Brandon Phillips is apparently in the Beatles circa 1964

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The Reds had their annual Caravan thingie over the weekend. Stops in Columbus and Dayton with appearances before thousands of fans.  I didn’t go this weekend, but I’ve been to it and other things like it before. They’re cool enough.

But I’ve never witnessed quite this level of adoration:

Fans lined up in the bitter cold a full four hours before the event started. At other stops a woman fainted and girls cried in the presence of Reds all-star second baseman Brandon Phillips. On Sunday, he received a marriage proposal.

Phillips isn’t married, but I wonder if he was whether they’d hide his wife like Cynthia Lennon so as not to disappoint all of the screaming girls.

Video: Starling Marte refuses to take first base after being hit by pitch

Tim Warner/Getty Images
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Pirates outfielder Starling Marte was hit on the hand by a Jack Flaherty pitch in the fourth inning of Tuesday night’s game against the Cardinals. Rather than take first base, Marte — who came to the plate with a runner on first base — insisted to home plate umpire Bruce Dreckman that the ball hit the knob of the bat, not his hand. Marte was allowed to continue his at-bat, though manager Clint Hurdle came out to discuss the ruling with Dreckman. Marte eventually grounded into a fielder’s choice. He then got caught attempting to steal second base and the Pirates scored zero runs in the inning.

According to Baseball Prospectus, a team that has runners on first and second with no outs is expected to score 1.55 runs. Having a runner on first base with one out yields 0.56 expected runs. Marte essentially cost his team a run by rejecting first base. Oops.