So Long, Steve Phillips

Word on the sports street is that ESPN finally axed Steve Phillips, ersatz baseball analyst and former GM of the Mets, for his sexual indiscretions with a production assistant. (Hat tip to Nick from Across the Pond for sending this along)  Phillips publicly acknowledged the affair gone awry when the woman, Brooke Hundley aged 22 (less than half Phillips’s age), began harassing Phillips’s wife in “Fatal Attraction” fashion, with letters and phone calls ridiculing her for allegedly having no motivation in life–other than raising the family’s four children and tolerating her husband’s previous history of philandering, of course. ESPN described the termination as follows:

“Steve Phillips is no longer working for ESPN,” network spokesman Josh Krulewitz said in a statement. “His ability to be an effective representative for ESPN has been significantly and irreparably damaged, and it became evident it was time to part ways.”

Duh.

What took them so long?  In fact, one has to wonder how it is that Phillips ever stayed on at ESPN as long as he did.  Goodness knows the purported sports news network appeared ready to ditch him before, considering their airing endless bouts of his GM tryouts during the long afternoons of sparse summer programming in 2006.  Remember those?  Ahh yes, Phillips and his smug mug infesting America’s airwaves even more than usual with his and the network’s televised games of pretend, with Phillips on a dais posing as a GM of a different professional team each day, and real reporters with actual jobs to do and leads to follow forced to divert their energies and lug clipboards with insipid questions to these poorly contrived dog-and-idiot shows to query some has-been about what he would do in fictitious situations should he ever hold a GM job again. What a colossal waste.

So was Phillips and his interminable anti-Yankees bias, fondness of the Mets, and blather about batters’ and pitchers’ techniques as if he ever knew or evaluated those well.  If nothing else, this gives ESPN an opportunity to move someone actually informed into the “Baseball Tonight” studio to balance out Kruk’s drooling broadsides, and Gammons’s oft-informed but pro-Boston soliloquies.  I wouldn’t mind Herschiser there, but he does fine during games.  I also don’t mind Winfield and Perez, but don’t think they add a lot of substance.  Winfield in particular needs to loosen up a bit, though he is likable and knows hitting and fielding inside and out.  I think Steve Stone might be a good choice, but he has become ensconced in the Chicago market covering the White Sox, a real coup for them.  Suggestions, anyone?  I also think that the network’s broadcasting crews should have just two people, which is plenty and would minimize the blather that charlatans like Phillips routinely belched.

Back to Phillips.  Initially I refrained from commenting on this for a few reasons.  One is that I have been very busy with work lately.  Another is that I genuinely feel that such personal matters are best left alone, particularly when families are involved.  I said the same about Sarah Palin’s daughter’s early pregnancy, feeling that regardless of my detesting Palin for tons of valid reasons, that had nothing to do with such a family matter.  In a related way, I feel for Phillips’s wife, who is now divorcing his worthless hide.  Deservedly so, especially since she already stuck with him when he habitually pulled his extracurricular nonsense when he was GM with the Mets.

But now that there is some finality to Phillips’s career, at least at ESPN, I feel that I can say without reservation that Phillips was one of the most loathsome figures ESPN ever had–maybe why they kept him on, to gin up activity even if it was negative toward him and his nonsense.  What an insufferable hack, practically worthless except for perhaps allowing the tendentious pronouncements he disgorged to serve as an object lesson of how not to be a good analyst at ESPN.

Good riddance, Steve.

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Published in: on October 26, 2009 at 3:56 pm  Leave a Comment  

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