It’s been over three months since Braves’ second baseman Brandon Phillips ended his 11-year run with the Reds, and he was all smiles on his return to Great American Ball Park on Friday. He tipped his cap for a standing ovation, then struck out swinging on four pitches from Cincinnati right-hander Bronson Arroyo.
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Prior to the game, the 35-year-old infielder had a lot to say about his tenure with the Reds, admitting several times that he wished he still had a full-time role with his former club.
“There’s a lot of players that left before I did, and they did a great job here, too,” Phillips told Derek Forrest of WLWT.com. “Some things come to an end, and I wish I was still a Redleg, but I’m happy to play home for the Braves. I’m happy to be where I’m at.”
It’s evident that Phillips still has a great affection for the city and its ball club, citing his properties in Fort Thomas and Covington as proof that he’ll always have a soft spot for his former major league home. If one thing’s still bothering him, however, it’s Scooter Gennett‘s jersey number. While Phillips wasn’t the first one to wear No. 4 — that honor belonged to Harvey Hendrick of the 1932 Reds — he was the only one to wear it for more than a decade.
“I still can’t believe that No. 4… that someone’s wearing my number,” the infielder said. “I think that’s like a slap in my face, too, but it is what it is.”
“I’m wearing Cincinnati on my chest and I’m always gonna be Mr. Cincinnati.”
Watch Phillips’ full comments below: