Former Pitching Coach Phil Regan Sues Mets for Age Discrimination

Phil Regan, then 82, was not retained by the Mets after the 2019 season.

ex Mets Pitching coach Phil Regan filed an age discrimination lawsuit Monday against the club and former general manager Brodie Van Wagenen, claiming the franchise didn’t keep him on the team after the 2019 season because of the organization’s preference for a younger man.

Regan, who was 82 in ’19, replaced Dave Eiland as the Mets’ pitching coach in June 2019 on an interim basis. He held the position until the end of that season when current New York coach Jeremy Hefner, who was 33 at the time, replaced him in December 2019.


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Matthew Bilt, Regan’s lawyer, wrote in a statement that the franchise targeted Regan as a pitching coach because of his age instead of “rewarding him for his masterful performance” with the team.

“Phil (Regan) came into an underperforming pitching staff and immediately righted the ship,” Blit said in a statement, per ESPN. “He helped lower the team’s ERA and got the team back to where it was supposed to be. BVW (Brodie Van Wagenen) specifically informed Mr. Regan that he was not being detained because of his age.”

The Mets had a 4.74 ERA before firing Eiland and a 3.84 ERA afterward, mostly under Regan, and finished three games out of the playoffs with an 86-76 record. When New York opted not to retain Regan as the MLB club’s pitching coach after the ’19 campaign, he continued to work with the organization as the minor league pitching coordinator through last season.

However, the Mets did not keep him in that role last season, and declined to comment on the lawsuit and referred Van Wagenen to the club for comment.

Regan also says he worked in a hostile work environment, faced instances of harassment as well as reduced pay and fewer opportunities.

“The hurt from his conversation with Mr. Van Wagenen still haunts him to this day,” Blit told TMZ Sports. “He can hear the exact words playing in his head over and over again. Phil knew this had to be done.”

Regan first joined the Mets as the pitching coach in ’09 for Class A St. Lucy. He then became New York’s minor league pitching coordinator in ’16. He last served as an MLB pitching coach in ’99 with Cleveland, and was also the Cubs’ pitching coach in ’97 and ’98. He managed the Orioles to a 71-73 mark in the lockout-shortened ’95 season as well as the Mariners from ’84 to ’86.

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