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My Two Cents Brett Phillips Did His Job, My Two Cents Brett Phillips Did His Job
 
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.  Everything you need to know about Brett Phillips can be summed up in what went on for an  Craig Biggio Jersey hour in the Tampa Bay Rays' locker room on Saturday morning.The Rays had lost six of seven games and their grip on a playoff spot was slipping away. A lot of things were going wrong  injuries, slumps, demotions  and tensene s and stre s was starting to take over for a team on the skids. It was obvious in a somber locker room after a Friday night lo s to the Cleveland Guardians.But on Saturday morning, laughter and joking and frivolity had returned to the Rays' locker room  and it was much needed. The promotion that day was a Brett Phillips basketball jersey  an idea that stemmed from 5-year-old Brett Phillips rocking a ''Devil Rays'' tank top back in the day  and almost all of his teammates were wearing the jerseys, and even warmed up in them out of the field.There was a lot of joking about who would make up a Rays basketball team. Taylor Walls, who was a point guard in high school in Georgia, was claiming that spot, and said he was actually pretty good.Rays pitcher Shane McClanahan, who can be as sarcastic as anyone in a fun way, said he ''highly doubted that Wallsy was any good.'' A few others concurred, and when Walls heard that, he proudly defended himself between a whole bunch of laughs.They joked about how the Rays had a lot of tall guys  but ''no tall guys who were actually athletes''  although Ryan Thompson begged to differ. "I was a two-guard in high school before I grew five inches. I could shoot it,'' he said.But an athlete? "Yeah, well, probably not.''Phillips thoroughly enjoyed all the banter. He never played basketball himself in high school, but thought the promotion idea was cute. He had a hard time believing that he was so popular, and that the Rays thought its fan base would enjoy it so much.The suddenly fun-loving Rays went out and played loose, Marwin Gonzalez Jersey  and actually won the game. Brett Phillips, who started in center field on his big day, even had an RBI single in the eighth inning after starting the day 0-for-3.That was an correlation between that pregame jocularity and how the game went. It was a great, great Saturday for Rays Nation.Baseball was fun again.Brett Phillips made it that way.And then came Monday ...Brett Phillips always has a smile on his face, and his ''Baseball is Fun'' logo is more a way of life than a brand name.But Monday couldn't have been fun. Phillips, the Seminole native who's been struggled at the plate all year, was designated for a signment by the Rays, just two days after the big promotion. Those thousands of fans sporting those jerseys of the local hero all weekend? Now they represent Rays outfielder Brett Phillips.The move was made to make room for Jose Siri, a speedy center fielder who came over from Houston in a trade for a couple of minor-league pitchers.There are no words to accurately describe the move, but there are numbers.The 28-year-old who's in his sixth major-league season is hitting .147 this year, the lowest batting average in baseball for anyone with more than 150 at-bats. ( Francisco Liriano Jersey Phillips is 27-for-184 this season.)Phillips has struck out 85 times in those 184 at bats, and his 46.2 strikeout percentage is also the worst in baseball. He is also 0-for-33 versus left-handed pitchers, which is  you gue sed it  at the bottom of the stats list, too.Through it all, he was a solid defensive player and baserunner, but in the end, it wasn't enough to keep him around. The Rays needed to be better in center field, especially with veteran Kevin Kiermaier lost for the season and rookie Josh Lowe still not quite ready for prime time.Even if it was time for Phillips to go, it still doesn't make it any easier. He took it all with grace, of course, and even posted a 38-second video thanking Rays fans for all the support.Scroll to ContinueAnd what comes next for Brett Phillips?By being designated for a signment, Phillips basically becomes a free agent, and any team can come in and scoop him up now.Within seven days of the transaction, the player can either be traded or placed on irrevocable outright waivers, according to MLB guidelines.If the player clears waivers, he may be sent outright to the minor leagues or released. Players with more than three years of major-league service time or who have been previously outrighted may reject the outright a signment in favor of free agency. Phillips qualifies there.It won't be surprising Nolan Ryan Jersey  to see a contending team pick him up  especially after rosters are expanded in September. As a defensive replacement and base runner, he certainly has a lot of value in those areas.And if this is it with his hometown team for Brett Phillips, it's been quite a run. After time with Milwaukee and Kansas City to start his career, he came to the Rays in late August of 2020 in a trade for Lucius Fox, an infielder who now plays for the Washington Nationals.'He debuted in September and helped the Rays throughout the postseason. He made a memory forever when his base hit won Game 4 of the 2020 World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers. It came with two outs in the ninth inning and the Rays trailing by a run, the first two-run game-winner to walk off a World Series game since Kirk Gibson in 1988.He's always had a flare for the dramatic. He hit three grand slams in le s than three weeks in 2021, and also had an inside-the-park homer during that stretch. Only one other MLB player had ever done that  the great Babe Ruth.He did the same thing this year, pitching a couple of times and even making some dramatic highlights.Nothing was better than his night during the first week of the season. Chloe Grimes, an adorable 8-year-old girl in the middle of a cancer fight, got to throw out the first pitch at a Rays game. Brett Phillips is her favorite player, and they exchanged stories  and gifts  before the game.During the game, while Grimes and her mother were being interviewed live by Tricia Whitaker on the Bally Sports Sun game broadcast, Phillips hit a home run.There was not a dry eye anywhere around the place that night, and Phillips got choked up talking about it after the game. It brought him a ton of national attentionBrett Phillips made baseball fun this year, no doubt about it. He always stopped for a hello and a fist bump and appreciated getting extra copies of our Sports Illustrated cover a few months back.Even through all of his struggles, he remained positive and continued to work hard to get out of his slump. He reveled in all the good things that happened with his teammates and he was a terrific clubhouse presence.His release has been tough on the Rays' fan base. For a lot of people, he is the face of the Rays, statistics be damned.But even Phillips said Monday that ''it sucks, but we all know busine s is busine s.''Yep, there's no doubt that busine s is busine s. From a 100 percent pure baseball move, adding Jose Siri from Jose Altuve Jersey  Houston in a trade in favor of P
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