caught looking

a blog about the philadelphia phillies. not to be confused, exactly, with "caught looking" the debut album by independent/unsigned/unheard of singer/songwriter greg roth, who is, coincidently, yours truly.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

40 Watt Club

Around the Phlogoshere, the most active day in Phillies news in the last month has already produced some keen-eyed analysis on the state and future of the franchise. While it would be repetitive to offer essentially the same thoughts on the new GM, the behind-the-scenes operating, or the highly-questionable naming of Bobby Abreu as a Gold Glove outfielder, this much begs notation:

1. The Phils, for as long as David Montgomery is in charge of them, will never get creative or welcome much in the way of fresh thinking. They will perpetually be "close" to their goals, always thinking they just need a boost to reach that flickering lightbulb. Read any book on organizational management and it will tell you that patchwork is the way of the foolishly faithful. Sometimes things don't add up and a new equation must be formulated. Forgot whether or not Gerry Hunsicker would have automatically turned the Phils into a playoff then world series contender by virtue of his Delaware Valley roots and late-50s youthful energy. Forget the fact that former 'Stros Don tells his family what they don't want to here sometime (perhaps making them offers they can't refuse). How about the fact that in 3 weeks, David Montgomery essentially interviewed two candidates for the job, plus a throw-in assistant GM which may or may not have been after he offered the position already, and a couple in-house candidates who were most likely not serious candidates for the now in the first place. He did not even flinch when young World Series champ GM left a franchise that had recently cast off a more vexing hex than Philly can ever properly fathom. This is not the mark of someone who wants much change. Which leads to the next point.

2. For all Pat Gillick's resume and reputation, he has a very short window to demonstrate what his contribution to this franchise is going to be. And that window, in this blog's mind, begins and ends with the Billy Wagner situation. If Gillick comes in and throws a large contract at a 34-year-old fireballing reliever with a few recent injury problems, adding to the piles of money out from which this team needs to climb -- the whole point of his hiring in the first place -- then the window will close and the reality will set in. More of the same, more of the same, more of the same. The term farm system will for a long time in south Philly refer to some sort of agricultural irrigation and those of use dropping our hard-earned and foolishly spent dough on season tickets will take the greatest game-day pleasure not in the on-field product, but in commiseration with each other over a ballpark, its accoutrements, and some nice weather.


At 12:18 PM, Anonymous Tom Durso said...

Yet another "safe," "traditional" choice from the Phillies. Wish I could get more excited, but it does seem as if we could/should have done better.

At 5:49 PM, Blogger Oisín/Wizlah said...

GR - I disagree with you regarding the shortlist - I thought it reasonably balanced - although I would concede that at least trying to get a word with epstein or depodesta since they both became availabe would have been indicative of a more flexible approach.

On the other hand, your point about the Wagner trade is a well-made one. I don't think it's the only thing we should judge him on, but it's REALLY IMPORTANT TO GET RIGHT BY NOT THROWING MONEY AT THE GUY. If Gillick screws it up, he better get us to the WS to make up for the money we'll be paying wagner's doctors for the next three years.

At 7:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eskin said tonight that he heard from people late this afternoon within the Phillies organization that Hunsicker in the interview stated that he "wanted to make changes". Eskin speculated that is was the manager and some front office people.

He then said, "I hope they hired Gillick for the right reasons and not because of this".

Eskin has no agenda with these 2 candidates. He liked both of them and didn't say anything bad about either one.

If true, this is truly pathetic. And this has nothing to do with Gillick. I'm sure he'll make the right moves to get us into the playoffs (forget the minor league level, lol) But once again, if true, shows you what the Phillies are all about. Comfort.


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