Former Mets GM and ESPN talking head Steve Phillips was on the Today show this morning, opening his heart about his treatment for sex addiction. No word on if he was angry about being totally overshadowed by Tiger Woods in that department, but there was a lot of remorse and apologies to his family and things of that nature.
Which is good, because for as much as I’ve ripped Phillips in the past, I feel bad for the guy. Not for what he did to himself — he dug his own grave with the job and the publicity and all of that — but for the fact that there’s a really good chance he’s going to lose his family over this and that even if he doesn’t, their relationship will forever be altered. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone, and just because his wounds are self-inflicted doesn’t mean they aren’t wounds.
On a lighter note, the article says that Phillips’ program was an AA-style 12-stepper. Anyone who knows about those knows that a key part is making amends. And the amends don’t just have to be things the recovering party did while specifically subject to the addiction in question. Which means that, sooner or later Mets fans, expect Phillips to call you up and apologize to you for the Mo Vaughn, Roberto Alomar, Pedro Astacio, Mike Bordick, Bobby Bonilla, Rickey Henderson, Kenny Rogers, and Jeromy Burnitz deals.
Right-hander Gerrit Cole is set to take the mound for the Pirates on Opening Day, according to a team announcement on Saturday. It’s a spot that was most recently occupied by former Pirate Francisco Liriano, who made three consecutive Opening Day starts for the club before getting dealt to the Blue Jays last August.
The 26-year-old produced career-worst numbers during his fourth run with the Pirates in 2016, due in large part to bouts of inflammation in his right elbow. He finished the year with a 3.88 ERA, 2.8 BB/9 and 7.6 SO/9 over 116 innings before getting shut down in September to avoid further injury to his elbow. When healthy, however, Cole has been lights-out for the Pirates. Prior to his injury-laden campaign last year, he touted a career 3.07 ERA, 2.2 BB/9, 8.5 SO/9 and cumulative 10.2 fWAR from 2013 through 2015.
Cole will go toe-to-toe with the Red Sox during Boston’s home opener on Monday, April 3. Right-hander Jameson Taillon is scheduled to make the second start of the year, while fellow righty Ivan Nova will cover the Pirates’ home opener against the Braves on April 7. The Pirates’ third and fifth starters have yet to be announced.
Cubs’ manager Joe Maddon hasn’t selected a fifth starter for his 2017 rotation yet, but told reporters that he could envision left-handers Brett Anderson and Mike Montgomery sharing the spot throughout the year. Neither pitcher was stretched out to the full 200-inning threshold last year, Maddon added, and suggested that the two could alternate innings out of the rotation and bullpen as needed (via MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat).
Anderson, 29, was acquired by the Cubs in January on a $3.5 million deal. He’s coming off a rough 2016, during which he underwent back surgery and missed all but 11 1/3 innings of his last season with the Dodgers. His last full, healthy year in the majors yielded a 3.69 ERA, 2.3 BB/9 and 5.8 SO/9 over 180 1/3 innings with Los Angeles in 2015.
Montgomery, meanwhile, is vying for a rotation spot after pitching almost exclusively from the bullpen during the second half of the Cubs’ 2016 run. The 27-year-old lefty put up a 2.82 ERA, 4.7 BB/9 and 8.9 SO/9 over 38 1/3 innings for Chicago last year, returning in the postseason to post a 3.14 ERA during the Cubs’ championship finish.
Maddon also mentioned the possibility of throwing a sixth starter into the mix, which would help prevent his other starters from getting overworked too early in the year. Either way, Anderson and Montgomery are expected to get a lot of looks early in spring training as rotation spots are finalized in the weeks leading up to Opening Day.