Tag:Brandon Phillips
Posted on: September 6, 2010 5:51 pm
Edited on: September 6, 2010 5:56 pm

Rockies touch up Chapman

Aroldis Chapman Apparently, Aroldis Chapman is human.

The Reds used Chapman in the middle of an inning for the first time and he allowed not only his first big league hit, but also his first run.

Chapman entered the game with two outs and the Reds trailing by a run, 5-4.

Eric Young Jr. got the first hit off Chapman, a singled up the middle on a 98.6 mph fastball, scoring Seth Smith. Dexter Fowler then hit a hard ball at Paul Janish, who was knocked backwards and tried to get a force at second, but threw it over the head of Brandon Phillips, scoring Chris Nelson, scored as an error.

Carlos Gonzalez then hit a little bouncer over Chapman's head that third baseman Juan Francisco couldn't handle, loading the bases. After throwing a 103.1 mph fastball to Troy Tulowitzki, Ryan Hanigan had one go by him for a passed ball, scoring another run. Chapman then got Tulowitzki swinging at a slider to end the inning.

Chapman's final line -- 1/3 of an inning, three hits and an unearned run with a strikeout. He threw 16 pitches -- nine were clocked at 100 mph or better.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .

Posted on: August 30, 2010 5:52 pm

Cardinals try Jr. High antics to slow slide

Tony La Russa Since Brandon Phillips has stopped talking, apparently Tony La Russa and the Cardinals need something else to motivate them -- you know, besides a playoff spot and professionalism. So La Russa (maybe it is hate on Tony La Russa Day here at CBS F&R) went back to junior high for his latest attempt at motivating his troops.

Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch tweets (@dgoold ):
#Cardinals all gathered around to watch each player get head shaved. Solidarity by buzz cut. #stlcards Maybe next is a cutout of Bill DeWitt and La Russa will remove a piece of clothing with every win.

This comes as Buzz Bissinger, who wrote a fawning book over La Russa, tweets (@buzzbissinger ):
TLR doesn't like Rasmus. Thinks he is lazy. But Tony has lost interest in baseball. And his team reflects it. No one lasts forever. Bissinger, in follow-up tweets notes he no longer speaks to La Russa and his observation is purely that, not from anything La Russa has said to him.

So maybe this is the latest stunt to say the team really is interested in the rest of the season -- off the field at least.

Since St. Louis' sweep in Cincinnati to retake first place, the Cardinals have gone 5-10, with their only winning series against the only winning team faced during that stretch -- the Giants. The rest of the games were against the Cubs (1-2), Brewers (0-2), Pirates (1-2) and Nationals (1-3) -- teams with a combined .414 winning percentage. The Reds, on the other hand, have gone 11-4 since the sweep, including a seven-game winning streak immediately following the sweep.

The Cardinals are 10-5 against the Reds this season, but only have three games left against them. The rest of their series are against the Astros, Brewers, Braves, Cubs, Padres, Pirates and Rockies. St. Louis is 26-26 this season against those teams.

The Reds' remaining series are against the Brewers, Rockies, Pirates, Diamondbacks, Astros and Padres. Cincinnati is 25-11 against those teams so far this season and lead the Cardinals by five games. As John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer notes today, if the Reds play .500 baseball down the stretch, they'll finish at 91-71. The Cardinals would need to go 22-12 the rest of the way to force a playoff. That's not impossible, but it's certainly better than the Cardinals have played since the Phillips affair .

If it comes down to the close shave of the late season, it appears the Reds may have the advantage.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .

Posted on: August 12, 2010 6:45 pm

Blues enforcer has La Russa's back

Cam Janssen
Cardinals manager Tony La Russa and Reds manager Dusty Baker looked like they were ready to come to blows during this week's fight between their teams, and St. Louis Blues enforcer Can Janssen says he'd like to be in his hometown manager's corner.

"I'd love to see those two go at it," Janssen told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "Tony, call me up . . . I've got nothing to do right now. If you need some fire-power in that department, call me up because I'm bored."

Janssen said that while baseball "fights" are usually nothing compared with what happens on the ice, he'd hate to be in a scrum like the Cardinals-Reds brawl, with so many people potentially swinging for him.

