OK, that’s not exactly what former Mets GM/ESPN baseball commentator Steve Phillips — currently reduced to a co-hosting barely heard morning show on Sirius/XM’s “Mad Dog Radio” in the wake of his much publicized “>zipper problems — had to say to the New York Daily News’ Bob Raissman. But it was somewhat telling that Phillips wouldn’t directly claim he had empathy for others’ woes, because perhaps he doesn’t.
When he walks the streets of Manhattan he sees faces staring back at him. Phillips wonders what they are thinking, good, bad, or indifferent. “But what they are thinking,” Phillips said, “says more about them than it does about me.”
“When somebody says ‘That guy’s a scumbag,’ I don’t go there. I look at it from the point of the brokenness of the athlete, like Aldon Smith, or the executive, like Jim Irsay, as opposed to ‘How stupid is that guy?’” Phillips said. “Why would Irsay put everything he has at risk? Yet people do because of the sickness, or the illness or the problems they have.”
“For anybody who has addiction issues, shame is a major part of that addicting process. So I’ve had to surrender that part of it thinking about, living in some part of shame,” Phillips said. “… I don’t go there. The goal for me now is to take what I have in my life and make the best possible day I can. If that is the morning radio show that’s great. If it’s having the great opportunity to broadcast Mets games, what a gift that is.”
Neither Raissman nor Jeff Wilppn manage to explain precisely what Phillips has accomplished in radio or TV — other than make tabloid headlines — that would qualify him for the right to breathe down Josh Lewin’s neck (sorry, Josh — the mental image isn’t pleasant, I know).