Cincinnati Reds’ second baseman Brandon Phillips has called his $72.5 million contract a slap in the face as compared to first baseman Joey Votto and his contract extension of 10 years and $225 million. In recent days, Phillips has stated in an article in Cincinnati Magazine’s August issue,
“I understand Joey’s a good player. He’s one of the best players in this game. But I feel like I am too. I told them that this is where I wanted to be. I begged them. I told everybody I want to finish my career here. And then they give someone a contract who didn’t ask for nothing?”
Votto’s contract deal was done in 2012 before Phillips’ was complete, when the Reds’ organization knew Phillips would be a free agent. He was told that $72.5 was all they had. I’m sure $225 million didn’t just fall off of a tree in the outfield. I can’t blame him for feeling like he was lied to.
Joey Votto has responded to Brandon Phillips by saying,
“I really have an immense amount of respect for him. Those comments have nothing to do with me. It doesn’t change a single thing, it makes me like him more, to be honest with you.”
This makes me like Votto even more.
When Phillips’ statement first hit the media, fans were worried that it would quickly escalate into a feud and change the teams chemistry on the field. But the first game against the Pittsburgh Pirates changed their minds with the Reds winning 5-3 at home. This includes a 3 run double that Phillips hit to give Cincinnati the lead it needed to keep.
I think this news will pass quickly now that the second half of the season has started. Everyone now realizes that both players are professionals both on and off the field as well as friends. Everyone now also understands that while baseball is great fun for the fans, it is still a business for the players and those within the organization.