Results tagged ‘ David Montgomery ’

Gillick Will Be Both Caretaker and Agent for Change

Gillick Elected to Hall of FameThe Phillies named Pat Gillick interim president last Thursday while David Montgomery takes a leave of absence to recover from jaw bone cancer surgery. He joined the team today in Atlanta, and said he plans to follow the team through the rest of the season.

Gillick spoke with reporters this afternoon, when he offered thoughts and opinions on numerous topics. Basically, he said he will be focused on the baseball operations side of the Phillies. Senior vice president of administration and operations Mike Stiles will be in charge of the business side.

Here are a few highlights:

Q: Do you have full power on baseball operations?
A: Right now I guess that, you know, Ruben (Amaro Jr.) and I … let me put it this way, Ruben and I mutually agree on most decisions that we make. Ruben is very inclusive on any decisions that we make for the ballclub. But right now if there’s something I might have a different opinion, I’ll certainly voice that opinion and we’ll talk it through and try to make what we think is the correct decision.

Q: But you have final say?
A: I would say if it comes down to the end, I have part of the final say. At this moment, I think ownership has a part of the say, too.

Q: Are you a caretaker or someone who can come here and affect change?
A: A little bit of both. As I’ve said over and over, we want David back as soon as possible. So that point, I’m an interim care taker. But at the same time, if there are decisions that have to be made from a baseball standpoint, we’re going to make those decisions.

Q: Amaro said emphatically last Friday in New York that he is the GM and that is not going to change. He also said Ryne Sandberg is the manager and that is not going to change. Can you definitely say Ruben will be the GM and Ryne will be the manager?
A: Right. Absolutely. Absolutely.

Q: Why? Fans are incredibly frustrated right now with the GM position.
A: Well, let me say this, one of the more difficult thing to do in professional aports, and not only baseball but all sports, is to be patient. It’s very difficult. It’s very difficult for the fans to be patient. It’s difficult for the media to be patient. It’s difficult for ownership to be patient. But sometimes when you get challenges, and the challenges are we haven’t played well in the last two, three years. These are basically the same people that made the decisions when we won five division championships from 2007 through 2011. These are the same people making the decisions. So, all of a sudden, Ryne wasn’t here, but Ruben was here. All of a sudden he didn’t get dumb overnight. It’s just right now, we’re in a situation where we know where we’re headed and it’s going to take some time to get us where we want to go.

READ THE FULL STORY HERE.

Amaro: No Changes Coming with Gillick in Charge

Gillick Likes The Phils' ChancesRuben Amaro Jr. had a short, but simple message to his players this afternoon at Citi Field:

Pat Gillick is in charge while Phillies president David Montgomery takes a leave of absence to recover from jaw bone cancer surgery, but that does not mean changes are coming to the organization. In fact, Amaro said, it will be business as usual.

“Pat Gillick will be in (Montgomery’s) stead on an interim basis,” Amaro said he told players at Citi Field. “I’m the GM. That’s not going to change. Ryno’s the manager. That’s not going to change. And we’ll go about our business status quo. I’ll report to Pat. Ryne (Sandberg) will report to me. And this is merely on an interim basis.”

Amaro was very emphatic that his role as general manager and Sandberg’s role as manager are not going to change. But there is reason for that. Sources said Gillick has spoken to multiple people on the baseball operations staff since he assumed his new role and assured them they can go about their business without fear of change.

Sandberg confirmed he spoke yesterday with Gillick.

“Everything is status quo, yes,” Sandberg said about the conversation.

So no changes to anything regarding baseball operations?

“There’s no change,” Amaro said.

Even given the fact Gillick has such an extensive baseball background? He was elected into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2010 for his immense success as a general manager. He served as the Phillies’ GM from 2005-08, building the team that won the 2008 World Series.

“There’s no change,” Amaro repeated.

Asked if he expects this to last through the season, Amaro said, “Whenever David’s back and physically able to come back he will be back and he will take his role. … We’re all concerned about David, and that’s really the priority, is David.”

Other than that, the Phillies said little.

“We’re not really at liberty to really discuss much more about it,” Amaro said.

“Just prayers and thoughts are with him for a speedy recovery,” Sandberg said. “I’m supposed to keep this at a minimum. I think it was already addressed. I was advised to keep it at a minimum.”

