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Phillies interim CEO Pat Gillick says GM Ruben Amaro and manager Ryne Sanderg are safe

Sep 2, 2014, 10:32 PM EDT

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Hall of Fame executive Pat Gillick is serving as the Phillies’ interim president and CEO while David Montgomery recovers from surgery for jaw cancer and chatted with reporters at Citizens Bank Park on Tuesday for the first time since assuming the gig.

Mike Stiles, the Phillies’ senior vice president for administration and operations, is technically running day-to-day operations in Montgomery’s absence, but Gillick presumably spoke for the entire organization when he said Tuesday that general manager Ruben Amaro and manager Ryne Sandberg will both be retained for the 2015 season.

Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer has more from Gillick’s chat …

He does not anticipate sweeping changes, and reaffirmed the status of both Ruben Amaro Jr. and Ryne Sandberg for 2015. They “absolutely” will stay in their current positions, Gillick said.

“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.”

The Phillies are in last place in the National League standings with a record of 63-74 and will miss the playoffs for the third straight season. They also had an oddly-quiet trade deadline. But the band marches on.

More from The Phillies according to Pat Gillick

  1. doctortyler - Sep 2, 2014 at 10:42 PM

    No… No, this can’t be happening… I mean sure, Ryne really hasn’t had the tools to prove himself with, but… but why is Amaro still staying? Why, WHY?! I’ve followed this team since 2002, I used to eat, drink, sleep Phillies baseball, even in the horrible pre-2006 days. But this… this is too much…

    • mkd - Sep 2, 2014 at 11:23 PM

      If you think 2002-2005 represent “the horrible pre-2006 days” then it’s time to jump off the bandwagon my man. I’m surprised you haven’t gotten the memo. Everyone else bailed already.

      • doctortyler - Sep 2, 2014 at 11:30 PM

        I’ll try and stick with my team through everything, but goodness, but goodness it sure does hurt…

      • gmfw7 - Sep 3, 2014 at 1:39 AM

        i thought the same thing when i read his post but i’m giving him the benefit of the doubt that he’s in his early 20s and 2002 is when he started really paying attention to baseball. if he’s not a young guy then his statement is laughable

      • psukardi - Sep 3, 2014 at 10:15 AM

        I remember the 90s god they were horrible in the 90s minus that world series run when Mitch Williams was booed out of town.

      • commonsenseisnotcmonman - Sep 3, 2014 at 3:30 PM

        not so much booed out of town, more like death threatened out of town to be accurate

    • Francisco (FC) - Sep 3, 2014 at 12:02 AM

      2002-2006? Dude you haven’t seen ANYTHING yet. I lived through 94-99 which was palpably worse. Late 80’s wasn’t pretty either. And I’m sure if we had some serious old timer geezers here on HBT they’d tell you the 1916-1949 period was the baseball equivalent of the Permian Extinction Event for the Phillies.

      • therealtrenches - Sep 3, 2014 at 7:27 AM

        Is 1973 old enough for you? These guys who think being a fan since 02 is a long time have nothin on me, and my dad’s been watching since the 40s.

        Ryno has done nothing to deserve being shown the door. The team he inherited had been spoiled by years of Charlie’s easy going managing style, which stopped producing more wins than losses 2 seasons ago. If the players are crying about him it’s not bc he is bad at his job, it’s bc he’s GOOD at it; someone’s finally holding them accountable and they’re so spoiled that they can’t handle it. Ruin deserves to be safe.

        However, I will gladly drive RAJ to the airport.

        But please, you young fans, spare me; if you’re gonna be a fan, then stick with your team through thick and thin. None of this “oh no, this can’t be happening” crap. Get thicker skin.

      • therealtrenches - Sep 3, 2014 at 7:30 AM

        Oof! That should say “ryno” where it says Ruin. Damned autocorrect trin to make it look like I think Ruin Tomorrow Junior should be safe!

      • 76ersdoubletank - Sep 3, 2014 at 7:42 AM

        Ricky Otero!…..Desi Relaford!…..Matt Beach….Mark Grace…David Bell….oh yeahhhhh.

    • 76ersdoubletank - Sep 3, 2014 at 7:40 AM

      Because ownership tells Amaro what to do, and Amaro does it. Ownership groups love that stuff. Fans are so mad at Amaro, when in reality I don’t think he’s calling many of the shots on who to sign…or re-sign…since taking over.

