This hasn’t been a good week for former Mets GM Steve Phillips. His wooden performances on ESPN’s mock press conferences as the mythical GM of the Red Sox, Yankees, Cubs, Dodgers and inexplicably “MLB GM” have been panned far and wide — and when the likes of Will Leitch are saying you look stupid, well, it’s probably time to check yourself.
On a far more serious tip, however, is Phillips’ comments in the most recent issue of ESPN The Magazine, which have the New York Daily News’ Bob Raissman questioning the exec-turned-actor’s credibility. (link courtesy Repoz and Baseball Think Factory)
While there are few revelations in the piece – it’s corned beef re-hash, so to speak – there is a segment headlined “The Executive,” in which Phillips says that in 1987, while playing for a Mets minor league team in Mississippi, he saw one of his teammates shooting another up with some form of steroid.
Phillips tells the magazine that in 1994, when he was Mets GM, he suspected some players were on the juice. So concerned was Phillips he had some players tested. When the “first of several players flunked,” Phillips “handled it internally.” The story goes on to paint Phillips as someone whose hands were tied on the steroids issue because other – more pressing – baseball matters took precedence.
It’s not surprising Phillips went public with all this in ESPN The Magazine. Phillips’ concern about steroids now has a price tag attached. After all, Phillips never put a public spotlight on steroid abuse in baseball when he was Mets GM.
Nor did he express any outrage for the impact juice was having on the game immediately after he was fired. Only now, when he is picking up a paycheck from ESPN, does Phillips feel motivated to go public.