Results tagged ‘ ESPN Baseball Tonight ’

ESPN’s Steve Phillips implicated in Romance


It is rather funny sometimes that people in the entertainment and sports worlds do not learn from their colleagues prior mistakes. I am not one to launch a bevy of stones towards a man for falling for a woman, but I guess my guidelines tend to be a bit more defined both since I am single and compared to some of the recent escapades of the folks in the broadcast industry. It is okay David Letterman, “Mr. Worldwide Pants” I am not aiming at you with this blog.

No I am aiming my wrath at someone who has already had a publicized bout in the sexual harassment arena and fought his way back to fight another day. But again he might have been brought down to size by own ego and arrogance that “this time” it was going to be different. You might have read by now that ESPN “Baseball Tonight” commentator Steve Phillips really messed up this time. Didn’t his firing in 1998 from the General Managers position with the New York Mets not teach him to leave the young one alone?

I mean that tragedy had a huge bite of a sexual scandal to it. But the one thing I have learned in my 3 extra years on this planet than the 46-year old Phillips is that a scorned woman is a deadly woman both mentally and physically to a married man. So Phillips did not learn his lesson in 1998 when you made an out of court settlement on the sexual harassment case where you and another Mets employee were having a tryst on the side.  Didn’t that first  stint with your “no-no” behavior teach you anything?

Maybe I had better send you a DVD copy of the Glen Close classic “Fatal Attraction“, because based on the recent police reports filed in Wilton, Conn, you will have to watch your back for a long, long time. Please tell me your kids do not have a rabbit, because I can not bear to think of the pot boiling over again and seeing another scene like that one. It would be deja vu 1998  career pot boiling over for you.

This time  at least you did not pick a MLB baseball club employee, but you made a mistake of picking someone from your own backyard, a female assistant from ESPN to have a out of sight, out of mind” hush hush affair. The only problem was when you wanted her “out of sight”, she showed up at your home in Wilton speak to your wife and leave a detailed note on your family door for your wife to read upon returning to the house.

Problem was that your psychotic 22-year old gal pal Brooke Hundley was trying to proclaiming that you and your present wife Marni “both could not have him” back during an array of phone calls to your present wife starting on August 5,2009. the trigger for the entire bizarre event was the “right” decision by Phillips to break off their tryst and sever all ties to Hundley. Oh Stevie boy, I do not think she took it well because there she was  just 2 weeks later in your home driveway doing her best Glen Close impression.

Worst yet, the woman of your wet dreams did not plan to go quietly into the night and not fit your personal  definition of “out of mind“. You see she freaked out as your wife came home and parked behind her car in the driveway after she posted her “proclamation letter of Love” your front door, and tried to escape by driving up on your well-manicured lawn and busting a cement column in front of your home.  What a shame you were not in front of her car at that moment, it would have made a great episode of “Cops”.

Because not matter what happens next Phillips, this sin to going to end pretty much badly for anyone involved in this “affair.” But what is even worse is the later revelation that your  young mistress was befriending your son and learning all sorts of personal family business by posing as one of his High School classmates through numerous Instant Messages about what was going on at your home. That is right Phillips, I hear that theme music from “Fatal Attraction” in the background right now. Hundley was also so bold as to pretend to be another of your sons friends and chat with your son on his Facebook page to get more Phillips dirt.

I have to give this woman a little credit, she did her research, and got the goodies before going all wacky. And your released Press statement to the Wilton Police will be remembered at Academy Award time maybe for a Best Unsupporting Husband Oscar nomination, I could feel the pain in your words (cough, cough).

“This woman has clearly displayed erratic behavior and delusional tendencies,” Phillips said in a statement to Police. ” She has shown up at our house. She has taken on the identity of at least two people (minors) to violate our son (a minor). I have extreme concerns about the health and safety of my kids and myself.” But here is the kicker people….wait for it………wait for it…….You know you want to wait for it!

