Regal Blue

Uneasy fandom, victory in Los Angeles, and getting fired for nailing your 22 year old underling

Posted in Sports by gklarsen on October 26, 2009

First of all, congratulations to the New York Yankees on winning the pennant.  While anything can happen in the playoffs, the Yankees are clearly the superior team and rightfully beat the Angels to earn a spot in the World Series.  I wish them well in their quest to beat the living hell out of those god damn Phillies, for whom I have nothing but malice and disdain.

Believe me, I ain’t no Yankees fan but for the next couple weeks we’re real good friends.

***

On to a more positive note as the Kings continue to look fantastic.  They handily defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets who never were really in it to begin with.  Handzus and Kopitar scored two goals within a minute of each other in the first and Stoll added a third in the second before Columbus managed their first.  Kopitar would add his second goal on the power play just five minutes later.

Once again the defense held Columbus back in the third period with the exception of a power play goal by Kristian Huselius.  Frolov scored two thereafter and that was the game.

The big news will undoubtedly be about Kopitar and deservedly so.  Two more goals last night means he’s not only the points leader, but the goals leader as well.  It’s becoming more difficult to figure out whether this is just a hot streak or if this is the player we’ve come to expect all along.  Certainly San Jose will provide an interesting test this coming Wednesday.

Special mention should be given to Frolov who was really putting on a show in the third period.  His first goal of the night was something to see, as he handily beat two defenders before lacing a wrist shot past Mason.  His power play backhand was a great piece of shooting as well although one wonders whether or not it more to do with the goalie feeling a bit of exhaustion.  Mason was slow on the reaction and the puck was in before he could recover.  Still, a great night for Frolov and whether you agree with his recent benching or not he’s been displaying some remarkable skills lately.  Let’s hope it becomes more of a habit than we’re used to.

There is little to dislike about the team at this point.  The defense has been aggressive, the offense fluid and effective, and Quick has settled in.  Again, the Sharks should be a pretty good litmus test.  As if there weren’t already good reason to watch that one, it should be very telling of the team’s progress thus far.

***

And on to some good announcing news:  Steve Phillips has been fired! Speaking of malice and disdain, Phillips has sat behind the Baseball Tonight desk every night to spout off meaningless cliches and half-assed ‘analysis’ all the while making me wonder how this bastard ever got to be a GM of a major team.*  It wasn’t just the uber-white guy hair or the stiff and awkward gesticulations that made him one of the worst ESPN guys.  His utterly unshakable confidence in his own opinions is what made him the joke of Baseball Tonight (and any game they stuck him in as the third man).  Baffling opinions from a guy that ought to know better, strange demeanor and unwarranted confidence.  That was Steve Phillips.

*You can imagine that I loved reading about him in Moneyball.  In his dealings with Billy Beane, Phillips is portrayed as essentially a sucker; a guy you could take advantage of because he was poorly equipped mentally to get the job done.  I’m putting a bit of my own spin on it but that’s essentially what happened.

This is actually the second fun Steve Phillips story of the week.  Fangraphs recently looked back on the rumor (now confirmed by Keith Law) that Phillips once offered David Wright to Toronto for Jose Cruz Jr. straight up back in 2002.  This is all kinds of hilarious because Phillips often claimed that he “discovered” David Wright and thus claimed some of Wright’s success as his own.  It was his ace in the hole on the broadcasts in which is was mentioned how lousy the Mets were under his reign.

Now back to the present.  Initially, Phillips was granted a leave of absence.  This was a few days ago.  But Sunday night on SportsCenter one of the anchors spoke directly into the camera and stated that Phillips had been fired for, essentially, unethical behavior.  It’s times like these we should all be especially grateful for Deadspin who has the details.

It’s no secret that ESPN studios is rife with corporate incest.  We’ve learned that the combination of old jocks being in charged, a lousy location for scaring up tail (Bristol, CT), and a company-wide mentality which can conservatively be described as patriarchal has created an environment where the boys spend a whole lot of time nailing the hot summer interns.

This should surprise no one.  But it highlights how egregious Phillips’ behavior must have been in order for ESPN to fire him.  He was a prominent member of the baseball reporting team so one has to assume that some curious indiscretions would be dutifully swept under the rug.  However, this affair with a 22 year old female production assistant became public recently.  So public, apparently, that ESPN really had no choice in the matter.

I’ll let you read the details of it on your own, suffice to say that this chick went a little nuts.  The ESPN release naturally features her erratic behavior in the otherwise brief article, even headlining it as “Phillips to enter rehab.”  Of course it was all Phillips’ fault for starting up a ‘relationship’ with her in the first place.  Jesus christ man, when a 60 year old white haired guy nails a 20 year old, you gotta accept some responsibility when it inevitably goes bad.

Instead the official release states Phillips will go to rehab and focuses an unwarranted amount of attention and column space on how crazy this girl is as if to mitigate the level of assholery.

Good riddance, Steve.  You brought this on yourself so ain’t no one gonna feel bad for you.

***

Now if we can just get John Kruk out of there we might have something.  Honestly why can’t it just be the ESPN Peter Gammons hour?  I’d watch that.

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