Anyone can have a momentary lack of focus or lapse in judgement. Admit your mistake, learn from it and do everything in your power not to let it happen again. When the same mental (and easily preventable) mistake is made over and over again, it becomes a glaring reality that the person in question either lacks the brain power to comprehend a simple concept or they simply just don’t give a ****.
Last night, Brandon Phillips crushed a home run off the left field foul pole in the bottom of the first inning. He thought he had another dinger in the third when he hit a high fly ball to deep left-center field. That ball hit the fence and bounced away from the outfielders. If he would have been running hard out of the box, Phillips would have easily had a triple. But he wasn’t, and had to stop at second.
The next batter, Joey Votto, followed with a fly ball to left that would have scored someone with decent speed. Phillips has great speed…when he wants to use it.
The Reds ended up losing the game by one run.
“Probably, yeah,” Dusty Baker said when asked about the play. “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 also was the first player out of the clubhouse after the game and did not speak to reporters.
We have heard all this before. There were several instances last season where Phillips wasn’t hustling. He was even benched for a game after ignoring a take sign on a 3-0 pitch.
Baker and Phillips have discussed this issue. Baker has expressed his displeasure through the media. Obviously, neither has worked.
The next time this happens, call timeout after the play and pull him off the field immediately. Make him make the walk to the dugout with his teammates staring at him. Let the crowd boo him as he takes a walk of shame across the diamond.
Phillips is one the most physically gifted players on the team. It makes me sick to see someone so talented, yet so clueless.
I have said it before and I will say it again. Anybody can hustle, but not everybody does. However, everyone on this Reds team seems to hustle and play extremely hard.
Welcome to Reds Country…