Klentak Talks Machado, Free Agency Plans on WIP’s Midday Show

PHOTO CREDIT: ERIC HARTLINE-USA TODAY SPORTS

As we enter the early stages of HARPERWATCH™ and MANNYWATCH™, Phillies GM Matt Klentak hopped on the 94WIP Midday Show with Joe DeCamara and Jon Ritchie to discuss the team’s plans ahead of a pivotal offseason. The insightful 23-minute interview spanned a wide-range of topics, but Klentak’s comments regarding free agent Manny Machado were particularly interesting. Here’s what he had to say when Ritchie brought up Machado’s much-maligned “Johnny Hustle” line:

It got my attention. There was a bright spotlight on Manny this postseason. One thing we can’t lose sight of is this guy is really good, and he had some big hits, and made some big plays in the offseason (sic), too, but that stuff matters…Perception does matter and we want to make sure that we put a team on the field that our fans can relate to and our fans are proud of.

I’m not going to get into too much talking about Manny or any other player in free agency, for that matter, that’s not fair to the players, but it is something that we will consider. And for every player that’s available, we have an evaluation of them, and there’s a lot of factors that play into that. Age, cost, offensive production, defensive production, versatility, and, obviously, the style of play is another factor.

Two things:

1) Klentak, as he showed with this response, is a master of saying a lot to dilute his actual answer, which is often a total non-answer.

2) This certainly wasn’t a ringing endorsement of Machado, and while it wasn’t a complete condemnation, his view of Machado came across as tepid. He seemed to imply that Phillies fans won’t relate to Machado, which is rich, given he later said that Carlos Santana was “great” last year and also a really good player for this town. He wasn’t on Twitter this past season, I guess.

Klentak also addressed the team’s approach regarding the acquisition of a big-time free agent. He was again, let’s say, verbose:

I don’t mean to punt on this, but it really just has to do with the value and what we think the impact of a certain player would have on our team, and I’ve said this before, but we have raised the floor of this organization in just about every realm, not the least of which is the Major League level. We’ve got a quality player or league-average type player or better at just about every spot now. And that got us to about 80 wins, and I’m not suggesting we’ll do this, but rolling out the exact same team next year just given age, and development, and the likelihood of player improvement would probably lead to an improved team next year.

But we need to evaluate where we can move the needle even further. Could that come in the form of a mega contract for a free agent? Sure. Is it necessary that we do that? I don’t think so. We have to be able to evaluate these things objectively, and if they make sense, we’ll do it.

To me, it was obvious that Klentak wanted to convey a belief that intensified instruction and natural player development will organically yield progress in the win column next season—he alluded to those points repeatedly throughout the interview—but he believes external upgrades are necessary in order to get to where the Phillies want to go in 2019, which is the postseason. Maybe it wasn’t the “We’re in on Machado. We’re in on Harper. We’re going to work the phones. We’re going to go full-Gabe, OIL UP and FLEX this offseason,” response most of us want to hear, but he also didn’t sound like a guy who thinks his team is only a bench piece, middle reliever, and year of maturity away from the postseason. I mean, he couldn’t possibly believe that. I think.

Right?

Anyway, you can check out the full interview right here:

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27 Comments

  • Huge get for WIP November 1, 2018 at 2:35 pm

    I’m shocked that Crossing Broadcast didn’t get the exclusive.

    Reply
    • POP POP IN THE AM November 2, 2018 at 8:58 am

      Are you listening to my show today? I’m plugging my upcoming move yet again with callers talking about areas I should move. Our main talking topic today is “Eagles Super Bowl Week” babies being born this month. So, I have callers discussing that too. Talk about a lazy, lazy, lazy Friday for me. I’m so in cruise control to retirement.

      Reply
  • ropes and loads November 1, 2018 at 3:14 pm

    typical snowflake…wouldn’t go on with the morning show which has been so against him..goes to a safe zone and softball questions..

    Reply
    • Brennan aka Night Hawk November 1, 2018 at 3:16 pm

      Ropes and loads, ropes and loads MCW takes Cuz’s ropes and loads

      Reply
    • Right November 1, 2018 at 3:52 pm

      Typical Republican.

      Just like only going on FOX. Typical.

      Reply
      • dr steve brule November 1, 2018 at 7:25 pm

        he looks like a typical hunk

        Reply
  • Paul November 1, 2018 at 3:18 pm

    If Brett Brown taught us anything this year, it’s that underpromising on free agency is still better than overpromising.

