to mention that Bruce hit behind him a much more dangerous hitter. It was an ideal situation, and early on he capitalized on it. Granted he got plunked. Twice within a few days, and that may well have inhibited his production, for a while. But he also had a poor second half, and to blame that entirely on the two plunkings is an excuse that wouldn’t die.

      • yahmule - Mar 10, 2014 at 8:32 PM

        Mario Mendoza drove in exactly 101 runs in his career.


    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Mar 10, 2014 at 11:24 AM

      he did what guys in in the cleanup spot are suppose to do and that is drive inr uns and you metric geeks belittle that like rbi’s do not mean anything.. if he does not want to talk to the media then they should respect that and not write about him.

      let’s make a bet. Phillips blamed his “decline” on being hurt last year. So he’s healthy right? What are the odds he has more RBI this year than last? I’m saying he’s got a snowball’s chance in hell. How about you?

      • thomas844 - Mar 10, 2014 at 12:11 PM

        He probably won’t get 100 RBI because Price is planning on batting him 2nd in the lineup with Bruce as the cleanup hitter.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Mar 10, 2014 at 12:18 PM

        See we tried to make that argument before, but some told us that it was all Phillips’ doing. It shouldn’t matter who is hitting in front of him, right?

      • spudchukar - Mar 10, 2014 at 12:21 PM

        And that is a late inning disaster in close games. I would still try and split up Votto and Bruce. Even though neither are terrible against lefties, left-handed specialists are another matter. One more reason why the Reds will struggle to score runs.

        This sets up Hamilton who amassed a dismal .308 OBP in AAA in 2013, followed by Phillips who has a career, .320 OBP before Votto and Bruce. Brilliant strategy Price. Although I must admit he doesn’t have a lot of better options.

    • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Mar 10, 2014 at 11:28 AM

      If he does not want to be written about, he needs to quit baseball. The reason ball players get paid millions of dollars for the foolish job they have is that people want to watch and learn about them.

      He is turning into the Eminem of the baseball world: “I hate all of this fame and notoriety and it is ruining my life! Let me release several more albums about how much I want to be out of the spotlight.”

      • infieldhit - Mar 10, 2014 at 12:33 PM

        I like the analogy, except Phillips has been known to actually smile.

    • emdash01 - Mar 10, 2014 at 11:51 AM

      The writer’s job is to cover the team and all the players on it. It would be impossible for someone to discuss the team and everything going on with it and just never mention the everyday second baseman. Phillips created the situation by being unable to handle criticism, and it’s not really possible for the reporters to make him happy without apologizing for doing their jobs, which no one would be too eager to do.

  4. El Bravo - Mar 10, 2014 at 11:13 AM

    Man, journalists really team up when a player doesn’t talk to them.

    • paperlions - Mar 10, 2014 at 11:19 AM

      Or when a player says patently false things. The great thing about writing, is it is written, so if you say something wasn’t written that was….well, people can check on that.

      • El Bravo - Mar 10, 2014 at 11:56 AM

        Tell that to republicans. Too low? hahahah. I think Phillips is overreacting, but now the bloggers and media are too b/c they are so “hurt” by his silent treatment. It all seems a bit grade school to me.

      • paperlions - Mar 10, 2014 at 12:01 PM

        I really don’t think they care about the silent treatment at all. I think they care about the mischaracterization of their prior treatment of him.

        They’ve been fair with their coverage of him, he’s just thin-skinned with a poor grasp of how good he has been at the plate.

      • gostlcards5 - Mar 10, 2014 at 2:30 PM

        paper, don’t you mean how good he HASN’T been at the plate…?

        Also, because I haven’t said it in months…BP proves once again that he is indeed an asshat.

    • nymets4ever - Mar 10, 2014 at 11:28 AM

      The journalists were always the ones picked last in gym class, so this is their geeky little way of exacting revenge on multimillionaire ballplayers who still have more talent and fame than they ever will. Haha

      • bsbiz - Mar 10, 2014 at 11:36 AM

        And athletes were always the ones who relied on the geeks to do their homework for them. That’s why they get mad when someone writes polysyllabic words about them.