After issuing that solemn statement to the Wilton Police Department you stated that you did not want to press charges. Sounds like you are trying to put a bit of closure on all of this, but I always say nothing says “It’s over” more than a protection order/Trespassing writ where she has to admire you from 500 feet away. Just saying Phillips.

Of course presently, Ms. Hundley is on vacation and will chat with local police detectives next week. Wonder if Phillips or ESPN paid for that little trip? But there is a bright side to all of this for Marni Phillips. She filed for divorce on September 14th. So now Phillips will have an empty house and a lot of time to contemplate his next move (hopefully without Hundley).

But you can be sure even if Hundley stays employed at ESPN, this whole ball of wax is not over by a long shot. Sure people like broadcaster Marv Albert have gotten back into his broadcasting gigs after finally admitting and doing his social penalties for his biting crimes, but Phillips might not be as lucky. Just remember Jimmy “The Greek” as they tear up your contract after consideration.

Even though ESPN has had this type of  romance fraternization problems rear its ugly head. Back in 2006, ESPN baseball analyst Harold Reynolds was let go after an internal investigation because a female intern objected to Reynolds advancements and blew the whistle on him. I am not calling for a clean towel when I watch ESPN right now, but they need to clean up the smudges fast.

Maybe there needs to be a mandatory refresher course in sexual harassment pronto. And not the weekend workshops, they tend to make people think they have an entire weekend to stop the garbage. What really has me blistering is the fact that these two men in authority over younger women disregarded their moral responsibility to train and mentor their assistants and interns, and not wander into the dark areas of activities like this that could ruin more lives than just their own.

You can bet there is going to be some type of career repercussions from this for Phillips. He might have used his last trump card to cover MLB baseball on air. Sure it might not be  the usual MLB situation where he used a banned substance, or even a corked bat, but the integrity of his expertise will now seem tainted and everything he says will come into question when he opens his mouth.

The broadcasting game right now needs the people reporting  and training their underlings to be as clean as the driven snow. We can not have episodes like this coming out and tarnishing the guys who sit at the desks and tell us “the way it is out on the field.” It is time for everyone who covers the sport to check themselves before they wreck themselves. I want to believe what they are telling me is true by their own actions, on and off the air.

Some might say that Phillips did not drive drunk and hurt someone, and that forgiveness is the first step to progress for him. Granted, I believe that is true, but the fact is that Phillips did not learn his lesson the first time. He might have thought he had the clear cut answer this time, but he picked the wrong person who was not ready for that heartache. So not only is he away from the cameras during the MLB Playoffs, Phillips might have made his last segments on Television for a long time, or at least until those of us with ADD forget all about this affair. Let’s hope there is not a chance for a third called strike for Phillips.

MLB Network, Part 1




It is said that the MLB Network actually might have begun about 4 years ago somewhere in the current World Series hamlet of Philadelphia.  Now you never know, but it could have been conceived at that religious corner of Geno’s and Pat’s over a modest cheese steak, or a simple order of fries. How the meeting came to be is not as important as the first few months of the new network.

In August 2004, the head cheeses of all 30 MLB clubs ownership approved funding to start the all-baseball media channel that has evolved and transformed in the past months from a wide idea and concept to a cleaner product here mire days before debut on January 1, 2009. The owners’ were originally willing to accept carriage on cable and satellite’s sports tiers, and would feature a programming lineup without the the help of live games during the debut of the network.



MLB ownership did not think the network could see a profit, or even generate any income until maybe the 6th season on the air. The idea that the MLB Network would not use live games came under quick scrutiny and was open by a broadside of critiques  from all sides of the fence. Media outlets wonder if the venture was necessary given the abundance of televised games and already established contracts within the 30 team circles.


Not lost on the medias’ critique wagon was the fact that this same concept had been brought up for the last 20 years, and why would 2009 be any different for baseball or televised sports in the United States.  So why was it not that the traction developed for baseball to push forward with this venture and seek its own new revenue stream. The Network vote was not even the big news emerging out of those owners meetings in Philly, with Commissioner Bud Selig’s extension drawing most of the events attention.



