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Sunday, April 20, 2014

Raissman: After cheating scandal, former Mets GM Steve Phillips back calling the shots

As a Met fan used to tell me…“It wasn’t just us…he Bordicked everybody.”

When he walks the streets of Manhattan he sees faces staring back at him. Phillips wonders what they are thinking, good, bad, or indifferent. “But what they are thinking,” Phillips said, “says more about them than it does about me.”

The nature of sportstalk radio, and the media in general, requires commentators to pass judgment — quickly — on athletes who find themselves in trouble. Whether it be for drugs, alcohol, spousal abuse or other close encounters with the law. His own problems give Phillips a different perspective.

“When somebody says ‘That guy’s a scumbag,’ I don’t go there. I look at it from the point of the brokenness of the athlete, like Aldon Smith, or the executive, like Jim Irsay, as opposed to ‘How stupid is that guy?’” Phillips said. “Why would Irsay put everything he has at risk? Yet people do because of the sickness, or the illness or the problems they have.”

This ain’t no movie. There is no real drama involved here. No melodramatic crap about Phillips, behind the SXM microphone, flashing back to his own past when he engages in debate over sports’ next problem child. The past can creep back into his mind at any time. He needs to stay one step ahead of it.

“For anybody who has addiction issues, shame is a major part of that addicting process. So I’ve had to surrender that part of it thinking about, living in some part of shame,” Phillips said. “... I don’t go there. The goal for me now is to take what I have in my life and make the best possible day I can. If that is the morning radio show that’s great. If it’s having the great opportunity to broadcast Mets games, what a gift that is.”

...Maybe Phillips was lucky he got caught, embarrassed, and forced to attempt to change his life rather than maintaining success while living life in the shadows.

“As painful as all of this was for everybody, I would not trade where I am today to get back any job I had previously or any amount of money I had previously. I had issues. I was never happy,” Phillips said. “I wouldn’t trade my health and sobriety (from sex addiction) to get back any job from my past. I just wouldn’t go back to it.”

This is what makes Steve Phillips run so hard.

In the opposite direction.

Repoz Posted: April 20, 2014 at 05:12 AM | 8 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: mets

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   1. Arbitol Dijaler Posted: April 20, 2014 at 10:39 AM (#4689560)
I think the main issue with Phillips' infidelity was that the girl was so homely. I guess she was there, which is always worth something.
   2. spike Posted: April 20, 2014 at 11:11 AM (#4689568)
As was said at the time, the whole thing was emblematic of Phillips' inability to recognize young talent.
   3. JE (Jason) Posted: April 20, 2014 at 12:16 PM (#4689599)
As was said at the time, the whole thing was emblematic of Phillips' inability to recognize young talent.

And still worth a Primey.
   4. billyshears Posted: April 20, 2014 at 12:27 PM (#4689610)
I was not aware the the term sober/sobriety could be used in this context.
   5. spike Posted: April 20, 2014 at 12:56 PM (#4689632)
The trend of any bad behavior now being the result of an "illness" instead of, well, bad behavior, is just stomach turning. The type of person who engages in this sort of behavior is the same type to avoid responsibility and hide behind "sex addition" instead of "being a selfish prick" as the root cause.
   6. greenback votes nefariously Posted: April 20, 2014 at 01:07 PM (#4689636)
"sex addition"

Probably a typo, but I don't want to know.
   7. The District Attorney Posted: April 20, 2014 at 01:11 PM (#4689638)
I kind of think the opposite, that as we understand the brain more, we're going to find out that more and more things really are an "illness" -- in the sense of having a physiological explanation, anyway. Now, 500 years from now, you will of course still never need the anti-alcoholism drug if you never drink any alcohol. But I do betcha we'll have that drug.

All that said, brain chemistry is presumably above Steve Phillips' pay grade. If this really was a problem that was ruining his life, and if framing the problem in this manner has helped him get past it, then he should keep doing that. The important thing is to solve the problem.
   8. valuearbitrageur Posted: April 20, 2014 at 01:59 PM (#4689664)
The key thing to point out here is that ESPN should know that Kevin Towers will soon be available for the same gig, and he's a very safe pick, as his boner is exclusively reserved for veteran talent.

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