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John Fay
John Fay has been the Reds beat writer for the Enquirer since 2001. Prior to that, he served in a variety of roles for the Enquirer: backup Reds writer, UC beat writer, backup Bengals writer and as a general assignment reporter. He is a Cincinnati native and a graduate of Elder High School and the University of Dayton.

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Monday, July 2, 2007

Phillips on Narron

Brandon Phillips summed up Jerry Narron's demise pretty well for Dustin Dow today:

“Jerry did the best he could do. We had a lot of veterans. If he had different guys in there, we’d have different results. We didn’t make any trades. We didn’t fire anybody, but got him fired. It sucks. I look at Jerry. We had a good year with Jerry last year, but we had new guys come to the scene this year. He tried to adjust with the new guys this year, but it’s all about certain players. Ken Griffey and his home run chase, Josh Hamilton and his comeback season, everybody got caught up in that instead of winning. We’re happy for Josh, but we want to win. And the next thing you know, Homer Bailey’s up here. We’re a team, and everybody’s worried about three guys.”


28 Comments:

at 1:15 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Am I reading too much into this or is Phillips implying that Josh Hamilton in the lineup does not give this team the best chance to win? I would hope he's just referring to the distraction of all the media hype and not the fact that he's in the lineup.

 
at 1:27 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read it the same way. If he believes that Hamilton isn't one of the best 3 outfielders on the team, he is loco.

 
at 1:34 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think he was just saying that everyone has been so focused on a few player stories lately that they've forgotten about the team in general and about winning ballgames. I didn't get the impression that he was saying to take Josh out of the lineup at all. I think he was using Junior's trek to 600 and Josh's recovery as stories that have gotten more focus than the team this year. I appreciate Brandon's honesty and in a lot of ways, he's right. There are 25 guys down there who aren't getting it done and they need to start playing better like now.

 
at 1:35 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

It sounds more like the team got caught up in these stories instead of just playing baseball.

 
at 1:36 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Phillips was one of Narron's favorite. He also was hitting 2nd or 4th in the lineup despite his .317 OBP. Sure Edwin Encarnacion posted a .389 OBP in June, and .368 in May, but EE hits 6th in the lineup while Phillips hit 2nd. If anything, Edwin should be batting 2nd and Phillips 5th or 6th.

Narron played favorites and Phillips was one of them.

 
at 1:42 PM Blogger JimmyD said...

It sounds like he thinks it's Krivsky's fault. Wow. Brandon should be careful what he's saying. This really sounds like he's throwing the three most popular Reds under the bus (Griffey, Hamilton and Homer).

 
at 1:50 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've never read another blog conducted by a professional journalist with as many typos as this one. It reflects poorly on you and your newspaper.
Sorry for the anonymous tag.

 
at 1:52 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brandon Phillips is just upset because it is not the Brandon Phillips' show

 
at 1:57 PM Anonymous Brendan said...

You're reading too much into it. He's referring to the media hype, not saying that Hamilton doesn't deserve to be in the lineup.

 
at 1:58 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

WOW

Sounds like Phillips wants to be a leader on the team....

 
at 2:18 PM Blogger Chris at Redleg Nation said...

I think Brandon wants it to be more about Brandon. "The Franchise" and all.

 
at 2:43 PM Blogger kingseyeland said...

This is why players always spout the same cliches after games, and why minor leaguers are taught those cliches (having known a few minor league players, it's not just Bull Durham). Whenever a player says anything that departs from the cliches, fans read way too much into it and get it all out of whack.

He's not saying anything other than this team is too focused on individuals right now, and not enough on the team concept of winning. Stats are great and all, but if a team can't put it all together, they're just numbers.

 
at 2:50 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

BPhillips is coming across as a whiner. Don't go there B!

 
at 3:31 PM Anonymous Brendan said...

I respect Brandon's comments. It's about time someone on this team got fired up about SOMETHING! Phillips should've been one of Narron's favorites.....he's one of the few guys on this team that always plays hard and is reliable.

 
at 3:48 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Reds situation is not unique. No matter what team you follow, there will ALWAYS be secondary story lines for the media and fans to focus on. If those sort of distractions keep you from playing the game at a high level then you shouldn't be a major league ball player.

 
at 3:57 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

No where does he say he doesn't want Hamilton to play, he just wants to win. Wow, a Red that actually would like to win, what a change!! I don't think Griffey or Dunn give a crap about winning. They are what? 1 and 50 losing after the 8th inning (I could be wrong, but it's something ridiculous like that)? Josh Hamilton is one of the best stories of the last decade, but who cares if the Reds lose a hundred games? Oh never mind it's a foregone conclusion. One guy actually cares about the team and winning and people are lined up saying, "It's not about the Brandon Phillips show". I guess you want your players to only care about themselves and not the winning percentage. Not batting EEncarnacion 2nd cause he's playing favorites, that's the stupidest idea I've ever heard. It doesn't have anything to do with the OBP for one month, it's the Stolen Base threat. Last time I looked Edwin runs the bases like Manny Ramirez. That's like batting a dead fast ball hitter 8th (Ross) in front of the pitcher. That's genius, he’ll see a ton of fastballs hitting in front of the pitcher. Newsflash to the Reds, most National League teams pitch around the 8 hitter, and even if they don't they won’t throw any fastballs. Good gracious, I thought this was a baseball town. Another newsflash, Brandon Phillips is one of the best all around players on the team, despite your favoritism his opinion does count.

 
at 4:26 PM Anonymous Tom said...

