By Paul Daugherty

DatDude BP rolls in from the players parking lot, shades down, ballcap backward on his mop of hair, a hairstyle he refers to as “my dirty tennis ball.” The SUV he requested from the rental company was not available, so they gave him a pickup truck instead. It’s a decidedly un-DatDude ride. “I’m cruising around in a Fred Sanford,” he says. “Lookin’ like Redd Foxx.”

In a few hours, Brandon Phillips will stand by a fence at the Reds complex, and happily sign autographs until the seekers have had their fill. Phillips is at his off-field best in these moments. Smiling, happy, fully engaged.

He says he is two people now: Brandon and DatDude. The Twitter-verse has allowed for that distinction. The line is clear.

Brandon, Phillips explains, “is humble. He’s laid back and respectful, and don’t think he’s better than nobody. A misunderstood guy,” is how Brandon describes Brandon. “A private person.”

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