“We haven’t won with this group, so consequently I think you’ve got to change the mix,” Gillick said.
Well, maybe not Sandlot style “For-ev-er”, but close enough. You probably heard Phillies CEO Pat Gillick yesterday discuss his belief that the Phillies are essentially dicked for the foreseeable future. But that quote above didn’t get come from his interview with CSNPhilly’s John Clark—it came after blowing up the team during the summer of 2006 when he traded the face of a group of talented but underachieving group, Bobby Abreu, to the Yankees.
“Realistically, I think it’s a stretch to think that we’re going to be there in ’07,” Gillick said. “I think probably right now, it’s going to take longer than that. We’ve got some younger people in the pitching staff, especially, that we’re going to plug in. With young people you have inconsistency, so it’s going to take time to get their feet on the ground. I think it’s probably going to be a little slower.”
His tone then was eerily similar to his tone yesterday in which both times he took a shit on any hopes of a quick turnaround.
Of course, Gillick was wrong back then as the team found a spark plug in eventual all-star Shane Victorino and quickly exceeded expectations on its way to five straight division titles, two National League titles, and a World Series win. But there was one major difference in 2006– that the team was filled with a core of quality young players trending upward. Gillick believed those core players just needed more time. Fast forward to 2014 and that same core group of players is now out of time.
“I think where we are right now, it’s probably a couple years. I wouldn’t think ’15 or ’16, I don’t think is in the cards. I think somewhere around 2017 or 2018.”
It actually amazes me how some fans have taken issue with Gillick’s comments. I mean I guess you could hold out hope again that Gillick is wrong again, if you’re totally fucking delusional and that Grady Sizemore signing did something for you. Some have reacted with a simple “no shit—this team is completely fucked,” but there are still a good deal of fans who are some reason upset with the CEO. My question is—why?
Pretend for a second the free agent market isn’t complete dick. Comcast television money and big spending power isn’t going to overcome a lineup devoid of talent and a slew of bad contracts that have paralyzed the team’s ability to shed dead weight and reload with talent.
The ire shouldn’t be directed that Gillick simply said what everyone should already know—it should be directed at Ruben Amaro Jr. and the rest of the team’s decision makers who could have started this process two seasons ago. Now they enter an offseason with an overpaid closer nobody wants, an overpaid first baseman nobody wants, an aging middle infield, and aging catcher, a $25 million pitcher whose arm doesn’t work, and a stud pitcher who’ll be in his mid 30s by the time team is any good if the CEO is right.
Holy shit. Pass the Tylenol.