Monthly Archives: August 2010
Trash talk is a part of sports. Sometimes it’s warranted, sometimes it’s childish, but it always grabs attention. When it’s followed up by lousy performance, however, it’s nothing more than laughable.
That’s what Brandon Phillips of the Cincinnati Reds has become: laughable. Oh, and while I’m tossing out labels, let me slap one on you, Johnny Cueto: pathetic.
After all the mouthing off Phillips did before Monday’s game, he strode up to the plate in the bottom of the first, and started the exchange with Yadier Molina that led to the bench-clearing brawl by tapping Yadi’s shin guards with his bat. Think I’m biased by saying Phillips started it? After all, sportswriters in Cincinnati claim Phillips does this all the time. But looking at the replay–which is all over the ESPN and Fox Sports Midwest shows and websites–Phillips went for a tap, Molina kicked it away, and Phillips tapped him again. After Monday’s comments, that’s instigation…plain and simple. Phillips and Molina exchanged words and chest bumps, benches emptied, more words were exchanged, and a melee ensued. Curiously, the only ejections were Tony LaRussa and Dusty Baker.
One of the in-fight stories was the exchange between former teammates-turned-rivals Scott Rolen and Chris Carpenter. It’s hard to tell if one charged the other, or if they ended up in each other’s faces because of all the pushing and shoving around them. It appeared, in the beginning, that both were trying to play peacemaker. But as the brawl intensified, the group smashed up against the backstop like a mosh pit finally making its way to the stage at a heavy metal concert. Reds starter Johnny Cueto can then be seen kicking at both Carpenter and Jason LaRue. Carpenter ended up with cuts on his back and torso, and LaRue has stitches in his lip and a mild concussion.
That’s right, Cueto was kicking people in the back and face. Unbelievable.
Cueto needs to be fined and suspended immediately. Not only is this behavior unacceptable, it must be made as an example. If LaRue had been caught square in the eye, his career is over and maybe his vision is lost forever. And I don’t care if Cueto was scared and panicked because he was up against the backstop; a dozen other guys were in the same spot and none of them got their spikes up like that. It’s inexcusable.
I’m really excited for today’s game, and the possibility of a Cardinal sweep. With Adam Wainwright on the mound, I like their chances. The Reds have no problem running their mouths and acting out like the b*tches they think the Cardinals are, but when it comes to walking the walk they have yet to deliver. Phillips has one hit total so far in this series, while Molina came up after the fight and lauched a home run into the left field seats. The Cards have won the first two games of this heated series to take over first place in the NL Central. Time to finish them off with a win (and maybe a fastball into Phillips’ ribs).
Photo: Tom Uhlman/AP
So Brandon Phillips of the Cincinnati Reds hates the Cardinals. Good for him.
If you haven’t had a chance to track this down, here’s the quote from Phillips, courtesy the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
I don’t mind the concept of what Phillips is trying to do there, but those are mighty strong words coming out of the mouth of someone who hasn’t won anything ever in his career. Then, of course, he “walks the walk” by going 0-5 last night and not even getting the ball out of the infield. That’s a fail, Brandon. Big time fail. Smack-talk from a guy on a team that hasn’t had a winning season since 1999 (the year Phillips was drafted by the Montreal Expos) is just a little presumptive to me. The name-calling is petty and childish, too. Does he think he’s playing kickball at recess? Like I said, the context is fine; the content is pretty unprofessional though.
Here’s tonight’s starting lineups:
St. Louis Cardinals
3B Felipe Lopez
RF Jon Jay
1B Albert Pujols
LF Matt Holliday
CF Colby Rasmus
C Yadier Molina
2B Skip Schumaker
P Jaime Garcia
SS Brendan Ryan
2B Brandon Phillips
SS Paul Janish
1B Joey Votto
3B Scott Rolen
LF Jonny Gomes
RF Chris Helsey
CF Drew Stubbs
C Ramon Hernandez
P Johnny Cueto
I wonder how many times Phillips has to dive out of the way of a too-far-inside pitch the rest of this series?