The Comeback Kid: Brandon Phillips

The Cincinnati Reds' star second baseman tweets to win fans and make the game feel personal for them.

Home Base: Cincinnati
Year He Started Tweeting: 2011
Power Stat: He has attracted 210,000 Twitter followers in just over a year.
The 2010 MLB season was a rough one for Brandon Phillips. Though he won his second Golden Glove, his image took a beating. On his way to St. Louis, the Reds second baseman called the Cardinals "little bitches," which led to a brawl clearing both dugouts. Instead of shutting his mouth, to reconnect with his audience Phillips turned to Twitter in January 2011 at the urging of his sister and his buddy Chad Ochocinco. Now not only does @DatDudeBP opine about road food and Coming to America, he also really interacts with his 210,000 followers. He holds contests and flies winners to games; when he had a rare night off last season, he attended a Little League game at a 14-year-old Twitter fan's request. "Going to that game was probably one of the best things that ever happened," he says. "Just the way he was acting around me. I know people love me because of baseball, but to love me as a person—that right there said a lot."
*@DatDudeBP tweeted: #DamnShame My lil bruh @404pete brought this
#Sandlot ball out here to long toss with!!!*
Why this whole Twitter thing means something: "Instead of me doing Twitter for personal reasons, I do it for my fans. I do giveaways to treat them well because they show me nothing but love. I feel like they're my family. It's a responsibility. There are not a lot of baseball players able to do that because we play every day. And I think that a lot of people don't have the time—or, really, take the time—to speak to their fans."
What apps he's into besides Twitter: "I use the ADT app for my security. I use the app. YouTube—I use that all the time. I just got into the Skype thing. I'm a late bloomer. I play Angry Birds all the time. I'm a simple person, really."
How he deals with being on the road: "I love the Food Network because I travel so much. They show you restaurants you should try, and I say, 'Okay, let me write this down, so when I go to different cities, I can try it out.' And I love Bobby Flay. I love Bobby Flay."
Click through for Phillips' Favorite Twitter Accounts to Follow >>
Brandon Phillips Shares His 10 Favorites to Follow
Since joining Twitter last winter, Phillips has amassed more than 200,000 followers and used it to rehab his image—after a 2010 season that included a brawl with just about every person involved with the Cardinals organization—140 characters at a time. These are the 10 people he's following when not posting himself.
1. Buster Olney, senior baseball writer at ESPN The Magazine
2. Jeremy Guthrie, pitcher for the Baltimore Orioles
3. Nelly
4. Chad Ochocinco, wide receiver for the New England Patriots
5. Louis Vuitton
6. Matt Kemp, outfielder for the Los Angeles Dodgers
7. Nick Lachey
8. Tom Cruise (and team)
9. Justin Upton, right fielder for the Arizona Diamondbacks
10. Steven Ward, host of VH1's Tough Love
.@Details unveiled its 12 social mavericks of 2012 ( who do you think is the ultimate #SocialMaverick?
— DETAILS (@DETAILS) February 16, 2012
See more Social Mavericks

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