Steve Phillips is no longer working for ESPN. His ability to be an effective representative for ESPN has been significantly and irreparably damaged, and it became evident it was time to part ways.
Initial reaction: Steve Phillips was on shaky ground when the story broke Wednesday (if you were out of the country/in a coma, get up to speed here), and we thought he’d survive. But Friday’s revelations that Brooke Hundley filed a restraining order against the Baseball Tonight analyst, combined with the “out-of-court settlement” turned the situation into another Harold Reynolds saga. Phillips is believed to have had two years left on his contract at ESPN.
To those who will ask, “Why fire a guy for sleeping with this chick? Who cares? What does that have to do with his analysis of Joe Girardi’s late-game pitching management?” … here’s a guess:
a) ESPN desperately wants/needs to shake the frat house culture that has become increasingly evident in the last decade
b) The inter-office romances featuring a guy in a position of power (on-air talent) and someone way down the totem pole open the company up to sexual harassment lawsuits.
More reaction tomorrow.
[UPDATE]: According to SI’s Jon Heyman, Steve Phillips has entered some kind of “treatment facility” for “personal issues.” Heyman received a brief statement from Phillips’ agent.