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Harold Reynolds loses ESPN job with bonus criticism of Steve Phillips
2006-07-25 08:33
by Bob Timmermann

ESPN "Baseball Tonight" analyst Harold Reynolds was apparently let go by the network according to the New York Post.

No reason was given, so speculate wildly, but avoid libelous statements.

I think Reynolds was fired because he insisted on bringing his pet yak into the studio. And the yak wasn't housebroken.

Bob Raissman of the New York Daily News also examines the odd and likely quite biased viewpoints of Steve Phillips.

Comments (115)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2006-07-25 09:43:07
1.   Ali Nagib
So we're going by the "Flynt/Falwell As Long As Its So Ridiculous That No One Would Believe It, Go Right Ahead" rules of libel? In that case...

"Harold Reynolds Loses ESPN Gig Over Internet Sex Video With ManBearPig"

2006-07-25 09:44:39
2.   Bob Timmermann
I think I've known at least three people who have lost jobs for that reason.
2006-07-25 09:50:11
3.   the OZ
Reynolds was fired because he disseminated a memo around the office (although he insisted it was a 'mission statement') suggesting that ESPN should focus less on the Yankees, Red Sox, and Mets and more on the smaller teams, providing greater in-depth coverage that fans in those markets could really care about and appreciate.

Cameron Crowe co-authored the mission statement.

2006-07-25 09:56:27
4.   Berkeley Doug
"ManBearPig" aka John Kruk?
2006-07-25 10:02:51
5.   dianagramr
I hear Harold sidled up to Kolber and said "I'd really like to kiss you".
2006-07-25 10:02:59
6.   Bob Timmermann
I thought the ManBearPig was the evil creature in "Lady in the Water"?
2006-07-25 10:03:13
7.   Sam DC
Well, this thread has started off strong.
2006-07-25 10:03:57
8.   dianagramr
... and Joe Morgan, Steven A. and Stuart Scott still have jobs there .... (sigh)
2006-07-25 10:04:46
9.   Bob Timmermann
And Jeff Brantley and John Kruk and Chris Berman and ...

Get well soon Peter Gammons!

2006-07-25 10:08:20
10.   DXMachina
ESPN discovered that Reynolds had fudged some information on his resume. Among other things, it turns out he didn't have 3000 hits, 500 home runs, nor a even the Ph.D. in Classical Literature he had claimed. They'd also discovered that he was leaking Chris Berman's appearance schedule to Keith Olbermann.
2006-07-25 10:08:56
11.   Chyll Will
8 two cents is too much in that parking lot.
2006-07-25 10:10:22
12.   dianagramr
He was a black man who didn't need to scream at his listeners or be "street" in giving the news, and ESPN just can't have that.
2006-07-25 10:14:15
13.   Bob Timmermann
And of course, Steve Phillips still has a job is regarded as a keen baseball mind who brags that he drafted Jason Tyner with his #1 pick for the Mets once.
2006-07-25 10:15:45
14.   Eric Enders
Harold Reynolds is a pretty common sight in the local bars here, one weekend a year. Last time I saw him he had a big wedding ring on, and a sweet young thing on each arm.
2006-07-25 10:16:56
15.   Bob Timmermann
You can pick up women at bars in Cooperstown?
2006-07-25 10:18:20
16.   dianagramr

Well, other women can ... (not that I would have any first-hand knowledge of such)

2006-07-25 10:19:31
17.   Berkeley Doug
1 If only Joe Maorgan had been invited to join in the video...
2006-07-25 10:19:54
18.   Eric Enders
15 I guess you can if you're a millionaire and TV star. If not, then...
2006-07-25 10:25:18
19.   dzzrtRatt
He was given three months to develop a trademark home run call for the highlight clips. All he could come up with was "Heavens to mergatroid!" and so they agreed to part ways.
2006-07-25 10:26:47
20.   DXMachina
19 - Exit, stage left...
2006-07-25 10:27:57
21.   dianagramr
He criticized Dubya's exit strategy for Iraq ...
2006-07-25 10:32:27
22.   Bob Timmermann
I think he criticized Nixon's bombing of Cambodia and didn't realize that the Enemies List has never expired.
2006-07-25 10:34:05
23.   dianagramr
He criticized "The Griddle" ...
2006-07-25 10:35:18
24.   Ali Nagib
6 - See the following posts on this subject:

Now we just need Matt Stone and Trey Parker to weigh in, and the cycle of hilarity would be complete.

