Originally posted on Fox Sports Ohio  |  Last updated 2/22/12
GOODYEAR Brandon Phillips wasted no time putting his body to a supreme test shortly after his arrival at spring training camp late Wednesday morning. The star Cincinnati Reds second baseman put on his game pants, hiked them to just below his knees, and attacked Krause Hill. Krause Hill, named after strength and conditioning coach Matt Krause, is a 12-degree grassy knoll next to the clubhouse and rises to what appears to be the highest point in Goodyear. Phillips sprinted up it at least a dozen times at full speed and when he finished he was not only not gasping for air, he wasnt even breathing hard. That hill seems to be easier than the other hill he is trying to climb an extension on the contract that expires after this seasons 12 million year. Phillips, though, is making no demands, setting no deadlines and is not raising his voice as he talks about it. Im not trying to break the bank or nothing like that, he said. I dont want no Prince Fielder money, nothing like that (9 years, 214 million). I just want to be within what other second basemen are asking for. General Manager Walt Jocketty stated that the Reds "are interested in continuing talks and hope to do so this spring." Atlantas Dan Uggla was signed to a five-year 62 million deal and Chase Utley has a seven-year 85 million contract with Philadelphia. Through it all, Phillips is being the good soldier. He did say he wishes it were all behind him, that he was signed, sealed and ready to deliver for the next few years. Of course I hoped it would be over with by now, he said. I hoped Id be coming to camp signed. But it is what it is. All Im going to do is go out there and play as best as I can and do what is best for the team. My day will come, he added. Ill let my agent and the Reds take care of it. I would have liked to have it worked out, but it didnt work out that way. I just want to be in MY city. They took me in. I have a house here and everything. So lets hope it all turns out. Phillips says he hasnt heard anything for a while, For so long that I cant remember, it has been that long. Asked if his agent and the Reds would talk during the season, Phillips said, I heard my agent would try to talk to them again during spring training. I dont know if it is true or not, but he said hell try and hopefully theyll get some things done. This is still where I want to b I like what they did with the team and now all we have to do is go out there and win and get things done, he said. Phillips said he wont shut it down, wont say, Its a distraction. I wont talk during the season. Said Phillips, To tell the truth, not really. I dont see myself saying that. I always love to hear what they have to say and Im not going to let it bother me. Theyll talk to my agent more than myself and my agent will bring it to me. Ill just be worried about going out there and catching the ball and hitting the ball. Thats my job. And his job will be to bat leadoff after the Reds failed to make any move that might bring a leadoff hitter to the club and permit Phillips to bat in his preferred No. 2 slot. Ive worked with my dad and my brother to get ready for spring training, he said. I pushed myself hard. Im just happy to be around the team, my second family. I prepared more last year to be a leadoff hitter than I did this year, he said. I know what it takes to be the best leadoff hitter I can be and Ill go out there and do it my way, try to make things happen for the team. Leadoff? Im looking forward to it.
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