Montgomery Takes Leave, Gillick Assumes Control

Pat Gillick, left, along with David Montgomery, right, survey Citizens Bank Park on Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2005 in Philadelphia. Gillick just replaced Ed Wade, who was fired after failing to get the team into the playoffs during eight years on the job. (AP Photo/Bradley C Bower)

Pat Gillick, left, along with David Montgomery, right, survey Citizens Bank Park on Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2005 in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Bradley C Bower)

The Phillies made a surprising announcement this afternoon when they revealed general partner and president David Montgomery is taking an immediate medical leave of absence while he recovers from jaw cancer surgery.

Pat Gillick has assumed Montgomery’s responsibilities.

Gillick, who served as the organization’s general manager form 2005-08 and continued to work as a senior advisor, issued a statement that said, “I have the highest regard for David Montgomery, as does everyone in our industry. I am glad to be of assistance to the Phillies.”

The team added in its statement: “The club looks forward to David returning to his roles as General Partner, President and Chief Executive Officer when he is fully recovered.”

Montgomery, 68, had surgery May 19 to remove cancer form his right jaw bone. He had been undergoing treatment following the surgery. Montgomery has kept a low profile since, although he was first in line Wednesday to shake hands on the field with the Taney Little League team during a pregame ceremony at Citizens Bank Park.

Montgomery had been unavailable to reporters in recent weeks, although he spoke to a fan group last week at the ballpark. He also recently made the team’s road trip to Washington before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline.

Montgomery has been the public face of the Phillies’ ownership group since 1997, when he became president. He started in the organization in 1971, when he sold season and group tickets. He advanced to marketing director and director of sales before becoming executive vice president following the 1981 season.

He became chief operating officer in 1992. He acquired an ownership interest in the team in 1994.

Montgomery is very popular with his employees. Former players often cite the organization’s “family atmosphere” and it is something that starts with Montgomery, who makes a point to know everybody in the organization, regardless of their stature or importance.

Montgomery: Amaro Is Not On Hot Seat

Ryan Howard, David MontgomeryThe Phillies might have the third-highest payroll in baseball, but they are going to miss the postseason for the third consecutive year.

But Phillies president David Montgomery‘s support for general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. has not wavered publicly, including yesterday at the organization’s Baseball 101 Clinic and Luncheon for Women at Citizens Bank Park.

“Ruben is not on the hot seat,” he told a large group of Phillies fans during a question-and-answer session.

The comment hit Twitter shortly thereafter. Montgomery could not be reached later for further comment.

Montgomery has continually supported Amaro, despite nearly constant criticism from outside the organization. He told MLB.com in February, “I think we have somebody whose experience working under two general managers served him well and positioned him to be very effective at his job. We — we — need to do better.”

He told The Philadelphia Inquirer in June, “I think we have pretty good people doing these jobs. We saw, over a long period, pretty good success with this group of people. Obviously, Ruben is part of that group.”

Reports: Bastardo Suspended 50 Games

Antonio BastardoThe Phillies got another dose of bad news today when Major League Baseball suspended left-hander Antonio Bastardo 50 games for violations in relation to its Biogenesis investigation.

Bastardo will begin serving the suspension without pay immediately.

He had been one of the only reliable arms in one of the worst bullpens in baseball. He is 3-2 with a 2.32 ERA in 48 appearances. He has allowed 32 hits, 11 earned runs, 21 walks and has struck out 47 in 42 2/3 innings.

He had been serving as the team’s setup man with Mike Adams on the disabled list recovering from right shoulder surgery.

Phillies president David Montgomery issued a statement that read: “Obviously, the Phillies are very disappointed to learn of Antonio Bastardo’s violation of Major League Baseball’s Drug Program. We strongly believe in the Program and look forward to a time when performance enhancing drugs are completely out of baseball. Hopefully the sanctions announced today will bring us closer to that day. We respect the fact that Antonio has acknowledged his serious mistake and accepted his 50-game suspension.”

The Phillies said general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. was unavailable for comment.

Bastardo is making $1.4 million this season, which means he will forfeit about $460,000 in salary. He is eligible to return for the team’s final game of the season Sept. 29 in Atlanta, although that is unlikely.

Former big-league pitcher Dan Meyer expressed his anger toward Bastardo on Twitter. He pitched with the Phillies in Spring Training in 2011, going 2-0 with a 6.75 ERA in five appearances. He was assigned to Minor League camp before the Phillies released him.

