OK, so I can tell from the voice responding to Phillips that it's my friend and former colleague C. Trent Rosecrans. Obviously I don't appreciate the personal attack directed at a friend of mine, but we're going to leave that aside.
Here's the tweet that apparently infuriated Phillips:
Reds go from a hitter with a .320 OBP in the 2 hole to one with a .310 OBP— ctrent (@ctrent) August 28, 2013
OK, so that's true. The Reds moved Phillips from cleanup hitter -- a run-producing position in the order where he's driven home 94 runs this season -- to second. The two-hole is traditionally used a table-setting spot in the order so the big boppers in the three, four and five spots can drive the leadoff and second hitters home, ideally.
So I have no idea why Phillips thinks that people shouldn't be worried about his on-base percentage from the two-hole. Personally, I think that not making outs is the most important thing for an offensive player to do, but at least as a cleanup hitter he could say RBI is most important and have a leg to stand on. From the two-hole? Not so much. OBP matters big-time from there.
Just an FYI, Brandon, the Tigers, Red Sox and Cardinals are the top three teams in the majors in on-base percentage this season. They're also the top three in runs scored and all sit in first place. Maybe there's something to not making outs?
But hey, going after someone's physical appearance is probably a pretty productive part of the discussion, right?
UPDATE: Cincinnati.com has released a statement on the incident, noting at the end that ...
While we are disappointed in Phillips' reaction, we understand it is a pennant race and emotions are high during a crucial series with a heated rival. This isn't the first time a player has lost his temper in response to a reporters questions and it won't be the last. It is part of covering the team day-in day-out.
This will not effect our coverage of the team or Phillips. We plan on moving on from and we hope Phillips does to.
This goes hand-in-hand with Dusty Baker saying "it's between you and him" and Rosecrans replying with, "no, it's between him and him."