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. 

Reds lineup:

Taveras 8
Hairston 9
Votto 3
Gomes 7
Encarnacion 5
Hanigan 2
Rosales 4
Janish 6
Bailey 1

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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7 Comments

Wow! I’m impressed that Dusty actually benched Phillips. I didn’t think he had the guts to do it. Make him sit for a week that will teach one spoiled millionaire to not hustle. I’m glad to see a lot of our AAA team playing today I suspect the score will reflect playing against the team with the best mlb record I give our chances at about 2 percent. I guess Gomes gets the nod whenever there is a lefty now. Never a big fan of doing that to ball players long term, but if it gives us wins then go for it. Go Reds! I’ll be at the game tonight in LA rooting for the away team hopefully I won’t get shot.

Good. It’s VERY good to see Baker backing up what he said last night. Again, as I said earlier today, I want to see how B-Phil reacts. Will he try to make excuses or will he fess up and take responsibility? I’m hoping for the latter, myself.

Well, I’m a big BP fan, but I must admit that I’m very gald Baker is making him sit it out tonight, even though it will seriously hurt the team’s performance in this game. Phillips is a great, loveable player with a lot of talent, but he HAS to learn to play hard every second of every game, and to approach every play with a serious, intense focus and attitude. He can’t assume that Ethier is going to catch that long fly ball…he’s got to assume a best-case scenario happening, which is Ethier dropping the ball or missing it entirely (which was the case). He’s shown lack of hustle on at least two occasions now…better to be like Rosales and hustle even after hitting a home run than not hustle enough. Pete Rose would have been appalled.

However, I DON’T appreciate all of the talk about sitting Phillips for a week, trading him to another team, or dunking him in the Ohio River (I believe someone who called into Lance McAlister’s show this evening suggested this.) Please people, come on! Phillips may be a bit of a showoff and may make these mistakes every once in awhile, but he’s an All-Star calibre 2nd Baseman, a Gold Glove winner, a 5-tool player, and one of the cornerstones of the Reds franchise right now. Every player has their problems and issues…Phillips simply needs to realize, accept, take responsibility for, and fix his. End of sermon. Go Reds, and go Phillips.

Yeah, trading the man doesn’t even make sense. He didn’t hustle, Baker is punishing him, hopefully he learns his lesson, the end.

I don’t want to see him traded either, however, I don’t want to see him batting #4 in the order anymore either. If the Reds ever sign or develop a real #4 hitter I’d like to see him batting #2 or #6 in the lineup.

Great comments! Bat him second, but don’t give up on him. ‘Every player has their problems and issues …’ Amen, brother! Riddle me this. Do we wish Dunn were still, or back, on this team? Sometimes, I do. Hollowman, i can’t even stay up for these West coast games, never mind go to LA to see them live. What was Chavez Ravine like? Sounds like a great park.

Aside from the parking lot Chavez Ravine is gorgeous. I had seats near the Mannywood sign but traded them with a fan to get closer to the Reds dugout.Definitely not as nice as GABP and nowhere near as cheap either. But you haven’t lived until you had a Dodger dog.

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