    Reply
  • Anybody Who Voted For Trump is Complicit In Genocide November 1, 2018 at 4:08 pm

    Gonna be real, I’m not gay but would rope up a thick hot load of BWanksCB

    Reply
  • Will November 1, 2018 at 5:32 pm

    “Perception does matter and we want to put a team on the field our fans can relate to”… I guess this wasn’t a factor when we hired our Manager though, right?

    Reply
    • Call me "Ed" November 1, 2018 at 5:59 pm

      “Comment of the Month” Award for November already locked up…

      Reply
    • Get a clue November 1, 2018 at 6:02 pm

      Fans don’t go to the game to watch the manager, chief. Don’t forget, 90% of fans hated Charlie before he won.

      Reply
  • Bo November 1, 2018 at 6:18 pm

    Jim Gardner is 9 inches , thick, and shoot huge ropes.

    Reply
    • Lisa Thomas-Laury November 1, 2018 at 9:24 pm

      I agree

      Reply
  • Mitch Cumsteen November 1, 2018 at 6:25 pm

    The manager blows the GM blows. And Jim Gardner is 5 full bore and shots dust.

    Reply
  • Gerard ave November 1, 2018 at 6:26 pm

    I hear that eating a lot of celery can thicken up a mans load.

    Reply
  • Did Joe D have Matt answer his lame question of the day November 1, 2018 at 6:53 pm

    Did he ask Matt to participate in Beat The Hammer. Why can’t these local stations just take calls like they do up in NY. Does every day have to be a question, poll or trivia contest. Polls are so dumb. Who is the better QB, Wentz or Prescott. Like asking would you like to have less money or more money.

    Reply
    • An Inquiring Mind November 1, 2018 at 7:41 pm

      Couldn’t agree more with this statement but don’t forget to add the “Give me somebody/something on our list” that they all do as well. It’s just lazy fill time to cover for the fact that many of these shows have co-hosts who are incapable of discussing subjects outside of their sole expertise. Think about it…..Al Morganti is hockey only, Keith Jones is hockey only, Hollis Thomas is football only, Jon Ritchie is football only, Ike Reese is football only, Ray Diddy is football only, etc. So, the polls, trivia, and the lists all compensate for the limited co-hosts.

      Reply
      • Atonymous Hot Take November 2, 2018 at 6:40 am

        Decamera reminds me of a poor mans Rob Ellis.

        Reply
      • Steve Mason Elite Unemployed NHL Goalie November 2, 2018 at 12:00 pm

        Ray Diddy is actually pretty knowledgeable about hockey. But you do have an good point overall.

        WIP’s obsession with ex-Eagles as host is infuriating.

        Reply
  • Just Wondering November 2, 2018 at 12:46 am

    If Trump called Ike “low-IQ,” would he be labeled a racist?

    Reply
  • Mitch Cumsteen November 2, 2018 at 2:48 am

    Ike ain’t be able to spell I Q . Just ax him 2. So dat not be racist.

    Reply
    • Ty webb November 2, 2018 at 4:04 am

      Nananananananananana

      Reply
  • Atonymous Hot Take November 2, 2018 at 6:36 am

    Klentak said ” We have raised the floor of this organization in just about every realm, not the least of which is the Major League level. We’ve got a quality player or league-average type player or better at just about every spot now.”

    This clown and his equally out of touch boss Macphail are wasting precious time of every Phillies fan. This team stinks on ice. You have 1 player(Hoskins) who is playing out of position and 3 pitchers (Nola,Arrieta,Sir Anthony) Not 1 other position player on this roster starts on a decent team.

    Reply
  • Dick Gazinya November 2, 2018 at 8:28 am

    I wonder if he realizes that the reason the 2018 Phillies didn’t connect with the fans was because most were Latin and we can’t connect as much to Latin players who don’t speak English.But that would probably not be p-c to most of you.

    Reply
    • Just Saying November 2, 2018 at 8:40 am

      If Trump said that he’d be labeled a racist. Nevermind that it’s true…

      Reply
      • Fat Tub of Goo November 2, 2018 at 8:46 am

        how about the guy in Florida admitting that they use white guilt on the dummy liberals. hahaha it has to suck being a cuckold

        Reply
  • bob November 5, 2018 at 1:08 pm

    Look where the “star hunting” crap got the sixers …I wouldn’t say anything either if I was him. If you don’t get a big name guy, you look like an even bigger idiot. I miss the days of when a trade or big name signing broke and it was truly unexpected and fun. This 24-7 BS is mind numbing.

    Reply
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