2006-07-25 10:35:56
25.   Eric Enders
Mr. Timmermann is a man who insists on hearing bad news immediately.
2006-07-25 10:37:47
26.   the OZ
Matt Kemp told ESPN to fire Harold. Matt Kemp's whim is reason enough.

Stephen A. Smith is still employed because Matt Kemp demands it. God sent a great flood to punish mankind for its wickedness; Matt Kemp sent Stephen A.

2006-07-25 10:38:18
27.   Philip Michaels
He absconded with the church funds? Ran off with a senator's wife?

I like to think he killed a man. It's the romantic in me.

2006-07-25 10:48:46
28.   DXMachina
He killed a man in Bristol, just to watch him die.
2006-07-25 10:51:11
29.   Chyll Will
As he left the studio, the last word anyone would hear from Reynolds was barely audible:


2006-07-25 10:52:21
30.   the OZ
He told people that ESPN Mobile is just a service for getting sports on your current phone.
2006-07-25 10:56:58
31.   dianagramr
Word leaked of his having Gammons in the office "Dead Pool"
2006-07-25 10:57:51
32.   Greg Brock
I heard he was caught in a compromising situation with Trey Wingo.

Was that funny? Not particularly. I just like saying "Trey Wingo."

2006-07-25 11:00:44
33.   dianagramr
He was caught simulating a sex act with a chocolate eclair.

(and it was Kruk's eclair ...)

2006-07-25 11:02:05
34.   Schteeve
Karl Ravech was sick of being the "second prettiest bitch" on the set.
2006-07-25 11:02:28
35.   Eric Enders
31 = hilarious.
2006-07-25 11:05:51
36.   the OZ
Kruk ate him. The firing is just a cover story so ESPN doesn't get sued by Reynolds' family for violation of OSHA regulations by letting a dangerous ManBearPig onto its premises.
2006-07-25 11:07:21
37.   dianagramr

why thank you Eric!

2006-07-25 11:08:57
38.   Robert Daeley
Alleged yak.
2006-07-25 11:23:00
39.   JoeyP
26 and 31...LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL. Priceless.

I'm actually surprised they'd fire Reynolds. He probably had the best "delivery" and "polish" of any of their commentators. I didnt agree with most of what he said, but the manner in which he said it was agreeable.

May Stephen A, Stuart Boo Yah Scott, and Chris Berman be next!


Thats really all ya need to know.

2006-07-25 11:26:19
40.   JoeyP
Orel actually has a ton of specific pitching knowledge, and I think if he works on his delivery he'll be really good.

Tino-- not sure why they waste time on him. He's brutal I think, of course its only his 1st year. Maybe they think he'll improve?

Orestes Destrade--I think he's the best commetator they have. He should get more air-time.

2006-07-25 11:29:53
41.   Bob Timmermann
We're starting to approach the level of the All-Star Home Run Derby chat here.

Please continue.

2006-07-25 11:30:11
42.   Cliff Corcoran
Wasn't it just a year or two ago that Harold was considered the embarassment on the BBTN set? I guess everything's relative.

32 That was funny precisely because the object was Trey Wingo.

2006-07-25 11:34:26
43.   Sam DC
41 Can I call 'em or what (7)?
2006-07-25 11:38:50
44.   Shaun P
So, what happens if BBTN comes on the air tonight - and HR is there?

If this is real, how can the reason behind the firing NOT have leaked yet? I just can't believe that ESPN - the same network that continues to employ Steve Phillips - is running that tight of a ship.

Color me skeptical.

2006-07-25 11:40:00
45.   JoeyP
Reynolds is probably bummed out he cant call the Little League World Series!
He lives for that stuff.
2006-07-25 11:40:31
46.   Sam DC
Here's no information for you, from a Wash Post beatwriter online chat:

Chicago, Ill.: Any idea what happened with Harold Reynolds?

Jorge Arangure Jr.: Seriously, this topic has a ton in baseball buzzing. Espn is keeping really mum about what happened and nobody seems to know. It's shocking he would get fired since everyone seemed to like Harold. Obviously something went terribly wrong. I kid you not, i've gotten several IM messages asking me if i know what happened.

2006-07-25 11:41:45
47.   Bob Timmermann
How about moving Kyle Peterson over from ESPN U and into the big time?

