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Brandon Phillips gives a ball to a heckling fan signed “Dear Drunk Guy . . .”

Jun 20, 2014, 8:19 AM EDT

brandon phillips getty Getty Images

Brandon Phillips doesn’t take actual fact-based criticism very well sometimes, but he’s a pretty good sport about drunk hecklers.

Wednesday night, the Reds-Pirates game was a soggy affair, which pretty much emptied out PNC Park. One of the people who stayed was a Pirates fan, who decided to heckle Reds players pretty continuously. Since the park was empty, the players heard him loud and clear. One of them was Brandon Phillips who smiled at the jeering and then, after the game, did something fun. From the Pirates’ fan brother over at Reddit:

. . . after the game, Brandon Phillips runs over and hands my brother this ball. He said Mr. Phillips was completely cool about the whole thing. We’re Pirates fans, but I’ll be rooting for the Reds as long as is doesn’t mess with Pittsburgh’s chances at a pennant.

This is what he wrote on the ball-

Dear Drunk Guy, Thank You 4 All The Love & Support!! Now Take This Ball And Shut The Phuck Up!! :)

From Yours Truly,

Brandon Phillips

A pic of the ball can be seen here and here. Here’s a pic of Phillips with the fan.

Just another fun night at the ballpark.

(Thank to Allison for the heads up)

  1. justinreds - Jun 20, 2014 at 8:26 AM

    Great American Ballpark was empty, because the game was played in Pittsburgh at PNC park.

    • aresachaela - Jun 20, 2014 at 8:41 AM

      You my good sir are mocking their increased attendance XD.

  2. sensiblevoice - Jun 20, 2014 at 8:26 AM

    I just actually laughed out loud!

  3. proudlycanadian - Jun 20, 2014 at 8:26 AM

    I am sure that the drunk guy will treasure that ball forever.

  4. metalhead65 - Jun 20, 2014 at 8:34 AM

    so can Phillips be labled as a fun loving guy now instead of a jerk you in the media make him out to be? or does he have to start flipping his bat after everything before he is considered that?

    • 18thstreet - Jun 20, 2014 at 9:05 AM

      What is your problem? Who is this monolithic media you’re talking about?

      • jm91rs - Jun 20, 2014 at 9:18 AM

        metalhead65 believes everyone is out to get his team. Phillips should get called out for his lousy offensive production, or his inability to take criticism when someone points out the lack of production. That said, I do think Phillips is hated a little more than he should be. His personality has been called into question a lot, and really all we ever see from the guy is a smile when he’s on the field. When he’s on the field he plays it exactly like I imagine I would, with a smile and a laugh because it’s a game.

      • paperlions - Jun 20, 2014 at 9:28 AM

        The problem is that people stop paying attention and make assumptions.

        I’m sure most people think Cardinal fans hate Phillips, but nothing could be further from the truth. We hate getting beat by Phillips (if the Cardinals are going to lose, we would much rather see Votto or Frasier or anyone else provide the death blow), but we don’t hate him. In the aftermath of the dust up with Molina, Cardinal fans heckled the crap out of him and he was fantastic in creating a give and take with the fans, and everyone appreciated the fun he had with it and how well he interacted with Cardinal fans in StL.

      • sfchoosier - Jun 20, 2014 at 10:38 AM

        I disagree mr Paperlion, i know several Card fans up here that HATE the guy and you can throw Johnny Cueto in that batch as well. The Cardinal/Reds rivalry is about as good as there is in baseball right now.

      • chrisernst82 - Jun 20, 2014 at 11:19 AM

        As a Cardinal fan i can promise you i “hate” Phillips as much as anyone can hate a person for not actually doing anything despicable. In my heart i know he is actually a good person and is one of the more beloved players around baseball. But over the years a true disdain of him has grown in may of us Cardinal fans. A few years back him referring to the Cards as a bunch of B****es put me over the edge.

      • chrisernst82 - Jun 20, 2014 at 11:21 AM

        Still like him more than T. Plush though lol

      • uwsptke - Jun 20, 2014 at 11:46 AM

        1) B****es whine, and that Cards era team whined quite often. Part of what put Phillips on the map as a baseball personality and endeared him to the masses was him calling the Chris Carpenter/TLR era Cards out for what they were (or if you prefer, what other teams perceived them to be).

        2) T-Plush 4 Life! :)

      • chrisernst82 - Jun 20, 2014 at 7:30 PM

        I can understand you guys not get disliking Phillips, your not Cardinal fans. Plus he is well like and probably a good dude but Plush? Come on no one like him, even in Japan :)

    • stlouis1baseball - Jun 24, 2014 at 12:11 PM

      No…he’s still “The Mouth.”

      • metalhead65 - Jun 24, 2014 at 12:54 PM

        isn’t it time you guys in st.louis let go? he only said what everybody in baseball was thinking and still guys are as bad as dame and think you are so superior to everyone else and whine about any perceived transgression or when things do not go your way.

      • stlouis1baseball - Jun 25, 2014 at 10:22 AM

        False again. You are going to have to try harder Metalhead. I know it makes you feel better to say these things. But they are still false. I will be the first to admit (and have numerous, numerous times)…Cardinals fans are spoiled. Consistently winning will spoil you. As a result, things typically DO go our way. Hence my reference to being spoiled. You would be far better off to try to lose your inferiority complex. At least work on it. It will help you be a more positive human being. Which will only help you from a health standpoint. Both physically and mentally. At the end of the day…as I have also stated numerous, numerous times, “The Mouth” would be my 2nd baseman over every other NL 2nd baseman. But it doesn’t take away from the fact that he very much is…”The Mouth.” Always has been. Always will be. Now turn that frown upside down my Friend!

