“Baseball is ninety percent mental and the other half is physical.” – Yogi Berra
Has anyone seen Yogi lately? I would very much like to know his opinion on social media and how pro athletes should handle criticism from the interweb. I’d like to think that if Yogesy still played, he would be a master of Instagram and photo-bombing. Game over. Interview. Boom. Click. Upload. Caption: me photo-bombing Roger Maris after #61. Viral. Yogi YouTube Channel. Perhaps Brandon Phillips of the Cincinnati Reds could learn a thing or two from ol’ Yogster about constructive criticism and how to avoid barging in on your manager and dropping F-bombs at a reporter while the cameras are on. Epic fail, Brandon.
Do you know where this flurry of anger came from? Twitter. A tweet. A tweet from Twitter about the poor on-base percentage of Phillips. It wasn’t a personal attack on Phillips’ family or style, but just a little constructive criticism on his baseball game. You know, something beat reporters have been known to criticize for almost a hundred years?
Reds go from a hitter with a .320 OBP in the 2 hole to one with a .310 OBP
— ctrent (@ctrent) August 28, 2013
The tantrum of fury was preceeded by manager Dusty Baker’s decision to move BP from the #4 spot in the lineup to #2. Despite the poor OBP of Phillips, the Reds seconds baseman is having a solid season (.265/16 HR/95 RBI) and Cincinnati’s 75-59 record puts them only 3.5 games behind St. Louis in the tight NL Central. I can appreciate the intensity of Phillips, especially during a playoff hunt, but he has been in the league for over ten years and should know how to handle himself better.
“Hey, Dusty. The (bleeper) on the end, he worries about my on-base percentage. You tell him you’d have me bat eighth, he worried about my on-base percentage. The (bleeper) over there. Make him happy, Dusty. The (bleeper). You talking that negative (bleep) about our team, dog. I found out your Twitter name now, (bleeper). It’s a wrap. Just so you (bleepers) know. (bleeper).” – Brandon Phillips
Why, Brandon, why? Why all the name-calling and bleeps? The weight slam is incredibly mean, and who says “I found out your Twitter name now. It’s a wrap”? I don’t even know what that means. Twitter war? The only thing worse would have been if Brandon Phillips had started crying like Terrell Owens.
This odd outburst is a distraction for the Reds and just look at poor Dusty Baker in that video. How awkward. Baker could have stood up and let Phillips feel the wrath of an angry manager, but that would have just made the situation worse. He smiled and glanced up at Phillips as if to say, “Really, BP? Right now? Look at my face. Look at these eyes. Do you want some of this?” Actually, Baker’s facial expressions could be interpreted simply as “Ohhhh shittttt…”.
The playoff races of Major League Baseball are heating up and tensions are high. I love it. Just keep your cool though, Brandon, and you will be all right. Now check out this video of Yogi Berra and a high-flying, talking cat.