Freelance Journalist

PHILLIPS, VAN WAGENEN AND THE ‘BASEBALL GODS’

P

Truth be told, I have never been a big fan of former New York Mets general manager Steve Phillips; not so much how he operated the franchise during his tenure (1997-2003), but more of how he managed his personal life.

But, again, who am I to judge his character? I have made poor choices too. So, let’s just talk baseball, shall we?

Phillips was back in the New York sports news this weekend, when he was asked to measure up first-time GM Brodie Van Wagenen’s performance to date. Appearing on XM Radio, Phillips offered the Mets GM a piece of advice — from a guy who has been-there-done-that in New York (1997-2003), with the same team (Mets), with the same owners (Wilpon), in a similar situation (1999).

This spring, when Phillips heard Van Wagenen tell the baseball world “come get us” he immediately thought: rookie mistake. The former Mets GM may be close to 20 years removed from the day-to-day duties of being a major league general manager — and the game has changed significantly since the late 90’s — but Phillips offered some sage advice: “under-promise and over-deliver (rather) than over-promise and under-deliver.”

“It was like, ‘nooooo, don’t say that’ because I just know how this goes. The baseball gods just have a funny way of just bringing us to our knees. I don’t think him saying that affected the way the team has played, but I think it did affect the expectations that everyone had. Now that it’s not happening the natural inclination is, ‘OK, who are we going to blame for this?’  “It makes it easier for the GM to fire the manager because he’s not ‘my guy.’  You don’t have collateral in the relationship as much you would if it’s your selection. ”

In my experience I have come to realize that the greatest wisdom comes from our mistakes. We don’t learn from success like we do from a gaffe. Why? Because of our egos. Failure hurts; it’s sometimes shameful. We don’t want to repeat it — ever. But we are human, and we will, and we do and we are better, wiser and stronger.

Those scars that allow us to share our experiences with humility to the next generation. For that, I appreciate Phillips. I hope Van Wagenen will too.

FAN REACTION ON TWITTER

EMAIL ALERTS
I agree to have my personal information transfered to MailChimp ( more information )
Thank you for visiting my website! If you enjoyed what you've read, I hope you will consider signing up for email alerts. I will send you an email when new content is posted.
We hate spam. Your email address will not be sold or shared with anyone else.

About the author

John Strubel

Hi. My name is John Strubel. I am a storyteller. I love to write. My writing is predominantly related to my greatest passion in life: baseball. Thanks for visiting my website.

Add Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Freelance Journalist

John Strubel

Hi. My name is John Strubel. I am a storyteller. I love to write. My writing is predominantly related to my greatest passion in life: baseball. Thanks for visiting my website.

Get in touch

Quickly communicate covalent niche markets for maintainable sources. Collaboratively harness resource sucking experiences whereas cost effective meta-services.