Another day, another MLB team has hired a new face to run their baseball operations department.
A day after the Angels went out an hired Braves AGM Perry Minasian, known in some baseball circles as ‘rising star’ as their GM, the Marlins made another, more groundbreaking hire. The Fish named Kim Ng the new general manager of the team, becoming the MLB’s first female GM in history. Ng, who I had mentioned as a candidate for the Phillies, has spent 30 years working in baseball and has held position AGM for the Dodgers and the Yankees. She is well respected among baseball people and is incredibly deserving of this opportunity. The Marlins seem to have a bright future, and Ng will surely big a part of that.
Which brings me to the Phillies. While the silence regarding their front office vacancies has not been surprising, it is nonetheless disappointing. Our president is too worried about planning Citizens Bank Park’s food menu with our owner’s smaller budget to even have started interviewing candidates for the positions. Frankly, this couldn’t have been a worse start to the offseason for this team.
While the Marlins were celebrating their hire of Ng, Jayson Stark of The Athletic gave an update of where the Phillies stand in their search for leadership. The team intends to begin their search next week, looking to hire two names to run their baseball operations department: a president and a general manager. As mentioned previously, that is the type of setup that more and more teams in the league are adopting. However, the hiring process could be a different approach to that end.
While the team would prefer to hire a president before they hire a GM, Stark mentioned that depending on the opportunities that present themselves, they could hire a GM first. Most presidents that are hired would prefer to hire their own GM to be their right hand decision maker, but the Phillies are not going to necessarily follow the norm. Stark also mentions that the possibility still exists that the team will just let the tandem of MacPhail and interim GM Ned Rice run the team next year, something I have mentioned as a definite possibility.
Jayson Stark is incredibly tuned into the Phillies organization. While the update he gave was full of good info as is usual for the Hall of Fame journalist, it was more of the same out of this team. Unfortunately, the Phillies have proven time and time again this year that they don’t have a definitive direction. There is nothing worse in sports than a team that doesn’t have some sort of future plan, and the Phillies certainly have no direction at the moment. Every single option for the leadership structure in 2021 is still on the table, which begs the question.
What have they, specifically John Middleton, been doing since they fired Matt Klentak?
Something needs to give with this team. The fanbase definitely doesn’t deserve this type of garbage, especially from a team that hasn’t made the playoffs since 2011. Middleton needs to take control of this situation, because he has lost a large portion of the fanbase already. I am still trying to figure out why MacPhail is still even involved in this process. Clearly, his comments about hiring people in a pandemic showed how out of touch he actually is and he will bring nothing to this search.
I have been trying to stay confident, and there are certain aspects of the offseason I am still confident about (looking at you, JT), but the constant displays of detachment from reality are very concerning. Nothing about recent comments and reports from this team make me confident. The only saving grace for the team is that players will want to play with stars like Bryce Harper and Aaron Nola, but making moves in the middle of the pandemic with no clear leadership outside the managing partner won’t be easy.
I am still holding on hope for this team to right the ship, but, with each passing day, it is looking more and more concerning.
But, hey, at least two of the Philadelphia teams seems to have bright futures ahead!