Sometimes, sometimes David Murphy will write something that doesn’t make me feel like I need to bathe in paint thinner. This is one of those times.
“But a funny thing happened while the Phillies were maintaining the status quo. The business of baseball changed and, just like most companies with significant legacy components, the Phillies needed a leader who possessed a firm understanding of the sport’s new economic order. In the new order, the science of decision making and resource allocation is just as important as – if not more than – the art of evaluating physical talent. With longtime baseball men like Montgomery and Gillick and Wade and Amaro and Dallas Green and Charlie Manuel all on the payroll, the Phillies are rich in institutional knowledge, an entity that might soon become a market inefficiency itself given the ironically shortsighted disregard with which many children of the new order treat it. But institutional knowledge is often rich with conventional wisdom, and conventional wisdom is, by definition, static. And if it is not continually checked against the fluid reality of the present, it threatens to mire an organization in the past.”
Completely agree. In fact, I’d argue that it’s not only the baseball ops people who are stuck in the past, but also the team’s marketing, PR and social media folks. The world changed a lot from 2007 to 2011, while the Phils were turning the crank collecting wins and positive press, and it’s almost as if the franchise awoke from a five-year slumber and had no idea what was going on. What happened to Tom Hanks in Castaway is now happening to the Phillies. They’re trying to assimilate back into society, but they’ve missed out on so much. Everything’s different. There’s SABR, Twitter… and Helen Hunt aged extremely awkwardly and somehow met a guy and had a child without taking hardly any time to grieve. What the fuck?! So the Phils are Tom Hanks now, standing in the rain, sopping wet, crossing their fingers for one last look at Helen Hunt’s (still spectacular) boobs.
No such luck.