Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips apparently took issue with something written recently by the stat-minded C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer and went off on Rosecrans in the visitor manager’s office Wednesday evening at Busch Stadium with manager Dusty Baker looking on.
ESPN 101, a St. Louis-based radio station, just posted audio of the heated altercation online:
Here is our attempt at transcribing that exchange (with the requisite edits) …
Phillips: “Hey Dusty, the fat motherf***er on the end is worried about my on-base percentage. Why don’t you tell him to have me bat eighth with my on-base percentage.”
Rosecrans: “I don’t care about …”
Phillips: “Fat motherf***er. Make him happy, Dusty. Fat motherf***er. I’m tired of you talking that negative sh*t on our team, dog. I found out your Twitter name now motherf***er. It’s a wrap.”
Rosecrans: “Wow, took you how many years? Congratulations.”
Baker: “I ain’t in that, man. That’s between you and him.”
Rosecrans: “That’s between him and him.”
Baker: “OK, even better.”
UPDATE, 9:45 PM ET: The Cincinnati Enquirer has issued a response about the incident:
There was a situation that arose this evening prior to the Reds and Cardinals game involving our reporter C. Trent Rosecrans and Brandon Phillips.
Phillips took exception to our analysis concerning his on-base percentage and a follow-up tweet after being moved into the second spot in the lineup. It is a fair subject to consider, and one our readers would expect us to address.
While we are disappointed in Phillips’ reaction, we understand it is a pennant race and emotions are high during a crucial series with a heated rival. This isn’t the first time a player has lost his temper in response to a reporters questions and it won’t be the last. It is part of covering the team day-in day-out.
This will not affect our coverage of the team or Phillips. We plan on moving on from this and we hope Phillips does too.
As you get ready for Memorial Day weekend and whatever it entails for you and yours, take some time to read an excellent article from Mike Bates over at The Hardball Times.
The article is about Eddie Grant. You probably never heard of him. He was a journeyman infielder — often a backup — from 1905 through 1915. If you have heard of him, it was likely not for his baseball exploits, however: it was because he was the first active baseball player to die in combat, killed in the Battle of the Argonne Forest in October 1915.
Michael tells us about more than Grant’s death, however. He provides a great overview of his life and career. And notes that Grant didn’t even have to go to war if he didn’t want to. He was 34, had the chance to coach or manage and had a law degree and the potential to make a lot of money following his baseball career. He volunteered, however, for both patriotic and personal reasons. And it cost him his life.
Must-read stuff indeed. Especially this weekend.
The Cleveland Indians will unveil a Frank Robinson statue at Progressive Field on Saturday.
Robinson’s tenure in Cleveland was not long, but it was historic. On April 8, 1975, he became the first African-American manager in Major League history. He was a player-manager. One of the last ones, in fact. He spent two years in that role and then a third year — a partial year anyway — as a manager only. Robinson would go on to manage the Giants, Orioles and the Expos/Nationals, compiling a career record of 1065-1176 in 16 seasons. He is now a top MLB executive.
Robinson was, of course, a Hall of Fame player as well, lodging 21 seasons for the Reds, Orioles, Dodgers, Angels and Indians. He won two MVP awards and hit for the Triple Crown in 1966. Overall he hit 586 home runs – 10th all time – and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982. For an inner-circle Hall of Famer with that kind of resume he is still, strangely enough, underrated. I guess that happens when your contemporaries are Willie Mays, Hank Aaron and Mickey Mantle.
Anyway, congrats to Frank Robinson for yet another well-deserved honor in a career full of them.