|Born||Stephen Francis Phillips
May 18, 1963
|Alma mater||University of Michigan|
|Occupation||Baseball analyst, executive|
|Employer||SIRIUS XM Radio (current), Fanhouse.com (current), ESPN (prior), New York Mets (prior)|
|Known for||General manager of the New York Mets, baseball analyst|
|Spouse(s)||Marni Phillips (separated)|
Stephen Phillips (born 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 1997 through 2003. 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.
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 New York Mets. 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 was drafted by the New York Mets in the 1981 amateur draft. From 1981 to 1987, he played for six different minor league teams in the Mets and Detroit Tigers organizations. Playing mostly as a second baseman and shortstop, Phillips batted .250 with 22 home runs and 215 RBI in 618 games.
New York Mets executive
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 executive 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.
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.
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, his successor as GM, Jim Duquette and Jeff Wilpon who made the deal.
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, 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.
Phillips was hired as a baseball color 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.
Firing from ESPN
On September 2, 2009, Phillips' wife of 19 years, Marni, filed for divorce.
On October 21, 2009 Phillips revealed that he had been involved in an affair with a 22-year-old ESPN production assistant. After an initial suspension by ESPN, Phillips was fired by the company on October 25, 2009.
Career after ESPN
In April 2010, Phillips began contributing a weekly baseball segment on WFAN New York, with afternoon host Mike Francesa, scheduled to continue through baseball season. Around the MLB trade deadline, Phillips co-hosted a few three hour radio shows on the station as well.
On October 4, 2010, Phillips joined the cast of the Mad Dog Radio channel on SIRIUS XM Radio as the co-host of the "Gary & Phillips In the Morning Show" with Gary Williams. After Williams' departure to NBC to host the Golf Channel's morning show, Dan Graca served as Phillips' co-host on an interim basis. Later, Phillips co-hosted "Evan and Phillips" with Evan Cohen in the same morning time slot.
On October 31, 2014, Phillips announced on the air that he was leaving the Mad Dog Radio Network for a position with MLB network. Phillips cited a motivating factor for the move to be a 20 year contract from MLB network.
- "Phillips let go by network," ESPN.com, Sunday, October 25, 2009.
- "Steve Phillips Minor League Statistics & History". baseball-reference.com. Retrieved December 11, 2011.
- Stark, Jayson (June 13, 2003). "Phillips fired with Mets mired in last place". ESPN.com. Retrieved October 24, 2009.
- "New York Mets -- Named Steve Phillips director ...". Baltimore Sun. October 2, 1991. Retrieved November 13, 2011.
- "The Indians Missed the Boat On Jose Reyes". mlb.fanhouse.com. March 12, 2007. Retrieved October 24, 2009.
- 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).[dead link]
- Williams, Lena (November 26, 1998). "BASEBALL; Mets Settle Claim of Harassment". The New York Times. Retrieved October 24, 2009.
- Phillips, Steve (March 9, 2007). "There's another side to Hamilton story". ESPN.com. Retrieved October 24, 2009.
- Phillips Divorce Complaint. October 21, 2009
- McShane, Larry (October 22, 2009). "Jilted mistress, 22, may cost Steve Phillips, ESPN analyst & ex-Mets GM, his career". NYDailyNews.com. Retrieved October 24, 2009.[dead link]
- "Steve Phillips Fired By ESPN". Retrieved 2009-10-26.
- "Phillips to do weekly segment on WFAN - ESPN, Baseball". Retrieved 2010-07-11.[dead link]
- "Steve Phillips Joins SIRIUS XM's All-Sports Mad Dog Radio Channel" PR Newswire, 30 September 2010. Retrieved 5 October 2010.
- "Carrino, Quis to call Angels baseball". staatalent.com. 2012-05-15.
- "Steve Phillips - Detail - TSN". Retrieved August 19, 2015.
- Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference (Minors)
|New York Mets General Manager