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OnBaseMachine
01-23-2009, 10:10 PM
Phillips makes fan’s day with cell phone chat
By MARK MAYNARD — The Independent

SUMMIT — There were more than 1,000 Cincinnati Reds’ fans circling through the show room at Fannin Motors on Thursday night, waiting to catch a glimpse and an autograph from their baseball heroes.

But the happiest fan - certainly the most surprised one anyway - was working at a pizza joint in Franklin Furnace, Ohio.

Brittney Lutz couldn’t make it to the Reds Winter Caravan stopover here because of work obligations, but does she ever have a story to tell her friends.

Lutz got a call on her cell phone from Reds’ star Brandon Phillips.

Lutz’s mother, Kathy Davis, came through the autograph line with a landscape snapshot of her 20-year-old daughter for Phillips to sign – fans could only get one item signed per player.

Phillips looked at the photo and asked the mother “You want me to sign this? Where do I sign it? Get her on the phone.”

The mother told him she would. She stepped out of the line and called her daughter at the Giovanni’s in Franklin-Furnace.

“She didn’t believe me,” Davis said. “I told her it was true and here he is.”

The mother handed the cell phone over to Phillips, who carried on a brief conversation with Brittney while continuing to sign autographs for adoring fans.

“He said she was too pretty to sign (his name) over her,” Davis said. “I was kind of nervous at first (to make the call). But it meant a lot to me. He’s got her cell phone number now. Even if he never calls her again, he’s got the number.”

Davis and her youngest daughter, Sierra, came to the caravan after friends gave them VIP tickets they had won. “They knew we were big Reds’ fans,” Davis said.

Phillips became a hit to a family of Reds’ fans. Sierra Davis, Brittney’s 10-year-old sister, has a room decorated in Cincinnati Red décor. She had Phillips sign a photo of her at Great American Ball Park.

“We go to Reds’ games whenever we can,” Davis said. “We usually tried to sit in center field. Sierra’s favorite player was (Adam) Dunn.”

“And (Sean) Casey,” she chimed in quickly. “I don’t know who I’ll like this year. I guess Brandon Phillips.”

Phillips, the Gold Glove second baseman, was a crowd favorite on the Reds annual stopover. Fans going through the line were happy to catch a word from him while wishing him well in the upcoming season.

“This is what I do,” Phillips said while signing a jersey. “I love the fans.”

With the departure of Ken Griffey Jr. and Dunn, Phillips is regarded as the face of the franchise, a team leader and one of its most popular players.

He’s excited about the product the Reds will be putting on the field in 2009.

“A lot of people think we’re not going to do much,” Phillips said. “We’re going to surprise a lot of people.”

The acquisitions of catcher Ramon Hernandez and center fielder Willy Taveras makes the Reds strong up the middle, he said, along with himself at second base and Alex Gonzalez at shortstop.

“We’ve got great defense and it’s going to be nice to have an everyday leadoff guy, a guy who can steal 60-some bases,” Phillips said of Taveras. “We have guys on this team that can hit.”

As for a lack of power production, Phillips said not to worry.

“We don’t need the power to win,” he said. “We’ve had home run hitters before and it hasn’t worked out, has it?

“I love the pitching staff. We don’t know who the No. 5 starter will be, but what we’ve got is solid.”

Phillips was asked what it was like to face Arizona ace Brandon Webb’s sinkerball.

“It’s not too fun facing him,” Phillips said. “But sometimes he makes a mistake, like all pitchers do. We hit them when they make a mistake, that’s what we do. He’s a great pitcher, man. He’s won a Cy Young, so he must be doing something right.”

Phillips hasn’t capitalized on too many of Webb’s mistakes. He’s 2-for-10 lifetime with five strikeouts.

As for having added leadership pressure, Phillips just flashed his trademark smile.

“I’m just going to be who I am,” he said. “Everybody has always seen me as a leader. Griffey and Dunn, all of them are gone. Everybody on the team has to be a leader. It’s all about jelling.”

Reds-Bats extend deal

The Reds plan to keep their Triple-A team in Louisville through at least the 2012 season.

Cincinnati extended its agreement with the Louisville Bats on Thursday by two more years. The deal had been set to end after the 2010 season.

Louisville was a Triple-A farm team for the St. Louis Cardinals from 1982-97, then was affiliated with the Milwaukee Brewers. It became a Reds farm team in 2000, its first year at Louisville Slugger Field.

http://www.dailyindependent.com/localsports/local_story_022223222.html?keyword=topstory

She must've been hot. ;)

BCubb2003
01-23-2009, 10:14 PM
“We go to Reds’ games whenever we can,” Davis said. “We usually tried to sit in center field. Sierra’s favorite player was (Adam) Dunn.”



OK, which of you statheads is Sierra?

Chip R
01-23-2009, 11:18 PM
I heard Brandon talking to Cutler this morning. He kind of sounded like Boomhauer from King of the Hill talking so fast.

Johnny Footstool
01-24-2009, 12:31 AM
So B-Phil tries to make time with a 20 year-old hottie, and the media spins it as "reaching out to the fans."

WVRedsFan
01-24-2009, 01:27 AM
So B-Phil tries to make time with a 20 year-old hottie, and the media spins it as "reaching out to the fans."

Works for me. I was young once. Brandon is good with the fans, I have to admit.

RedsManRick
01-24-2009, 12:06 PM
“Everybody has always seen me as a leader"

Especially that guy he sees in the mirror everyday. I'm very curious what Phillips is like when things aren't going well.

BuckeyeRedleg
01-24-2009, 12:14 PM
Works for me. I was young once. Brandon is good with the fans, I have to admit.

Just not jpup.