TAMPA, Fla. – Business is business. That is what Brett Phillips said in a video he posted to his Twitter account in which he thanked fans for their support during his two years playing with his hometown Rays.
The business side of baseball resulted in the Seminole native being designated for assignment Monday. The Rays needed room on the 40-man roster following the acquisition outfielder Jose Siri from Houston in what was a three-team deal that sent minor league pitchers Seth Johnson and Jayden Murray to the Astros.
The big piece in the deal was Trey Mancini going to Houston from Baltimore.
Two months after he was acquired from Kansas City in August 2020, Phillips captivated Rays fans and a national audience. With the Rays trailing 7-6 in the bottom of the ninth in Game 4 of the World Series, his single off Dodgers’ closer Kenley Jansen drove in Kevin Kiermaier with the tying run.
With the help of a couple of errors, Randy Arozarena scored the winning run. Phillips went into full airplane mode, running around the outfield as his teammates chased him down. “Baseball is fun” was born.
Another unforgettable moment took place earlier this season. While Phillips was circling the bases after homering against Oakland at Tropicana Field, Chloe Grimes, an eight-year-old cancer patient, was being interviewed during the Bally Sports Sun telecast.
Before the game, Grimes met Phillips, her favorite player, threw out the first pitch, and gave the outfielder a bracelet that he wore during the game.
Such a moment was an exclamation point to how popular Phillips is with Rays fans.
While 28-year-old Phillips’ contributions went well beyond the field of play, he was hitting all of .147 in 75 games. He struck out 85 times in 184 at-bats.
“I will dust myself off and keep moving forward,” he said. “Never forget baseball is fun.”