Phillips can barely see without his thick, black-rimmed glasses. He feels uncomfortable wearing contact lenses and has reservations about laser surgery, so he dons the specs and takes a good-natured outlook to the teammates referring to him as “Rick Vaughn” and “Wild Thing” ” the Charlie Sheen relief pitcher character from the Major League series of Hollywood movies.
Sources in Los Angeles say Phillips is also so slow that he makes former Jays catchers Darrin Fletcher and Ken Huckaby look like the anchors on a 4X100 relay team.
“He’d hit balls deep in the hole at shortstop and the guy would have time to field it, set his feet and still throw (Phillips) out by three feet,” one observer noted. “He lost a lot of hits that way or his average could have been a lot higher.”
And yet here is Phillips, the player nobody seems to want, trying to embark on a sixth major league campaign. The same folks who denigrate his speed and question his throwing arm also laud him as a tremendous clubhouse influence.
“If you want somebody who’s never going to stop working for you, then I’m your guy,” said Phillips.