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Steve Phillips Says Mets Are The Toughest Job in Sports



By Mike Silva ~ October 4th, 2012. Filed under: MLB, SiriusXM, YES.

Yesterday, during his morning show with Evan Cohen on Mad Dog Radio, Steve Phillips stated that he believed the Mets job was the toughest in all of sports. He cited the big market pressure and expectations that comes with playing in the same city as the Yankees sans the resources.

We can argue the Wilpons are the reason why the Mets reside in the same city as their cross-town counterparts, yet can only afford approximately half the payroll. I can’t argue the Mets ownership has done a lousy job leveraging the financial power of their zip code.

However, the Yankees have a world-wide brand that George Steinbrenner leveraged to create the powerful conglomerate we see today. The Yankees renaissance in 1996 widened the gap to a point that we will probably never see the teams on equal footing again. Even if the Mets were fairly competent over their 50 year existence, I doubt they could achieve the same global recognition the Yankees enjoy. Don’t forget, the Yanks have a five decade jumpstart on them.

Is the Mets job the toughest in sports? Phillips makes a fair point. You could also argue the Yankees are the tougher job. If you win with the Mets you are a hero. You are expected to compete, not dominate. The Yankees won the American League East last night and their reward is a mission accomplished. They now must win the World Series or this season is a failure. No one will remember the toughness displayed in September, great comebacks or their ability to battle through injuries. Pundits don’t give you credit for things you are supposed to do. It’s said, but true. Think of the old Greek mythology tale about Sisyphus, who was condemned to repeat forever the same meaningless task of pushing a boulder up a mountain, only to see it roll down again. That is how it is to be the GM or field manager of the Yankees.

On the flip side there is the frustration and pain of never being good enough that comes with the job in Flushing. Even if you build a dynasty, you will still be in the shadow of the Yankees. We will probably never see a period of Mets dominance like the one accomplished from 1984 to 1990.

Baseball is a 24/7/365 cycle in New York. Former Mets pitching coach Rick Peterson always said “its 162 one game seasons” here. Whether the Mets or the Yankees are the toughest job in all of sports is a matter of interpretation and personal bias.

I think it’s six of one and half dozen of another. It just depends on what level of grief and glory is your cup of tea.

***

I love listening to David Cone do color during Yankees games on the YES Network. Cone was one of my favorite Mets back in the 80s, and he brings that same colorful personality to the television booth. He’s also embraces a broader audience with his knowledge of advanced stats. You have to admire someone that grew up in an old school baseball era, but is comfortable enough to delve into a topic that aren’t popular amongst his generation.

Cone may have stepped over the politically correct line on Tuesday when he referred to Ichiro Suzuki‘s bat as “a chopstick.” I suspect you understand the issue with this statement since Ichiro is of Japanese descent.

Nary a word was mentioned in the mainstream media, which was somewhat surprising. Yes, Twitter and the blogosphere did light up right after his comment, but nowhere near the hysteria we saw earlier this year with the “chink in the armor” ESPN situation and Jeremy Lin.

Why is this? Could it be that Cone is a former athlete and respected member of the baseball community? Could it be that Ichiro isn’t a worldwide phenomenon like Lin as back in February? Could it be we are too distracted by the pennant race, presidential debate or don’t see Ichiro through the same ethic lenses that we did Lin? Did Randy Levine threaten to sue if someone said a disparaging word?

I don’t have the answer, but I find it to be interesting

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Mike Silva has hosted sports shows on 107.1 FM Champions ESPN Radio Long Island ,1240 AM WGBB , Blog Talk Radio and live from Mickey Mantle’s Restaurant. He’s also built and maintained two popular social media hubs: New York Baseball Digest and Sports Media Watchdog. Mike has broken national and local stories, as well as been mentioned on the YES Network, SNY.tv, WFAN, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, NY Daily News, New York Magazine, Journal News and the NY Post. Contact Mike professionally at mikesilvamedia.com

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