Jon Morosi of FOX Sports spoke with Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips, mostly about swag. Phillips says that baseball needs more of it, saying, “That’s exactly why African-Americans don’t play baseball. [There’s] no passion in the game. You’ve got to be like a robot. Look at basketball. Look at football. When you make an exciting play, you can let everybody know. … If you get hype, get some swag, turn up, your team can feed off that.”
It’s an interesting quote, particularly on the heels of the Carlos Gomez/Brian McCann incident and the Dodgers celebrating in the pool at Chase Field, both of which received criticism from players and fans of the “old school” mentality.
Describing a player with swag, Phillips says, “He doesn’t play for himself. He plays for the fans. He plays for the city.”
Morosi then asked him to name his All-Swag Team, and it’s pretty solid:
- Manager: Ron Washington
- DH: David Ortiz
- SP: Felix Hernandez
- C: Yadier Molina
- 1B: Prince Fielder
- 2B: Himself
- 3B: Miguel Cabrera
- SS: Hanley Ramirez
- LF: Carlos Gonzalez
- CF: Adam Jones
- RF: Hunter Pence
Players to get honorable mentions included Andrew McCutchen, Yasiel Puig, Adrian Gonzalez, Jimmy Rollins, Troy Tulowitzki, Mike Trout, Torii Hunter, Giancarlo Stanton, as well as former Major Leaguer David Eckstein.
With the exception of Eckstein, though, there is a trend: these are all good players. Does swag lead to success, or does success lead to swag? It may be one of life’s greatest mysteries.