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Steve Phillips?

Random Reds Fan
Jul 31 2005 10:45 PM

I have to assume he's an ex-GM for a reason, but what type of GM was he? What were his signature bad moves? (Something had to get him fired, right?) He keeps saying how dumb the Reds are for keeping Dunn, and someone on the Reds board said, "Well now you know why he's a former GM." And I started to wonder why is he an ex-GM?

DocTee
Jul 31 2005 10:50 PM

2 words: Mo Vaughn

2 more : Melvin Mora (traded for rent-a-SS Mike Bordick when Rey Ordonez was injured)

smg58
Jul 31 2005 11:04 PM

Making a complicated deal for Jeromy Burnitz while the Braves made a simple deal for Gary Sheffield.

Jason Isringhausen for Billy Taylor.

So would the Orioles have taken McEwing instead?

In fairness, he did put the 1999/2000 teams together, and Vaughn-for-Appier was probably a push given that Appier was released the following year.

Dunn was made for the Reds' home park and vice versa. I'm shocked that every effort wasn't made to deal Casey, though, because a first baseman with no power at that park is deadly.

metirish
Jul 31 2005 11:07 PM

the positive on Phillips is..

Mike Piazza
buliding the 99 and 2000 team, building great bullpens for those teams, Scott Kazmir, Jose Reyes, Lastings Milledge(he was dumped not long after that)
Al Leiter was a great move.
Cliff Floyd


the bad..Mo Vaughn, Robbie Alomar, Roger Cedano, Burnitz, Glavine, trading for Bordick and giving up Mora, the fighting with Bobby Valentine, the affair with a female employee, he was gone for a while after that.

and the sarcastic and funny from Mets fans..


The Ballad of Steve Phillips
(To the tune of The Ballad of John and Yoko)


Starting spring again at Saint Lucie
Can't repeat the mess of the past
The voice of the fans
Say you must be the man
To win, we gotta have a good cast

Hey, you know it ain't easy
Just go and ask Bobby V
The way this is going
We're gonna crucify Steve

Finally made a Met of Tom Glavine
Not a problem facing the Braves
Freddy gave the ok
But you still gotta stay
With some players no one's taking in trade

Hey, you know it ain't easy
Just go and ask Bobby V
The way this is going
We're gonna crucify Steve

Gotta hope third base not a problem
Looks like Ty will try to succeed
The newspeople say
Do you think it's ok
With this lineup, can you really compete?

Hey, you know it ain't easy
Just go and ask Bobby V
The way this is going
We're gonna crucify Steve

Saving all your money to go after Vlad
Got a little help from Tampa Bay
All of last year's trades
Turned into dead weight
And Jeromy's still looking for his swing
Yikes!

Needed a good guy, we found Art Howe
Back in Oakland he was so fine
But now he's at Shea,
Stevie, please stay away
Don't treat him like you did Valentine

Hey, you know it ain't easy
Just go and ask Bobby V
The way this is going
We're gonna crucify Steve

Jeffrey boy will look to depose you
Freddy's kid is moving up fast
The men in the press
While they wish you the best
They all think that you'll be getting the sack

Hey, you know it ain't easy
Just go and ask Bobby V
The way this is going
We're gonna crucify Steve
The way this is going
We're gonna crucify Steve

click the link to hear the song..

http://chicoescuela1.tripod.com/Phillips.htm

Random Reds Fan
Jul 31 2005 11:08 PM

Yeah, we're trying to figure out why Casey's still a red also. Only thing I can come up with is that Dan O'Brien doesn't have the ball's to pull the trigger. Casey's such a damn nice guy, but it's time for him to go, and move Dunn to first. Back on subject, yeah, Mo Vaughn, I guess that'll do it. Apreciate it guys. Redszone.com's where the smart, sensible reds fans post if you ever have any questions or want to see what's going on.

DocTee
Jul 31 2005 11:09 PM

The only thing worse than the Reds standing pat (Pena, Dunn, Kearns, Griffey, Casey) was the D-Rays seriously over-valuing their commodities.

metirish
Jul 31 2005 11:11 PM

Welcome to this board, next time we play the Reds we can use your place as part of the KTE..

Johnny Dickshot
Jul 31 2005 11:13 PM

* He tended to max out his budget on opening day and had little flexibility when things didn't work.

