Here we go again…
Brandon Phillips has been busy telling the media that he isn’t taking to the media. Say what? To clarify, Phillips was talking to a national reporter about the Cincinnati beat writers. He has decided to give the writers that follow the team the proverbial silent treatment.
Being a beat writer is a tough gig. You must develop a relationship with players so that they will talk with you. On the other hand, you must be honest and objective to maintain journalistic integrity. I think the guys that cover the Reds do a pretty good job. I don’t feel any of them have been unfair to Phillips.
I follow the Reds as closely as anyone and think I am very objective when it comes to criticizing the team. Defensively, Phillips is the best second baseman in baseball. He is a slightly above average offensive player. I enjoy watching him play and am glad he is a member of the Reds.
The problem is that I don’t understand what he wants to come from this local media blackout. Who benefits? It makes him look bad. The writers will either choose to completely ignore him or focus on the negative fact that he won’t interact. Either way, it can only create more tension and focus on things other than baseball. When Opening Day is less than a month away, that is not good.
The Reds have once again proven that the “small market” label used by many sports teams is nothing more than an excuse.
In 2012, fans were preparing for the worst, fearing that two of their stars would skip town for a long-term contract and bag o’ cash. Brandon Phillips and Joey Votto were outgrowing Cincinnati and the small-town Reds. Could the Reds possibly scrape up the money to sign one of them? After Votto agreed to the biggest contract in club history, Phillips signed a six-year deal for big money.
The Reds have inked Homer Bailey to a six-year, $105 million contract. The 27-year old has developed into the pitcher that the club and fans have been waiting on. I really like this deal. Bailey has his moments, but he is a workhorse with immense talent.
The Reds have announced report dates for Spring Training. Pitchers and catchers will report to Goodyear, Arizona on February 14 and will be followed by position players on February 19. There is also schedule, ticket and travel information on reds.com.
The group that heads to Goodyear in February will look a lot different than the one that finished last year in Cincinnati. Most notably, Billy Hamilton will enter camp as the centerfielder. He will replace Shin-Soo Choo, who agreed to a 7-year deal with the Texas Rangers.
Regardless of what changes may take place in the next month or so, Spring Training is always an exciting time. So, if you want to get me a Christmas present, how about speeding up the calendar?