Thursday, April 20, 2006

A good week to be Brandon Phillips

By the time you read this, former Indians prospect Brandon Phillips may very well have stopped global warming, rebuilt the World Trade Center, discovered an easily tapped reserve of oil, and defeated Chuck Norris in a fight. And by the time you're reading THIS, Indians GM Mark Shapiro has pulled the covers up that much farther over his head as he tries to avoid hearing what else Brandon Phillips has done.

Brandon Phillips has most likely done all these things by the time you read this because right now, as in while this is being typed, Brandon Phillips has hit a grand slam, a two-run homer, and driven in six runs for the Reds against the Brewers. The game is only half over. So that means in half a game, being played right now (or last night for you), Brandon Phillips has two HRs and six RBI.

Meanwhile, Cleveland Indians utility infielder Ramon Vazquez also has six RBI -- since the beginning of the 2005 season. And he has one HR -- since the beginning of the 2004 season. Brandon Phillips has now driven in 13 runs in his last four games. Ramon Vazquez drove in 13 runs -- in 2004.

Brandon Phillips, of course, was the centerpiece of the Bartolo Colon trade three seasons ago, the trade that also brought Grady Sizemore and Cliff Lee to the Indians. No one's complaining about that trade. But Brandon Phillips struggled and never lived up to his prospect hype, forcing the Indians' hand this year when they couldn't send him back to the minors without subjecting him to waivers. Still, they weren't exactly presented with Sophie's choice when deciding to keep either Brandon Phillips or Ramon Vazquez. Rather than look at talent, though, the Indians allowed attitude to dictate which player they would trade. Brandon Phillips supposedly would not have taken well to a bench role, while Ramon Vazquez knows his place is on the bench and is very happy to sit there. So the Indians sold Brandon Phillips to the Reds.

Now, Brandon Phillips is taking over second base for the Reds. Now, Brandon Phillips has a good attitude and would even play outfield for the Reds. Now, Brandon Phillips gets a little dig in at Mark Shapiro, other than his two-homer game and his 13-RBI week.

It hasn't been a good week for the Indians, who have given up 27 runs their last two games, lost three of four, and seen two pitchers hit the disabled list. But it's been a good week to be Brandon Phillips, and an even better week to be God.

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