Brandon Phillips spoke at length with Reds beat reporters at his clubhouse stall today, shortly after it was learned Phillips will get his first day off this season.
Phillips' tone was light and he punctuated his remarks with some smiles, but it was also obvious he wanted to make some points. Here are some of his remarks:
--ďI see myself as an everyday player. Iíll just smile and go with it. ...Dustyís the boss. He makes the decision."
--ďI know I can hit. Everybody canít start off hot like Joey Votto. Some people start real slow.Ē
--ďIíve been reading up on the stuff that you all say. Itís funny to me. But I know you got to do your jobs. Iím just happy that Iím starting to find the holes.Ē
--ďYou all can write this down too. The funny thing is, I love you guys, I have nothing but respect for all of you all. But you know, ever since you all been writing about me not hitting, we havenít been winning. You all know that? But the thing is though, I hear a lot of people on my team, theyíre worried about me instead of everybody worrying about the team. Iím going to hit. Thatís how confident I am."
--"At the beginning when I wasnít doing nothing Ö next thing you know, people start writing about Phillips is not hitting, Edwinís not hitting, everybody starts thinking like wow, then everybody starts paying attention to me, and everybody starts paying attention to Edwin, and everybody just lost focus about winning.
--"So, I think we should start writing again about the Reds winning instead of worrying about two players. I think we should do that. But I love reading you allís articles. I read Ďem all the time. You all make me laugh. You all do a great job.
"There was one comment that (the Enquirer's) John Fay wrote one time, I was kind of mad and disappointed but it was the truth. It was, 'The only reason heís still playing is Ďcause of his glove.' I was like, wow. I respect you, but there are certain things I wish wouldnít come out like that."
--"Iíve been hitting. I havenít been striking out, Iím just not getting hits. Ö Sometimes when you look at a newspaper it says Phillips this, Edwin this, instead of just saying 'Reds win.' You all can write whatever you want, it donít bother me. If Iím doing something bad you can write about it, itís cool. Just make sure you all donít write it real big because weíve got a young team, and everybody, they read that and they start worrying about, Brandon you OK? You OK?"
--"We're winning, I'm (happy). We winning, thatís what itís all about, because Iím gonna hit. Itís just a matter of time when it happens.
I want my team to realize that Iím gonna be OK ... as a team effort, and worry about the Reds winning, like we were doing early, weíre gonna be good ... Weíre gonna be in the playoffs.
--ďWhen you play every day, of course you donít want to sit out, regardless of whether youíre hitting or not hitting. I feel I can do something every game to help the team win, whether itís with my bat or with my glove.Ē
--ďI donít worry about the batting average. As long as I go out there and try to produce and try to make the team better, thatís all itís about.Ē
NOTE: PHillips was smiling as he said most of this. We just stood back and let the recorders roll.