Phillips: “They’re supposed to boo me”

Jenifer Langosch/

A sellout crowd at Busch Stadium — the largest regular-season crowd in the ballpark’s history — saved its strongest pregame reaction for none other than Brandon Phillips, a player the St. Louis faithful love to hate. The boos were loud and followed Phillips throughout the afternoon. Cardinal fans will tell you that Phillips has earned the hatred after the colorfully critical words he said about the organization in 2010 and an ensuing brawl that started with a tiff between Phillips and Yadier Molina.

So, yeah, his welcome on Monday was basically as expected.

“The fans are doing their job,” Phillips said after the Reds’ 13-4 win. “They’re supposed to boo me, for the things I said about the organization. I respect them for booing me. But the thing is though, they have to realize I’m the type of person that loves that [stuff]. I love it. They don’t realize they’re throwing gas on the fire. I feed off of that. They’re one of the best fans in baseball, they really are. For them to keep on booing me like that, it’s letting me know they’re dreaming about me at night.”

So while those comments are kind of inclusive of a compliment, they are also a jab right back. Perhaps he’s found a way to (if it’s possible) put himself in position to be disliked in this city even more. Phillips didn’t do all his talking postgame either. He reached base four times on Monday, connected for a home run and drove in the go-ahead run in the ninth.

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB


I find it interesting that the writer of this piece thinks Phillips is trying to be even more disliked. The things he said were complimentary of the Cardinals and their fans. Like him or not he plays the game hard. Yes i am a Reds fan, but most of all I am a baseball fan. The rivalry that has formed between the Cardinals and the Reds is good for both cities and good for baseball. The altercation of a few years ago was not a good thing by any means, and should not be repeated. I say on with the rivalry and on with respect for both teams and their fans.

You’ve got it right, Bruce. As a Cards fan, it kills me watching Phillips play well against my team. But at the end of the day, I respect the way he plays the game and the way he feeds off of the rivalry. Personally, I prefer a bit more understated approach to the game than he typically employs, but I’d be lying if I said I wouldn’t be thrilled if he played for the Cardinals and were saying all the same things about the Reds. For my money, this may be the best rivalry in baseball at the moment (far better than Yankees/Red Sox or Cubs/Cardinals in terms of real drama).

I also agree completely with you that the on-field events of a few years ago have no place in any rivalry…a little pushing and shoving and a few bench clearing moments are all well and fine…but that one went well beyond that. It didn’t enhance the rivalry for me, it just made me lose respect for many of the players involved (on both sides).

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