The Cincinnati Enquirer’s John Fay requested a moment of Brandon Phillips‘ time last week, and the Reds second baseman replied, “I’ve been here a week and now you’re gonna try to talk to me?”. Such behavior strikes Fay as a bit diva-esque, given that “Ken Griffey Jr. would have given me the keys to his yacht to leave him alone for the first week of spring training”. For shame on the player, then, for not knowing Fay’s reputation in advance!

Phillips felt slighted because he wasn’t one of the first three position players I wrote about.

The three position players I had written about had more newsworthy stories.

I wrote about Joey Votto, who was coming off a year in which he missed 31 games with depression and anxiety issues.

I wrote about Jay Bruce, who had struggled mightily and was coming off a broken wrist.

I wrote about Scott Rolen, who had redone his contract at a reduced rate for 2010.

The reason I chose Phillips that day was I thought the story would get a good ride in the paper. My theme was going to be about what he had to do to take the next step – to go from a very good player to a great one.

Phillips’ hero growing up was Barry Larkin. It’s hard to fathom Larkin refusing an interview because of a perceived slight in the pecking order.