Brandon Phillips enters the Senators’ Bobblehead Hall of Fame

This content was originally found in Issue No. 19 of this year’s Senators Program


The Wit and Wisdom of Brandon Phillips

“I’ll take a three-run homer over a walk.”

“You need haters in your life. If you don’t have haters in your life, you’re not doing anything.”

“Yes, I’m flashy. I just feel like it makes me have fun if I put a little flair to it. Do I feel like I’m arrogant? No. Do I feel like I’m confident? Hell yes, I do. I feel like I’m the best all-around second baseman in
baseball. If you don’t think you’re the best, why go out and play this game?”

“What I love is people are starting to recognize defense now. If you just hit home runs, you’re a one-dimensional player. So if you don’t hit a home run, then you didn’t do your job. But if you can play defense and do a decent job swinging the bat? Then you’re one of the best players in the game.”

“It’s about me being confident and believing in myself. You have to believe in yourself to play this game, because this game will kill you.”

“The only thing I can do is go out and play the game the way I do. I do it with flair because baseball is a boring game.”

“If I was to go out there and be selfish, my stats would be totally different than what they are. But my goal is to get a ring on my finger. I’ve got the Silver Slugger, got the All-Stars, got the Gold Gloves. The only thing I’m missing is a ring. I got it in the Minor Leagues, had it in high school. Would I like an MVP? Yeah that would be nice. But what I really want is a ring.”

“If I could say one word to describe me, it’s ‘misunderstood’.”

Accolades and Achievements

  • Over two partial seasons and 127 games in Harrisburg, Phillips hit .312 with 16 home runs, 32 doubles, 71 RBIs, and 19 stolen bases
  • In 2001, Phillips was the first teenager to play for the Senators since Ugueth Urbina had previously done so in 1993
  • Was a three-sport star at Redan High School and originally considered attending the University of Georgia to play both baseball and football
  • Traded with Cliff Lee, Grady Sizemore, and Lee Stevens for a two-month rental of Bartolo Colon and Tim Drew in one of the worst trades in baseball history
  • Clubbed 30 home runs for Cincinnati in 2007 breaking the franchise’s single season record by a second baseman set by Hall of Famer Joe Morgan
  • One of only three second baseman in the history of baseball to hit 30 homers and steal 30 bases in a season
  • A human highlight reel on defense, Phillips has claimed the National League Gold Glove four times so far in his career
  • Holds the Reds’ club record for most consecutive errorless games with 107
  • One of the most popular MLB players (@DatDudeBP) on Twitter with over 1.1 million followers
  • Comes from a family of athletes as his older brother Jamil played for the Texas Rangers’ organization, his younger sister Porsha played for the San Antonio Silver Stars of the WNBA, and his younger brother P.J. played in the Los Angeles Angels organization
  • He is an avid bowler with at least three perfect games to his credit

(Harrisburg Senators)

Revisiting the “Trade of the Decade”

With reports swirling that the Montreal Expos would be eliminated through contraction after the 2002 season, Expos’ GM Omar Minaya made a bold decision to push all of his chips to the center of the table
to get Montreal in the playoffs for the first time since 1981. He wanted an ace for his staff and was willing to empty the farm system to do it.

The Expos trailed the Braves by 6.5 games in the National League East and found themselves five games behind the Wild Card-leading Diamondbacks when Minaya dealt away Brandon Phillips, Cliff Lee, Grady
Sizemore, and Lee Stevens to the Cleveland Indians for Bartolo Colon and minor league pitcher Tim Drew on June 27, 2002.

Colon pitched well for Montreal down the stretch — tallying a 3.31 ERA and 74 strikeouts over 117 innings. But unfortunately the rest of the roster faltered in the second half and the Expos were distantly
behind Atlanta in the Division and the Giants for the Wild Card. One piece of good news was that baseball agreed to not contract any teams through 2006 as part of a new labor deal that it forged with
the players’ union.

By then, the Expos’ best young talent was in Cleveland.

“When we did that deal, Brandon clearly was the marquee player,” Indians’ then GM Mark Shapiro recalled to Ken Rosenthal. “Cliff Lee, we felt, would be a very good major-league pitcher, but we had no idea he’d win a Cy Young. Grady was the upside guy.”

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