Phil Regan sues him for firing NY Mets, says he was too old
Four years ago the New York Mets shook up their staff after firing the pitching coach Dave Eiland and bullpen coach Chuck Hernandez and his admission is then 82 years old Phil Regan.
“When we evaluated the first 2 1/2 months of the season, especially over the last few weeks, we felt there was room for improvement in the bullpen’s performance,” said general manager Brodie Van Wagenen. he said at the time. “I think that’s the root of the move. We believe that we have the talent to be better than what we have done so far.”
While with the Mets, Regan coached star pitchers Jacob deGrom, Zack Wheeler and Noah Syndergaardwho Regan claims has gotten better under his watch.
Regan only stayed with the team for half a season as he was hired as an interim coach, though the former pitching coach is now suing the team, claiming he was fired because of his age.
Phil Regan is suing the New York Mets
According to the lawsuit filed by TMZ Sportsthe former pitching coach, now 85, is suing his former team, the New York Mets, claiming he was fired because of his old age.
During his time with the team as interim manager after Dave Eiland was let go, the Mets saw many improvements under Regan, including the fact that the team’s ERA dropped significantly and that pitchers Jacob deGrom, Zack Wheeler and Noah Syndergaard all improved with Regan, the according to the lawsuit.
Regan even claims that the team’s general manager at the time, Brodie Van Wagenen, admitted to him that he wouldn’t be coming back next year because he was “too old” and that “if we don’t find the young pitching coach he’s looking for, we’ll take him back,” the lawsuit states.
The then 82-year-old player was replaced in the offseason by 33-year-old former MLB pitcher Jeremy Hefner.
Regan is suing for unspecified damages.
Attorney Matthew Blit speaks
Regan’s lawsuit was filed by high-profile employment lawyer Matthew Blit, who spoke to TMZ Sports and said: “Phil is the first to make jokes about his age, but there’s nothing funny about being told you’re being passed over , because their employer wants a younger person. This is discrimination, plain and simple.”
The lawyer continued: “Discrimination lawsuits in professional sports are extremely rare. In fact, Phil has debated this for many years. But the hurt from the conversation with Mr. Van Wagenen haunts him to this day. He hears the exact words over and over in his head. Phil knew it had to be done.”
Phil Regan’s coaching experience
Before becoming a pitching coach, Phil Regan spent 13 years in the Major Leagues from 1960 to 1972, playing with the Detroit Tigers, Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox.
Prior to coaching the New York Mets, Phil Regan coached at Grand Valley State University for 10 seasons. He then moved to MLB with the Seattle Mariners, where he was their pitching coach from 1984-86. He was also the pitching coach for the Cleveland Indians (now the Cleveland Guardians) and the Chicago Cubs.