If you believe what Hall of Fame executive Pat Gillick said on his first hands-on day as Philadelphia Phillies interim president, there's not a major shake-up coming.
The Phillies seem ripe for overhaul, considering their $180 million payroll is third-highest in MLB and their 63-74 record is in the bottom third of the league. It's not hard to imagine both general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. and manager Ryne Sandberg being fired, but Gillick says that's "absolutely" not happening.
Gillick took over last week for team president David Montgomery, who started a medical leave of absence after having surgery to remove cancer from his jaw in May. Gillick joined the team for the first time Tuesday in Atlanta. The Phils aren't strangers to Gillick, who was their GM from 2006-2008, a tenure that included the 2008 World Series win. He won two more World Series with the Toronto Blue Jays in 1992 and 1993.
About the Phillies, Gillick told reporters Tuesday, including Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer, that there's no plan to replace Sandberg or Amaro. Amaro, it's worth mentioning, was Gillick's assistant when he was the Phillies' GM.
"They're under contract," Gillick said. "Ruben is under contract through '15 and Ryne's under contract. ... So right now there's no thought whatsoever of replacing either one."
He will share baseball decisions with Amaro, although Gillick has the final say.
"Ruben and I mutually agree on most decisions that we make," Gillick said. "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.
"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."
The timetable for Montgomery's return isn't certain. He could return after the season, or he could leave the team in Gillick's hands even longer. If Gillick is running the Phillies in the winter, he'll have some tough scenarios to dissect, potential management shake-ups aside.
Cole Hamels is the Phillies' best trade bait, should they want to move him, but how much worse would they be without him? The bigger issue is that the Phillies are saddled with the huge contracts of Ryan Howard, Cliff Lee and Jonathan Papelbon. They were all the subjects of trade rumors this season, but nothing happened.
No matter who's running the show in Philadelphia, it's painfully obvious at this point that something needs to change.
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