They need more nerdy looking guys on the show. I have a feeling that Peterson would bamboozle everyone with his knowledge of three- and four-syllable words.

2006-07-25 11:41:48
48.   dianagramr
Maybe Berman caught Harold sweet-talking a girl in leather ...
2006-07-25 11:42:55
49.   Greg Brock
Now that Harold's gone, ESPN's "A guy" quotient went down by 50%.

See, this is a guy...
A-Rod is a guy that...
It's hard to face that guy...
When you face a guy with that good a curveball...
You're talking about a guy that plays defense...

At least ESPN still has Woody Paige. "Here's a guy..."

2006-07-25 11:43:55
50.   dianagramr
Joe Morgan just commented that we (the fans) would never understand why HR got fired, cause we've never been announcers.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2006-07-25 11:45:26
51.   dianagramr
47 I'd love to see BBTN/ESPN snag Al Leiter away from Fox.
2006-07-25 11:47:00
52.   Bob Timmermann
I thought Al Leiter worked for YES? Does he work for both?
2006-07-25 11:48:53
53.   the OZ
52 I thought ESPN was YES.
2006-07-25 11:50:18
54.   Bob Timmermann
ESPN does not run "Yankeeography". Today's episode looks at the career of Wayne Tolleson.
2006-07-25 11:52:45
55.   yankee23
53 I thought ESPN was the anti-YES.
2006-07-25 11:55:41
56.   Marty
Deadspin is saying Sexual Harassment:

We can't say for sure why Harold Reynolds was fired from ESPN yesterday, because ESPN hasn't put out a statement or anything (and they don't have to), but we can tell you what the chatter in Bristol is: Everyone is hearing sexual harassment. Every single email we've received from the inside about this today has used those very two words.

2006-07-25 11:56:52
57.   dianagramr

Oops ... I may have erred .... my bad!

2006-07-25 11:56:59
58.   Greg Brock
Well, thank god it happened in Bristol, and not at the Little League World Series.
2006-07-25 11:58:14
59.   Sliced Bread
Top, uh, 7 reasons Harold Reynolds lost his job at ESPN:

- His "Insider" subscription expired.

- Caught viewing "disturbing" Joe Buck "promos" on his computer.

- Caught writing "This ship is sinking" in magnetic letters on fridge in ESPN commissary.

- Suddenly, and violently head-butted Chris Berman in the chest.

- Had the unmitigated audacity to acknowledge the existence of a MLB Division other than the AL East.

- Violated ESPN dress-code posing shirtless on a rock in Central Park.

- Thought it would be really funny to secretly dehydrate Buck Showalter.

2006-07-25 11:58:37
60.   dianagramr

uh oh!

Guess HR might not have seen this particular South Park episode!

2006-07-25 12:01:38
61.   dianagramr
Maybe HR made his OWN version of "Master Harold and the Boys"
2006-07-25 12:04:19
62.   the OZ
...and Harold manages to prove once and for all that the classic "it's only sexual harrassment if you're ugly" theory of workplace romance is a misconception.
2006-07-25 12:11:24
63.   rbj
HR was caught sexually harrassing the panda.
2006-07-25 12:12:05
64.   Bluebleeder87
Jeff Brantley is a good announcer, he gave us the heads up on Gagne's future arm problems last year.
2006-07-25 12:13:06
65.   dianagramr
I hear Harold is going to host a new game show on ESPN where contestants try to top HR's vast knowledge of diacritical marks ...

the show will be called "Stump the Schwa"

(insert groan here)

2006-07-25 12:13:23
66.   Sliced Bread
Since when is watching "The Very Best Of Morganna" in your cubicle sexual harrassment?
2006-07-25 12:14:16
67.   Bluebleeder87
Orel Hershider is really easy on the ears as well.
2006-07-25 12:14:46
68.   dianagramr

... especially since the video is 28 seconds in length ...

2006-07-25 12:21:08
69.   Bob Timmermann
ESPN has had sexual harassment problems with its employees before, so they may be cracking down on it more.
2006-07-25 12:22:56
70.   Greg Brock
HR's Defense? "She was asking for it. They all ask for it...all the time."
2006-07-25 12:23:05
71.   Bluebleeder87
those 2 stories say nothing on why Renolds was let go?
2006-07-25 12:24:24
72.   underdog
As hilarious as many of these theories are so far, I have to say
12 is still the best one I've heard so far.

