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Phillips disciplined after swinging 3-0

Phillips disciplined after swinging 3-0

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KANSAS CITY -- No one outside of the Reds will know exactly how manager Dusty Baker handled Brandon Phillips disobeying a take sign on a 3-0 pitch on Saturday.

But it was made clear that it was definitely handled.

"It's the first time it's happened to me since I've been managing and it's the last time it's going to happen," Baker said on Sunday morning. "Simple. End of subject."

During a 7-4 loss to the Royals, the Reds were down by two runs in the fifth inning as Kansas City pitcher Kyle Davies had already walked two batters. During his at-bat, Phillips ran a 3-0 count and was signaled to take the next pitch by third base coach Mark Berry.

Phillips swung and flied out to right field and Baker was furious about the play. After the game, Phillips apologized but wasn't very contrite.

"Honestly, in that situation, why wouldn't I swing on 3-0?" Phillips said on Saturday night. "We only had two hits at the time. Our offense stinks right now. ... To tell you the truth, I didn't even look down there [at Berry]. I was trying to make something happen."

Those comments didn't sit well with the manager.

"I talked to him last night after that," Baker said. "He didn't tell me what he said but I talked to him. Some people when they are wrong will try to justify it and make yourself right. You're still wrong. The more you talk, the worse it sounds. I was like, 'Hey, it's over.'"

Although Baker wouldn't say, you can assume that Phillips was fined over the incident.

"It's nobody's business," Baker said. "I collected a lot of money last year. Most of the money was collected from a few."

The bottom line was that Baker liked the desire Phillips showed, but not his execution.

"You wish everybody thought like that," Baker said. "The thought process wasn't wrong. You want everybody to think like that. I thought like that. If you've ever been in the military, you still have to follow orders. That's what it boils down to. You don't want to take that thought and desire away."

Whatever discipline Phillips received did not affect his status in the lineup. Phillips still started in Sunday's 7-1 loss to the Royals and went 1-for-4.

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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