“Hey Antonio Bastardo, remember when we competed for a job in 2011. Thx alot.” He added later, “Never said I was good enough but what about the players that never got their chance? Their lives could have been completely different.”

Manuel: Worried About Winning, Not Contract

Charlie ManuelCharlie Manuel is entering the final season of his two-year contract extension, and he discussed his uncertain future this afternoon at Bright House Field.

“This is the last time I’ll answer about my deal, OK?” he said. “I’m very satisfied with the way it is. This is my ninth year and I know the good things that we’ve had and I should never have to sit and tell somebody what we’ve done and I always give my players the credit for it and things like that. And I should never ever even have to answer what we’ve done. I definitely, if I needed to get established as a Major League manager, I definitely did that with kind of the help of my players. And if we lose 10 games or we win 10 games, well, I don’t want nobody to ask me about it because it’s not going to bother me.

“I’ve seen Joe Torre, his contract’s run out before. Dusty Baker’s last year, (former Cardinals manager Tony) La Russa. I’ve seen all these guys and there’s still a couple this year. It’s (Yankees manager) Joe Girardi this year. That’s fine. It’s the way it goes. And I’m not worried about it at all. So therefore, I want to stay focused. I want to stay totally focused on us winning. Us winning is more important to me than my contract. At the end of the year, somewhere along the line, (Phillies president) David Montgomery and Ruben (Amaro Jr.) and I will more than likely have a talk and that’s kind of how I see it.”

Manuel, 69, is optimistic to think his contract status won’t be discussed if the team struggles, especially if the Phillies struggle early in the season. But he does not believe he needs to defend his record as manager on a weekly basis, either.

What is there to defend, he wonders? He has more wins than any manager in Phillies history (727). His .561 winning percentage with the Phillies is the is the best among Phillies managers with 300 or more games. He has been to the postseason five consecutive seasons, winning one of the organization’s two World Series championships.

“I shouldn’t have to explain it to anybody, the team or President Obama or anybody,” he said. “Seriously. That’s kind of how I look at it. I’m not worried about my contract. I’ve been in baseball 51 years and right now I definitely plan on staying in baseball and I plan on managing.

“What we did is sitting there in front of you. My record is just as good as anybody’s in baseball. I don’t want to sound like I’m an ‘I-Me’ guy because I’m not. But really, I mean just look at it. What’s wrong with it? Do you know what I mean? We want to win a World Series every year. But that’s kind of impossible. The Yankees have 27 of them, so there’s over 100 years the Yankees didn’t win. You can look at it anyway you want to. But it’s what it is.”

Manuel said he never mentioned his contract situation during his morning meeting with the team.

“I would never do that,” he said. “I would never do anything like that.”

That would take away the focus from the field, and that’s where a good manager gets his reputation as a good manager: the players on the field perform and win.

Is he confident this team can win?

“We won’t know until we start playing games and when we get on the field and play,” he said. “At the same time, I look in there we got a lot of options. We got some competitions going. Usually there’s ifs on teams every year. You’ve got to turn those ifs into exclamation points. That’s how I look at it. You definitely work to try and improve. Everybody we got, they’ll get a tremendous chance to improve themselves.”

Nah, I Bet I Could Drive Another 50 Miles On This Tank

no gas.JPG

Phillies coaches and front office personnel meet every morning at Bright House Field to discuss players and other happenings in camp.

But this morning they presented a gas can to assistant general manager Scott Proefrock.

Front office officials make every Grapefruit League road game. They typically alternate driving, and Proefrock drove his rental car yesterday to Port Charlotte, which is roughly 1 hour, 40 minutes from Clearwater. He had Phillies president David Montgomery, general manager Ruben Amaro Jr., pro scouting director Mike Ondo and Jesse Rendell, the son of former Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell, in the car.

Proefrock had been making great time to Port Charlotte … until the car ran out of gas roughly 20 miles from Charlotte Sports Park.

He called AAA for help. The group finally arrived to the game in the fifth inning.

“I’m more than willing to do a PSA for AAA this year,” Proefrock said.

“That was a first,” Amaro said.

The group happily made it back to Clearwater without running out of gas, although the Phillies’ official pregame notes said Proefrock asked for $1 to pay a toll because he does not have Sun Pass.

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Amaro Signs Four-Year Extension

amaro deep thoughts.jpg

It’s official.

