The cool thing about that play, to me anyway, is that it marks the difference between guys like Freel and guys like Phillips. It's not a knock on Freel but hustle alone cannot make that play. It took flat out hustle for Brandon to get to that ball, and I think that Freel would have gotten to that ball but Freel puts that ball in his pocket and tries to keep the hitter at first base while the run scores. But with hustle combined with amazing natural talent Phillips gets the guy out at home.
Phillips is young, cheap, plays good d up the middle, and can hit for power. That makes him attractive to, oh, about 26 of the other 29 teams in MLB.
More potential suitors = more potential for a good trade. If you can get multiple teams making offers for Phillips, you can play them against each other to drive up the price. If someone is willing to pay that price (which I'd set the initial ante as a good, young starting pitcher, and a good, young reliever), then pull the trigger. If no one ponies up, then just keep Phillips and go on about your business.
If all anyone wants to do is trade Dunn or Griffey for pitching, that limits the potential trade partners to about 6-8 teams max. At that point, you're trying to sell in a buyers market. You get put over a barrell and pretty much have to take what the big guys are offering. When I negotiate, I prefer to put the other guy over a barrell. Make him pay the premium for what you have.
We've seen what trading guys like Joe Randa, Sean Casey, Kyle Lohse and Austin Kearns has netted in the way of pitching. Trying to trade Hatteberg, Gonzalez, Freel, Dunn, or Ross for impact pitching is pretty much barking up the same tree yet again.
This team isn't going anywhere until it drastically improves the pitching staff. The last bona fide starting pitcher that came from within the organization was...Tom Browning. Thinking that good starting pitching is going to magically start showing up in waves in the next few years means you haven't been paying attention over the last couple of decades.
Trading Phillips is the best means to significantly improving a wretched pitching staff.
Last edited by 15fan; 08-31-2007 at 04:23 PM.
If you can't net a front line pitcher for Dunn, you most certinally aren't going to get it for BPhill.
Much like Dunner, IMO, he's too important to the Reds, but not important enough to another team to give up what he's worth.
a super volcano of ridonkulous suckitude.
I simply don't have access to a "cares about RBI" place in my psyche. There is a "mildly curious about OBI%" alcove just before the acid filled lake guarded by robot snipers with lasers which leads to the "cares about RBI" antechamber though. - Nate
Last edited by fearofpopvol1; 08-31-2007 at 04:43 PM.
Nobody is going to trade a bona fide frontline pitcher -- expensive vet or top-shelf prospect -- unless they're worried about his health, or, in the case of an expensive vet, the guy is very close to free agency and they know they can't sign him.
So, it is highly likely that the only way you're getting a bona fide pitching stud via the trade market is to grab a guy who's about to becoem a free agent. In other words, a rental. Is that worth Brandon Phillips? Nope.
So, the way I see it, it's develop your own or pony up in the free agent market. Seems to me the Reds may be freeing up lots of cash as Griffey and Dunn depart in the next 12 months, which could make them legit players in the 09 market.
"Baseball is a very, very complex business. It's more of a people business than most businesses." - Bob Castellini
Baseball this morning on XM hardly mentioned it. I expected a little love for Brandon, but they only mentioned the score.
I forgot to check the Pittsburgh paper today, but they had a great write-up of the closing play of last night's game.
Josh Phelps was sprinting around third base with what surely would have been a sweet step onto home plate. The score would be tied, and he would be the two-out hero in the bottom of the ninth inning.
Suddenly, stunningly, he saw this white spheroid come into view ...
"I never expected to see a baseball coming," Phelps recalled. "Impossible."
But there it was, and Phelps was tagged for the final out of the Pirates' 5-4 loss to Cincinnati last night at PNC Park, a game Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips finished with a defensive gem so stupendous that a term such as impossible meant little.
"The way that game ended ... I don't know if you'll ever see that play get made again," manager Jim Tracy said.
Before the rush of adjectives, here is the background ...
The Pirates, needing a run to tie, got yet another big pinch-hit from Phelps, a hustling double to left-center off Cincinnati closer David Weathers.
Nate McLouth was next, and he dueled Weathers to a full count before splintering his bat on an inside fastball. McLouth got just enough of it, though, to bloop it over first baseman Jeff Keppinger into shallow right field.
Phelps, breaking on the full count with two outs, never looked back.
"In that situation, I'm just listening for the crowd," he said. "If I hear the roar, I know it fell in."
Fact is, of course, the reaction of the 12,463 in attendance should not have mattered. Phelps should have been going full-bore upon contact. And he was.
One problem with that: Phillips, one of Major League Baseball's premier second basemen, was going full-bore, too.
"I saw him running around third and I was cussing, man," Phillips said of Phelps. "And then, I made the best play of my career."
No hyperbole there.
Phillips dashed back to support Keppinger, closed in on the ball after it one tall bounce off the grass, whirled his body back toward the diamond even as he barehanded it - "The most amazing part," Tracy called that - then set himself before firing a bullet toward home plate.
The only flaw: The throw was high, and catcher Javier Valentin had to leave his feet to pull it in.
But still ...
"It never even crossed my mind that there would be a play at the plate," McLouth said.
It apparently never crossed Phelps' mind, either. Rather than sliding, he reacted late, stayed on his feet and made a somewhat awkward attempt to knock down Valentin.
And Phelps took responsibility.
"When I saw the ball coming in ... I just went into survival mode," he said. "It was too late to slide, so I tried to do what I could."
"It was a little indecision on Josh's part," Tracy said. "Obviously, if he slides, he's going to be safe."
The Reds mobbed Phillips after drawing a split of the four-game series, and Phillips drew universal praise from the home side, too.
"A fantastic play," Pirates third baseman Jose Bautista said.
"Something I've never seen before," starter Matt Morris said.
I just want to state for the record that it was worth selling my soul to Time Warner for this play alone.
There is no such thing as a pitching prospect.