* He didn't get along with Bobby Valentine, who was a better manger than he was a general manager

* Not completely his fault, but he brought almost no pipeline of talent from the organization during his entire tenure here -- those that might have contributed were dealt away early on (Preston Wilson, Burnett) and he wasn't around for those who arrived since (Reyes, Wright).

* His hair never moved in 7 years.

* He was too slow to recognize when it was time to rebuild, continually going for the division win with jerryrigged collections of talent that looked good on paper but had little depth and got badly exposed.

* Roger Cedeno.

* On the positive side he put together 1 great team (1999) and one pretty good one (2000) that Met fans will remember fondly. He was a loyal organization guy.

Frayed Knot
Jul 31 2005 11:15 PM

Phillips was hardly the only one surprised that the Reds seemed so insistent on not dealing at least one of their OFers this week.
With an OF "surplus", a limited payroll, and such weak pitching it seemed like a natural to many and you'd have to believe that a swap of Dunn (or Kearns or Pena) could have plugged several other holes. Randa can only get you so far.


Phillips record here was mixed at best.
I tend to think he may have been better of if his first (and now quite likely his last) GM job wasn't in a big market w/a big budget, with a quick-fix mentality while trying to compete w/a winning steamroller on the other side of town. He seemed to have gotten an early taste for the big splashy headline-grabbing move which worked at times (Piazza) but ultimately came back to bite him more often than not.

metirish
Jul 31 2005 11:17 PM

And not his fault..

]Phillips was promoted to GM on July 16, 1997, although he joined the Mets long before that. They drafted him in 1981, picking him ahead of Roger Clemens, and he was an infielder in their minor-league system for 6 1/2 years.

Edgy DC
Jul 31 2005 11:52 PM

After the success of 1998-2000, almost everybody who saw 2001 demanded an offensive overhaul of the Mets. He gave it to them and it bombed almost to the last man.

Don't believe phrases like "balls to pull the trigger." Holding takes it's own type of courage.

Nymr83
Aug 01 2005 03:29 AM

]* He was too slow to recognize when it was time to rebuild, continually going for the division win with jerryrigged collections of talent that looked good on paper but had little depth and got badly exposed.


ok Sal, stop stealing passwords and post with your own name!

Bret Sabermetric
Aug 01 2005 05:55 AM

Nymr83 wrote:
]* He was too slow to recognize when it was time to rebuild, continually going for the division win with jerryrigged collections of talent that looked good on paper but had little depth and got badly exposed.


ok Sal, stop stealing passwords and post with your own name!


Yeah, my first thought was Johnny D. was cribbing my material as well. I never thought Phillips' outfield looked ready for prime time, though, on paper or anywhere else.

Johnny Dickshot
Aug 01 2005 08:07 AM

That Tom Glavine was the wrong stretch at the wrong time was never in debate round here.

smg58
Aug 01 2005 09:36 AM

I do think the biggest losers in the trade deadline were all the "sellers." It was their market, and they took an "all your best prospects or no deal" attitude and wound up with nothing. The Reds had to make at least one deal, with Casey being the obvious guy. Even giving him away would have given them money to spend on pitching.

Edgy DC
Aug 01 2005 09:51 AM

Casey could still go on a waiver deal.

Rotblatt
Aug 01 2005 10:35 AM

IIRC, Glavine was pushed by the Wilpons onto Philips, not the other way around, so MAYBE he gets a pass there.

Bad luck with Alomar (who knew?), bad move on Vaughn (mitigated by taking out insurance on his knee, however--don't forget that aspect), iffy move on Cedeno (clearly didn't work out, but he DID do well for us the first time around) & iffy move on Burnitz (who could have predicted he'd be as bad as he was his first year?).

Trading Mora was retarded.

I think the bigger problem was what Sa--er, JD--alluded to: not taking the time to rebuild our team. Trading for one or two of Vaughn, Glavine, Burnitz & Cedeno might have made sense, but not signing or calling up a couple younger players to off-set their age was sheer foolishness.

Elster88
Aug 01 2005 11:20 AM

]Trading Mora was retarded.


Saving grace: "Welcome aboardick"

Frayed Knot
Aug 01 2005 11:40 AM

]Trading Mora was retarded.


