Baker unhappy with Phillips

It will be very interesting to check out the Reds lineup on Tuesday and see if Brandon Phillips is in it.

Phillips was caught not hustling again on what he expected to be a routine fly out in the first inning. The ball was lost in the sky by right fielder Andre Ethier. Because he wasn’t running hard out of the batters’ box, Phillips missed a chance for a RBI double that would have put him on second with no outs and a 3-0 Reds lead.

“I was just happy I finally did something with runners in scoring position,” Phillips explained. “I hit a fly ball to get the run and I was satisfied with that. I hit the ball in the outfield and was ‘I missed it.’  I put my head down. I didn’t know he missed it until I looked back up. I could have done worse and not get the run in at all.”

Moments later, Phillips admitted his mistake.

“I messed up,” he said. “That’s my second time not hustling this year. It won’t happen again.”

The rally died and the Reds went on to lose, 7-5. Los Angeles scored four runs in the first and two in the second. The bottom line is no play can be taken for granted when your team is playing the best in the Majors and you’re winless at the ballpark for three-straight seasons.

After the game, Phillips and Dusty Baker hadn’t yet spoken. Baker was furious with his second baseman.

“We should have gotten some more in that first inning, big time,” Baker fumed. “You have to hustle on that ball there or it’s a totally different inning. That was a rally killer for us.

“We’ve repeated it many, many times. You have to play hard all the time. That was big, real big. We had them on the ropes and we killed the rally.”

This wasn’t the first time this season Baker has been unhappy with Phillips. In June at Kansas City, he ignored a take sign on a 3-0 and swung. It resulted in a rally-ending fly out.

“We’ve all talked to him until we’re blue in the face,” Baker said. “Evidently, this must have started long before I got here.”

If Baker really wanted to get through to Phillips, he should have taken him out of the game after the top of the first. That would have sent a clear message.

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I would be shocked if Baker disiplines Phillips by not playing him. I just don’t see Baker doing that to Phillips. I would be impressed with Bakes if he did though. On a very positive note did anyone else notice that Hannigan threw out 3 baserunners last night? Want to talk about proving the manager wrong by sitting you? That was awesome especially for a rookie and his first time facing the dodgers at home. I wonder how we are going to stack up in tonights game?

“We’ve all talked to him until we’re blue in the face,” Baker said. “Evidently, this must have started long before I got here.”
That quote caught me by surprise. Rather personal, and I’m curious how B-Phil will respond to it. But I’m glad Baker called him out. B-Phil is awesome, I love him. But… he barely runs out groundballs, he takes his sweet time when throwing out runners. It’s ridiculous. But, none of Baker’s rant will mean anything unless he sits B-Phil tonight.

Well if he is such a problem I am sure that there are plenty of teams that would take him on. I’ve always liked Brandon, but he doesn’t seem to fit into this team. Due to a major power failure on our team he has been permanently slotted in the #4 hole and he has never been a #4 kind of a hitter. I see him ideally at #2 or #6. Of course he leads our entire team in just about every offensive stat (probably because he and Votto are the only two with guaranteed daily jobs and Votto has missed so much time) so he’ll stay at #4 until the Reds find another bat that can hit 30 homers in a season.
Man I sure do miss Jeff Keppinger what did we get for him anyways? I always appreciated the way Jeff played the game.

Nah, getting rid of B-Phil isn’t the answer. Changing his mindset is. Ever since he had that good first year with Cincy it seems as if he feels that he is… invincible, to an extent.
Btw, here’s the lineup I’d like to see day in and day out (until we’re healthy again):
1. Chris Dickerson
2. Ryan Hanigan
3. Brandon Phillips
4. Joey Votto
5. Edwin Encarnacion
6. Laynce Nix
7. Johnny Gomes
9. Jerry Hairston Jr.
I like B-Phil in front of Votto so that he’ll get some good pitches to hit, and Hanigan at the two spot because he’s perfect for moving the runner over into scoring position and that sort of stuff. Also, I like Tony Larussa’s idea of the pitcher batting in the 8th spot, so in turn you have two leadoff hitters back to back.
What do you all think?

Redsrock: Not sold just yet on Dickerson and Nix as every day players, although I do think Dickerson is a better option than Taveras long term. Taveras is actually getting a swing on though I’m not impressed with his baserunning or his hustle this year. I wonder why we don’t hear about him being in the doghouse. I do like the overall order with the exception of Votto in the #4 hole. He’s not a #4 hitter he is definitely a #3 style hitter…. (high average, clutch, smart base runner, decent power, and one of the most over looked stats in all of baseball… makes the pitcher throw lots of pitches). We need a hitter who can hit .270 drive in 110 runs pop 35+ homers and doesn’t strike out a ton for the #4 slot. 1-2 and 5-9 are perfect though I would like to see that day in and day out. It just drives me absolutely crazy how Baker benches Gomes all of the time right after a hot game or hot streak. It takes a ball player a lot to get into a groove and I can only imagine what it is doing to his mind set to constantly be forced into grabbing the pine right after leading the team into battle on the field.

I am in agreement with Baker in regards to this Phillips thing. This by far is the most ridiculous garbage that any ballplayer can do on the field. Players are paid big bucks to play hard 3 hours a day; doing what, something that we all would love to do, playing Baseball. How fortunate these guys are. All they need to do is hustle, that is it, hustle. When they fail to do this, they hurt everyone. We should of won that game last night. I was so damm mad that I could not even talk to my Wife within reason, and I even spoke harshly to my dog Shiloh. Phillips needs to be disciplined for this somehow, like picking up trash along the freeway in Los Angeles would work for me. Now we need to say something on behalf of baker. He needs to be fires for his continued mistakes. How can you leave Owings in the game after giving up 6 runs in two innings last night? He has been making mistakes all year long, like a game on the road I believe it was in St Louis whereby the Reds were down by 1 run in the top of the 8th inning, runner at first and no one out, and what does Baker not do, he does not play small ball and sacrifice, he allows the hitter to swing away and guess what? Double play, any opportuntity gone. It is time for Baker to be replaced, and please, take Pole with you. Hurry, do not let the door hit you in the back end on the way out.

redsrock–I like your lineup, although personally I would bat Hairston Jr. 8th and keep the Pitcher at 9th. I also might bat Hairston 2nd and put Hanigan 8th, since Hairston is theoretically capable of swiping a bag now and then.

However, regarding Votto vs. Phillips in the cleanup spot, I wonder why Votto isn’t the cleanup hitter, given the fact that, at least in my personal opinion (and from following the Reds on a daily basis for the last year or so), that Votto is a more powerful hitter than BP? I say bat Phillips 3rd, where he can get some runners in, get on in front of Votto, and steal some bases… but I’m not sure how well the cleanup spot fits him. I think that Votto is better suited for cleanup, and if I was Dusty Baker and switch Votto and BP around for a few games and see what happens.

Regardless, I personally don’t feel that dumping Baker is the answer…he hasn’t done too bad of a job here this year, considering the injury-wracked and rather mediocre Reds team he’s been given.

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