Posts Tagged ‘Pat Gillick’

Following The 40: Prime Directives

November 6th, 2015 by Mike H. | Comments Off on Following The 40: Prime Directives | Filed in Baseball, General, MLB, Phillies

Team President Andy MacPhail, General Manager Matt Klentak, and John Middleton

As expected, the Phillies selected the successor to Ruben Amaro Jr.’s throne. It really seemed like a formality that Team President Andy MacPhail would choose Matt Klentak based off of previous work experience in Baltimore where he served as Director of Baseball Operations. During his introductory statement, Klentak laid forth a set of prime directives that the Phillies would abide by under his watch.

  • Discipline
  • Connectivity
  • Information
  • Culture
  • Winning

Just reading his quotes as to how he will lead this team going forward gives me a sense of hope. Granted a potentially strong base of prospects relatively close to the majors backed by an ownership group with rather deep pockets doesn’t hurt, but talking about discipline, which wasn’t one of his predecessor’s finest qualities, should also let the fans know not to expect the huge splash….yet. What Amaro never learned in his time as General Manager was a lesson he could have learned from Taylor Swift (yes that Taylor Swift). That band aids don’t fix bullet holes. Roy Oswalt and Hunter Pence were both reactionary moves that set the franchise back. Both were meant to cover mistakes in getting rid of Cliff Lee and Jayson Werth, but the cost was detrimental in long-term decisions.

Connectivity and Information will work hand in hand as the team re-evaluates how the team is built going forward. The concept of synergy was not a point of strength since Pat Gillick rode off into the sunset, World Series trophy in hand. In fact, it really seemed like one hand didn’t know what the other hand was doing the majority of the time. I’m excited to see what this franchise can become with an analytic weaponry and the payroll to back it up.


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Blowing It

February 9th, 2015 by Mike H. | Comments Off on Blowing It | Filed in Baseball, Phillies


We finally got to the point where the Phillies saw what everyone else had known for years: it’s over. A rebuild was the only course of action. They finally realized they couldn’t buy their way out of the mess GM Ruben Amaro Jr had created. Long time Phillies Jimmy Rollins, Marlon Byrd, and Antonio Bastardo were shipped off for the best returns imaginable (obviously team president Pat Gillick was heavily involved, if not solely responsible for these moves), but the Phillies best trade chip was staff ace Cole Hamels. The Red Sox, Cubs, Cardinals, Padres, Dodgers, and Rangers were all publicly known to be interested in Hamels, but the Phillies asking price was reportedly astronomical. The Cardinals and Dodgers were looking for a luxury not a necessity and have apparently moved on. The Red Sox, Cubs, and Rangers all acquired pitching and now the Padres and James Shields have reportedly agreed to terms. While the Red Sox have kept in contact, they continue to shoot down all offers that include catching prospect Blake Swihart.

So where does that leave the Phillies? In the same place the Minnesota Twins were when they were in the process of moving staff ace Johan Santana. With suitors dropping left and right, the Phillies return gets worse and worse. Pitchers and catchers report in ten days and if the Phillies think they can just hold out until the trade deadline to move him, they’re setting themselves up for an even bigger let down. Other ace caliber pitchers David Price, Johnny Cueto, and Jordan Zimmermann could all be available at the deadline and will most likely be free agents next winter. God forbid Hamels gets bit by the injury bug in 2015, as that would completely derail the team rebuild. With each passing day, Amaro is risking not only his future, but the team’s as well. At some point Gillick needs to blow out Amaro before Amaro blows his opportunity to cash in his only chip.

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Holding Out Hope

September 29th, 2014 by Mike H. | Comments Off on Holding Out Hope | Filed in Baseball, Phillies

With the 2014 season finally behind us, the off-season officially can begin. Or can it? I for one am holding onto that last shred of hope that GM Ruben Amaro is let go. While many teams have already started the process of removing people from power, I believe it to be possible that the Phillies are trying to avoid any tampering allegations by not speaking publicly to potential replacements that may be a part of teams heading to the post season. Personally, I hope this is the case.

I believe two men in front offices of playoff bound teams would be good fits. Mike Girsch of the St. Louis Cardinals and David Forst of the Oakland Athletics. Both men have had good mentors to help perfect the art of financial responsibility. Forst, 37, is in his 15th season with the A’s and 11th as assistant general manager. He played four seasons at Harvard where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in sociology. Forst has studied under Mr. Moneyball himself, Billy Beane. Girsch, however, has studied under John Mozeliak for the last few years. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics from Notre Dame and an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. He was also the director of the analytical based Baseball Development department for three years before becoming assistant GM.

