Thursday, December 1, 2011

Redsfest Brings Reds Back Into Focus

With Redsfest opening Friday afternoon, many players have returned and are making appearances to help promote the event. One of the big questions surrounded Brandon Phillips. He wasn't on the original list of players for Redsfest. Phillips was at the Lakota West Freshman School Thursday to honor student Meggie Zahneis. Meggie is a wonderful young lady doing wonderful things and you can read my post about her here. Of course Brandon has done a lot of wonderful things for Reds fans, so I could not imagine he would miss Redsfest. Apparently he will not. I asked him "In my heart, I think you're going to show up, are you going to show up?" Brandon flashed his smile along with a laugh and replied, "have I ever missed a Redsfest?" "No!", I responded. "Exactly," said Phillips. "So nobody has nothing to worry about." Brandon went on to explain his strong feelings about attending such fan-friendly events. He credits his mother. "My momma told me this. Momma said, one day people are not going to ask you for your autograph, so you better enjoy it!" Phillips also entertained questions about his contract situation and insisted he wants to follow the footsteps of the man he called his idol, Barry Larkin, and play a long time for the Reds. "I've been talking to my agent back and forth. I'm just going to leave it to Walt (Jocketty) and my agent to get it done. I just know I'm going to be here this year. I'm going to go out there and have another successful year like I've been doing since I've been here. Hopefully we get it done because this is where I want to be. I love my fans. I feel like this is my second home, next to Atlanta, Georgia."
Yonder Alonso is another guy sure to grab fan attention at Redsfest. Will he be traded? If not, what position will he play? I asked Alonso what he thought the fans would be asking him this weekend. He let out a nice laugh and said, "Take a picture? Get an autograph? I hope!" Alonso was laughing the whole time. He knows there have been serious questions. He told me he has worked hard so far this offseason, and has worked hard on becoming a better player in the outfield. He appeared to be strong and in tremendous shape. As for a possible trade, Yonder said, "my teammates call me, what's going on man? And I don't know. I'm working out. I'm getting ready for the season. I'm a Reds (player) obviously, I'm wearing the uniform!" Yonder was dressed in one of the Reds spring training jerseys, all red with "Reds" scripted in white. "I'm going to give my all to this team and this city, and hopefully they can keep me around." Alonso is a great guy and is known by many around the Reds as a guy who works his tail off. He told me he treats every at-bat like it's his last, because he is not taking anything for granted or giving anything away. I know the Reds have to make some moves, but I would hate to see Yonder go.

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