This is well plowed-over ground, but in context it wasn't retarded at all.

We were in a pennant race and needed a SS.
Mora got about a 50 game tryout there and it was clear he wasn't the answer. Bordick was worse than expected (and also got hurt late) but something needed to be done at the time and Mora was the price.

Johnny Dickshot
Aug 01 2005 11:46 AM

Trading Mora WAS retarded, but I tend to think of it that way because the Mets had such little depth then -- a hallmark of the Phillips era was that there was so little in the minors to turn to when needed, and/or to pressure the big league guys when they struggled. And the bench was usually weak because so much was spent on the starting guys.

So when Ordonez went down with an injury in 00 the team was left with no choice but to play Mora there, get exposed, and moved out for a guy who could play SS. Or when we brought in Burnitz and he had that terrible season, not once was he even threatened to lose his job if he didn't improve, because there was nobody in the entire organization who could as much as muster a threat.

A world-class bench is a difficult luxury to acquire, but when you don't have one, the next best thing is depth in the minors. Phillips' teams rarely had either and that's what led to dumb trades like the Mora deal.

Rotblatt
Aug 01 2005 11:59 AM

]We were in a pennant race and needed a SS.
Mora got about a 50 game tryout there and it was clear he wasn't the answer. Bordick was worse than expected (and also got hurt late) but something needed to be done at the time and Mora was the price.


True enough, I suppose, although the decline of Bordick was fairly predictible. He had never cracked a .737 OPS before, so his .831 with Baltimore at the age of 34 was pretty clearly unsustainable.

Mora was at .740 OPS with us, which offensively was as much as we should have expected from Bordick. Defensively, I don't remember Mora having good range (although he certainly seemed atheletic) and his 7 errors in 44 games was pretty high . . .

At any rate, we probably should've tried to keep Mora in favor of someone like McEwing, but I suppose hindsight is 20/20 and all. I mean, who knew that Mora would break out like he did at such an advanced age? I seem to remember being impressed by him in 2000, but I've no idea what his minor league numbers were like.

Johnny Dickshot
Aug 01 2005 12:05 PM

To Phillips' credit Bordick was option B, you remember. He first took aim at Barry Larkin but that deal came apart with Larkins' 10+5 contract extension demand, etc.

But tough to think the 00 World Series ends the same with Larkin on the Mets.

Edgy DC
Aug 01 2005 12:16 PM
Edited 1 time(s), most recently on Aug 01 2005 12:25 PM

Phillips tried to offer other packages. Mora was who the Orioles were insisting on.

I was against this trade at the time (big surprise), but I'd be lying if I said that I saw all that Mora was capable of. Mora had made some high-profile errors, and despite Bobby Valentine's re-assurances that he was better defensively than he had been performing, Met fans wanted his head. Steve Phillips was weak enough to give it to them.

In Phillips' defense, Mora's athleticism still hasn't translated to consistent defensive play at any positiion, and it could still be argued that the Mets don't win the pennant with him at short. I'm not buying that ---- they won the wild card by eight games and Bordick's defense and offense were depressed by injury in the post-season --- but it can be argued.

I'm not sure, but I think he was originally a Minaya signing.

Rotblatt
Aug 01 2005 12:20 PM

Good point, JD! I had forgotten about that.

Oh, and I remember now where Mora first impressed me--in the 1999 championship playoffs against the Braves. He went 6-14 with a dinger and 2 SB after sucking in September call-ups. I think he got like one start but saw plenty of playing time with all those extra-inning games.

Rey-Rey went 1-24 that series, and IIRC, had a key GIDP or 2.

Now I'm depressed. That series almost killed me. I was traveling a bunch and I remember driving late at night listening to the games in the car. I did a lot of pounding of the steering wheel.

sigh.

Edgy DC
Aug 01 2005 12:29 PM

Mora should have been retained by the Mets specifically because of his ability to fly.



And they call Jeter a ballerina.

