Steve Phillips

Steve Phillips
Born Stephen Francis Phillips
May 18, 1963 (1963-05-18) (age 48)
Residence Wilton, Connecticut
Alma mater University of Michigan
Occupation Baseball analyst, executive
Years active Since 1990
Employer SIRIUS XM Radio (current), Fanhouse.com (current), ESPN (prior), New York Mets (prior)
Known for General manager of the New York Mets
Spouse Marni Phillips (separated)

Steve Phillips (born on May 18, 1963) is a former American baseball analyst for ESPN and baseball executive. He served as the general manager of the New York Mets from 19972003. He worked as a baseball analyst for ESPN from 2005 until his dismissal on October 25, 2009 after admitting to having sex multiple times with a production assistant at the network.[1]

Contents

Early life

Phillips was offered a football scholarship to Northwestern University after high school - he even signed a letter of intent - but opted instead to sign a professional baseball contract after being drafted by the Metropolitans. Phillips attended De La Salle Collegiate High School in Detroit, Michigan, and later earned a psychology degree from the University of Michigan during baseball's offseasons.

Phillips' family has a legacy in the history of baseball families. His great grandfather, Horatio Phillips, was the General Manager of the New York Nine who played the New York Knickerbockers in Hoboken, N.J. in the first officially recognized game of baseball in 1846. Thus, the legend of the Phillips family was born.

Steve's grandfather played with the legendary Ty Cobb when he was a member of the Philadelphia Athletics and actually played catch with Ty before each game. Baseball lore tells us that it was Crazy Legs Phillips who taught Ty how to slide with his cleats up into second base.

Mr. Phillip's father was a member of the 1947 Brooklyn Dodgers and shared a room with the legendary Jackie Robinson. It is believed that Mr. Phillips dabbled in song writing and actually wrote a song for Jackie's wife (Mrs. Robinson) early in his career. It never "caught on."

Steve Phillips continued the legacy of his family throughout his career and still provides great insight and analysis of baseball of the highest level each morning on Sirius Radio.

New York Mets

He joined the Mets' front office in 1990, was named director of minor league operations on October 2, 1991, was promoted to general manager on July 16, 1997, and was fired by chief operating officer Fred Wilpon on June 12, 2003 after a 29–35 start to the season. The Mets replaced him with assistant GM Jim Duquette on an interim basis.[2][3]

In the late 1990s, Phillips assembled a Mets team made up of stars, such as Al Leiter, Mike Piazza, and Robin Ventura, and excellent role players, that played in the 2000 World Series against the New York Yankees. He is also credited with drafting David Wright, Scott Kazmir, and Lastings Milledge, and signing José Reyes. Additionally, Phillips is criticized for acquiring aging and ineffective players with large contracts such as Mo Vaughn, Roberto Alomar, Pedro Astacio, Mike Bordick, Bobby Bonilla, Rickey Henderson, Kenny Rogers, and Jeromy Burnitz. He had an uneasy, if not volatile relationship with manager Bobby Valentine, and when Phillips decided to fire Valentine before the 2003 season, many expected the GM to be next. He traded future star, Jason Bay, and also attempted to trade star shortstop José Reyes to the Cleveland Indians.[4]

Phillips is often erroneously blamed for trading Kazmir to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays for Victor Zambrano on the July 31, 2004 trade deadline. Kazmir went on to become an All Star, while Zambrano never made an impact with the Mets and was out of major league baseball a few years later. It was, however, Jim Duquette, Phillips' successor, who made the deal.

Harassment allegations

For a brief stint in 1998, Phillips took a leave of absence as general manager because of allegations of sexual harassment. He admitted to consensual sex with the woman, Rosa Rodriguez,[5] who filed the suit, as well as multiple other affairs, but denied harassment and the civil suit was settled out of court. Phillips was away from the team for a total of eight days. The Mets defended Phillips privately and publicly, and the alleged victim's attorney was even quoted as believing in his sincerity.[6]

As an ESPN analyst

Phillips was hired as a baseball analyst for ESPN prior to the 2005 baseball season, and was a regular on the nightly programs Baseball Tonight and SportsCenter. He primarily served as a game analyst during Wednesday Night Baseball telecasts through 2008, moving to the Sunday Night Baseball booth the following season. He also served as an analyst on Monday Night Baseball.

