Tag:Brandon Phillips
Posted on: May 15, 2011 11:33 am
Edited on: May 15, 2011 12:55 pm

On Deck: We're goin' sweepin'


By Matt Snyder

As always on a Sunday, we've got a full slate of games. Standing out this time around are four possible sweeps, for varying reasons.

HOT GONZO: The Red Sox are looking to sweep their bitter rivals, and they're looking to do so in Yankee Stadium. A loss for the Yankees would be their fifth straight and a victory for the Red Sox would have them at .500 for the first time since the season began. Still, both large-market groups look up at the Rays -- who have gone 22-8 since a 1-8 start. Taking center stage for the Red Sox is first baseman Adrian Gonzalez. In fact, we may soon be talking about a historic month if he keeps up this pace. He's homered in four straight games (five HRs and nine RBI in those four) and take a look at his stat-line for the month: .345 average, eight home runs, 19 RBI, 1.198 OPS. That's in 13 games. Red Sox at Yankees, 8:05 p.m. ET.

CENTRAL SHOWDOWN: The Reds-Cardinals rivalry continues to gain steam after last season's dust up. The Reds have taken two straight in Cincy and have taken over first place in the Central by a half-game. A win Sunday would assure a sweep and keep them in first. Public Enemy No. 1 (for St. Louis, that is) Brandon Phillips came through with a huge game to help propel the Reds Saturday, and one of the Cardinals' most prominent members in last season's brawl, Chris Carpenter, gets the ball Sunday. Cardinals at Reds, 1:10 p.m. ET.

Tigers, Twins TAKE OPPOSITE PATHS: The longest winning streak and losing streak at present in the majors both reside in the AL Central. The Tigers run 6-0 Max Scherzer to the hill looking to extend their winning streak to eight games. Seeing Kyle Davies take the ball for the Royals means it's a pretty good bet. Royals at Tigers, 1:05 p.m. ET (nevermind, it's been postponed). On the flip-side, the Twins have lost seven in a row and are -- rather easily at this point -- the worst team in baseball. Injuries have been a problem, but that doesn't account for the dreadful underperformance. Brian Duensing gets the nod for the Twins, as they'll square off against Brandon Morrow and the Blue Jays -- who have won four straight. Blue Jays at Twins, 2:10 p.m. ET.

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Posted on: May 13, 2011 5:00 pm

Phillips attends game after Twitter invitation

By Matt Snyder

While Brandon Phillips of the Reds gives opposing teams several reasons to dislike him on the field -- whether it be calling the Cardinals names or taking hits away from opposing hitters with his sparkling defense -- there isn't much reason to dislike him off the field. One of the great Twitter personalities (@DatDudeBP) interacts with fans frequently and, unlike many on Twitter, doesn't mock them.

Still, even knowing this, I was shocked to hear that he attended a baseball game Thursday of a young Reds fan who had invited him via Twitter. (via Jimmy Traina) The young fan is a member of the 14-and-under Cincy Flames. After asking his Twitter followers what he should do with his off-day, Phillips got a request. The fan tweeted to Phillips that he should "come watch 14u Cincy Flames in West Chester tonight." Phillips replied asking where exactly the game was, and the fan replied with the address. Phillips actually went -- with less than a day's notice, mind you -- and there's a picture to prove it. The Flames won 13-2 in front of their new major-league fan, too.

There isn't really much more you can say, other than to give Phillips props for making the trip out to support a local youth team. It's cliche to say something like "there should be more like him," but in this case that's a statement that holds true.

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Category: MLB
Posted on: May 4, 2011 11:14 pm

Which Phillips play is better?

Brandon Phillips

By C. Trent Rosecrans

If you missed it, Tuesday night Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips made the best play of the year -- fielding Jason Bourgeois' dribbler with his bare hand on a straight sprint and flipping the ball to first baseman Joey Votto between his legs to get the speedy runner.

Here it is.

It was hands-down the best play I've seen this season. However, there's at least one person who doesn't agree with me -- Brandon Phillips.

From his Twitter (@DatDudeBP):

Phillips Twitter

That other play was on April 12 in San Diego. On that play, he ranged right and barehanded the ball, throwing on to first to get Will Venable. Although there was a higher degree of difficulty for Tuesday's play, the play against the Padres came with a runner on third and kept the game tied in the eighth inning -- a game the Reds would win 8-2 in 11 innings.

