Phillips: $72 million contract a 'slap in the face'

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

Cincinnati Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips defended comments he made to Cincinnati Magazine that his $72 million contract was a "slap in the face."
Phillips told USA Today on Saturday that he has nothing for which to apologize.
"I have nothing to get off my chest," he said. "What did I say wrong? Please tell me, what did I say wrong? I want to know what I said wrong. Please tell me. I want everyone to tell me exactly what did I say that was so wrong?"
Phillips signed a six-year, $72 million deal last year. He told Cincinnati Magazine in its August issue that it was unfair that he only got $72 million while teammate Joey Votto got $225 million over 10 years.
"I just feel like they didn't have to sign Joey to that contract," Phillips said in the magazine article. "He still had two more years on his. And for (the front office) to go out there and sign him before they sign me, and they knew I was going to be a free agent? I understand Joey's a good player. He's one of the best players in this game. But I feel like I am too. I told them that this is where I wanted to be. I begged them. I told everybody I want to finish my career here. And then they give someone a contract who didn't ask for nothing?"
Phillips said Reds owner Bob Castellini and general manager Walt Jocketty lied to him about how much money was available to pay him.
"To this day, I'm still hurt," he said. "Well, I don't wanna say hurt. I'll say scarred. I'm still scarred. It just sucks that it happened. For (Castellini) to sign somebody for $200 million, there must be a new vegetable or fruit coming out that we don't know about. For him to do something like that and tell me they didn't have any more money, that's a lie. But what can I do? I just feel like it was a slap in my face.
"But how can someone slap you in the face with all that money? It's a nice slap in the face."
Votto said he was not offended by Phillips' comments.
"Brandon is always totally honest," Votto said. "He's been my teammate for six or seven years now, and I love playing with him. I have a tremendous amount of respect for him.
"What he said has nothing to do with me, but what he had to say makes me like him even more. He's honest. Most players stick to using catchphrases -- like I'm doing now -- but he will tell you how he feels at that moment."
Phillips is an All-Star player but Votto is a former MVP. Phillips is hitting .269 with a .322 on-base percentage, 12 home runs and 78 RBI. Votto is batting .319 this year with a National League-best .437 on base percentage, 15 home runs and 44 RBI.

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