Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
October 1, 2002
BASEBALL: Wilpon on Phillips

Fred Wilpon to Mike & the Mad Dog this afternoon, on why he's not firing Steve Phillips even though he fired Valentine: "I thought he put good players on the field, and those players didn't perform." Wilpon also says that, with just one year on his current contract, Phillips "needs to produce" in 2003. In other words, Wilpon is behind Phillips' philosophy of bringing in salaried veterans and trying to squeeze one more year of contention out of a team that hasn't been a serious contender the last two years, and he thinks the problem is just one of motivation. Again, I thought -- given that philosophy -- Phillips made some reasonable gambles, and it's not impossible for the team to come back stronger next year, at least stronger than last place. But I firmly believe that this is a bad long-term philosophy and that the team has pressed its luck in this regard absolutely as far as it goes, and if Wilpon doesn't see that as a problem, then he's part of the problem.

The Mets' chain of command has been somewhat murky before this year. Now, Wilpon has total control over the franchise, and Phillips will have fairly strong authority over personnel decisions - if they continue down the same path, we will all know who to blame.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 4:00 PM | Baseball 2002-03 | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
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