phils trio

The Phillies just held a press conference to announce Andy MacPhail would become president starting next season. Here are the highlights, and all quotes should be seen as paraphrasing:

John Middleton:

  • MacPhail will serve as special assistant to Pat Gillick for rest of season.
  • Gillick has complete operational control until next season.
  • They expect MacPhail to improve the farm system and ultimately the major league team.
  • Important to find someone who had worked under different owners, circumstances, financial history, and more.
  • He has a rare combination of old-school experience and new age thinking.
  • He’s important for his use of sabermetrics.
  • He greatly expanded the use of sabermetrics and statistical analysis in Baltimore.
  • MacPhail will have access to whatever resources he needs to succeed.
  • The single most important thing an ownership group does, is hire the person in charge. We own this decision because we intend to win.
  • Those reports [of me trying to take control] are erroneous. I’m not pushing for change.
  • I probably heard about Ryne resigning an hour after he announced to Pat that he was resigning.
  • We’re telling Andy and his team, that we’re giving him what he needs to win.  We’re not handing him his budget.

Andy MacPhail:

  • I am very flattered by this offer, this is the first time you’ve gone outside the org. for a position like this.
  • This game has evolved two times over since I’ve been gone.
  • My three main functions will be to read, to watch, and to listen.
  • Hopefully I’ll have a clear idea of what needs to be done in three months.
  • The Phillies’ current snapshot is “not great.”
  • If you stick with the rebuild, you’ll be rewarded.
  • Success will not be linear. [Ed. note: Almost an exact Sam Hinkie quote]
  • Today’s game sort of defies timetables.
  • What doesn’t work is if you have a change of strategy every two years.
  • Sabermetrics is something of intense interest to ownership.
  • When it comes to analytics, why would you exclude any information? Look at everything.
  • Bodies change, people grow, you need to look at everything.
  • I want to collect as much information as I possibly can.
  • You need to do everything you can to understand where that trend line can be on a player. Can you expect diminishing performance?
  • This organization has a terrific, first-class reputation in the game.
  • I’m really confident we’ll be able to get back, if we do the work.
  • Eskin: When do you think this team can contend? MacPhail: It defies timetables, and you’re being disingenuous if you try to put a timetable on this. Eskin is 0-2 on this question.
  • I’m gonna require some time to formulate philosophies for a large market franchise like this.
  • Even if you’re a skeptic, you’ve gotta use analytics to understand who your opponents are thinking.
  • I had a not very SABR friendly GM in Chicago, and I made him hire some analytics people.
  • I’ve known Ryne since he was in Chicago. I really don’t know what was going through his mind, but there are few people I know who I respect more than Ryne Sandberg.

Pat Gillick:

  • Ownership was very diligent in selecting the right person for this job.
  • He’s an information gatherer, and that’s very important.
  • You can’t shut off any area of information, it’s all crucial.
  • You have to be patient. It takes time for players to develop. You need to give MacPhail a little bit of space.

More soon.