Rotblatt
Aug 01 2005 12:42 PM

Now I'm just picking at scabs, but here's a happy moment, courtesy of Retrosheet.org:

]METS 15TH: Dunston singled to center; M. FRANCO BATTED FOR
DOTEL; Dunston stole second; M. Franco walked; Alfonzo out on a
sacrifice bunt (pitcher to second) [Dunston to third, M. Franco
to second]; Olerud was walked intentionally; CEDENO RAN FOR M.
FRANCO; Pratt walked [Dunston scored, Cedeno to third, Olerud to
second]; Ventura singled to center [Cedeno scored, Olerud to
third, Pratt to second]; Ventura's ball cleared the
centerfield fence, but he was tackled by celebrating teammates
before he reached second and was credited with a 'grand-slam
single' instead


In game 6, Mora pinch hit for Hershiser in the eighth with Agbayani at second and 1 out. He singled to center to give the Mets the lead, 8-7. The Braves got another run in bottom of the eighth to tie it back up. In the 10th, Mora singled again with Agbayani at second, moving him to 3rd, and Pratt sacrificed Agbayani in. The Braves tied it up in the next inning, but Mora cut down Klesko at third base to eliminate the possibility of a sac fly.

Then, of course, Rogers walked three batters in a row in the 11th to hand the Braves the victory . . .

At any rate, I'm glad I got to the bottom of the Mora thing. I remember being impressed with him and I could have sworn part of it was Mora cutting someone down at 3B from RF, but in non-playoff time with the Mets, he didn't have any assists from RF . . . Anyway, he had a helluva series for us in 2000.

Johnny Dickshot
Aug 01 2005 12:57 PM

The other funny thing about that SS crisis in 2000 was that guys like me preferred they trade for Bordick over Larkin because it was assumed acquiring Larkin would have meant we parted with Escobar. Just about everyone at that time would have counted on Escobar having the better future than Mora.

Getting back to the Phillips Era crappy backup thingy: Mora was playing SS not only because Ordonez was hurt but that his initial backup -- poor-ranged, old and achy Kurt Abbott in his last days as an MLBer, was the 1st line of defense against an Ordonez injury. Of course, he spent most of the year (including the entire Mora-SS era) on the DL with back trouble.

And it was crap like this that makes me such a fan of guys like Woodward and Relaford -- young-ish backups who may have failed to hold down an everyday job but are still young enough to offer real help in a pinch, and come every bit as cheap as Kurt Friggin Abbott (not enough range to catch that crap 20-hopper up the middle in a certain Game 5). This was the whole genesis of the annual Calling All Colliers list.

Frayed Knot
Aug 01 2005 02:29 PM

] ... preferred they trade for Bordick over Larkin because it was assumed acquiring Larkin would have meant we parted with Escobar. Just about everyone at that time would have counted on Escobar having the better future than Mora


And that's part of the Phillips legacy also.
Not that he should have expected to know that Mora was going to have a better ML career than Escobar, but that Stevie seemed to have a similar affinity for the "big name" minor league guy as he did for big leaguers. Again, there were circustances in the Mora situation that led to his trade but I think there were others (Jason Bay) who never really considered as future players because they didn't start out with that "prospect" label on them. Of course most guys like that won't ever make it but sometimes a player's performance out-strips his rep and he should be able to play his way off the disposable pile.
I wonder if a Baumer-like stats guy on the staff at the time would have looked at just the stats of the never-heralded yet quickly-emerging Jason Bay and been able to talk the powers at be into offering a different player for the great Steve Reed & Jason Middleton?

Edgy DC
Aug 01 2005 02:40 PM

Or maybe, next time the Mets need a middle reliver thrown into a trade, an old-school scout like Minaya would be more willing to listen to a member of his scouting staff who tells him that today's Jason Bay ---Dante Brinkley maybe? --- despite initial appearances, isn't as interchangeable with a half dozen other Met corner outfield prospects as it may seem.

Funny thing about Bay is that he was a Met property just four months --- after Phillips fleeced the Brewers (but apparently didn't know it) by acquiring him for... Lou Collier!

Elster88
Aug 01 2005 02:51 PM

One of my favorite lines of all time is of course Bob Costas' recap before the next game.

"Robin Ventura singled over the right-center field fence..."

Elster88
Aug 01 2005 02:53 PM

]Kurt Friggin Abbott (not enough range to catch that crap 20-hopper up the middle in a certain Game 5).


Not to mention watching a fastball go right down the middle as the last strike in Game 2, then turning around to argue with the ump.