Gillick Elected to Hall of Fame
Pat Gillick has been elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
The official announcement came around 10 a.m., but I’m just getting a chance to blog about it now because of a news conference and interviews with David Montgomery and Gillick.
You could tell Gillick was emotional before he addressed reporters during the news conference. But his emotions really came through when he, believe it or not, thanked the media for being fair to him over the years.
(See, we’re not that bad.)
“It’s an honor,” Gillick said. “It’s over the hill.”
What would you say were Gillick’s five biggest moves with the Phillies? He told me Thursday they were keeping Charlie Manuel as manager, keeping Ruben Amaro Jr. and Mike Arbuckle as assistant general managers, signing Jayson Werth, trading Jim Thome to make room for Ryan Howard and … he couldn’t come up with a fifth, although several times he mentioned trading for Jamie Moyer and Brad Lidge, and signing J.C. Romero after the Red Sox released him.
These would be my top five:
- Signing Werth. The Dodgers non-tendered him because he had not played in 2006 because of a wrist injury, which almost ended his career. Gillick always liked Werth and he called him immediately to bring him to Philly. His hunch Werth would produce if healthy proved correct. Werth was a big reason why the Phillies enjoyed so much success over the past four seasons.
- Trading Bobby Abreu. Gillick said again today teammates respected Abreu, who had set the tone in the clubhouse for years. But Gillick thought the tone needed to change and Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley needed a voice. He basically handed Abreu (and Cory Lidle) to the Yankees in July 2006 for nothing, but it changed the chemistry in the clubhouse for the better.
- Trading Thome. Thome only would go to Chicago or Cleveland, so Gillick’s options were limited. But he sent Thome to the White Sox and got Aaron Rowand, Gio Gonzalez and Daniel Haigwood in return. Rowand improved the clubhouse. Howard became MVP. They cleared some of Thome’s salary. It worked out very well.
- Trading for Jamie Moyer. For a couple Minor Leaguers, Moyer stabilized the rotation for a few years.
- (Updated) Trading for Brad Lidge. I’m a little scatterbrained today because I originally didn’t include Lidge on this list. The guy had a perfect 2008. What’s bigger than that?