Here's the video of that play.

Which do you think is better?

Either way, it shows why Phillips has two of these:

Gold Gloves

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Posted on: May 4, 2011 10:29 pm
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Posted on: April 24, 2011 6:31 pm

Phillips hosts Easter egg hunt on Twitter

By C. Trent Rosecrans

I'm not sure what it is with Cincinnati and athletes on Twitter, but the Bengals' Chad Ochocinco was one of sports' pioneers on the social networking platform, and now Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips is making @DatDudeBP a must-follow.

In honor of today's holiday, Phillips hosted an Easter egg hunt with a picture he posted of his locker in St. Louis. See if you can find the four eggs in this picture:

Brandon Phillips

Like @Ochocinco, Phillips has used Twitter masterfully to interact with fans and bring them behind the scenes in a way they've never been able to see before.

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Posted on: April 22, 2011 1:08 pm

Mr. Phillips heads to St. Louis

By Matt Snyder

The Reds and the Cardinals will square off for the first time of the 2011 season Friday night as the first game of a three-game series. And with that comes the drama surrounding Brandon Phillips. Even if everyone wanted to forget the feud between Phillips and the Cardinals from last season -- why would we want to? It was incredibly entertaining -- he won't let anyone forget.

The proverbial flames are being fanned by Phillips. Whether it's Twitter or in an interview, he's all for making himself Public Enemy No. 1 in St. Louis. Here's a sampling of what we've seen from him thus far from the colorful second baseman:

- "Honestly, (the boos) will make me feel good, because it lets me further know that they have dreams about me," Phillips said. "It's like, 'Oh my God, Brandon Phillips is coming to St. Louis.' It feels good, to let me know they think about me instead of worrying about the team." (Cincinnati.com )

- "Of course they're going to boo me. I love it," Phillips said. "They can boo me all they want. It's not going to make me not get any hits or anything like that." (Cincinnati.com )

- "Just landed in St. Louis! Sad face ... but these wins will make me happy!" (Twitter.com )

- "My teammates ask me if I knew where some good places 2 eat at in St. Louis! I said, "Yea, come with me 2 the store 2 get some Lunchables!" (Twitter.com )

- "Am I being a hater? Yes, I am. I'm sipping on the haterade hard right now and it tastes good ... my name is going to be Boo Phillips tomorrow." (Joe Roderick Show )

Let's just hope he doesn't start hitting his bat off Yadier Molina's shin guards again in his first at-bat.

On a serious note, I can see all sorts of people having a problem with this -- maybe even some Reds fans. But I love it. He loves his team, hates his opposition and wants to turn the negative attention of opposition into a positive for his team. Remember, professional sports are supposed to be entertaining for the fans. The Phillips vs. Cardinals feud has been great entertainment from where I sit.

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Posted on: April 21, 2011 1:37 pm
Edited on: April 21, 2011 3:23 pm

Cards fans ready for Reds' Leake

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Mike Leake won't be pitching for the Reds this weekend in St. Louis, but he'll be seen in the stands.

St. Louis blog Joe Sports Fan is selling these shirts this weekend, and, well, they're just perfect.

Mike Leake

Bravo Matt Sebek and company. To order your shirt for when the Reds come to your town, you can send an e-mail to Matt at matt@joesportsfan.com or tweet him @MattSebek.

The Reds-Cardinals rivalry was amped up last season after Brandon Phillips called the Cardinals "whiny little bitches" and then set off a fight, where Johnny Cueto kicked Jason LaRue in the head. The two teams haven't come to fisticuffs since then, but there are still plenty of hard feelings on both sides. Cueto is currently on the disabled list and won't be in St. Louis, by the way, and LaRue retired after suffering a concussion in the brawl.

Leake is making his first post-arrest start today in Cincinnati, where the Diamondbacks picketed runs off of him in each of the first two innings before he got off clean in the third.

UPDATE: Leake allowed four hits and three runs, striking out six and walking two, improving to 3-0 on the season with Cincinnati's 7-4 victory over the Diamondbacks.

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Posted on: April 12, 2011 10:13 am
Edited on: April 18, 2011 12:14 pm

Pepper: Baseball returns to Japan

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Sendai, Japan, had something to cheer about on Tuesday -- baseball.

