Advertisement

Phillips Fired by Mets After Last-Place Start

Share via
From Associated Press

Steve Phillips was fired Thursday as general manager of the listless New York Mets, a last-place team stuck with a lot of highly paid stars who have failed to produce.

With the Mets banged-up, booed at Shea Stadium and nowhere near the team that reached the 2000 World Series, owner Fred Wilpon called Phillips into his office. Phillips became the first GM in the majors to be fired this season.

“I wouldn’t say he was surprised,” Wilpon said. “It wasn’t a long conversation.”

Wilpon said he had been thinking about making the move “for a long time.”

In a statement handed out by the Mets during their game at Texas, Phillips said “it is with much disappointment that I leave, but it is also with a sense of excitement and curiosity of what the future will bring. I wish the organization nothing but the best in the future and hope that much success is found very soon.”

Advertisement

Senior assistant general manager Jim Duquette took over on an interim basis through the end of the season and will be a candidate for the permanent position. Other names will surely be in the mix, with former Met executive and current Montreal GM Omar Minaya certain to be prominent.

“When I envisioned getting the role as the GM, this wasn’t really the way that I envisioned it,” Duquette said in Texas. “It’s a mixed feeling for me right now. It’s unsettling, not overly gratifying.”

A former infielder drafted by the Mets in 1981 ahead of Roger Clemens, Phillips took over as GM on July 16, 1997, and brought a lot of big names to Shea -- Mike Piazza, Tom Glavine, Al Leiter, Roberto Alomar, Mo Vaughn and Mike Hampton, among them. But not all of those moves worked out the way Phillips hoped.

Floundering at 29-35 despite the second-highest payroll in the majors, Wilpon vowed things would “heat up” as the July 31 trading deadline approaches.

Alomar may be among the first to go -- there’s been speculation about a deal to send the slumping second baseman to Boston.

*

New York Yankee right-hander Roger Clemens is a go to start tonight against the St. Louis Cardinals, his fourth try for win No. 300.

Advertisement

Clemens has been struggling because of bronchitis, and Manager Joe Torre is giving no guarantees on how long he will be allowed to go.

*

Barry Bonds plans on playing in next month’s All Star game but could change his mind if his father’s health worsens.

Bobby Bonds has lung cancer and is undergoing chemotherapy. He also had an operation last year to remove a cancerous tumor from his kidney.

“If my father’s condition got worse, what would I do? I’d stay home. I wouldn’t go,” Barry Bonds said. “That’s just common sense.”

*

Met reliever Mike Stanton will have surgery today to repair a torn ligament in his left knee. He will be out from three to six weeks. The tear was discovered Thursday after Stanton, recently off the disabled list, returned to New York to have his ailing knee examined.

*

Right-handed reliever Todd Van Poppel accepted a nonguaranteed minor league deal with the Cincinnati Reds.

Advertisement
Advertisement