New Phillies GM Pat Gillick has been on the job less than a day, and already his hiring is being second-guessed. From the Philadelphia Daily News’ Sam Donnellon.
It’s a strange way of being fan responsive. In replacing a man criticized for his trade-deadline reluctance, Phillies president Dave Montgomery hired a man who not only earned the nickname “Stand Pat” but embraces it still. In an environment where great young minds like Brian Cashman, Mark Shapiro and the suddenly available Theo Epstein are celebrated, Montgomery hired someone twice their age.
Instead of giving fans Gerry Hunsicker, a local boy who made good elsewhere, he gave them Pat Gillick, who, as general manager of Baltimore and Seattle, maintained his residence in Toronto.
“I’ve been fortunate enough to work in baseball for a long time,” Montgomery was saying after announcing Gillick’s hire at a news conference yesterday afternoon. “And I was able to talk to people who scouted for him in Toronto, worked with him, people he worked for in places. And the batting average was off the charts.”
“So, you are absolutely sure you hired the best guy?” I asked.
“I absolutely am,” Montgomery said.
Montgomery does not navigate well in the sea of absolutes, so it means something when he uses the word. Genial by nature, evasive through job description, he would have made an excellent press secretary for a president who didn’t want anyone to know what he was doing.