  5. renaado - Jun 20, 2014 at 8:36 AM

    Really nice to see a happy face bein added there.

  6. aresachaela - Jun 20, 2014 at 8:39 AM

    Fan for life :-)

  7. georgewashingtonsghost - Jun 20, 2014 at 8:41 AM

    What a fun read to start my day! Way to have fun and make a new fan for life, BP.

  8. hoopmatch - Jun 20, 2014 at 8:42 AM

    He may just show it more than most, but Brandon Phillips seems to love the game more than most other players. Of course, it might be more of a love of the spotlight, but I enjoy watching him play. He’s always got a big smile after a big play. I wouldn’t be surprised if he reads this blog and comments under and alias.

  9. DelawarePhilliesFan - Jun 20, 2014 at 8:51 AM

    Buzz Killington here.

    While the temptation must be OVERWHELMING to shoot back at these hecklers (and believe me, I get it), I really think all he did here was create more heckling for himself.

    Not to mention – when a ball player gets all “woe is me, people constantly yell at me”, I’m reminded of the famous lunch a 21 year old Tiger Woods had with Arnie (if you ask who I mean by Arnie, go smack yourself). Tiger was going on about what an insane schedule he leads – interviews, charity events, photo shoots. He lamented “I can’t be a regular 21 year old”. Arnie chuckled and said “You’re right Tiger, you aren’t a regular 21 year old. Regular 21 year olds don’t have $50 million in the bank”.

    Don’t get me wrong – there is no excuse for abusing a player the way 90% of these guys get abused. But then again….$60 million dollars for playing a sport makes up for a lot (Phillips career earnings). So….there are some positives there for you, Mr. Phillips

    • 18thstreet - Jun 20, 2014 at 9:08 AM

      Thumbs down for “Arnie,” if you’re best buds. The rest, I agree with.

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - Jun 20, 2014 at 9:13 AM

        I have one degree of separation with him – and it is a strong one :)

        But okay – Mr. Palmer

    • chrisernst82 - Jun 20, 2014 at 11:23 AM

      Yeah he turned a heckler from another teams fan base into a personal fan of his, the backlash is gonna be horrible!

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - Jun 20, 2014 at 11:30 AM

        I didn’t say he would receive backlash – I said he is going to have more hecklers. Once people know you hear them, it gets worse. I think that theory is pretty well proven.

        You may disagree, and that is your prerogative. You have a good day

      • chrisernst82 - Jun 20, 2014 at 7:37 PM

        In my younger dumber years my 21st fell on a Cards VS Cubs game. I ripped Sosa bad for about 7 innings until he turned around and gave me the evil eye. I also got put in my place by fellow Cardinal fans afterward. No one else jumped on him for staring back at me. They just told me i was an idiot an to shut the hell up lol.

        That was 10+ years ago and i learned my lesson. They should have never let me in that day lol

  10. elguapo16 - Jun 20, 2014 at 9:11 AM

    This is awesome. Totally humanizes the players and brings the fans closer to the sport, which is always a good thing.

    I imagine the fan didn’t cross the line in his heckling and kept it more funny than offensive, so win-win all the way around.

  11. Detroit Michael - Jun 20, 2014 at 9:36 AM

    Based on Phillips’ spelling, I would have thought it was a Phillies phan.

    • tbird05 - Jun 20, 2014 at 9:58 AM

      I think it is wonderful that people feel like it is less offensive to use curse words as long as they are spelled wrong or with special characters. This story is phucking awesome though.

  12. theravenmaniac - Jun 20, 2014 at 10:19 AM

    Just plain awesome.

  13. thomas844 - Jun 20, 2014 at 10:32 AM

    Finally an article that highlights the fun, positive side of Phillips.

  14. toodrunktotastethischicken - Jun 20, 2014 at 10:34 AM

    …is that where I was last night?

    • tbird05 - Jun 20, 2014 at 12:42 PM

      Yep, and that wasn’t chicken either.

  15. doorjockey - Jun 20, 2014 at 11:05 AM

    that’s just to funny. glad every one took it for what it was, ball busting at its best. great job and great sense of humor.

  16. ud1951 - Jun 20, 2014 at 11:30 AM

    I am a Cardinals fan, but if you can’t appreciate Brandon Phillips, you are not really a baseball fan. I have always enjoyed watching this guy play. The guys that look like they are having fun when they play the game are generally the most fun to watch.

    • stex52 - Jun 20, 2014 at 3:03 PM

      I’m not one for hating a guy just because he plays against my team, either. That is one of the things I like about baseball. We can cheer the great performance, no matter who does it.

      I am mindful of the St. Louis crowd that applauded the Astros when they won the NL Championship in 2005. They probably weren’t thrilled, but they acknowledged the winners.

  17. kalinedrive - Jun 20, 2014 at 1:56 PM

    Technically, the ball wasn’t signed “Dear Drunk Guy”, it was addressed “Dear Drunk Guy.”

  18. lanflfan - Jun 20, 2014 at 3:31 PM

    Well played Mr. Phillips.

  19. stlouis1baseball - Jun 24, 2014 at 12:09 PM

    Just for the record…I don’t hate anyone. I don’t even use the word. To me…to hate someone is equal to wishing death upon them. This in mind, of all the MLB players, the one I despise the most is “The Mouth.” But at the same time, I would have him play the two sack for me over any other NL 2nd Baseman. Only behind Pedroia and Cano in all of MLB.

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