All that annoying stuff Brandon Phillips does on the baseball diamond? It turns out he does it on purpose.
Phillips treated FOX Sports’ Jon Paul Morosi to quite the explanation of baseball swag the other day, explaining that a certain strut is the difference-maker for some of baseball’s winningest teams. His prime example was Boston’s own Red Sox, who get the job done but do it with a certain style, from their beards to their walk-offs and everything in between.
“The way the Red Sox play is swaggalicious,” Phillips said. “I love it. Them and the A’s — swaggalicious. Ain’t nothing but swag on those teams. When everybody has swag, and everybody joins the movement, you become a team. You feed off that energy. Swag brings energy. That’s what it does. It brings a lot of energy. All that boring crap, that don’t bring energy.”
Phillips made the distinction that swag is not showboating. It’s a different kind of style, and one that lifts the entire team.
“Baseball swag, to me, is a guy that goes out there and plays with emotion, plays with the passion of the game, not caring what anybody else thinks of them,” Phillips said. “He doesn’t play for himself. He plays for the fans. He plays for the city. And when he goes out there and he does his job, he lets everybody know: ‘I’m here. I’m doing this for y’all. I’m doing this for this team. I don’t care what anybody else thinks.’ That’s baseball swag to me.”
The Red Sox certainly have that in buckets. They acquired all sorts of swagged-out players this offseason, led by the beer-punting Jonny Gomes. Mike Napoli, Mike Carp, Shane Victorino and Koji Uehara have all brought a unique brand of quirky, productive professionalism to the team, which continues to be compared to the Red Sox’ 2004 “Idiots” as the composite parts have made up a winning whole.
Phillips even singled out one Red Sox player, David Ortiz, for what he was calling his All-Swag Team. No other Red Sox players made the cut for that team, but Phillips did — perhaps because his own Reds aren’t in a bad place themselves. They’re lined up for a wild card after going 90-69 in the competitive National League Central.
They’ll likely have to add some swag if they ever want to surpass the 96-63 Red Sox, who are gunning for the American League’s top seed.
Photo via Twitter/@CPHSox