Le Anne Schreiber, ESPN’s Ombudsman, this week covers a recent, rather shocking on-air admission by ESPN baseball analyst and former New York Mets General Manager Steve Phillips.
During an Outside The Lines report, Phillips talked about a player he had signed when he was general manager of the Mets. The player’s performance dipped once he joined the team, and Phillips was told “the cause was the player’s going off amphetamines.
“dear God, will somebody please get him back on those? That’s the truth, and I say it with some sense of shame and responsibility.”
Schreiber lauded Phillips for his honesty, and we second the notion. Phillips has always been one of ESPN’s best when it comes to the combo of candor and on-field breakdown.
Guys like Phillips give us a reason to watch ESPN. Guys like Steve Lavin don’t. The reason? Phillips obviously doesn’t much care about working in baseball again, and is willing to reveal things in the game that will probably prevent him from getting a job in the industry in the future.
Meanwhile, Lavin is obviously still hoping to secure a coaching job, so he gives you nothing. Not to mention, he’s additionally inept at in-game analyses. Unless you call lobbing innumerable cliches at the viewer during the telecast insightful analysis.
That’s also why we have no regard for bringing in current coaches for March Madness on-air breakdowns. There’s an underlying agenda there. With Phillips, there obviously isn’t.