Gary Phillips

Gary Phillips is a contributor at The Athletic, Forbes and Sporting News and the Managing Editor of USA Today Sports' Jets Wire. Phillips has previous experience with Bleacher Report, FanRag Sports, The Bergen Record, CNBC, NBC News,, the Locked On Network, The Journal Inquirer and The Journal News. A journalism graduate of Seton Hall, he was Editor-in-Chief of The Setonian, the university's award-winning student newspaper. He can be reached at or 845-825-7030.

Off-court creativity ‘essential’ to Willie Cauley-Stein’s success on the court

Robin Clary was scrolling through her Twitter feed when she stumbled upon the perfect student. It was Summer 2016 and the Folsom, California-based piano instructor couldn’t help but notice the 7-footer inquiring about lessons. In the midst of his first professional offseason, Willie Cauley-Stein was bored. He wanted to create. He always does when he’s not playing basketball.

‘I probably shouldn’t have been an idiot’: Now...

Mort, Mat Latos’ go-to Cincinnati clubbie, had the right-hander’s gameday order down pat. Without fail, whenever Latos strolled into Great American Ballpark, he’d find Mort waiting with a chicken, bacon and ranch sandwich and a bottle of Cholula Hot Sauce. These days, Latos, 30, spreads his own peanut butter and jelly with cheap plastic knives before games. Now a closer for the independent Can-Am League's New Jersey Jackals...

He had to retire the machetes from his act, but Marlins’ Derek Dietrich still loves to juggle

Huddled around J.B. Shuck’s cell phone in the visitors’ clubhouse at Citi Field, a group of Marlins can’t believe their eyes. Bewildered, they watch a video from August 2013. Pictured is a man wearing a Jacksonville Suns uniform as he entertains a crowd at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville. He starts off slow, tossing three balls in the air. Then four. Then five. Then he moves on to bowling pins. Next, razor-sharp machetes cut through the air. Yes, they’re real. So are the torches.