AOL Fanhouse hired Steve Philips as their new baseball analyst, just 161 days after the world learned he had an affair with an ESPN underling. Is that some kind of record for morphing from sexual disgrace to professional respectability?
I mean, people ask Eliot Spitzer for his opinion all the time, but he is still a long way from being allowed to govern anything. Tiger Woods doesn't have to pass a job interview to tee up at The Masters. Yet, Steve Phillips is being hired to do the exact same job he was doing less than six months ago—albeit from a less prominent perch—despite being shamed out of his position for inappropriate conduct with a co-worker. It was also announced yesterday that he will be a featured regular on the Mike Francesa Show on WFAN, giving him two new baseball media jobs in 24 hours. Even for second-chance America, that's quick turnaround.
It's always a good first day on the job when it involves a lengthy Q&A about your johnson control. But let's remember when, shall we?
October 21: The New York Post breaks the story of Phillips' affair with Brooke Hundley, a 22-year-old production assistant on his show. ESPN grants him a "leave of absence" to deal with his personal issues.
October 21: Uh ... this happened. Moving on.
October 22: More salacious details come out, most of them focusing on Hundley's bizarre harassment of Phillips and his family, as well as her less-than-glamorous looks. New York tabloids enjoy it immensely.
October 25: With embarrassment growing and the story refusing to die, Phillips is fired. He immediately enters a treatment facility for sex addiction.
November 12: In the first media appearance by either party, Hundley appears on Good Morning America and accuses Phillips of threatening her job safety if she told anyone about the affair and that he is generally being an irresponsible person.
February 12: After three quiet months with no further developments, Philips gives his first post-scandal interview to Today. He explains how he is not using sex addiction as an excuse, but after 45 days of rehab he is ready to move on with his life.
March 31: Six weeks after his public apology, Phillips gets two new job offers on the same day.
Not bad. Oh, and don't forget—this was the second time that Phillips admitted to having an affair with a co-worker. He was forced to take a leave of absence as GM of the New York Mets after his actions there led to a sexual harassment lawsuit against his employer. That makes him two-for-two on jobs where he has had inappropriate relationships with colleagues. That is typically not the resume of a person you want to bring into your corporate family.
But what's really getting lost in all of this controversy is that Steve Phillips was terrible at both jobs. (Someone at Fanhouse saw those fake press conferences, right?) Yet, people still want to pay him to explain baseball to people. That may be the biggest scandal of all.
Steve Phillips, Former Mets GM, Joins FanHouse [MLB FanHouse]