"You get blind-sided and all of the sudden you're down in the pile getting kicked in the face," he said. "It's a scary thing, but sometimes it's kind of humorous when you see some of those guys try to throw punches."

What started the whole incident was the Reds' Brandon Phillips calling the Cardinals some unflattering names. Janssen said there's a reason you rarely hear of things like that happening in hockey.

"In hockey, no one would do that because they know there's consequences on the ice," he said. "That's why hockey players have respect for one another. If you're going to run your mouth like that, then you're going to be called out on the ice. And I'll tell you what, there's nobody going to be breaking that up for a while."

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Category: MLB
Posted on: August 12, 2010 12:25 pm
Edited on: August 12, 2010 1:47 pm

Suspensions for Reds-Cardinals brawl handed down

The punishments for the Cardinals-Reds brawl on Tuesday have been meted out, according to Victor Rojas, an Angels TV broadcaster formerly of ESPN.

Reds pitcher Johnny Cueto has been suspended seven games, a harsh punishment but not entirely undeserving as Cueto was backed up against the home plate backstop, kicking willy-nilly . Jason LaRue came down with a concussion and Chris Carpenter suffered scratches on his back.

Managers Tony La Russa and Dusty Baker, who had choice words for each other and were ejected after a shouting match, were dinged two games apiece. The managers and Cueto were also fined along with Yadier Molina, Brandon Phillips, Chris Carpenter and Russ Springer.

Molina and Phillips were the instigators of the brawl after Phillips came to the plate in the bottom first. Philips had previously referred to the Cardinals as "little bitches ," which Molina took exception to and let Phillips know about it. The two jawed nose-to-nose before the fracas got out of hand.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: August 11, 2010 6:26 pm
Edited on: August 11, 2010 6:41 pm

Cardinals take control of NL Central

So what did we learn from the Brandon Phillips comments about the Cardinals? Just because you're not wrong doesn't make you right.

Phillips fired up the Cardinals by calling them "little bitches." After sweeping the Reds at Great American Ball Park to retake the National League Central lead, the Cardinals are the division's big bitches.

The Cardinals not only swept the Reds -- they outscored them 21-8 and outhit them 35-18. It just wasn't close. It also showed the Cardinals will be a tough out in a short series with Chris Carpenter, Adam Wainwright and Jaime Garcia lined up -- just as the Reds, who managed just nine hits against those three in the series. It could be the story of the team's series, pre-little bitches and post-little bitches with Aug. 9, 2010 being the turning point of the season.

More than anything, it seems Phillips, who was 2 for 14 in the series, awoke a Cardinals team that had played pretty flat for much of the season, giving them a common enemy.

Sure, Tony La Russa proved Phillips' point about whining by complaining to Reds general manager Walt Jocketty, but the Reds' inability to step up to the plate exposed them as an also-ran in this race.

"Friday is really going to tell the tale," Reds starter Bronson Arroyo told reporters including the Cincinnati Enquirer 's John Fay on Wednesday. "We haven't had a whole lot of big slides this year, where we lose four, five, six in a  row. Losing three to these guys takes a lot out of you physically and mentally because it was so hot, and having to grind at-bats against three of the best starters in the National League. We'll try to get off to a good start against the Marlins. It makes it a lot easier to forget about it if you win one on Friday."

Dusty Baker Too bad for the Reds they face the Marlins Josh Johnson and his 1.97 ERA on Friday.

After the three-game series against the Marlins, the Reds hit the road on a nine-game West Coast swing through Arizona before going to Los Angeles and San Francisco. It's one of three remaining trips west for the Reds, who go to St. Louis and Colorado in the first week of September and then to San Diego at the end of September. The Reds are 3-3 in the Pacific time zone this season. The Reds haven't won in Los Angeles since 2005 and since 2006 they are 25-49 in the Pacific and Mountain time zones.

The Cardinals' don't have a game west of Houston remaining on their schedule.

The Reds are just a half-game out of the wild card behind the Giants and a half-game ahead of the Phillies.

Both teams will likely see some suspensions, including Reds starter Johnny Cueto and possibly third baseman Scott Rolen.

As for Phillips?

