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.