09/18/12 11:51 PM ET
Barney, Phillips put defensive rivalry on display
By Carrie Muskat / MLB.com
"Really? That's cool, that's nice," Phillips said of Barney's stretch, which long ago passed Ryne Sandberg's previous NL record of 123 games.
"I've been too busy winning," Phillips said. "I worry about myself and this team. If you don't play for the Reds, I don't worry about you."
But Phillips, who has won the top defensive award three of the last four years, did help Barney in Spring Training, talking to the Cubs infielder about the position and offering a few tips.
"I think they're very different second basemen," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. "We all know how flashy Phillips is. To go along with the flash, he backs it up and does a great job at second base. Barney is more traditional, fundamental, not as flashy. He still gets the job done as well -- as well as anybody has in a single season."
These next three games, the two will go head to head. Keep an eye on them.
"Barney wants to show him, and [Phillips] wants to show he's the reigning Gold Glove guy," Sveum said. "That's just part of competition and playing against the other guy at your position."
Phillips had a streak of 85 errorless games this season, and entered Tuesday's game with five errors in 134 games. Barney led the National League in fielding percentage and had made one error in 142 games.
"The majority of my errors have been on plays that normally second basemen don't get to," Phillips said. "I don't worry about that type of stuff. All I can do is go out and catch the ball and try to be the best second baseman I can be.
"Everybody knows I'm the best defensive second baseman. I say errors don't mean you're a good defensive second baseman, it just means you get to the balls you get to. If I didn't have any range, I wouldn't make any errors the whole year."
Wrigley Field's infield can be rough on players, and Phillips acknowledged it's a tough place to play.
"This is a good infield when it wants to be," Phillips said. "It just depends on whether the grounds crew waters it or not. It really depends on the day."
"When you're playing on a field that's not as wetted down as most of the other fields are, it's more difficult to get the hops and still make the plays," he said.
Sveum has made it clear Barney deserves the Gold Glove this year, saying the second baseman can change a game with a defensive play. He'll get an argument from Phillips. The Reds second baseman thinks he'll win another trophy.
"I feel like I should," Phillips said. "I feel the Gold Glove is mine to stay until somebody beats me to it."
Barney did not make a miscue on Tuesday and now has played 1,745 1/3 innings without an error. He's closing in on the Major League record of 141 consecutive errorless games at second base, set by Placido Polanco in 2007 with the Tigers.
"I don't think about it, I try not to," Barney said about winning a Gold Glove. "It's out of my hands at this point. I don't even know who votes for that. I just try to play clean and take care of business and get ready to play every day.
"He's the best," Barney said of Phillips. "He's one of those guys who is fun to watch out there. If I were to happen to take that from him somehow, it'd be pretty cool. Right now, he's the former Gold Glover, not me."
DeJesus named Cubs' nominee for Clemente Award
CHICAGO -- Outfielder David DeJesus was named the Cubs' nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award mainly because of his wife, Kimberly.
A high school friend of Kimberly DeJesus was diagnosed with ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease), which motivated the couple to raise money and awareness. In July, the DeJesus' combined to lead a drive for ALS Day at Wrigley Field, and raised more than $28,000 for the ALS Association, Greater Chicago Chapter.
Their efforts earned David the nominee for the award, established by Major League Baseball to honor Clemente's legacy and to officially recognize local club nominees. The annual award recognizes a MLB player who best represents the game of baseball through positive contributions on and off the field, including sportsmanship and community involvement. The award is named for the 15-time MLB All-Star and Hall of Famer who died in a plane crash on New Year's Eve 1972 while attempting to deliver supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua.
DeJesus also has been supportive of Chicago Cubs charities, especially the Cubs' RBI program (Reviving Baseball in the Inner Cities).
He was active with teammates Ryan Dempster and Kerry Wood and their respective foundations this year, and also helped his former teammate Zack Greinke buy toothpaste, hand towels, combs, shampoo and other everyday items to send to victims of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti as part of Heart to Heart International.
DeJesus has participated as a spokesperson for Guadalupe Centers Inc., an organization that aims to improve the lives of Latinos in the Kansas City community.
On Tuesday, Dusty Baker managed his 3,000th game. His career includes 1,556 games as manager of the Giants, 648 with the Cubs and now 796 for the Reds.
"We do a lot of these jobs to get fired sometimes or let go, but to be around for 3,000 games on a few different teams, it's one of the more impressive things," said Chicago manager Dale Sveum, who managed his 160th game on Tuesday. "There's not too many people it happens to."
Baker ranks 19th on the all-time list in terms of games managed and is second among active managers behind the Tigers' Jim Leyland, who has managed 3,321 games. Former Cubs and Reds skipper Lou Piniella is 13th on the all-time list, having managed 3,548 games.
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.