      • Reflex - Mar 10, 2014 at 2:32 PM

        “The lawyers were always the ones picked last in gym class…”
        “The accountants were always the ones picked last in gym class….”
        “The computer science guys were always the ones picked last in gym class…”

        Seriously, who was picked last? It totally depends on which forum I’m on!

        Also, how could anyone get picked ahead of the actual athletes in gym class? And why do athletes think anyone else wants revenge on them for it? Do they really think the entire world is jealous of their jobs? Are they that self-centered?

        As much as I love baseball, even if I had had the skills to play at a pro level it was not my ambition. I would be greatly dissatisfied with my life, regardless of the money, if that was what I spent my summer doing. I don’t write anything out of spite or jealousy of an athlete, its not a job I would want even if I had the capability. While I’m sure some writers actually are jealous, I’m betting the majority happen to love writing and baseball and are thrilled they got a career that involved both. I know I would be, if writing were my passion…

    • masher1965 - Mar 10, 2014 at 6:35 PM

      Oh please , Phillips is a tard . If the writers do not bend over and kiss his ass, he blows up like a coke head on a bender.

  5. jre80 - Mar 10, 2014 at 11:22 AM

    Phillips is a thug bitch who needs to keep not talking. Baseball is a better place with this man not talking

    • bsbiz - Mar 10, 2014 at 11:35 AM

      There’s that word again…

      • stlouis1baseball - Mar 10, 2014 at 12:47 PM

        I don’t anyone named Polly or Sybil. But I know big words give me a headache.

      • Old Gator - Mar 10, 2014 at 2:22 PM


  6. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Mar 10, 2014 at 11:37 AM

    I wish I could applaud Phillips for contesting the narrative about his production. If he had done so like an adult I would absolutely get behind his right to question the writers, as it is an interesting dynamic between player and reporter that is not often revealed to the public.

    However, he chose instead to scream insults and obscenities at beat reporters, then give them a tantrum of silence. I wouldn’t take that crap from my 5-year-old, and I certainly can’t condone it in a grownass man.

  7. commenter - Mar 10, 2014 at 11:44 AM

    Brandons problem is hes a real outgoing nice guy with VERY thin skin. He gets way too upset about things that all players deal with. I will still root for brandon and my reds but the guy needs to keep his mouth shut and just play ball

    • thomas844 - Mar 10, 2014 at 12:10 PM

      Couldn’t agree more. Phillips is awesome with the fans and is one of my favorite players to watch, but it’s hard to defend him when he has been saying some of the stuff that he has lately. The Reds lost in the first round of the playoffs 3 of the last 4 years, so he just needs to forget about his personal numbers and what the media says and help lead the Reds to the pennant.

  8. chunkala - Mar 10, 2014 at 11:46 AM

    Phillips is going to be so bad this year and then he’ll bring out the race card mid-season.

  9. jm91rs - Mar 10, 2014 at 11:49 AM

    Joey Votto doesn’t put up RBIs, the stupid Cincinnati media doesn’t get it.
    Brandon Phillips puts up only RBIs, the stupid Cincinnati media doesn’t get it (at least according to Brandon).

    I would love for Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips to have a public discussion about metrics. I know of no player that is more aware of every measure of success than Joey Votto, I wonder if he could shed some light on it for Brandon. (Although like I’ve said countless times, it would not change the way he plays. You cannot suddenly become a high on base guy if your skill set doesn’t allow for it.)

    • spudchukar - Mar 10, 2014 at 12:25 PM

      Actually, it is one of the few things adverse skill sets can be improved on. Patience at the plate, can be learned, catching up to the fastball not so much.

    • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Mar 10, 2014 at 12:56 PM

      He could also try shortening up his swing in an effort to raise his AVG and OBP. Swinging for the fences might net him a HR every 8 games or so, but getting himself on base closer to 40% of the time in front of Votto, Ludwick and Bruce would be more valuable.

      I don’t know if he would be successful, but there are things a player can do to target his approach to his desired outcome.

      • jm91rs - Mar 10, 2014 at 1:36 PM

        I don’t believe Phillips swings for the fences often. He hits far too few HR for that. I believe he could be more patient, work the count, get a walk, get a bad pitch more often if he worked the count, etc. But still, he’s going to be what he is. His numbers could go up slightly, but he’s on the wrong side of 30 so they won’t go anywhere but down. Understanding metrics at this point in his career won’t do much.

      • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Mar 10, 2014 at 4:31 PM

        Well that is just the problem: he is not that type of player, but he certainly does not get cheated on his swing. I think he could benefit from the Willie Mays Hayes treatment.

  10. Jason @ IIATMS - Mar 10, 2014 at 11:58 AM

    Cincinnati player has a beef… then dumps it on top of spaghetti before hurling fistfuls of grated cheese and onion and calling it a masterpiece.

    And then Deadspin/Foodspin ‘splodes.

    • jm91rs - Mar 10, 2014 at 1:36 PM

      I hope you’re not taking shots at 3-ways.

      • commenter - Mar 10, 2014 at 4:07 PM

        thats a 4-way

  11. cincinata - Mar 10, 2014 at 12:40 PM

    Well, I am here to say the “last word”. It seems that we will have to wait till next year already. Phillips is ready to blow up and it will hurt the team this season. Tell Joe Morgan that his worst fears have come true. Phillips has not been able to behave and act for the good of the team. Joe, he blew his “last chance”. What a sorry state of affairs.

  12. thebirdsareback - Mar 10, 2014 at 2:41 PM

    That city Cincy just needs to focus on actually winning in the playoffs, of any of their sports. Thats probably more important than what douchey BP has to say.

  13. mikhelb - Mar 10, 2014 at 5:33 PM

    Shouldn’t reporters be objective while their job is to report news instead of trying to be the news themselves?

    Lately I’ve read a lot of articles where columnists think their point of view is more important than the facts they’re reporting (even those who write about what others wrote).

    Examples of that exist (I’d say abund but it might not be as rampant):

    a) When Shaughnessy asked Ortíz about his failed antidoping test (which David already acknowledged it happened) then the outrage was against Shaughnessy for telling the truth.

    b) When Fay and others wrote about Philips struggles… they were lauded for telling the truth.

    c) When McCann confronted that player at homeplate who was trying to score he was applauded for his “vigilante attitude”.

    d) Now McCann’s attitude is viewed as negative because he is not with the Braves anymore.

    Impartiality seems to be dying. Objectiveness seems to be optional. Congruence seems to be extinct.

  14. granadafan - Mar 10, 2014 at 5:40 PM

    It would be funny if the beat writers retaliated and refused to print his name in the papers and instead referred to #4 or put headlines up that Phillips Goes 0-4 but the Reds Win.

  15. yahmule - Mar 10, 2014 at 8:38 PM

    The best revenge sportswriters ever got on an athlete was when Roger Clemens complained about being misquoted all the time. Boston writers started printing his quotes verbatim, including every “um” and “ya know,” which made him look like a frigging moron. He wasn’t happy with that either. Just no pleasing some people.

  16. gloccamorra - Mar 10, 2014 at 11:44 PM

    Phillips needs some coaching from experts like Andre Dawson.

    Batting against Goose Gossage in the ’84 playoffs, he saw Gossage in the sun throw a pitch that went into a band of shade, then through a band of sun, then it went into the shade just before reaching the plate, and he struck out. When the writers kept asking about that at-bat, he told them, “Hey, YOU bat against friggin’ Gossage with shadows on the field, and I’LL hold the notebook!

    That’s how you handle sports writers.

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