Reds' Brandon Phillips calls out Cardinals

I can't remember the last time a player called out another team like this. Hal McCoy:

    Before we dissect the Chris Dickerson-for-Jim Edmonds trade with Milwaukee, listen to some quick words from Brandon Phillips before the big, Big, BIG three-game Cincinnati-St. Louis series.

    Phillips fouled a ball off his shin Saturday in Chicago and missed Sunday’s game. But he was in Monday’s lineup and said, “I’d play against these guys with one leg. We have to beat these guys. I hate the Cardinals. All they do is bitch and moan about everything, all of them, they’re little bitches, all of ‘em.

    “I really hate the Cardinals. Compared to the Cardinals, I love the Chicago Cubs. Let me make this clear: I hate the Cardinals.”

This is a good story, the sort of story that makes baseball more interesting. I certainly wouldn't be thrilled with Phillips if I were his manager, or one of his more level-headed teammates. But conflict is drama, and drama is inherently interesting.

This story would be better if Phillips had backed up his words with something other than five fruitless at-bats in a 7-3 loss.

Due to his choice of language, it's not likely that Phillips' words will ever be applauded. If the Reds get swept by the Cardinals this week and eventually finish out of the money, Phillips might even be hung with some of the blame.

If they beat the Cardinals this week, though? And eventually work their way into the postseason? Nobody (except TLR) will be able to hold Phillips' intemperate words against him. And he might even become a sort of Rhineland folk hero.