One of the things that happen eventually in baseball is a change in upper management. This is very much in full swing with the Phillies ‘again’. We’ve been patient in the many years of a rebuild, the years seemed to fly by so fast but here we are looking forward to the next season of 2021 and we’re going to be getting a new team president and GM, probably in time for Christmas.Embed from Getty Images Happier times of hope with MacPhail being hired with owner John Middleton in the background
Andy MacPhail and company brought some good players to Philadelphia, along they way we had our fair share of players that were not that good as well. The Spring of 2020 started out really well for this team, the Phils practically owned the Grapefruit League before Covid-19 struck. In all fairness, it’s a season that should have really not been counted as too serious by ownerships across the MLB. The conditions weren’t at all conducive with anything ‘normal’ and the season was just half of what it normally is. Take this and all of the Covid-19 infections within the world of baseball and it should have been chalked up as basically a lost season. Some team has to win though, and even with all of the obstacles in front of every MLB team, it didn’t spare the fact that when a team doesn’t do well, it points at something.
Matt Klentak was our GM, he ‘stepped down’ which is a nice way of the team saying, he is still employed because we have to pay his contract, but he’s going to be in another role. In other words, he was fired from the GM spot. Andy MacPhail brought Klentak in, and despite this pair seemingly trying everything they could do, the Phils just had things wrong with the team that even Joe Girardi couldn’t seem to turn around.
That is the interesting thing about baseball, it’s more about chemistry, playing well together with the normal ups and downs of a season that makes a championship caliber team. The Phillies did go out and sign free agents, this wasn’t a ‘home grown’ ballclub by any means. Sometimes, baseball doesn’t work like that though, going out and hiring top guns and with expectations to a World Series championship.Embed from Getty Images Phillies legendary team president Pat Gillick pictured along with Andy MacPhail and John Middleton
After Klentak’s demotion, team president, Andy MacPhail told the press he was more than happy to step aside as well and let the Phillies build towards their next plateau. Maybe the owner, John Middleton, wanted to let his team president stay on board with assistant GM Ned Rice, being that the Phils were in no hurry to fill that spot. But now with such a public offering of stepping aside, MacPhail has forced Middleton to act.
So where does that leave the team from here? The answer is quite the same as it has been, the bullpen was almost totally unreliable last year, that in itself is the most glaring deficiency of the team. In Save Percentage, the team was at 44% which is one step above the bottom spot occupied by Pittsburgh. The Phillies were tied with the dubious ‘blown save’ (BSv) as well, with 14 total, a huge number (they tied with the Los Angeles Angels for the top spot). The two top teams that made the World Series also had the top Wins in games with relief pitching (Wgr), the Dodgers with 26 wins on the season, and the Tampa Bay Rays with 25 wins. So great teams have to have great bullpens.
Who will it be? There are plenty of candidates to be considered, tune into the upcoming edition of Phillies Talk Podcast with Rich and Matt and we’ll be talking about this!
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