Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Steve Phillips has only been on Sunday Night Baseball for two short months, and already he's causing Sports writers around the country conniptions. Both SI and the NY Daily News to umbrage with a recent Phillips exchange with Joe Morgan on Carlos Beltran, and both writers of the pieces (Joe Posnanski and Bob Raissman) took Steve to task....
Posnanski: My point is not to say that Carlos Beltran is above criticism. My point is to say that ... well, yeah, at the moment, Carlos Beltran is above criticism. Are you kidding me? A brilliant defensive center fielder who hits, hits with power, steals bases, runs the bases, draws walks ... and this year, so far, he's hitting .367. Is he perfect? Of course not. But if you want to judge him by certain criteria ... well, hey, wait a minute, here's some criteria right here, courtesy of Steve Phillips himself (quotes from this insightful article from the typically insightful Ted Berg):This has always been the case with Steve Phillips. He never seems to think about what he's said in the past, then just shoots off at the mouth and contradicts himself. That being said, trying to slide into a spot in between a duo that has been together for 20 years, can't be easy. Hopefully Phillips can find his way, but it's not looking good for the trio.
"That guy who's a good base runner, a good defender, doesn't give up at-bats, gets the hit when you need the hit, drives in a run when you need the run, always seems to be in the right position. I think the good teams have that guy ... that singular flawless player that in every aspect of the game, lead."
Raismann: "After Phillips said Reyes and David Wright are part of the Mets long-term solution, he suggested that GM Omar Minaya (he referred to Minaya as "they") might want to start thinking if Carlos Beltran has a future with the Mets. For "the $17-plus million they have invested in him," Phillips wondered if the Mets were getting enough "game-winning plays" in return.
"I definitely would disagree," Morgan said. "You want more from Beltran, but you can't deny he's put up the numbers."
In all this back-and-forth, Phillips showed no spine. No one is suggesting that these debates should be taken to an extreme. Nonetheless, every time Morgan shot down Phillips there was little response. Phillips needs to counter-punch. That would make the television more compelling.
Defending Carlos Beltran from the Steve Phillips screwdriver (SI)
Steve Phillips Leaves Bat On Shoulder In ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball Booth (NY Daily News)