Brandon is probably right to a certain degree but he shouldn't go overboard. He's having a good year and with his smile and personality he could be the leader that this team so desperately needs.

 
at 4:51 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brandon is saying it is a TEAM game.period. Hire Giraldi...bring up some of the guys from the minors..get rid of the lazy players and let Joe do the job. He proved in Florida that he can get the most of the players he has, even if they are younger....play the game fundamentally right or find a seat....they will for Joe!!!!

 
at 5:11 PM Blogger Oldschoolreds said...

Anyone who thinks this is anything but Phillips being frustrated by a losing season is wrong. I respect him for stepping up. He's the only guy on this team that has said anything against upper management, who we all know to be the real problem. Narron was the sacrificial lamb. I think this is a step toward putting a 'C' on Phillips' jersey. That is as long as he's not part of the upcoming fire sale.

 
at 5:18 PM Blogger Oldschoolreds said...

Anyone who thinks this is anything but Phillips being frustrated by a losing season is wrong. I respect him for stepping up. He's the only guy on this team that has said anything against upper management, who we all know to be the real problem. Narron was the sacrificial lamb. I think this is a step toward putting a 'C' on Phillips' jersey. That is as long as he's not part of the upcoming fire sale.

 
at 5:21 PM Blogger Mark said...

Looking for a leader in the clubhouse? I guess he is the 2nd baseman.

Why are guys like Dunn & Jr. not speaking up? Because they like to lead through stats on the back of bubble gum cards & not where it's most needed.

Brandon is young but he plays the way the game is suppose to be played and he actually cares about more than himself. Nearly every time I've taken my boys to the ball park, I find him on the rail before games taking time for the fans. When the game starts he plays all out and looks like he loves the game.

Of course last time I recall someone like that (Sean Casey) he was traded away! I guess if you want to be a real leader on the Reds, then you better know where your suitcase is at all times!

 
at 6:11 PM Anonymous ADMS said...

We are in a way going to have a minor-league manager for the rest of the season. I second the fact that it appears that Brandon Phillips is stepping up to be the voice of the team. It's about time that someone did. There's no way this season can be salvaged, so hopefully the new staff will have new ideas like replacing most of our bullpen with Louisville tryouts. I really wanted Griffey to be making these statements.
I don't think the focus has been too much on individuals. Every team has the individuals...just imagine the other San Francisco Giants that aren't named Bonds? Same with non-A-Rod and Clemens Yankees. Hamilton's story is one that should be respected because cleaning up from the bowels of addiction is one of the hardest things to do.
I'm wondering about any future moves of the Reds - I think the ONLY way we trade Dunn is for decent pitching. Otherwise if we don't move him by the deadline, I beg the Reds to have hitting coaches continue to work with him not just for us fans but for his baseball development!
Well fans, we got the first part of what we wanted. Let's be patient and see what happens next.
Jerry might have been one of the nicest guys in baseball and as a person but when you lose the team and respect, that's it. I do wish him well.

 
at 8:41 PM Anonymous mikec said...

Brandon is absolutely correct. This team doesn't play like a team at all. You can point to Narron's poor decisions, the ridiculously bad bullpen. But in the end the biggest problem is they don't pick each other up. The bullpen doesn't leave em stranded. No one hits with runners in scoring position.

When you play as a team you do those things and you do them well. And you win. I just don't see that team mindset or that winning desire.

 
at 12:04 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

While Brandon Phillips comments may sound a bit petty, I think he is mostly correct. Sure, there will always be stars that are focal points, like Junior, but the attention showered on Hamilton & Bailey by the organization has been out of control.

Like everyone else, I admire Hamilton's comeback, but the Reds basically hired Johnny Narron to baby sit him. On road trips, there are 2 or 3 guys that are supposed to watch him. Even on his minor league rehab, extra guys went along just to keep an eye on things. While its great that the Reds provide him with a support group, that type of support isn't there for other players, if they have struggles, either on or off the field. Think about it: why don't the Reds have a Latino coach to help the Hispanic players develop. If they cared about Encarnacion half as much as they care about Hamilton, maybe we'd see more progress from Edwin.

As for Homer, word is that Big Bob went over Wayne's head & ordered his promotion to the bigs. The organization then proceeded to treat him like a novelty act, by putting his face on billboards before he ever threw a pitch. The hell with nurturing your best young talent, lets just call him up to help sell a few tickets. Brilliant.

 
at 7:51 AM Blogger John Fay said...

It was Krivsky's call on Bailey. And if there are Homr billboards, I've never seen one.

 
at 8:22 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

THANK YOU Brandon - finally a player verbalizing what is on everyone's mind. Seems he meant no disrespect to Josh Hamilton or Ken Griffey - just stating a fact. There is no "I" in team..... BTW, for the record, Brandon is one of our family's favorite players. His hustle and attitude on the field has no peer.

 
at 10:05 AM Anonymous Danny C. said...

For everyone out there that thinks it's ridiculous that Josh Hamilton has a support system, they need to do some research. Addiction is a serious matter and for someone to overcome it, they need as much support as possible. I don't care if you are 50 years sober, once an addict, always an addict. Josh's story is great and for players to be upset about him getting so much attention is ridiculous. If Phillips is consuming himself with all the attention Josh, Jr, and Homer are getting, then he isn't doing his job. As a professional, I focus on myself and I don't worry about my other co-workers. I aim to do what is best for the organization and let others do that as well. It's pretty bad when a rookie has to defend himself because another teammate is jealous. I like Brandon and hope he is here for a long time - him and Josh could be pillars for this organization (they are probably my two favorite). Also, last time I checked, Josh is the best outfielder this team has - he is a huge reason why we aren't worse than we are.

 
at 10:04 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think Phillips meant anything negative against anyone in particular. He just didn't articulate his team message so well.

Leave Griffey alone! He is having a terrific season and doesn't deserve all of the blame he is receiving for the Reds losing ways.

 
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