Wednesday, October 26, 2005

The Phillies Have No GM

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, I really do, but I think it is fair to now question the direction the Phillies are headed. To put it rather bluntly, David Montgomery's GM search ain't going so well. The most important decision this franchise has faced in a decade and the early returns are not encouraging. Certain candidates the Phillies were rumored to be interested in are quickly disappearing from the market - this can be seen as both a good and bad thing.

It is good that Brian Cashman will return to the Yankees. It is very, very good that Jim Bowden will, in all likelihood, return to the Nationals. Crossing those two names off the list is addition by subtraction. The problem of the list being rather disappointing in the first place remains. As candidates begin to drop out, others rise up a notch. Ruben Amaro Jr. is one of the others. Though it may sound terrifying to Phils fans, Amaro might very well be the leading candidate as of this second. The fear lies in the fact that many in baseball question whether he is actually Ruben Amaro Jr. or more of an Ed Wade Jr.

Montgomery and the Phillies have been very slow throughout this process. Rumored interest in Cashman was hot at first, then Hunsicker was brought back up, then they changed gears and were forced into sorting through the Billy Wagner mess (gut feeling: he's gone, but at that price it's not such a bad thing), and then finally their supposed interest in Cashman peaked (as he was finalizing his new deal with the Yanks - naturally). We find out in the Inquirer today that the Phils haven't even contacted Hunsicker about the job. Maybe with Cashman out of the picture and Hunsicker's talks with Tampa Bay beginning to get serious, the Phillies will wake up and go after the guy many believe they had targeted from the day he resigned from the Astros. Another name beginning to generate some momentum is Pat Gillick. It should also be noted that the Theo Epstein negotiations in Boston are beginning to get personal. Two names that could be climbing up the list and should not be counted out quite yet.

It is very hard to tell what Monty is thinking with all the secrecy cloaking the interview process. It is frustrating, but it offers a glimmer of hope. The Phillies are taking their time and being quiet about the interview process because they have found the perfect guy and don't want anybody else to know about him. Only after days of intensive interviews will they unveil him (or her) to the welcoming open arms of the Philadelphia fanbase. It could happen.


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