Ruben Amaro Jr. has signed a four-year contract extension with the Phillies. There will be a 10 a.m. news conference today at Bright House Field.

“Since becoming our general manager in November of 2008, Ruben has done an outstanding job,” Phillies president David Montgomery said in a statement. “He has been an excellent leader for our baseball operations personnel, surrounding himself with a very capable staff which he uses very well. Ruben has shown great judgment in his player moves and enjoys a strong relationship with Charlie, our coaches and the players.”

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The Phillies have a split squad today. Here are the lineups:

  • Home vs. Tampa Bay: Jimmy Rollins SS, Shane Victorino CF, Placido Polanco 3B, Ben Francisco LF, Delwyn Young RF, Carlos Ruiz C, Matt Miller DH, Jim Murphy 1B, Michael Martinez 2B.
  • Road vs. Pittsburgh: Pete Orr 2B, Ross Gload DH, Raul Ibanez LF, Ryan Howard 1B, Brandon Moss RF, John Mayberry Jr. CF, Wilson Valdez 3B, Erik Kratz C, Freddy Galvis SS.

(more…)

Moyer Unhappy, Feels Misled


moyer-756191.jpgJamie Moyer
did not answer questions about his demotion to the bullpen this afternoon at Wrigley Field, but he certainly spoke his mind.

In short, Moyer is unhappy and feels misled.

“I’m really not happy with this decision that the Phillies have made,” he said, sitting in the stands behind the first-base dugout. “I will take what they’ve asked me to do, but I’m not really excited about the decision that has been made. Ultimately, I’m a little disheartened because this past winter when I was negotiating with the Phillies this was a sore thumb, if you will, about this potentially happening.

“You can’t promise anything in this game, but I really felt that Ruben (Amaro Jr.) parlayed to me that this type of situation would not happen. Actually, even had some discussion with David (Montgomery) with them reassuring me that this type of situation wouldn’t happen. Again, I’m a little disheartend by the way it’s happened, how it’s happened. We’re still in first place. I probably feel like I haven’t contributed as well as I could have, but I think if you go around to the other 24 players on our club they would probably say the same type of thing.

“Whether I like it or not, this is the situation I’m in. I will deal with it. I will deal with it in a respectful way. I’ll be respectful to my teammates. Like I said at the beginning, I do not want to be a distraction and I refuse to be a distraction. It’s about the 25 players that are here. We all have to pick each other up. We all have to support each other. We all have to be professional about what we do. This is job that sometimes you’re in situations that you like or dislike and you have to deal with it. That’s why for me dealing with this like a man and taking whatever they choose to do. I’m an employee here, but I don’t always have to like the situation that I’m in. And that’s OK. Life goes on. But like I said, I feel a little disheartened. I feel a little bit like I’ve been misled. I feel like I’ve played this game long enough that the respect factor should be there.”

Moyer declined to answer questions afterward, and said that was all he had to say about his move to the bullpen.

Amaro said through a Phillies spokesperson that the Phillies re-signed Moyer in the offseaosn with the pretense of him starting, although he said he would not comment on contract negotiations with Moyer.

Pedro Martinez, who took Moyer’s spot in the rotation, was asked if he felt for Moyer.

“I’m a man,” Martinez said. “I’m a human being. So is Jamie. He’s my friend, my teammate, my colleague, whatever you want to call it. Of course, you have to feel. If it happened the same way, if I went to the bullpen, I wouldn’t be happy. It wasn’t my decision. It wasn’t me. I was placed in this position. As a matter of fact, I didn’t know anything until yesterday.”

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Phillies' Statement on Kalas

The Phillies have released a statement on Harry Kalas‘ death:

Hall of Fame Phillies Broadcaster Harry Kalas died today at the age of 73. Mr. Kalas was found unconscious in the Phillies broadcast booth where he was preparing for today’s Washington Nationals home opener. He was taken to George Washington University Hospital where he was pronounced dead at approximately 1:20 p.m. Cause of death is unknown.   

“There are no words to express the sadness that the entire Phillies organization is feeling with the news about Harry’s passing,” said Phillies President and CEO, David Montgomery.  “Harry was the voice of the Phillies, but he was also our heart and soul.  He loved our game and called it like none other.  The entire baseball world has suffered a great loss today.”

Funeral arrangements are pending.

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