Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Steve Phillips The Big Shot

For those of you who don't subscribe to ESPN's Insider, you don't have access to the latest column by Steve Phillips, where he explains what he would do if he were the Nationals' GM and Soriano refused to play the outfield. This is some of what he says he would say to Soriano:

"I will not trade Jose Vidro; I will not trade you; you will play left field or you will be placed on the disqualified list. If you force us to make that move, you will lose out on your $10 million salary and you will lose out on the thing you have been waiting for: free agency. If you think your value is reduced by moving to the outfield, you should consider what your value will be after spending most or all of the upcoming season not playing. You should consider that people will perceive, rightly or wrongly, that you are a selfish player. And you likely will get booed everywhere you play for the rest of your career.

"This is going to play out in one of two ways, both of which you control. You will either come to your senses and take a long-term perspective and see this as an opportunity, or you will cripple your career and force our hand."

Easy for Steve to say, sitting in ESPN's broadcast booth. Is this really the kind of straight shooting talk he did as Mets' GM? I'm reading this and picturing his negotiations with Alex Rodriguez in the 2000 offseason:

"Listen, A-Rod. This is going to play out one of two ways: You will either take our lowball offer and see this as an opportunity to play for what is right now New York's second team, and all the pressure to improve the franchise will ride on your shoulders, or you can take Texas' offer, which is double what ours is, and you will be viewed as a greedy player and get booed everywhere you play for the rest of your career, because I'm going to leak to the press that we were willing to pay you whatever you wanted until you said you wanted a tent in the Shea parking lot."

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