I’m not in the give Pat Gillick a pass camp. He helped build the 2008 World Champions, but he’s firmly entrenched in a mindset of a time gone by. And it seems just about everything he told reporters yesterday was BS. Let’s delve!
Speaking about Amaro’s strengths:
“People forget that he was the general manager in 2009, 2010 and 2011,” Gillick said about Amaro. “He went to the World Series in 2009, and had the best record in baseball in 2011. He had to make some right decisions in those years. And we were together before that. There’s a history. I know the fans and media don’t worry about what happened in the past. But he didn’t get dumb all of a sudden.”
Yeah, that’s one way of looking at it. The other… is that Amaro took a great team, was given a pile of money to spend, made the obvious moves for big-name free agents and trading block players (admittedly, his ability to get deals done was impressive), but failed to address or seemingly even comprehend the basic tenets of building a winning baseball team and was at the helm as the Phillies literally took a step backward each year since he took over.
2009: World Series loss
2010: NLCS loss
2011: NLDS loss
2012: 81 wins
2013: 73 wins
2014: 73 wins
This year: Probably like 60 wins
In other words: I’m fairly certain that I could’ve general managed the Phillies into the playoffs in 2009.
Let’s not give Rube too much credit, especially when you consider that the 2010 Phillies – arguably the best Phillies team ever (injuries aside) – were robbed of a possible Roy Halladay-Cliff Lee-Cole Hamels rotation for really no reason whatsoever other then Rube hedging his bets and trading Lee for prospects, including the Christmas tree you saw on Friday night, Phillippe Aumont.
On Ryne Sandberg:
“Well,” Gillick said, “as I said before the season, we knew what a challenge we would have on wins and losses. If you want to judge a guy on wins and losses then no, he hasn’t done a good job. If you want to judge the way he’s conducted the club, the way he’s kept them battling in games, that indicates to me that he’s keeping these guys in a positive frame of mind and that’s the most important thing.”
Fair enough– you can’t judge Sandberg on wins and losses. But judging him on the way he’s conducted the club? Sure: pissing off stars early on, having rookie pitchers yelling into the dugout, hilarious bullpen mishaps. And battling (which seems to be the Phillies word du jour) in games? Do we really call this…
On overvaluing players:
“That’s real bull, I’ll tell you that,” said Gillick. “They think we’re desperate and we’re in a fire sale and we’ve got to dump salary. We’re not going to do anything we don’t think is in the best interest of the ball club.”
Only time will tell. But thus far the Phillies have failed to land any significant prospects for their trade chips, have failed to trade their most sought after assets, and waited too long on the other – Cliff Lee – who is now virtually worthless on the open market.
But Gillick is a lame duck, and he knows it. So, The Rock, IT DOESN’T MATTER WHAT HE SAYS!
Quotes via Todd Zolecki