Let’s fast forward to the  anticipated New Years  Day introduction of the new network and you will find out that most of the “planned programming and events” posted in memos’ or paperwork back in 2004 has gone the way of the trash heap. Rather than launching with roughly 15 million subscribers on the various sports tiers in both outlets current programming options,  the MLB Network will now begin their programming on January 1st with over 50 million possible on digital or expanded basic programming. Making it a event worthy of even the MTV initial broadcast, and might blossom into the biggest successful network launch in cable TV history.


Early programming will include portions of MLB’s current project, the World Baseball Classic set to resume in Spring 2009, and a nonexclusive Saturday night, regular season game package that will rivals ESPN College Football Pay-Per-View program. Complimenting this will be a high energy mixing of highlights,studio programming, and more depth into development leagues and international baseball news.



Also currently evolving is the networks first strike at the “ESPN Baseball Tonight”  current dominance in the industries  inside sources and programming perks to viewers. Does this mean that MLB might censor some material for their network only and make it available to the public after airing on the new channel?



The channel will develop all these interesting moves from their new digs in Manhattan’s Harlem neighborhood, with MLB partnering with Vornado Realty Trust to build a dramatic new structure at 125th street and Park Avenue. The building will be high end from the get-go, and will be the first top-tier office complex to be developed in the neighborhood in decades. As we grow nearer to the debut date, the network will being constantly changing and adapting to the current baseball climate and on going formation of the network should be the talk of baseball until pitchers’ and catchers’ report in Feb. 2009.


With the current MLB labor peace well at hand, the onset of possible new revenues and attendance records all but certain this season, and the Mitchell Report finally fading into the night, the MLB Network should be the thing to watch in 2009.  MLB officials are quietly reveling at their  20-year brainchild finally coming to the forefront and seeing the light of day. Profitability is now expected by the end of 2009, according to industry sources.



And by 2015, revenues from cable subscriber fees and advertising is projected to soar beyond $ 210 million dollars, with a net value easily exceeding $ 1 billion dollars. Thanks to the hard up sale from cable, the massive distribution for a vertically oriented outlet like MLB Network, will become the league’s key marketing and promotional outlet.  With initial start-up costs put at the md-eight figures, the  channels quick return on investment and high asset value will mark some of the easiest money MLB owners have ever made in baseball.


Media Industry spokesman say that Selig saw the potential for MLB Network at last season’s  battles with the cable industry around the league’s out-of-market package, Extra Innings. But there were a lot of heated exchanges and questions raised about the upstart MLB Network as it fought cable television operators over carriage of the channel, plus keeping the out-of-market Extra Innings package intact.




In late 2006, it looked like a satellite provider, Direc TV might get the winning nod from baseball. It would have given the satellite provider exclusive access to Extra Innings, and an ownership stake in the new network. In exchange, Direc TV planned to launch the network to about 15 million viewers.  MLB benefited from Direc TV’s strategy of trying to corner the out-of-market sports marketplace. Direc TV already had exclusive rights to the NFL’s Sunday Ticket and NASCAR’s Hot Pass. But once cable operators found out that Direc TV was to get exclusive access to Extra Innings as well, they revolted big time.


I am going to have to break our little blog up into two parts because it is about 1 am, and I have to get off here right now because some friends want me to hit the Emergency Room after a friendly game of Beach Football during a Christmas Party  last night at a friend’s home on Clearwater Beach. I have to admit, me head is buzzing, and not from the alcohol anymore. So it might be a great idea to go get it check out before the holidays. Not that my hard head would damage anything, but I do like to remember things at times.


I will try and write part two while I am waiting to be seen ( you know it takes at least an hour ). I will then try and post it in the morning after I wake up. Hopefully, the hospital will have WiFi and I can get this done tonight before I forget all my facts. Anyways, I did not think I needed to go to the hospital since I made that bone crushing tackle in the open field and then got his knee into my right ear.  But I guess the 48-year old corner can no longer put a helmet on it and not get injured. And by the way, my ear does look like a floret of cauliflower in the mirror……cool.