Seriously… there can sometimes be too much gentile friendliness among baseball players these days.
Look, I understand that most of the ballplayers are friends now and you aren’t going to get any true bad blood between the teams. We hear how rivalries are media creations and teams don’t really care who they beat.
Yeah, as if Aaron Boone’s homer would have meant the same to the players if it beat the A’s… or the 2004 ALCS comeback would have been as sweet for the Red Sox if it were against the Twins.
Well Cincinnati is in its first REAL pennant race in over a decade. (Sorry, I am not counting the end of the 2006 season when the Reds almost backed into the playoffs because the Cardinals imploded down the stretch… even though the Cardinals went on to win the whole shebang.)
Cincinnati fans are coming back. There is reason to be excited again.
And the Reds and Cardinals are starting a TRULY meaningful series. I’m not talking about the “Can the Sox struggle back into the race” series they had with the Yankees.
I’m talking a “Two teams tied in the loss column for first place in mid August playing each other” series.
Now the midwest is supposed to be above anger, hatred and meanness (or so I have read) but Brandon Phillips is having none of it.
He threw a Molotov Cocktail in the direction of St. Louis. According to Rob Neyer (and why would he lie to me?) Brandon not so diplomatically declared “I really hate the Cardinals. Compared to the Cardinals, I love the Chicago Cubs. Let me make this clear: I hate the Cardinals.”
I love the caveat that he needs to compare his hatred of the Cardinals with the relatively low hatred of the Cubs. As if we ALL knew how much he hates the Cubs and we’d think “Holy Cats! He hates them more than the CUBS! Thems is fighting words!”
How much of this was show? How much of this was playing for the fans?
Who knows and who cares?
Baseball needs to let loose every once in a while. There needs to be a few Kevin Millars and David Wells and Brandon Phillips out there willing to pop off and be fun.
It’s fun, remember?
Now Millar and Wells also both came up big in games that led to a World Series title.
If Phillips comes up small down the stretch, he’ll be all talk.
But hey, at least it is fun to see this energy out of Cincy.
Keep talking, Brandon. Tell us what you REALLY think.
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