Though more likely it was that something embarrassing happened in the arrassment-hay department.

2006-07-25 12:27:09
73.   dianagramr

well ... unfortuantely, my 12 post was only slightly tongue-in-cheek.

I'm sure we could write chapter and verse on the demise of sports journalism brought on by ESPN and the like ...

2006-07-25 12:28:07
74.   Bob Timmermann
Here's how the phone call went:

"Hello, HR?"
"This is HR."
"But I'm HR."
"No, we're HR."
"But I'm only one person!"
"Well, you're fired."
"But how can I fire myself."
"Just leave HR."
"Well, if you want to know, walk over to HR."
"How do I walk over to myself?"
"You were an athlete, figure it out."

2006-07-25 12:30:21
75.   Greg Brock
None of this changes the fact that Harold Reynolds is the reverse Reggie Cleveland.
2006-07-25 12:31:34
76.   dianagramr

Post of the day nominee!

2006-07-25 12:32:32
77.   Sliced Bread
None of this changes the fact that Harold Reynolds is a better pitcher than Sidney Ponson.
2006-07-25 12:35:29
78.   Bluebleeder87
I really wanna know why he was let go.
2006-07-25 12:38:11
79.   Bob Timmermann
ESPN doesn't have to say. But there are rumors of sexual harassment and that is one thing that big companies frown upon greatly. It's one thing that if you are working for the government that is frowned upon greatly.

It's not a good thing to get involved with or be accused of.

2006-07-25 12:41:25
80.   Greg Brock
69 ESPN has had huge problems in the past with sexual harassment coughMikeTiricoGaryMillercough. For HR to get fired, it must have been a recurring problem.
2006-07-25 12:42:39
81.   Bob Timmermann
I thought that Gary Miller's problems were more with John Barleycorn. But he's straightened himself out in that department I know.
2006-07-25 12:43:25
82.   Bluebleeder87

but when chicks do it to us sexy beasts it's o.k.??, double standard?

2006-07-25 12:44:21
83.   Greg Brock
There was the unfortunate "your in nation" episode, but also whispers of naughtiness. In any event, he's a very likeable fellow, and I saw him at The Who concert as the Hollywood Bowl last year.
2006-07-25 12:45:36
84.   grandcosmo
Maybe its as simple as someone at ESPN having an epiphany and realizing that HR was horrible.


2006-07-25 12:46:36
85.   Bob Timmermann

Women can get fired for sexual harassment. It's just that it's not as common because the most frequent scenario is that someone in a position of authority demands something that shouldn't be asked for.

But I've seen cases of men complaining about men and women complaining about women too.

At ESPN, it's quite likely that there aren't a lot of female executives.

2006-07-25 12:46:56
86.   Bluebleeder87

what dose "your in nation" mean? (not jk)

2006-07-25 12:47:20
87.   Chyll Will
79 Then what's MSG's excuse with Zeke?
2006-07-25 12:48:15
88.   Greg Brock
86 Say it really fast. Or Google Gary Miller.
2006-07-25 12:48:16
89.   Bluebleeder87

there's sex at work all the time, I guess the chick didn't dig HR.

2006-07-25 12:48:46
90.   Bob Timmermann
You need to pronounce it faster and it comes out as one word describe something that you aren't supposed to do in public.
2006-07-25 12:50:39
91.   Bob Timmermann

That could be the case. Or it might not be. But if Reynolds were to continually ask a female employee out all the time and she said no and he persisted, he's violating workplace rules.

Ultimately, you want your employees to be able to do their work without having to worry about someone coming by your desk asking you out all the time.

2006-07-25 12:50:47
92.   Bluebleeder87


2006-07-25 12:53:06
93.   Bluebleeder87

exactly, I guess Reynolds couldn't take a hint. this is all speculation of course.

2006-07-25 12:53:41
94.   Bluebleeder87

poty mouths :o)

2006-07-25 12:58:16
95.   Bob Timmermann
With a personnel matter, companies will never say what the exact cause was. That's just they way things are. Unless Reynolds would do something like file suit for wrongful termination. Then all the dirty laundry would have to be aired.
2006-07-25 12:59:20
96.   Greg Brock
If I've told them once, I've told them a thousand times. Never hire Anita Hill as a production assistant.
2006-07-25 13:01:10
97.   Sushirabbit
HR: HR, you're being terminated . .

HR: What, are You Kiddin' me?

HR: Your fired for sexual harassment.

HR: Sexual harassment?! You know Trey Wingo wanted me.

2006-07-25 13:04:47
98.   Greg Brock
Harold Reynolds is the victim of a high-tech lynching.
2006-07-25 13:04:48
99.   Bob Timmermann
If you want an example of sexual harassment by a female, you can watch the not very good 1994 film "Disclosure."

Based on an annoying novel by Michael Crichton.

2006-07-25 13:05:38
100.   Bob Timmermann
I think Nina Totenberg should have broken the story.
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2006-07-25 13:05:40
101.   Bluebleeder87

oh man, LOL.

2006-07-25 13:06:48
102.   Bluebleeder87

Yeah, but it's useally ugly chicks that do that. I wish a hot chick would do that to me.

2006-07-25 13:08:47
103.   Greg Brock
100 I knew, if one person would appreciate the references, it would be you. You complete me, Bob Timmermann.

And no, I am not harassing you.

2006-07-25 13:15:56
104.   Bob Timmermann

It's probably not all that much fun and most likely the women who do that don't look like Demi Moore either.

2006-07-25 13:30:49
105.   Schteeve
Hey Hawk, did you hear about Harolyd Reynolds?

Hawk: He Gone!

2006-07-25 13:32:46
106.   dianagramr
Maybe we can pair up HR with the nutty woman that's been stalking Bob Uecker.
2006-07-25 13:35:05
107.   underdog
73 Sorry, I phrased my post above wrong - I meant I took yours more seriously, the theory actually did sound plausible to me (sadly).
2006-07-25 14:08:01
108.   Kayaker7
103 LOL...during the KPCC fund drive recently, they did one of those, "what would [insert NPR personality] do, if they weren't in public radio" bit, where persumably, because all the free-loading NPR listener did not contribute, these talented people had to turn elsewhere to express their talent. They had Nina Totenberg do her signature play by play dialog on a really mundane subject (which I cannot recall right now).
2006-07-25 15:14:46
109.   Marty
Based on an annoying novel by Michael Crichton.

The "annoying" need not be said, it's a given.

2006-07-25 15:15:31
110.   Marty
I'm guessing Reynolds walked up to Berman and said "You're with me, leather".
2006-07-25 16:52:12
111.   joejoejoe
If sexual harassment is such a big issue at ESPN why would ESPN choose to hire Steve Phillips, who was suspended by the Mets for that very thing? Maybe Steve Phillips was sexually harassing Harold Reynolds and HR got fired for being a whistleblower?
2006-07-25 17:35:02
112.   dianagramr

"Maybe Steve Phillips was sexually harassing Harold Reynolds and HR got fired for being a whistleblower?"


Is that what they are calling it know ... whistleblowing? :-)


2006-07-25 18:33:52
113.   Kayaker7
112 Ah, Dirty Diana. ;-)

Reminds me of a Dave Letterman "Top Ten Scottish Joke Punchlines. One of them was, "No, it's not a bagpipe, but don't stop."

2006-07-25 20:17:55
114.   joejoejoe
Deadspin has an update:

"Anyone who is saying sexual harassment either has been given bad third-hand info or is lying. Harold has had a couple of rather heated arguments with the producers at "Baseball Tonight," and some of the suits at ESPN over the program's coverage of Alex Rodriguez. At the last production meeting, when it was made clear they were going to really play up the A-Rod angle during coverage of the Yankees-Texas series, Harold had a colossal meltdown, which led to his dismissal. The sexual harassment allegations are even more laughable when you consider that he is being replaced by Steve Phillips -- a man who has never met a skirt he wouldn't chase and who was caught in one of the more embarrassing front office sexual harassment scandals in MLB history."

It's still all rumors but I'm hoping HR got fired for calling out ESPN for their A-Rod fetish.

2006-07-25 21:57:02
115.   Greg Brock
Getting fired from the Worldwide leader is very difficult. That's not my opinion, it's an opinion offered by a few ESPN employees around the interwebs. Frankly, I don't believe having a meltdown over Alex Rodriguez is getting anybody fired, especially when you're a quasi-brand, like HR is. Little League videos, coaching clinics, all that jazz. All sponsored by ESPN. Throwing all of that out over an argument over a third baseman? Methinks not.

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