Brandon Phillips says baseball needs more 'swag'

BY foxsports • September 26, 2013

It is a Friday afternoon in Pittsburgh. The Pirates and Reds are preparing for the teams’ most anticipated series in more than two decades. Playoff spots are at stake. Brandon Phillips, the Reds’ All-Star second baseman, is relaxing at his locker. I am standing beside him. We are talking about swag.

Wait. That description is insufficient. Let’s try again: Phillips is delivering a virtuoso performance, even by his voluble standards. Our conversation lasts 30 minutes. He pillories sabermetrics – “all this stat crap,” as he calls it – for removing passion from the sport. He praises the stylish and boisterous Dominican team that won this year’s World Baseball Classic, hinting that he’d love for his Reds to play more like that.

He says the major league product isn’t exciting enough.

“That’s exactly why African-Americans don’t play baseball,” he tells me. “(There’s) no passion in the game. You’ve got to be like a robot. Look at basketball. Look at football. When you make an exciting play, you can let everybody know. … If you get hype, get some swag, turn up, your team can feed off that.

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