While either man would be an acceptable choice in my eyes, it does seem like Amaro’s job is safe. It’s finally becoming apparent that Pat Gillick was put in place to avoid someone who possibly would dismiss Amaro. Why wouldn’t another member of the ownership group have taken over as president on an interim basis. John Middleton would’ve been an excellent choice. He’s a successful business person who can make big decisions. He was also the most vocal about his disappointment after losing to the Yankees in the 2009 World Series.

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All Locked Up

September 27th, 2014 by Mike H. | Comments Off on All Locked Up | Filed in Baseball, Phillies

Well friends, after last night’s come from behind loss to the Marlins, the Phillies assured themselves of being the worst team in the division. They also are now guaranteed to have one of the ten worst records in baseball, and a top eleven pick in the 2015 first year player draft next June. It also means that if the Phillies sign any player that received a qualifying offer, they will not lose their first round pick.

Whether the Phillies try to go “all in” one last time will be a topic to debate this winter and will probably be determined by the security of GM Ruben Amaro Junior’s position within the organization. With David Montgomery at the helm, Amaro basically received a full vote of confidence. That may not be the situation with Montgomery having to step down temporarily due to health reasons and having Hall of Famer Pat Gillick stepping in. Will Gillick’s extreme opposite approach to constructing an organization be the downfall of Amaro’s reign? Only time will tell, but it may be coup that puts them back on track.

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Montgomery Takes Medical Leave, Amaro On The Outs?

September 2nd, 2014 by Ryan Waterman | Comments Off on Montgomery Takes Medical Leave, Amaro On The Outs? | Filed in Baseball, General, Phillies, Sports, TalkSportsPhilly, TSP Radio, Twitter

ruben and montgomery

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.


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Is Ruben Amaro, Jr. the worst GM in Phillies’ history?

August 27th, 2014 by Kyle Lutz | Comments Off on Is Ruben Amaro, Jr. the worst GM in Phillies’ history? | Filed in Baseball, MLB, Phillies, Sports

Perhaps So.



Amaro took over for his predecessor, Pat Gillick, in 2009 following Gillick’s retirement from baseball after the Phillies won the World Series in 2008. Gillick was here for three years, from 2006-08, taking the team to the playoffs for the first time in 14 seasons in 2007. The year before, in his first season here, the team came within just three games of a playoff spot; after winning 85 in the regular season (the Dodgers were the NL wild-card representative that year with 88 wins). And following the former accomplishment, Gillick took the team all the way; a feat that hadn’t been done by a GM in Philly in 28 years.

Gillick did a good job in his role, keeping the core group of talented players on the team and adding key bench players to make the team even better, especially in close games (e.g. Matt Stairs, Geoff Jenkins). Although Wade set the tone for the future Phillies’ success with his strong draft picks, Gillick kept those star draft picks around, but did more to compete. He did this, unlike Wade, by adding complementary players (see above), not overpaying for free-agent talent, and making the necessary trades to fill holes.

Amaro, Jr. was primed to be Gillick’s successor, and ultimately did so a month after the ’08 World Series concluded. Dissecting Amaro, Jr’s general-manager career, the secret is out; he’s not a good one, to say the least. Most fans have complained about his frequent impatience and constant flurry of trades of minor-league talent/highly-touted prospects.

(Matt Rourke/AP Photo)


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The Best & Worst of Ruben Amaro Jr. (Part 1: The Best)

October 6th, 2013 by Mike H. | Comments Off on The Best & Worst of Ruben Amaro Jr. (Part 1: The Best) | Filed in Baseball, General, Phillies


The fall of 2008 was a happy time for Philadelphia Phillies fans. Jimmy Rollins’ prophecy of being the team to beat had finally come true, and Pat Gillick’s genius shined thru and brought the team’s second world title in franchise history. We were on top of the world. As the future Hall of Famer stepped aside from the game, Ruben Amaro seemed primed to be next in line to take over the reigning World Champions. Since then, Amaro returned the Phillies to the World Series, but luck (and health), has not been on the team’s side. In the meantime, let’s look at the top ten moves the current GM has made to keep this team successful. (more…)

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