Brandon Phillips goes off on Cincinnati Enquirer baseball writer C. Trent Rosecrans

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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.”

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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.

 

Steven Matz likely to start season on DL; Zack Wheeler to adhere to innings limit

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Mets manager Terry Collins said on Wednesday, “It’s unlikely that [Steven Matz] will start the season with us.” The final spot in the Mets’ starting rotation will go to either Zack Wheeler or Seth Lugo, Newsday’s Marc Carig reports.

On Wheeler’s innings limit, assistant GM John Ricco said, “There’s going to be some number but we don’t exactly know what that is.” Wheeler missed the last two seasons after undergoing Tommy John surgery.

Neither Wheeler nor Lugo have had terrific springs as each carries a 5.11 and 5.56 Grapefruit League ERA, respectively. However, Carig notes that Wheeler has impressed simply by appearing healthy and brandishing a fastball that once again sits in the mid- to high-90’s. Lugo, meanwhile, proved crucial to the Mets last year, posting a 2.67 ERA across eight starts and nine relief appearances.

Rockies sign 30-year lease to stay in Coors Field

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Nick Groke of the Denver Post reports that the Rockies agreed to a $200 million, 30-year lease with the Metropolitan Baseball Stadium District, which is the state division that owns Coors Field. As part of the deal, the Rockies will lease and develop a plot of land south of the stadium, which will cost the team $125 million for 99 years.

As Groke points out, had the Rockies not reached a deal by Thursday, March 30, the lease would have rolled over for five more years.

Rockies owner Dick Monfort issued a statement, saying, “We are proud that Coors Field will continue to be a vital part of a vibrant city, drawing fans from near and far and making our Colorado residents proud.”

The Rockies moved into Coors Field in 1995. It is the National League’s third oldest stadium. In that span of time, the Rockies have made the playoffs three times, the last coming in 2009 when they lost in the NLDS to the Phillies. The Rockies were swept in the 2007 World Series by the Red Sox.