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Video: Brandon Phillips joins the 2,000 hit club

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Braves infielder Brandon Phillips became the 286th member of the 2,000 hit club on Wednesday in the first game of a doubleheader against the Phillies. In the top of the first inning with a runner on second base and no outs, Phillips sent a 2-2 Jerad Eickhoff curve into shallow center field for an RBI single.

Phillips joins Adrian Gonzalez and teammate Nick Markakis as players who have recently joined the 2,000 hit club. Next up on the list is Twins first baseman Joe Mauer, who is at 1,949. Chase Utley, the active player closest behind Mauer, is more than 100 hits behind.

Phillips, 36, is in his 16th season in the majors. For the first 15 years, he was a full-time second baseman, but the Braves moved him to third base to make room for prospect Ozzie Albies at second. Phillips entered Wednesday’s action batting .293/.331/.427 with 11 home runs, 51 RBI, and 67 runs scored in 493 plate appearances.

Tony Clark: among players, the universal DH “is gaining momentum”

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Major League Baseball Players Association executive director Tony Clark met the press late this morning and covered a wide array of topics.

One of them: free agency, which he referred to as being “under attack” based on the slow market for free agents last offseason.

“What the players saw last offseason was that their free-agent rights were under attack on what has been the bedrock of our system,” Clark said. He added that they “have some very difficult decisions to make.” Presumably in the form of grievances and, down the road, a negotiating strategy that seeks to claw back some of the many concessions the union has given owners in the past few Collective Bargaining Agreements. CBAs, it’s worth noting, that Clark negotiated. We’ve covered that territory in detail in the past.

Of more immediate interest was Clark’s comment that the idea of a universal designated hitter is, among players, “gaining momentum.” Clark says “players are talking about it more than they have in the past.” We’ve talked a lot about that as well.

Given that hating or loving the DH is the closest thing baseball has to a religion, no one’s mind is going to be changed by any of this, but I think, practically speaking, it’s inevitable that the National League will have the DH and I think it happens relatively soon. Perhaps in the next five years. The opposition to it at this point is solely subjective and based on tradition. People like pitchers batting and they like double switches and they like the leagues being different because they, well, like it. If the system were being set up today, however, they’d never have it this way and I think even the DH-haters know that well. That doesn’t mean that you can’t dislike a universal DH, but it does mean that you can’t expect the people who run the game to cater to that preference when it makes little sense for them to do it for their own purposes.

Anyway: enjoy convincing each other in the comments about how the side of that argument you dislike is wrong.