Former Mets pitching coach sues team, alleging age discrimination
from Victor Barbosa, with YardBarker.com/www.yardbarker.com
Former New York Mets pitching coach Phil Regan has filed a lawsuit against the team, claiming he wasn’t retained following the 2019 season because he was too old.
According to a report from TMZ Sports, Regan said that the Mets general manager at the time (Brodie Van Wagenen) admitted to the now-85-year-old that he wouldn’t be returning to the club for the 2020 campaign because he was “too old.” The lawsuit added that Van Wagenen apparently told Regan that if the team didn’t “find the young pitching coach we are looking for, we’ll hire you back.”
Regan took over as New York’s interim pitching coach midway through the 2019 season after the team fired Dave Eiland. After Regan was let go, the team hired then 33-year-old former MLB pitcher Jeremy Hefner, who still holds the position.
Per the report, Regan claims that the Mets’ pitching saw “immediate results” after he came on, and the top-of-the-rotation hurlers in Jacob deGrom, Zach Wheeler and Noah Syndergaard all improved under his guidance.
New York finished third in quality starts in 2019 (83), tied for fifth in shutouts (12) and 11th in ERA (4.24). deGrom made his third All-Star team that year and won his second straight NL Cy Young award (leading the league with 255 strikeouts), Wheeler went 11-8 with a 3.96 ERA and Syndergaard finished 10-8 with a 4.28 ERA.
“Phil is the first to crack jokes about his age,” Regan’s attorney, Matthew Blit said, per TMZ Sports. “However there is nothing funny about a person being told that they are being passed over because their employer wants someone younger. That’s discrimination, plain and simple.
Regan spent 13 years as a big-league pitcher with the Detroit Tigers, Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago White Sox from 1960 to 1972, making one All-Star team and leading the league in saves twice. He then held various coaching gigs with the Cubs, Seattle Mariners and Cleveland then-Indians, as well as serving one year as the Baltimore Orioles manager in 1995.
He hasn’t coached since the 2019 campaign with the Mets.