  2. SocraticGadfly - Sep 2, 2014 at 10:46 PM

    The dreaded vote of confidence.

    • slappymcknucklepunch - Sep 2, 2014 at 11:48 PM

      Yeah,it kind of sounds like like an interim CEO saying nothing at all and saying everything. I mean he can talk to reporters with a straight face and say that Amaro is safe,because he will be keeping everything stable until Mr. Montgomery comes back.I assume Mr. M will make the final cut.

      I mean he has to right?

    • dan1111 - Sep 3, 2014 at 2:33 AM

      Normally this is good rule, but Amaro has been receiving votes of confidence since at least June last season.

  3. stex52 - Sep 2, 2014 at 10:49 PM


    • historiophiliac - Sep 2, 2014 at 10:55 PM

      Theirs not to reason why;
      Theirs but to do and die.

  4. Ren Ignatiago - Sep 2, 2014 at 10:56 PM

    I can’t believe the less Phightin Phills are goin to forfeit again their next season.

    • dan1111 - Sep 3, 2014 at 2:24 AM

      They are going to forfeit either way. The question is: will they actually recognize that and start rebuilding?

      Based on these comments, the answer appears to be no.

  5. ch0psuey - Sep 2, 2014 at 11:26 PM

    Ruben Amaro came in and Ryne Sandburg was right on his heels, slid in right after Ruben

  6. radiantbeans - Sep 2, 2014 at 11:34 PM

    RAJ is a bad GM…that’s why we all like to make fun of him. I get it now.

  7. coloredink5 - Sep 3, 2014 at 12:01 AM

    Some one obviously doesn’t understand that this is a business.

  8. Francisco (FC) - Sep 3, 2014 at 12:04 AM

    Phillies interim CEO Pat Gillick says GM Ruben Amaro and manager Ryne Sanderg are safe

    I’d like a replay of that please. No doubt Ryno slid in safely, but I’m pretty sure Rube was out by a mile.

  9. paint771 - Sep 3, 2014 at 1:08 AM

    If Amaro is a success, what does failure look like?

    • nbjays - Sep 3, 2014 at 10:57 AM

      Jeffrey Loria

  10. yahmule - Sep 3, 2014 at 1:19 AM

    This is a weird sensation. I feel bad for Phillie fans.

    • Paper Lions - Sep 3, 2014 at 8:28 AM

      I’m on the fence on this one. These are the people that referred to him as a ninja not too long ago and staunchly defended some obviously bad moves (the exact moves that have doomed the Phillies to a long re-building process). Sometimes lessons have to be hard to be learned, I bet a lot more of them understand and give credence to aging curves than did a few years ago.

  11. andreweac - Sep 3, 2014 at 1:34 AM

    Marlins might outdraw the Phillies next year. Haha.

  12. brewcrewfan54 - Sep 3, 2014 at 2:49 AM

    If you havent already Phillie fans I suggest taking up drinking. Its served me and many other Brewer fans well over our recent collapse. Although we never really quit drinking from historically sucking anyways.

    • toodrunktotastethischicken - Sep 3, 2014 at 10:50 AM

      Oi! Already there mate!

    • Francisco (FC) - Sep 3, 2014 at 11:13 AM

      If you havent already Phillie fans I suggest taking up drinking

      You don’t want that. Then you’ll have an army of ‘cepts like posters on HBT.

  13. deep64blue - Sep 3, 2014 at 3:09 AM

    So right now there’s no thought whatsoever of replacing either one

    OK, I’m going to cling to the words “right now”, this means he’s waiting until after the final game to lower the boom, right? Right????

  14. bbk1000 - Sep 3, 2014 at 5:12 AM


  15. greymares - Sep 3, 2014 at 7:22 AM

    Stop it. If you think Amaro is the decision maker on this team or any GM for that matter, it’s a decision reached by a corporate group of execs. The GM is the talking head. They broke it as a group they will have to fix it as a group.

    • Paper Lions - Sep 3, 2014 at 8:30 AM

      This is how bad baseball, football, basketball, hockey, and soccer teams are run. Good teams have owners that hire good people and GTFO of the way of the baseball decision-making process.

