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
You’re supposed to have confidence. I’m sure he wouldn’t change it. I’d rather you be confident than not. Not saying he should’ve said it, but it isn’t a big deal
— Mark U (@MUebe_5) May 25, 2019
Really enjoyed all of your opinions and takes. Have agreed with everything. Keep holding everyone accountable. Awesome job
— mets118 (@Drs231998) May 25, 2019
Brodie middle name is mistake. He has put together another 🐂💩 #mets team. Wasted season.
— finster@letsgomets (@FinsterPapi) May 25, 2019
used car salesman
— Kyle Andreniuk (@KAndreniuk) May 26, 2019
Let me fix that. @GMBVW crippled the Mets for years to come by helping his clients over the winter.
— Brett Weinberg (@SoCalFishMan) May 26, 2019
Yes and no. I kind of liked his confidence in his guys. However, if they fail, you look really dumb.
— starblazer (@01Starblazer) May 26, 2019
— adrd08 (@adrd08) May 26, 2019