Thursday, November 03, 2005

More on Gillick

"I think part of the whole package in evaluating a young player is statistical analysis, you have to have that in the mix with the physical ability and visual observation. I don’t downgrade statistics at all. Just like any other business, everyone has a different way, a different formula for getting the job done. If someone wants to use statistical analysis completely, that’s fine, they can do it that way. If I want to use a combination of analyses, I should be allowed to do it my way."

- Phillies new GM Pat Gillick (it's an older quote and not from today's press conference, but I couldn't find the exact source)

This makes me feel a little better. I'm not a Gillick hater by any means, I just don't like the idea of a guy like Gillick being named the new GM. It goes back to the thought that he is just a company man serving in the short-term as the bridge to another company man (Amaro Jr.) taking over the long-term. A team with such a history of losing can not afford to be so loyal to their guys and constantly keep the same baseball infrastructure in place. Sometimes a shakeup is needed; the Phillies had the chance to do this, but decided against it - yet again.

I'm excited to see what ideas Gillick has in mind for the club (already rumored interest in A.J. Burnett is increasing as Gillick has stressed the need for more pitching) and I am encouraged by that simple quote above. He also comes with an undeniably good track record:

1,352-1,297 record with Toronto
265-221 record with Baltimore
393-255 record with Seattle (including that 116-win season)

Gillick contributed to 5 division titles and 2 world championships with the Jays, 2 ALCS appearances for the O's, and 2 ALCS trips with the M's. Impressive credentials, indeed.

The merits of Pat Gillick the GM can be discussed all day, but it is already time for me to move forward. The decision has been made. Pat Gillick is the GM. I think his tenure has the potential for success, but I hope the importance of the long-term health of this franchise isn't marginalized. Baseball is a sport where you can effectively go for it all at the major league level while still slowly stocking the farm system for success down the road. It can happen believe me. Just because it has never happened here, it can happen.

Anything short of a World Series win in the next 2-3 years Gillick is running the show will be a bit of a disappointment.
That's a good thing. It's the way expectations should now be set for this team. Gillick, Arbuckle, and Amaro should have at least two full seasons working as one unit. They'll have two chances at improvement during the offseason, two chances to rebuild the farm in the June amateur draft, two seasons to make the adjustments needed in June/July/August to put the team over the hump. As fans, all we can do is sit back and see what course the franchise takes over that time period. Sit back and complain, second guess, and wonder why all the while of course.


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