Whether you like the man or not, what Brandon Phillips did before Wednesday's game against the Cardinals is really hard to defend. The Gold Glove second basemen disrupted an interview in the clubhouse and used an expletive-filled, verbal attack on Cincinnati Enquirer beat writer C. Trent Rosecrans after the latter sent out a pair of tweets about Phillips' on-base percentage, which Phillips took offense to. Here is what was said by both parties if you haven't seen or heard already.
Naturally, the incident made national headlines within a matter of hours, and became the hottest discussion among Reds fans on social media. Some argued in defense of one of Cincinnati's most popular public figures while others voiced their support for a man who was just doing his job by presenting factual information.
As odd as the situation seems, I doubt it's the first time an athlete and a member of the media have nearly come to blows. The whole concept of covering a team as a "neutral" source is bound to cause problems at some point. Especially if some of the players on the team become sensitive to criticism.
With that being said, CBS Sports national columnist Gregg Doyel chimed in on the ordeal with a piece published Thursday morning, and revealed a couple of instances in which he had a dust-up with Phillips, as well. Neither one was anything as major as Wednesday's, though.
In the piece, Doyel called Phillips "strange" and "sensitive" and admitted that while Phillips appears to be great with fans, he allegedly despises any and all media. Keep in mind that Doyel was a former colleague of Rosecrans while the latter was working for CBS Sports as recently as last year.
The most interesting part of Doyel's column, however, is the revelation that former Reds Adam Dunn and Ken Griffey Jr. lashed out at him in a similar way that Phillips ripped Rosecrans.
Here is the excerpt:
Look, athletes take issue with me all the time. And most of the time, I deserve it. I had a (bad) radio show in Cincinnati, and I was honest brutal in my assessment of Adam Dunn and Ken Griffey, and those guys didn't like me. When I was in the clubhouse they threw bottles of water at walls near where I stood. Dunn once put a ball in a sock and swung it menacingly near me and asked why, on the radio that week, I had compared his outfield play to a dog chasing a Frisbee.
Dunn and Griffey didn't like me? I get it.
Now, by no means am I condoning what they allegedly did to Doyel, because there is simply no place for that in the professional world (if true), but it serves as an example that Phillips isn't the only Reds player who has ever laid into a reporter due to perceived criticism. And he won't be the last, either.