As an analyst he was critical of the Cincinnati Reds Rule 5 Draft acquisition, Josh Hamilton, stating that Hamilton, who had walked away from the game because of substance abuse issues, was being given the chance to make the major league team (through the Rule 5 draft) without spending the time in the minor leagues which the other players had, thus sending the wrong message to those players.[7]

On September 2, 2009, Phillips' wife of 19 years, Marni, filed for divorce.[8]

On October 21, 2009 Phillips revealed that he had been involved in an affair with a 22-year-old ESPN production assistant.[9]

After an initial suspension by ESPN, Phillips was fired by the company on October 25, 2009.[10]

Career After ESPN

In April, 2010, Phillips began doing a weekly baseball segment on WFAN New York, with afternoon host, Mike Francesa to be done throughout the baseball season. Around the MLB trade deadline, Phillips co-hosted a few three hour radio shows on the station as well.[11]

Career With Mad Dog Radio

Beginning October 4th, 2010, Phillips joined the cast of the Mad Dog Radio channel, SIRIUS XM Radio, as the co-host of the "Gary & Phillips In the Morning Show" with Gary Williams.[12] After Williams' departure to NBC to host the Golf Channel's morning show, Phillips' co-host was Dan Graca on an interim basis. Currently, Phillips is co-host of "Evan and Phillips" with Evan Cohen. in the same morning time slot.

Video games

Phillips is a color commentator in Major League Baseball 2K9, Major League Baseball 2K10 and Major League Baseball 2K11.

References

  1. ^ "Phillips let go by network," ESPN.com, Sunday, October 25, 2009.
  2. ^ Stark, Jayson (June 13, 2003). "Phillips fired with Mets mired in last place". ESPN.com. http://static.espn.go.com/mlb/news/2003/0612/1566963.html. Retrieved October 24, 2009. 
  3. ^ "New York Mets -- Named Steve Phillips director ...". Baltimore Sun. October 2, 1991. http://articles.baltimoresun.com/1991-10-02/sports/1991275085_1_pittsburgh-penguins-phillies-jerrod-mustaf. Retrieved November 13, 2011. 
  4. ^ "The Indians Missed the Boat On Jose Reyes". mlb.fanhouse.com. March 12, 2007. http://mlb.fanhouse.com/2007/03/12/the-indians-missed-the-boat-on-jose-reyes/. Retrieved October 24, 2009. 
  5. ^ Mokha, Kavita; Siemaszko, Corky (October 23, 2009). "A love mistress of Steve Phillips Rosa Rodriguez who slept with then-Mets GM in 1998, resurfaces". Daily News (New York). http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/2009/10/23/2009-10-23_meet_another_phillips_love_mistress.html. 
  6. ^ Williams, Lena (November 26, 1998). "BASEBALL; Mets Settle Claim of Harassment". The New York Times. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9503E7DD1539F935A15752C1A96E958260&n=Top%2fReference%2fTimes%20Topics%2fSubjects%2fS%2fSexual%20Harassment. Retrieved October 24, 2009. 
  7. ^ Phillips, Steve (March 9, 2007). "There's another side to Hamilton story". ESPN.com. http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/spring2007/columns/story?columnist=phillips_steve&id=2792089. Retrieved October 24, 2009. 
  8. ^ Phillips Divorce Complaint. New York Post, October 21, 2009
  9. ^ McShane, Larry (October 22, 2009). "Jilted mistress, 22, may cost Steve Phillips, ESPN analyst & ex-Mets GM, his career". NYDailyNews.com. http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/2009/10/21/2009-10-21_steve_phillips_espn_analyst_and_former_mets_general_manager_rocked_by_affair_gon.html. Retrieved October 24, 2009. 
  10. ^ "Steve Phillips Fired By ESPN". http://deadspin.com/5389689/steve-phillips-fired-by-espn?skyline=true&s=x. Retrieved 2009-10-26. 
  11. ^ "Phillips to do weekly segment on WFAN - ESPN, Baseball". http://ballhype.com/story/phillips-to-do-weekly-segment-on-wfan/. Retrieved 2010-07-11. 
  12. ^ "Steve Phillips Joins SIRIUS XM's All-Sports Mad Dog Radio Channel" PR Newswire, 30 September 2010. Retrieved 5 October 2010.

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