Brandon Phillips gives a ball to a heckling fan signed “Dear Drunk Guy . . .”

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Brandon Phillips doesn’t take actual fact-based criticism very well sometimes, but he’s a pretty good sport about drunk hecklers.

Wednesday night, the Reds-Pirates game was a soggy affair, which pretty much emptied out PNC Park. One of the people who stayed was a Pirates fan, who decided to heckle Reds players pretty continuously. Since the park was empty, the players heard him loud and clear. One of them was Brandon Phillips who smiled at the jeering and then, after the game, did something fun. From the Pirates’ fan brother over at Reddit:

. . . after the game, Brandon Phillips runs over and hands my brother this ball. He said Mr. Phillips was completely cool about the whole thing. We’re Pirates fans, but I’ll be rooting for the Reds as long as is doesn’t mess with Pittsburgh’s chances at a pennant.

This is what he wrote on the ball-

Dear Drunk Guy, Thank You 4 All The Love & Support!! Now Take This Ball And Shut The Phuck Up!! 🙂

From Yours Truly,

Brandon Phillips

A pic of the ball can be seen here and here. Here’s a pic of Phillips with the fan.

Just another fun night at the ballpark.

(Thank to Allison for the heads up)

Nick Williams has been trying to sell Jake Arrieta on the Phillies

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CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury reports that Phillies outfielder Nick Williams has been working out daily with free agent starter Jake Arrieta in Austin. The right-hander, who won the 2015 National League Cy Young Award, still remains teamless with spring training less than a month away. Williams has been trying to sell Arrieta on joining the Phillies.

Williams said of Arrieta, “He loves it here [Austin]. He has told me he likes working with young guys. I’m like, ‘All right, come on up.’ But I’m not writing the check. I don’t know what he wants. I don’t really dig into that because I’m not really in his position.”

On GM Matt Klentak’s hunt for pitching help, new manager Gabe Kapler said, “The pursuit is very real. I have a lot of trust that we’ll either go in [to spring training] with a new toy or we will pass on the opportunity because we’re better off giving this collection of pitchers a really healthy look because we thought that we could go acquire that piece a little bit later on this season or in the offseason next year.”

Arrieta, who turns 32 years old in March, went 14-10 with a 3.53 ERA and a 163/55 K/BB ratio in 168 1/3 innings last season with the Cubs. The Cubs, Cardinals, and Brewers have been linked to Arrieta this month.

Presently, the Phillies’ starting rotation figures to include Aaron Nola, Jerad Eickhoff, and Vince Velasquez along with some combination of Nick Pivetta, Ben Lively, Zach Eflin, Mark Leiter, and Jake Thompson. Arrieta would certainly amount to a big upgrade in the starting rotation and could make the Phillies a more attractive landing spot for Bryce Harper or Manny Machado, who become free agents after the 2018 campaign. The Phillies are expected to be in the mix for either or both players.