NEW YORK -- Major League Baseball fans will see Brandon Phillips again in this weekend's Division Series, only this time he will not be part of a postseason contender bringing excitement to its own city.
This time, you can expect to see the Reds' second baseman shooting a game of pool at the MLB Fan Cave with MLB Dream Job winner Mike O'Hara, and talking about other players' postseason chances and his own social-media skills. Phillips stopped by the Greenwich Village playland for about 90 minutes before the Reds-Mets game and taped a video spot that TBS is expected to air at some point during its Friday telecast of the American League Division Series openers.
"It's been totally different. I didn't think the season was really going to go the way it did this year, but all you can do is adapt and learn from this year and just take it into next year," Phillips said, expressing some parting thoughts after doing [yoga] planks on the Fan Cave indoor-outdoor carpet.
"I've been feeling good all year, I'm glad I'm happy with the season that I had, but the season is over. It would have been nice to be in the playoffs, but we're not going to be there, so we'll just wait till next year and try to make things happen for the Queen City."
Phillips entered Tuesday's game batting .300 with 18 homers, 14 stolen bases and 82 RBIs. He is in the final guaranteed year of a four-year, $27 million contract and has a $12 million club option for 2012 that carries a $1 million buyout. He met with his agents during the day on Tuesday, and then arrived with them at the corner of Broadway and Fourth Street in a large black SUV.
Before leaving, Phillips reiterated what's on his mind. When asked if he expects a contract extension to be an offseason topic, he smiled and said:
"I hope so. I hope so. If not, I just got to go where I need to go, where I'm wanted, and make things happen for the next club. But if it does, I'll be very happy to be in the Queen City and make things happen and bring a championship there."
Phillips was definitely in his element at the Fan Cave, a place built around social media. He chose to autograph the home plate that features the band name "LMFAO" in big letters and the signatures of its two leaders who visited last month, RedFoo and SkyBlu. Phillips not only signed his name but also his Twitter handle of "DatDudeBP" and then he wrote next to it: "Your boy is in the Cave and on deck."
Phillips definitely was the only one of the 100 or so players visiting the Fan Cave this year who actually took a picture of his own autograph. A tweet is always a consideration.
How much has Twitter changed Phillips' approach to life the past year? The full extent may surprise you a little.
"It changed a lot," he said. "I let a lot of people know what type of person I really am. I got to meet a lot of new friends and a lot of Twitter winners coming to support me. Just the social media in general was probably the biggest thing to happen to me. Honestly, I really think the year I had was because of Twitter, because it kept me focused and kept me motivated to go out there and play well for the fans.
"Just reaching out to fans in general. The best thing that happened to me this year was going to a Little League kid's game. Just making his life, and he made my life also, because when I went out there. It really showed me why I play this game."
On his way to Citi Field, Phillips tweeted a few pics from his Cave visit, one he snuck in just before the Reds were to shut it all down a day later.
"I enjoyed myself," he said. "Fan Cave was not what I expected. It was even better than I expected. To have them watch all the games and have this room turn into a Cave ... if you've never been here, you need to come see it. It's a must see."