"Man, I'll tell you this," Phillips told reporters after the game. "We lost. It's just how it is. They did their job and we didn't do ours. That's basically it. What happened, happened. We look forward to the Florida Marlins coming in."

Maybe it's a sign of maturity, but he didn't call the Marlins meanies.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: August 10, 2010 11:33 pm
Edited on: August 11, 2010 12:49 am

Cardinals accuse Cueto of hurting 2 players

Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said backup catcher Jason LaRue suffered a concussion in Tuesday's fracas in Cincinnati.

La Russa said LaRue suffered the concussion at the feet of Reds starter Johnny Cueto, who kicked outward when he was backed up to the backstop during the near-brawl.

"I've got Cueto kicking me in the back. It's super unprofessional. I don't know where he learned how to fight," Cardinals pitcher said Chris Carpenter, who claimed he ended up with scratches on his back.

Cueto said he was just trying to escape after being pinned against the wall.

"When 15 people get over you, you get scared," he said after the game, using catcher Ramon Hernandez as a translator. "I did get nervous, a lot. I put my feet up, trying to get out of the way. I was trying to get up. My back was against the wall and I was trying to get people out of the way so I could get up."

Cueto can expect a suspension as soon as Wednesday for his role in the fracas.

Carpenter said he didn't have a problem with former teammate Scott Rolen, who grabbed him and drove him to the backstop.

"It was fine. I think Scott grabbed me and they thought we were doing something. That's when the bullrush got me. Scott was pulling me out and I was fine with that," Carpenter said. "I didn't know what happened, I felt someone grab me. Next thing you know I'm laying on the net getting kicked."

When a Reds radio network reporter said to Rolen that it looked like he was trying to serve as a peacemaker, Rolen paused and said, "That's a very friendly way of putting it. It's a very nice thing to say."

Of course, this all started Monday when Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips called the Cardinals "little bitches."

Phillips, the Reds leadoff hitter, always taps the shin guards of the opposing catcher and umpire with his bat before the game. Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina took issue with the gesture.

"The comment he made last night ... that's going to happen. If you think I'm going to be in a good mood about the comment you made last night, don't say hi to me," Molina said.

Molina then said something to Phillips, kept him from getting into the batter's box and Phillips started jawing back. Then the benches emptied, with managers Dusty Baker and Tony La Russa getting into a shouting match.

"One thing led to another and guys were chirping and some guys said be quiet and then one of their coaches told our guys to be quiet," Baker said. "I told him to be quiet and Tony told me not to talk to his coaches."

After the managers were pulled apart, the second wave went on behind them with Rolen, Carpenter and Cueto caught up in it.

No players were ejected, only the two managers.

Molina then backed up his words, hitting a home run in the second and imitating Phillips' home run trot.

Molina finished 2 for 3 with two RBI, while Phillips was 1 for 5 with an RBI and made the last out in a Reds' loss for the second consecutive night.

Afterward, Phillips didn't have much to say.

"We just lost today. Regardless of what happened, it's all about wins and losses and we got an L today," he said.

With the 8-4 win, the Cardinals take over the lead in the National League Central by percentage points over the Reds.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: August 10, 2010 6:27 pm

Phillips stands by comments

Brandon Phillips Brandon Phillips' relationship with the Cincinnati media is kind of weird. The second baseman has a smile that plays well on TV, but can also be sullen and uncooperative when the cameras aren't around.

There are only two writers on the Reds beat that travel, and Phillips doesn't talk to either after both pointed out his lack of hustle earlier in the year and brought up previous incidents of his sometimes-lackadaisical attitude.

Anyway, that's why yesterday's comments to Hal McCoy of the Dayton Daily News (McCoy is no long a full-time employee of the Dayton paper and doesn't travel) about the Cardinals being "little bitches" took a little while to really hit the internet and clubhouse. In fact, Reds manager Dusty Baker said before Tuesday's game that he didn't know about Phillips' comments until he went home last night and heard about them on TV.

Still, Baker backed his player on Tuesday.

"You'd prefer they didn't," Baker told reporters. "But you can't put muzzles on guys."

Baker added, "A man's got to answer for himself. … Brandon knew what he was saying. That don't make it right. That was his opinion."

