Brandon Phillips unleashes tirade on Cincinnati Enquirer baseball writer

Mark Townsend

Coming off two critical losses to the division rival St. Louis Cardinals, frustrations were running high in the Cincinnati Reds clubhouse prior to Wednesday night's series finale. In particular, second baseman Brandon Phillips was on a bit of a rampage after reading a pair of tweets by C. Trent Rosecrans, a Reds beat reporter for the Cincinnati Enquirer, concerning his move to the second spot in the Dusty Baker’s batting order and his on base percentage.

Here are the tweets in question:

And here's video of the aftermath, which includes Phillips barging into Baker's office as he handled his pregame media obligations and confronting Rosecrans with some unnecessarily personal comments.

Brandon Phillips Goes off on Reporter from 101ESPN on Vimeo.

Here's the dialogue for those who may not be able to watch the video.

Phillips: “Hey Dusty, the fat motherf***er on the end is worried about my on-base percentage. Why don’t you tell him to have me bat eighth with my on-base percentage.”

Rosecrans: “I don’t care about that."

Phillips: “Fat motherf***er. Make him happy, Dusty. Fat motherf***er. I’m tired of you talking that negative sh*t on our team, dog. I found out your Twitter name now motherf***er. It’s a wrap.”

Rosecrans: “Wow, took you how many years? Congratulations.”

Baker: “I ain’t in that, man. That’s between you and him.”

Rosecrans: “It’s between him and him.”

First of all, there was nothing about the tweet that seemed overly critical of Phillips' performance. Rosecrans simply stated the numbers, which many would say suggest Phillips isn't the best fit for the new role. A new role Dusty Baker put Phillips in after he succeeded as a run producer driving in 94 runs this season.

Second, it's one thing to take issue with perceived criticisms. Phillips is certainly free to do so, but I feel he got a little too personal with his choice of words. He could have handled the matter in a much more professional manner, but sometimes these things will happen in a big league clubhouse, especially in August. Rosecrans certainly understands that, and the Enquirer does as well based on the statement they released Wednesday evening.

There was a situation that arose this evening prior to the Reds and Cardinals game involving our reporter C. Trent Rosecrans and Brandon Phillips.

Phillips took exception to our analysis concerning his on-base percentage and a follow-up tweet after being moved into the second spot in the lineup. It is a fair subject to consider, and one our readers would expect us to address.

While we are disappointed in Phillips' reaction, we understand it is a pennant race and emotions are high during a crucial series with a heated rival. This isn't the first time a player has lost his temper in response to a reporters questions and it won't be the last. It is part of covering the team day-in day-out.

This will not effect our coverage of the team or Phillips. We plan on moving on from and we hope Phillips does to.

I'm sure it will be business as usual in the clubhouse following the game in the days to come. It was just a bad moment for Phillips, which I hope he realizes and owns with an apology.

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