The northern Japanese city that was ravished by last month's earthquake is home to the Rakuten Eagles, who opened the Japanese baseball season with a  6-4 victory over the defending champion Chiba Lotte Marines.

The game was played a bit south in Chiba and the Eagles' stadium won't be ready until April 29, but TV showed people in shelters watching the game and each fan in the Chiba cheering section held up signs that said, "Stay Strong Japan."

"Despite the difficult conditions, we are able to open the season because everybody helped us to do it," former big leaguer and current Eagle Kaz Matsui told the Associated Press. "I want to carry this feeling of appreciation for the whole year by playing baseball."

Former National and Yankee, and current Eagle Darrell Rasner said he thought fans were happy to see games played, the Central League also started with the Yokohama BayStars beating the Chunichi Dragons 5-4.

"It is a sense of normalcy for them," Rasner told the AP. "It's something that's ingrained in them and, you know, I think this is going to be a healing process. This is going to be a great thing for them."

Not everyone aggress. 

"Watching baseball is not the first thing on anyone's mind in Tokyo either," reporter Kozo Abe told author Robert Whiting, writing for SI.com. "The Japanese feeling at the moment is that they are not ready to root for the revival of Japanese baseball from the bottom of their heart."

One estimate says there are 30,000 people dead or missing and as many as 400,000 are homeless from the earthquake and tsunami. Half of the 12 NPB teams play in areas affected by the disaster. With many still without power, there's a debate whether using power on baseball games is the best way to use resources. Even though teams are playing more day games, enough power is used one day game at the Tokyo Dome to power 6,000 homes.

The Yomiuri Shimbun, Japan's largest newspaper, has had many call in and cancel their subscriptions to the newspaper that also owns the country's most popular team, the Yomiuri Giants, who publicly were against pushing back the season's starting date to today. The Giants will not play at home until next month in hopes of conserving energy.

It will be interesting to see how many people show up to games. Going to baseball games requires discretionary income, right now that's not exactly in abundance, and if it is, there's better use of that money in Japan.

Baseball did have to return to Japan, a country that loves the game as much (or more) than we do, but the start seems awkward, even though there was no easy way to avoid it. 

TALKING PITCHING -- I join Lauren Shehadi to talk about some of the game's best pitchers. I don't like to overreact to one or two starts at the start of the season, so you know. But hey, you get the picture of me with my beard at its fullest.

NICE TOUCH -- Really nice scene last night when the Giants and Dodgers got together in a  presume ceremony for Bryan Stow, who was beaten in the Dodger Stadium parking lot earlier this month. [Los Angeles Times]

ROAD DOGS -- The first nine games of yesterday were won by the road team and the Blue Jays took an early 7-0 lead on the Mariners before coughing up the lead and giving the home team its first victory of the day. Only once before -- on July 30, 1890, had all the road teams win on a day with 10 or more games.

WRIGLEY'S FOR THE BIRDS -- Flocks of ring-billed gulls have made Wrigley Field one of their favorite feeding spots. At times you'll see more birds than fans in the stands. [Chicago Sun-Times]

NO-HITTER -- Trey Haley, Francisco Jimenez and Clayton Ehlert combined for a no-hitter for the Class A Lake County Captains in a 3-1 victory over the Dayton Dragons on Monday. The Captains are the low-A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians. [MiLB.com]

EVEN PUJOLS SLUMPS -- St. Louis really is America's best baseball towns, and its newspaper, the Post-Dispatch understands that. The P-D has one of the best baseball teams in the business, including Derrick Goold. I say this just to point out the work Goold did on his blog for Monday. Goold took a look at Pujols' slumps in his career and what followed. The moral of the story? You don't want to be a Diamondbacks or Dodgers pitcher this week.

