If there is one thing Steve Phillips knew to avoid doing as Mets GM, it was making any sort of bold proclamation.
So when Brodie Van Wagenen boasted that the Mets were the favorites in the National League East before the season, Phillips knew that was a mistake.
"It was like, 'noooo, don't say that' because I just know how this goes," the SiriusXM baseball analyst said, per The Post.
"The baseball gods just have a funny way of just bringing us to our knees. I don't think him saying that affected the way the team has played, but I think it did affect the expectations that everyone had. Now that it's not happening the natural inclination is, 'OK, who are we going to blame for this?"
The problem with the 2019 Mets thus far is that they have failed to establish any sort of consistency.
They are 24-25, third place in the NL East, and are 4.5 games behind the division-leading Phillies. They are on a four-game winning streak after sweeping the Nationals, though, but it comes on the heels of a five-game losing streak, which included being swept by the MLB-worst Marlins.
Phillips, who was GM from 1997-2003 before he was fired, suggested results like this factored into why he avoided such proclamations.
"I was really careful about not making proclamations about who we are and what our expectations were," he said. "I'd rather under-promise and over-deliver than over-promise and under-deliver.
"It's a challenge because you internalize it. Being a GM is not just a job, it becomes a lifestyle and part of who you are. When you are failing it hurts to the core. It's just like it is for the players with criticism, you have to have thick skin and deal with it. Its not quite as simple as that, you feel the pain of it all. I can empathize with Brodie because they had those expectations and they are not living up to it."