CINCINNATI -- When Brandon Phillips was a kid, he was obsessed with Reds shortstop Barry Larkin. Looking back, he would have liked to communicate with his idol, regardless of how impersonal the interaction was.
"I wish Twitter was around when I was a kid," said Phillips, who went 2-for-3 with a homer and three RBIs on Saturday. "Barry Larkin would have hated me, man. I would have been asking him to come to all of my games."
So when Phillips received a Tweet from Connor Echols asking him to come to the West Chester Baseball Complex to watch Echols and the Cincinnati Flames on Thursday, Phillips obliged. Phillips, who as a member of the Indians finally met Larkin, has endeared himself to Cincinnati fans as much for his Gold Glove defense as for using his Twitter account (@DatDudeBP) to interact directly with his followers.
With Phillips in attendance, the Flames won, 13-2. But more than the game itself, Phillips said he enjoyed listening to the parents in the stands. It reminded him of hearing his own mother and father screaming for him -- and at the umpires -- when he was Echols' age.
"I remember my parents going crazy," he said. "It was just amazing. Parents want to see their kids do so well. It brought back a lot of memories."
-- Tyler Jett