Birthdays are a funny thing. Some kids ask for toys, others a pony. Most Phillies fans have begged for the firing of Matt Klentak. Six hours after wishing infielder Phil Gosselin a happy birthday on Twitter, the Phillies made everyone’s birthday wish come true. Matt Klentak is out as the team’s general manager:
Phillies announce Matt Klentak has stepped down as General Manager. pic.twitter.com/YanLLDkhUP
— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) October 3, 2020
Allowing Klentak to resign is certainly going to curb the wave of Schadenfreude that would have otherwise covered the Delaware Valley, as fans can no longer envision John Middleton leaning across his desk, getting into the face of the now-former GM, and channeling his inner Mr. McMahon as he exclaims, “YOU’RE… FIIIIIIIRED!!!”
Our intrepid Phillies reporter Big Bet Bob Wankel checks in with the following analysis:
Matt Klentak was given exorbitant financial resources but was unable to push the team to the next step. Time might show that he helped construct some of the building blocks of a winning team, but the glaring inability throughout his tenure to find value pieces or extract meaningful value from savvy and/or creative moves ultimately made this move essential. For both baseball and public relations reasons, the Phillies simply could not run things back as is again in 2021.
As a disenchanted Phillies fan, I wonder how much of this was Middleton:
- Thinking Klentak could bring value in a different role
- A reluctance to embarrass the young executive via termination
- A fear that Middleton and Andy MacPhail would look like fools admitting the failure of their handpicked hire
One would assume the first order of business for the new GM is going to be negotiating a deal with THE BEST CATCHER IN BASEBALL. In other news, Sixto Sánchez pitched five scoreless innings and struck out six in his postseason debut, a Marlins win.