I did not see the game last night, but read this morning that Brandon Phillips took offense to Albert not sliding into second base and interfering with his attempt to turn a double play that lead to a big inning for the Cardinals. Trent Rosecran’s reports the following puffy chested quotes from after last nights game.

“I respect him as a player and as a person, but he came in standing up and that just shows me he doesn’t respect me turning a double play,” Phillips said. “He tried to hurt me. You don’t do that. It taught me a lesson. Lesson learned.” “He did his job, next time I’ll do mine,” Phillips said. “I’ll just throw it through the (m.f.).” “I think it was interference because he didn’t slide,” Phillips said. “I wish there was another double play.” “Next time he better get his ass down,” Phillips said. Phillips said he tried to talk to Pujols about it, but Pujols brushed him off.

He should have thrown it through him. There is nothing like a baseball in the sternum from ten feet away to gain respect from opposing players.

Pujols responded to the above with:

“That’s the way I play the game, I play it hard,” Pujols said. “He’s the one who didn’t make an adjustment. He didn’t get out of the way.” When told that Phillips said that the next time he would throw at him and make him get down, Pujols said: “Next time I’ll put him in left field, so get out of the way.”

If Phillips would have put it in his chest last night, Pujols would probably have been simply saying, “I should have made a slide, it’s part of playing the game hard.”

Pujols might want to wait until Hopper or Ellison have replaced Dunn before venturing into left field, or he may get more than he bargained for. 🙂

Pete Mackanin agrees that throwing through the runner is the way it is done.

“I don’t know if Pujols intentionally stood up, I don’t know if he tried to disrupt the throw,” Mackanin said. “It’s up the second baseman or shortstop to throw at his head to force him to slide. That’s why Manny Trillo threw sidearm, so you had to get down.”

Does anyone else feel like the Reds are a bit soft? A little too nice and friendly. Apparently Albert Pujols feels so. What about how every NL batter in the league digs in with big smiles on their faces in eager anticipation of facing Reds pitchers? Somehow I don’t think they’d be so comfortable digging in with dirt on their backsides from a hard inside pitch every now and again. I know that it used to be the way the game was played. Is it so much different now, or are the Reds just a little too nice and timid? I’d like to see them playing the game a little more agressive.

About The Author

Tom Diesman is a Cincinnati area native and grew up in Northern Kentucky and Clermont County. He currently resides in central Indiana. Tom makes his living doing UNIX System and Storage Administration. He fell in love with baseball and the Cincinnati Reds during the Big Red Machine era, and Johnny Bench is his all-time favorite Reds player. Tom is still an avid follower of the Reds, and longs for the organization to bring winning baseball back to Cincinnati.

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12 Responses

  1. Y-City Jim

    I think it further demonstrates that the Reds do not possess the right mental attitude.

  2. willy

    i dont think much of pujols after that.
    wut a jerk.

  3. Bill

    I’ve felt for awhile that the Reds were soft, especially their pitchers…they never retaliate when their guys get hit…

  4. DevilsAdvocate

    When is the last time you saw any infielder throw the ball right into a runner bearing down on him? Call the Reds soft if you want, but the game of baseball is a mostly collegial one, enforced by the commissioner’s whim sometimes, sure, but nonetheless. Joba Chamberlain got suspended last week for throwing at a batter; even the Red Sox radio announcers thought it was as clear as day that it wasn’t intentional. Yet here we have Phillips declaring his intention.

    I’m sitting here envisioning what would have happened if Phillips had thrown the ball into Pujols’ face. Can you imagine? Out of the baseline or not, it would have started a clear-the-benches riot to back up STL’s only really good player. The Cardinals team would to a man protest afterward that that’s not the way the game is played, and the media would agree. Phillips would have been suspended for a week.

    I didn’t see the play, I’ll look for it on the archived mlb.tv video. But if Phillips felt that strongly about the play – and it doesn’t seem like Pujols disagreed, either – then it’s the ump’s job to make the call, and he blew it.

