Phillips not in lineup
The Reds Tuesday lineup is out and Brandon Phillips’ name is not on it, even though the Reds are facing Dodgers left-hander Randy Wolf.
Baker and Phillips spent 20 minutes talking in the manager’s office Tuesday afternoon.
“I don’t send messages,” manager Dusty Baker said. “If I want to say something, I say it. The easiest thing to do is hustle. I talked to Brandon and he said he thought he had a sacrifice fly. In this game, you should never assume. You can not assume they will catch the ball, ever.”
Phillips hit what appeared to be a routine first-inning fly to right field that fell in front of right fielder Andre Ethier. It still scored Joey Votto but Phillips was thrown out easily at second base. Had he come out of the batters’ box full speed, he would have probably had a double and the Reds would have had no outs.
“I messed up. I’m not playing. There it is,” Phillips told me Tuesday.
This was the only move Baker had and it was the right thing to do. No play in baseball is too small and although many players have often admired potential homers or put their heads down for a lazy fly ball, this time it bit Phillips and cost the Reds from extending a rally. He’s also been guilty of plays like this in the past.
Phillips was still considered available to pinch-hit or enter in a double switch.
“I’m not going to sacrifice the game for principle at this point,” Baker said.
On Monday, Phillips said not hustling would never happen again.
“We’ll see. I told my Daddy that a few times,” Baker said. “I said ‘I’ll never do it again.’ He said ‘I’ll make sure.'”
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