      • greymares - Sep 3, 2014 at 2:12 PM

        In the case of the Phillies they are baseball people

  16. nbjays - Sep 3, 2014 at 7:28 AM

    Take careful notes, Craig… Pat Gillick is giving a master class in trolling Phillies fans.

  17. eagles512 - Sep 3, 2014 at 10:48 AM

    They just don’t get it. They will be a 2nd class organization in the city until Amaro is gone. He is despised. They need to get rid of him to get some fans back.

    • toodrunktotastethischicken - Sep 3, 2014 at 10:51 AM

      They need a winning team to get fans back.

      • binarymath - Sep 3, 2014 at 11:23 AM

        those 2 concepts – Amaro leaving and Phillies winning – are closely related. Cannot see them doing one without the other.

        Gillick hand-picked Amaro, so the ax will not fall on Amaro during Gillick’s interim watch.

        2015 is a lost year. The TV contract money does not arrive until 2016. So in a perverse sort of way, it may make sense to keep Amaro through at least the middle of next season. No sense getting the stink of the current regime on his successor during what will be a REALLY bad 2015. Clean house in July/Aug of 2015, and start with a new face and new budget in 2016.

        The new budget will give some relief from the bad contracts, allowing the Phils to eat money to move old players. That will allow the Phils to recruit top-tier GM talent. If they pull the trigger now, most top GMs would pass on the opportunity.

        Sixers and Flyers will get fans through May, and the Eagles camp will create some buzz starting in July. June 2015 will be a pretty important month in Phillies world – they will be the only game in town. Fans in Philly have bought into the Sixers’ lottery pick strategy. They are bleeding “Kelly” green, and the Flyers fans are among the most loyal in ANY sport.

        But failure to admit and address the talent vs. contract issues have negated much of the goodwill from last decade’s winning ways. Andy Reid became the “face” of the Eagles’ fall, and fan pressure forced him out. Amaro is the face of the Phillies’ demise.

        With Reid, it was a case of “what have you done for us LATELY?” With Amaro, it is “what have you done, PERIOD?” Look for the ouster before the 2015 trading deadline.

      • greymares - Sep 3, 2014 at 2:32 PM

        Speaking of fans watching the Phillies at Braves game there’s about 144 fans in the place and 100 are wearing Phillies jerseys.

  18. natstowngreg - Sep 3, 2014 at 1:03 PM

    Earlier, I thought the disconnect in the Phightins’ story was David Montgomery’s role. [Best wishes to him in his recovery from cancer.] Ruben Amaro has been an easy target, but I can’t believe he’s been alone in creating the team’s current problems.

    But I had forgotten that Pat Gillick was still with the organization. Now my disconnect is with his role. He says he was working closely with Amaro. This is the same Pat Gillick who is in the Hall of Fame for his GM-ing prowess. Who helped build winning teams with four franchises (Jays, Orioles, Mariners, Phillies). He’s been a party to the team’s decline?

    Were I a Phillies fan (God forbid), I’d have trouble knowing what to think.

  19. a1b24312 - Sep 3, 2014 at 1:48 PM

    Well, Dallas Green is a “senior adviser”, too. I’ve been saying all along that good journalism would be to identify just what exactly these “senior advisers” do. Gillick hints at it in the interview (and it’s important to read the entire interview).

    Read the interview because in it Gillick also says that he’ll have a say in baseball matters and that so will “ownership” (with recent deaths, it does beg the question of who he means within the limited partnership that is the Phillies). You could interpret all of this — Gillick now the acting President/CEO, and Amaro reporting to him — as a comedown for Amaro because here he is reporting to Gillick again, as he did when he was an assistant GM.

    Finally, while he may have recommended Amaro to be his replacement, let’s understand fully that Amaro had been an assistant GM under Wade and Gillick, and it was long understood in Phillies circles that he was being “groomed” for the top job at some point. It’s just how the Phillies work, as an insular organization. When they hired Gillick, it was under the stipulation that he would not get rid of the Phllies “family”. He agreed to that and simply brought along some of his folks (Charkey Kerfeld being an example)

    So maybe they keep Amaro. What might be brilliant is if they hired a new executive, with a strong baseball background, to whom Amaro would report, instead of Montgomery (when he returns, of course). THAT would send a message.

  20. corky2141 - Sep 4, 2014 at 12:47 AM


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