Tony La Russa The Cardinals, obviously, weren't happy about the comments. Tony La Russa noted the Reds have several ex-Cardinals and he's insulting them, too. That's a good lawyer trick. Phillips -- who, full disclosure time, I've had a strained relationship with over the years -- was likely talking mostly about La Russa, pitching coach Dave Duncan and Chris Carpenter, who have certainly bitched about little things in the past and have made it a game. To La Russa's credit, that game has paid off for him in the past. He's a good motivator.

As for Phillips, he didn't back off his comments. Here's what MLB.com's Mark Sheldon reports Phillips told "other reporters" since Phillips doesn't talk to Sheldon.

"The comments I said yesterday? Those were my comments," Phillips said. "It's time for us to show them we're here to stay, and here to win our division."

Phillips is a career .252/.320/.416 hitter against the Cardinals, including last night's 0-for-5 performance. Those numbers aren't too far off of his career numbers of .267/.316/.433 overall. He's having the best year of his career so far in 2010, hitting .284/.339/.456 with 14 homers and 43 RBI and a league-leading 79 runs scored, but is .260/.315/.320 with two RBI and seven runs scored in 13 games against St. Louis this season.

The Cincinnati Enquirer 's John Fay said former Cardinals Scott Rolen had this to say, "Brandon put himself out there by the way he expressed himself. Everybody in this clubhouse, including Brandon, understands that the competition is on the field."

Another teammate, Bronson Arroyo, had this to say to reporters, including Fay:

"Brandon is being Brandon," Arroyo said. "He's a mini version of T.O. and Ochcocinco. He stirs the pot. It's just what he does. Brandon thrives on that. You guys [in the media] thrive on that.

"I don't take it much serious."

Fay said several other players didn't want to talk about it, but noted it wouldn't be a problem in the clubhouse.

If the Reds win tonight, it'll likely be a dead issue -- unless Phillips comes up large. Or if the Cardinals take a shot at Phillips. The Nationals took exception to his celebration after running over catcher Wil Nieves.

At the time, Nieves said of Phillips: "He's that kind of guy that he's a good guy out of the field," Nieves told the Washington Post . "Maybe if you play with him, you like him. But if you play against him, the things he does you kind of don't like it."

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: August 9, 2010 9:09 pm
Edited on: August 10, 2010 12:04 pm

Reds' Phillips doesn't like the Cardinals

Brandon Phillips Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips doesn't like the Cardinals. How much? Here's what he had to say to the Dayton Daily News' Hal McCoy before the start of Monday's three-game series between the two teams at Great American Ball Park:
"We have to beat these guys. I hate the Cardinals. All they do is bitch and moan about everything, all of them, they’re little bitches, all of ‘em. I really hate the Cardinals. Compared to the Cardinals, I love the Chicago Cubs. Let me make this clear -- I hate the Cardinals.” The Cardinals and manager Tony La Russa have complained about the baseballs at Great American Ball Park repeatedly. La Russa and starter Chris Carpenter complained after St. Louis' opening day victory in Cincinnati that the Reds clubhouse staff didn't rub down the balls enough before the game and they were too slick. The team also complained last season when John Smoltz complained about the same issue. La Russa said the Reds were "up to shenanigans" and also implied Bronson Arroyo was putting pine tar on the balls.

In 2007, La Russa said Reds starter Aaron Harang should have been suspended after he inadvertently hit Cardinals catcher Gary Bennett in the head.

Phillips may hate the Cardinals more after tonight, as St. Louis is currently pounding the Reds in Cincinnati.

UPDATE: Not only did the "little bitches" beat the Reds, they beat them soundly, 7-3, with Phillips going 0 for 5 and striking out to end the game with a runner on. Here's what La Russa had to say to St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist Bernie Miklasz:
"I don't think that will go over well in his clubhouse," La Russa said. "Phillips is ripping his teammates. (Scott) Rolen, (Jim) Edmonds, (Miguel) Cairo, (Russ) Springer, all of the ex-Cardinals over there. He isn't talking about this year. He's talking about the way we've always played. And those guys are old Cardinals. Tell him he's ripping his own teammates, because they were all Cardinals."
-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

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