Baker calls out Phillips

Should Brandon Phillips have had a triple in the third inning after he admired his drive to the wall a little long, thinking he had a second homer? Baker thought so.

“Probably, yeah,” Baker said. “:It looked like at first, he thought it might have been gone. Then he started running probably halfway but it was a little too late at that time.”

Phillips had to settle for a double. But if he had reached third base on the play, he likely would have scored on next batter Joey Votto’s fly ball to left field.

This isn’t the first time something like this has happened. A similar one occured in Houston last week when a routine fly became a three-run error and Phillips only reached second base instead of third.

There were gaffes last season also. In Kansas City, Phillips ignored a take sign on a 3-0 count and put his team out of a rally. On July 20 in Los Angeles he was thrown out at second base when he thought he had a routine sacrifce fly. He didn’t speed up until the ball fell in front of Andre Ethier, who threw Phillips out at second base. That one cost Phillips a game on the bench. There was also a stern rebuke from Baker that night.

“We’ve all talked to him until we’re blue in the face,” Baker said that night.

“I messed up,” Phillips said, also on that night in L.A. “That’s my second time not hustling this year. It won’t happen again.”

Keep this in mind: no one else on the Reds has a problem with hustling.

Moving on to some good:

*Catcher Ryan Hanigan made a nifty stretch and catch just before the top step of the Mets dugout on Angel Pagan’s fifth inning foul pop.

*Reliever Carlos Fisher struck out the side in the eighth — but they were no pedestrian hitters. Fisher fanned Jose Reyes, Jason Bay and David Wright. The Reyes K came on three pitches with an 82 mph changeup for strike three. The Bay strikeout was a 94 mph heater.

“He threw the ball the best he has since he’s been up here,” manager Dusty Baker said. “That’s a very positive thing for us.”

The just plain odd: Leading off the game, Angel Pagan had a bunt base hit to right field. I have a tough time believing Pagan meant to do it just like that, but it worked.

And the sad: Not game related but beloved Tigers broadcaster Ernie Harwell died today at 92 after a bout with inoperable cancer.

“Ernie Harwell, it goes without saying, was one of the greatest in the history of our profession,” Marty Brennaman said. “More important than that, however, he was one of the finest people I’ve ever known. I was privileged to call Ernie my friend. I will miss him greatly.”

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I actually feel sorry for Brandon Phillips. It’s obvious the “good old boys” of baseball and the white media has decided to use Brandon as the “whippin boy” for 2010 Red’s story and lighting rod for bgioted talk show host. the same thing happened with Eric davis, barry larkin, Dave Parker, frank robinson, Cal daniels and Ken Griffey Jr. And you wonder why the “best athletes” dont want to play baseball. It’s same crap every year and the same good old boy politics that make baseball the “Nascar of ball sports”. For Sheldon to say “Keep this in mind: no one else on the Reds has a problem with hustling. ” is a FREAKING JOKE”! Where was Mark sheldon when jay Bruce didnt hustle and admired his possible homerun instead of standing on third? Where was Mark Sheldon when Drew Stubbs forgot how many out there were in a game? Gee my point people? It’s BS like this along with the constant bashing of “the best players” are exactly the reason baseball has lost it’s “stature” and has assumed the role as the TEA PARTY SPORT. And just like them, GOOD LUCK TRYING TO EXPAND YOUR BASE.

For the record, it is Kal Daniels. Also remember that Eric Davis WANTED to go to LA to play with his boyhood friend Darryl Strawberry. Barry Larkin? He finished his career here and was vastly overpaid his last 3 years. Dave Parker? What? He was welcomed here after drug issues. Ken Griffey, Jr.? Please. No one hustled less than him. Brandon Phillips has created this by himself. He stats he wants to lead – I do not want my team following his example. His blatant lack of hustle has cost his team wins. There is no excuse and no conspiracy. Period. What about Adam Dunn and Austin Kearns? What is your explanation there – it cannot be race. Perhaps talent and leadership are important?

Always gotta love when someone uses the race card. It only shows your lack of unintelligence and height of ignorance. When a player lacks hustle multiple times he is going to get called out for it no matter the color of his skin. African americans are not playing baseball because frankly it is boring compared to football and basketball. Also there are a lot more latin americans playing it (consists of half the minors leagues). You want to talk about race, ok. Let’s talk about how every year people complain about blacks not playing baseball and know one ever mentions how the nfl and nba is mostly black. And i hear know one getting pissed about that. Why are blacks not playing baseball? Because they are all playing football and basketball. ignorance is bliss huh?

“Hustle” is an interesting thing. If you don’t “hustle”, it is a blatant slap in the face to your teammates, coaches, and fans. It’s saying, I don’t need to waste my energy if I don’t feel it is necessary. The thing is, on fly balls and routine grounders to second or first, you probably aren’t going to get on base, probably not 99% of the time, you don’t really need to “sprint”. Just run at a brisk pace, that is all anyone asks. If Phillips is just running at a fast pace, not really sprinting, he is halfway to second when that ball hits the wall, then he turns it on, it kicks away from the outfielder, and he is still at third standing up. Heck, even the outfielder grabbed that ball and turned and fired as quick as he could to third, he was probably even more surprised then anyone when he looked up and saw Phillips not even halfway to second yet. Look, even in softball everyone jogs at a brisk pace on a popup or grounder, you would hope that your 6.5 million dollar second baseman would give the same effort. After all, we are paying his salary. All I ask is that you don’t let the lack of hustle hurt the team.

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