  5. daedalus

    as if we needed another reason to hate pujols more…

    i watched the play this morning and can’t believe pujols was not called for interference. not only did he not slide and went directly for phillips, he was out of the baseline.

  6. Tom

    I really don’t see where if Pujols would have ate the ball there would have been a brawl. Every player knows coming into second in a double play ball that there are only 4 options:

    1. Slide
    2. Peel off
    3. Eat the ball
    4. Run over the player that didn’t make you eat the ball.

    That’s baseball. They all know it.

  7. DevilsAdvocate

    Watched the video. Pujols altered course and ran straight towards Phillips who had just swept across the bag and was in line to make the throw past the baseline, except Pujols was jogging straight towards him and he had to keep sweeping. He made no slide, was way inside the baseline, and was not moving towards the bag. As he continued moving he jogged three feet left of the bag. Here’s the transcript of the STL announcers:

    “To first, not in time as they couldn’t make the play! That might have been caused a little bit by that action down at second base . . . Brandon Phillips not happy . . .”
    [pause to get the replay cued up for the announcers]
    ” . . . Albert, really gets in the way of Brandon Phillips—I think Albert might have gotten away with something here as he is way up on the inside part of second base and he forces Brandon Phillips to go way out of his way…boy. The Cardinals may be getting a break right here, but, Jay if you promise not to tell anybody I won’t tell anybody either, but I’m not sure that Albert wasn’t out of the baseline there, and the Cardinals caught a break there.”

    After the lead was given up and coming back from the pitching change, they revisited the incident, showing another replay.

    “A long conversation between Phillips and Chuck Meriweather about whether or not Albert is out of the baseline [cue replay] as he is not anywhere close to the bag at second base, Meriweather makes no call there, and Hatteberg was forced off the bag, and Brandon Phillips — you know, I’m not really big on agreeing with Brandon Phillips? But I think he’s got it right.”

    What’s with their personal dislike of Phillips, anyway?

    Also, Tom, every player may know it, but no player likes being thrown at, and expecially from five feet away. Their tempers are going to take over. Look at the postgame response from Pujols! He clearly implies that had Phillips thrown the ball into him, he would have gone after Brandon. Every player knows that most pitchers need to throw inside to be successful, too, but they get mad about it anyway. And again, seriously, I cannot recall ever seeing an infielder throw the ball into a baserunner when that baserunner was out of the baseline and in the way.

    Pujols is hated for making the play and then especially for his comments afterwards. Annoyed at Meriweather for missing the call. And that’s where it ends for me.

  8. Chris

    Some douchebag shortstop did this to me in a co-ed softball game. I was trying to get out of the way of the double-play, and this hardon drilled me behind the ear. Didn’t apologize or even see if I was okay – just hollered about wanting an automatic DP. Total douche.

    Luckily, I have a hard head and only had a bruise for a week. And we beat this guy’s team by 25 runs in the playoffs the next week. And every time he got on first base, he called for an “injury runner.”

    Douche of the year.

  9. Joe

    There’s no rule that a runner going into second base has to slide. The player making the throw to first base should throw through and jump out of the way or get hit by the runner.

  10. GregD

    There are douches like this out there. I met a guy once who bragged about breaking a 3rd baseman’s leg in adult rec softball. His stated goal was to go in hard on every play in the attempt to hurt the other players. In his mind he was playing hard, but clearly this is dirty play even for professionals.

  11. GregD

    There is a rule about running out of the base line. The umps enforced it against the Mets (Marlon Anderson) earlier this week.

  12. Tom

    I don’t know, I just saw the replay on the Red’s braodcast pregame. Looks like a whole lotta fuss about nothing.

    Pujols didn’t appear to even make contact with Phillips and didn’t appear to me to be any more than a minor nuisance to Phillips on the play.

    Phillips, to me, is coming through this looking like a pouting baby because he made a bad throw.

    I also heard the Red’s radio broadcast replay and neither Marty or Brantley seemed to take issue with Pujols for the play either.