Thursday was yet another sad day for the Phillies organization. Not even a week following the death of owner “Sally” Buck, the team announced that President David Montgomery is taking an indefinite medical leave of absence, to focus on his recovery from jaw cancer. During Montgomery’s absence, the team announced that former Phillies GM Pat Gillick will oversee the team’s day-to-day operations. If Montgomery does not return before the start of the offseason, it may be up to Gillick to determine the future of organizational employees, both on and off the field. Since Montgomery’s surgery for his cancer back in May, concerns have arisen that he may eventually step down, sooner rather than later. If he was to take a permanent leave, one would assume that Gillick would take over as the Phillies’ president. Montgomery, who has been a co-owner of the team since 1981, could be in for a bit of a change when/if he returns. While Montgomery has made it clear, that Amaro is “not in the hot seat”, it remains to be seen what Gillick’s feelings towards Amaro are.
Amaro, who took over as GM for Gillick just days after the 2008 World Series, has not exactly used Gillick’s team building skills as a blueprint for his tenure in Philly. Gillick was never one for making “flashy trades”, and “free-agent splashes”, as he was more focused on “home-grown talent” making their mark in the organization. Gillick and Amaro took different paths in their tenures, based on their organizational moves. During Gillick’s tenure, the team essentially remained the same every year. Gillick never truly made a “blockbuster move”, as his transactions were primarily to provide team depth, and make way for younger, up-and-coming players like Jayson Werth and Shane Victorino.
Meanwhile, Amaro has made his name off of “blockbuster moves”, acquiring the likes of Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Roy Oswalt, and Hunter Pence. While some of those moves worked out well, Amaro did his best to distance himself from Gillick’s blueprint of growing talent from within. It wasn’t until just recently, that Amaro re-adopted that blueprint. Due to the constant shuffling within the clubhouse, the team was never really able to build much “team chemistry”, and hasn’t been able to reach the pinnacle of baseball, since Gillick left.
The takeaway from this article, is that Montgomery’s absence, could make for a bigger storyline going into the winter, and possibly even further down the line. If Gillick is to become Montgomery’s successor as team president, I foresee significant organizational changes, starting at the top. Whether it be Montgomery or Gillick at the helm this time next season, I strongly feel that we’ll have a new General Manager not named Ruben Amaro Jr.
Tags: David Montgomery, Pat Gillick, Ruben Amaro, Ryan Waterman, TalkSportsPhilly