On Friday, in a rare interview with the media, Phillies president Andy MacPhail sat down with reporters over Zoom to answer questions. Questions about everything from the status of finding the new GM to the JT Realmuto contract situation were asked throughout the conversation.
To say that MacPhail is out of touch is putting it lightly.
In talking about the status of the search for a new GM, MacPhail seemed to echo reports about it potentially being a lengthy process. Part of his excuse for that was the pandemic, which has been proven isn’t the case. The Sixers have completely changed the staff of the team in a matter of weeks, culminating in the hiring of Daryl Morey earlier this week. Using the pandemic as an excuse doesn’t sit well with me, as it shouldn’t with any fan.
MacPhail went on to talk about that unless the team wants to hire a big name president this offseason, he will be staying with the team until his contract is up after 2021. MacPhail has been focused almost entirely on the business side of the team while here, allowing former GM Matt Klentak to run the baseball operations department. It has been well documented that owner John Middleton would like to have a Cubs-style president/GM relationship instead of an hands off approach like MacPhail has taken.
So either he takes more control in the baseball operations department, or he is just wasting space within the organization. This team can’t afford to be passive this offseason. They will need all hands on deck to improve the current outlook of this team.
I don’t see the big name president coming out of the woodwork this offseason, and MacPhail clearly knows that. Unless the Phillies were to consider a guy like Dave Dombrowski, I don’t see them finding that big name MacPhail referred to this offseason. The biggest fish they could hire would be Theo Epstein, but his contract with the Cubs doesn’t expire until after the end of next season. Fitting it matches up with MacPhail’s retirement.
In a bit of positive news, MacPhail did say that he felt confident in the team resigning Realmuto this offseason, as the catcher has said he wants to stay in Philly and the team wants him here. In what has been a rollercoaster ride of Realmuto rumors, MacPhail saying that is incredibly frustrating. Not because of the team being confident in resigning Realmuto, but because a deal shouldn’t have taken this long with that type of positivity. MacPhail said the team and Realmuto’s reps couldn’t find common ground in prior negotiations, but with how he talked today, I don’t see how they couldn’t find common ground before.
With everything going on in the world in 2020, the Phillies are facing one of the most crucial offseasons in recent memory. If they are to go into 2021 with this type of disconnect between the baseball operations department and, frankly, reality, this team is in no better position than they were in 2015 when MacPhail and Klentak were both hired.
I was hoping for something more constructive then what MacPhail said on Friday. I guess my expectations were too high.
I didn’t think my confidence level in the Phillies decision makers could get any lower.
It just did.