AND JETER -- Derek Jeter's .206 average through his first nine games is the second-worst start of his career. The only time he started worse was 1998, and he had one of his better seasons following that start. However, he was 23. [New York Times]

JIMENEZ CLOSER -- Ubaldo Jimenez threw a bullpen session on Sunday and is on track to re-join the rotation on Monday. Jimenez will throw in an extended spring training. [MLB.com]

DAVIS TO DL -- Blue Jays center fielder Rajai Davis is expected to go on the disabled list today with soreness in his right ankle. He had been playing with the injury, but the team decided he needed rest to fully recover. [MLB.com]

FRIDAY DUNN'S DAY? -- Adam Dunn took batting practice on Monday, less than a week after his emergency appendectomy, but don't expect him back in a game until Friday. [Chicago Sun-Times]

GOOD GENES -- Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips was a proud big brother on Tuesday as his sister, Prosha, was taken by the San Antonio Silver Stars in the third round of the WNBA's draft that was held on Tuesday. The younger Phillips played at the University of Georgia. Her big brother had signed to play baseball at UGA before being drafted. [Twitter]

YOU'D NEVER GUESS IT -- If you had to guess which American League player has a triple in every season this century, how long would it take for you to guess David Ortiz? [Providence Journal]

SUPER SLO-MO -- This video of Tim Lincecum is just killer.

Hat tip to Big League Stew.

YOUTH MOVEMENT -- We all know the Cubs' Starlin Castro is young, but did you know that's he's nearly four months younger than the next-youngest player in MLB, Florida's Mike Stanton. Royals lefty Tim Collins is the youngest -- and shortest -- player in the American League. How about the minors? Braves phenom Julio Teheran is the youngest player in Triple-A, while the Rangers' Jurickson Profar is the youngest player in a full-season league in the minors. He was born Feb. 20, 1993. [Baseball America]

DEFENDING THE INDEFENSIBLE -- Sam Mellinger defends Royals owner David Glass. [Kansas City Star]

SPEAKING OF BAD OWNERS -- Frank McCourt's former attorneys are suing him. [Los Angeles Times]

RETIREMENT INCREASING -- No, not Manny Ramirez, but maybe 99 or 24. Anyway, here's a cool article from Chris Jaffe at the Hardball Times about retired numbers and it has a list of the players with the highest WAR for each franchise without their number retired. Looking at the list, my guess for next to have his number retired is probably Ken Griffey Jr. ANother Cincinnati kid, Barry Larkin isn't on the list, but his number is likely going to be retired soon, too. 

$2 MILLION TACTIC -- Is Buck Showalter's tactic of teaching his players to try to break up a double play when a ball is hit right at the second baseman worth $2 million a season? [Sabermetric Research]

HERO WORSHIP -- Nearly 12 years after the last game he pitched in the big leagues, Jim Abbott is still inspiring others. [Orange County Register]

REDDICK MAKING ENEMIES -- Buffalo Bisons general manager Mike Buczkowski can't be much of a fan of Red Sox prospect Josh Reddick. It's not just that Reddick hit .327 with four homers and 10 RBI in 12 games against the Bisons in 2010, or that he homered in his first game against Buffalo in 2011. No, Reddick added to the misery he's caused Buczkowski on Saturday when on the pitch before his homer, Reddick hit a foul ball that shattered the windshield of Buczkowski's car. Pawtucket play-by-play man Dan Hoard has the details and photos on his blog. [Heard it from Hoard]

PRESIDENTIAL VISIT -- The Nationals' Abe Lincoln mascot made a visit to Lincoln's Cottage in Washington last week. [Lincoln Cottage Blog]

LUCKY CATCH -- A former minor leaguer won a $1 million jackpot in a scratch-off lottery. Joel Torres was released by the Indians this spring and wants to continue his career. [New York Post]

BAY AREA BASEBALL FEVER -- The Giants' run to the World Series title has made an impact on the participation of Bay Area Little Leagues. There are now waiting lists in some leagues. [New York Times]

LINEUP SHOW -- This is an interesting bit of marketing from Japan, a TV program invited all six Pacific League managers to present their opening day lineups and talk about them. I could see that working on MLB Network -- teams know who they're facing and what they're going to do, it only helps build excitement for the hard core fans (and for silly complaints about lineup construction, if you're into that kind of thing.) [YakyuBaka.com]

PUT ME IN COACH -- The Omaha World writes about the best baseball songs. As a huge fan of the Hold Steady, I appreciate any list that includes not only that band, but also its singer. That said, I prefer "Pasttime" from the Baseball Project's first album to "Don't Call Them Twinkies." But my favorite baseball song is still probably "A Dying Cubs Fan's Last Request" by Steve Goodman. All in all, a pretty darn good list -- especially with the inclusion of "Talkin' Softball."

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com