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ESPN's Phillips admits affair, takes leave of absence

Oct 21, 2009, 4:17 PM EDT

In what might be his last official act as an ESPN employee, Steve Phillips released the following statement following today’s New York Post story that claimed he slept with a 22-year-old ESPN production assistant:
“I am deeply sorry that I have put my family and colleagues through this. It is a personal matter that I will not comment on further. I have, however, asked for a leave of absence to address this with my family and to avoid any unnecessary distractions through the balance of the baseball playoffs.”
It seems awfully unlikely that ESPN will bring Phillips back next year, and it’s hard to imagine any other outlet will be quick to hire a talking head whose lack of baseball acumen might actually be one of his lesser flaws.

  1. Neil - Oct 21, 2009 at 4:35 PM

    That is fantastic news cause Phillips is clownshoes. Is there a met fan anywhere that likes this guy?

  2. Dan - Oct 21, 2009 at 4:38 PM

    Talking head.

  3. Simon DelMonte - Oct 21, 2009 at 4:55 PM

    Yes, there is. I like him. I like him then, I like him now. His team made it to the World Series. His team didn’t have two late season collapses. And he DIDN’T trade Scott Kazmir – that was Duquette. I will take him over Minaya any day.
    And I like hearing him talk about baseball, even if he’s not a great color man.
    As for his troubles, they are none of our business.

  4. Dan - Oct 21, 2009 at 5:14 PM

    Didn’t this happen also while he was the Mets’ GM?

  5. Michael - Oct 21, 2009 at 5:28 PM

    Couldn’t have happened to a more deserving guy. Handsome guy, seemingly nice…but actually a thinly veiled jerk. If you’ve watched him for any amount of time its obvious. He should lose his wife and sons and his job.

  6. Omega - Oct 21, 2009 at 6:00 PM

    oh my goodness….
    Two consenting adults touched their private parts together!
    Call out the mob of angry villagers and get the stake and fire ready!
    As a nation, why are we so obsessed with what consenting adults do with their private parts?

  7. jimmydoc - Oct 21, 2009 at 6:06 PM

    What an idiot !! This is why he was fired from the Mets……..

  8. Craig Calcaterra - Oct 21, 2009 at 6:16 PM

    Omega: Because when they work together, and when one of the consenting adults is a clear superior in the company hierarchy, it creates potential legal liability for sexual harassment. Also, when your company is in the business of attractng advertising dollars, it’s not good form to have one of the faces of the company involved in sex scandals which, while you or eye might look the other way on, still bugs tons and tons of people, rightly or wrongly.
    It’s a free country: Phillips can have sex with whoever he wants; his wife can divorce him if she wants, and his employer can fire him if it wants. God Bless America.

  9. yo-do - Oct 21, 2009 at 6:21 PM

    Rule1: If you’re going to put your job and marriage in jeopardy over an affair, then at least make sure the person is attractive!

  10. .. - Oct 21, 2009 at 6:24 PM

    Rule 2: Don’t dip your pen in the company ink!

  11. Ed Lubin - Oct 21, 2009 at 7:40 PM

    … I think he and the girl should go to the whitehouse and have a beer with the president….

  12. Chris - Oct 21, 2009 at 9:24 PM

    I think you missed the point! A job has rules. Marriage has rules. Follow them or deal with the consequences.

  13. dM - Oct 21, 2009 at 9:32 PM

    his job and marriage are two separate things.. he had an affair and thats for him, the lady, and his family to work out. that just shows that once you’re famous you have to be more careful and not do stupid things. it was stupid, since he knows he would probably get caught

  14. kevin - Oct 21, 2009 at 11:49 PM

    i thought he was good in studio but i guess we never knew how good. brilliant move phillips, does mo vaughn from the red sox sound familar.

  15. dsmith - Oct 22, 2009 at 12:03 AM

    Now if they can only get rid of that lisping clown Lou Holtz. Boy does he suck.

  16. fusseltier - Oct 22, 2009 at 6:04 AM

    who cares???
    they are both adults!!!
    people have sex, so what!!!
    why make such a big deal about it???

