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Brandon Phillips vs. Darwin Barney: No Glove lost?

BrandPhillips

Brandon Phillips

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Updated: April 23, 2013 12:09AM



CINCINNATI — As a kid in Georgia watching Ryne Sandberg and Sammy Sosa on TV, Brandon Phillips imagined what it would be like to play for the Cubs one day. Years later, as he broke into the big leagues with the Cleveland Indians, he dreamed again of playing for the Cubs because he wanted to play for manager Dusty Baker.

“It would have been nice,” Phillips said.

So maybe it was nothing personal when he reacted a few months ago after learning of Darwin Barney’s Gold Glove by saying he thought he was getting “punk’d.” Or maybe it was deeply personal.

Or maybe it was just this: “I’m an entertainer,” said the charismatic second baseman with the biggest Twitter following in the National League.

“I don’t worry about that, man. I mean, I said what I said. And I’m very happy,” Phillips, a three-time winner of the defensive award, said Monday before facing Barney in a game for the first time since the comments in early February. “You know how many things I have for myself? I’m very happy where I’m at. I don’t keep up with stuff like that. It’s all about just playing this game that I love, and whoever wins awards . . . it is what it is, man.

“I just have fun and just let people talk about what they want to talk about. And I just be me, so if somebody asks me a question, I’m going to tell them how I feel. Don’t get mad at me because that person asked me a question. Don’t get mad at me for how I feel because I’m going to tell you how the f--- I feel.”

There wasn’t a hint of harshness in Phillips’ tone as he spoke and no apparent animosity toward Barney.

As was the case in spring training, Barney wasn’t interested in getting into a public scrap over the perceived slight.

If nothing else, it’s an added reason to watch this best-vs.-worst NL Central series featuring two of the top second basemen in baseball, representing the last three NL Gold Gloves at the position.

“They’re fun to watch,” former shortstop Dale Sveum said.

Not that Phillips “The Entertainer” took the field Monday feeling he had to back up anything he said about Barney not deserving to beat him out for the Gold Glove.

“I don’t try to show people that I’m the best player or the best defensive second baseman or the best offensive second baseman,” he said. “I don’t go out there showing people that. I entertain people.

“Like on Twitter. Like when I go out in public. Like when I’m on the baseball field, when I do interviews — I like to entertain people. I’m an entertainer other than a baseball player. . . . That’s just how I am.”

NOTES: Starlin Castro’s run-scoring single in the third gave him a 14-game hitting streak, tying his career high.

Ian Stewart (quad) had an RBI double and drove in another run with a sacrifice fly during a minor-league rehab game for Class AAA Iowa on Monday night. Barring a setback, he could return from the disabled list during the next homestand.



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