  17. fusseltier - Oct 22, 2009 at 6:47 AM

    it doesnt matter if they work together and one is the boss or not.
    they are adults, and no one was using power or anything to make it.
    why do people make such a big deal about that?
    every case isnt a man or woman using authority for sex.

  18. Bob - Oct 22, 2009 at 7:32 AM

    It does matter if they work together, it matters if they don’t. When he made a commitment to his wife he should have kept it. In life you are only as good as your word. Now look at the mess his kids will have to deal with today, his wife etc…all because of his actions. It matters to them. It also matters to the mistress and her future career, what future employer is going to take her seriously? Talk about distractions in the office, loss of productivity…it turns everything in to a bunch of jokes. If I had 2 quality people appling for a job and one had been into this…I would always go for the one who can control themselves. This junk doesn’t “stay in Vegas” it brings everyone down, him and her. Seems like when people break their commitment they want to do it without any ramifications. But the ramifications are the reason you are told not to do it!

  19. joerunner - Oct 22, 2009 at 7:53 AM

    Phillips has been through this before and lost his job for it. He knows the drill. “Two consenting adults” is not what this is about. This is about rules that everybody knows and accepts before they start. Baseball, and professional sports in general, have a lot of rules for everybody. You follow them or you don’t get the fat paychecks. This probably has more to do with arrogance and stupidity than anything else.

  20. JimInCT - Oct 22, 2009 at 8:08 AM

    You Mets fans are vicious! Phillips was the GM before 2 other guys. How successful were they? Based upon the Harold Reynolds precedent, it is unlikely that we’ll see Phillips again on ESPN. Too bad, he wasn’t bad explaining the behind-the-scene machinations in trying to work out trades and free agent signings.

  21. Joey B - Oct 22, 2009 at 9:15 AM

    If this was Philips having an affair outside the office, he could still be in trouble for bringing negative publicity to the company trying to sell their product.
    But to have an affair with someone well below his level in the company opens the company up to a lawsuit. Even if she entered the affair voluntarily, she could easily make the claim she was pressured. Since Philips had previously been accused of harassment, it becomes a whole lot easier to ESPN having to cut a $10M check. Does the name Isiah Thomas ring a bell?
    Beyond that, this really isn’t all that complicated. Don’t do anything stupid. I’d still think badly of him, but go outside the office. Find someone closer to your own age that is a bit more mature, and perhaps less likely to go postal.

  22. willmose - Oct 22, 2009 at 9:16 AM

    ESPN was just looking for an excuse to fire Phillips. He can be replaced by anyone and it will be an improvement. For all those that think it was consensual, what would you do if your boss put the moves on you? All you would, of course, chuck your job and know that Santa Claus would give you a million three for being good boys and girls. Phillips is pond scum like most Mets GMs.

  23. Wendy - Oct 22, 2009 at 9:47 AM

    Is anyone surprised when every day the media reports on yet another marital infidelity? What surprises me is the women that “stand beside their man”…I say don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.

  24. Peg - Oct 22, 2009 at 10:47 AM

    In the first place office romances are a no-no. Everyone knows that. For all the reasons stated here.
    And this scum is at least a two-time seducer (and I woould bet there are others we don’t know about). His wife forgave him the first time he was outed. I wonder if whe will twice.
    And did any but me get the feeling of deju vu when reading his statement. I swear it is almost exactly like the first time.
    I’m glad ESPN will be getting rid of him. He was a lousy analyst.

  25. joe unner - Oct 22, 2009 at 11:07 AM

    there is an aftermath here. The office assistant confronted Ms Phillips personally and in writing, and at the Phillips home, telling her of the affair, and doing some property damage. She also contacted the Phillips’ 16 y/o son. Ms Phillips has since filed for divorce. The seemingly impenetrable arrogant self-indulgence of some of these guys is beyond comprehension. I am sure ESPN is questioning why they hired him after the Mets debacle.
    So are a lot of us.

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