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

43 Comments

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 CSNPhilly.com: The Phillies according to Pat Gillick

There is, indeed, an MLB-to-Portland group

Associated Press
Leave a comment

On Monday, Baseball America reported that MLB is prepared to expand to Portland and Montreal. We talked about that at length yesterday. One of the most common responses to that piece has been “Portland? Really?”

There’s good reason for that response. Baseball-to-Portland has been talked about for years, but there has never been any real traction. Past initiatives have failed, significant public funding for a stadium seems to be a political impossibility and, heck, Portland wasn’t even interested in keeping its Triple-A team, turning its stadium into a much more successful soccer venue and not missing the Beavers all that much.

It would seem, however, that the reports are not mere speculation and there is a genuine baseball-to-Portland initiative afoot once again. From the Oregonian:

On Tuesday, former Trail Blazers broadcaster Mike Barrett confirmed to The Oregonian/OregonLive that he is part of the Portland group.

“I am officially involved with a campaign to bring Major League Baseball and a stadium development to Portland,” Barrett said. “There is also a formally organized, sophisticated and seasoned management group running this initiative. We will keep you fully apprised of any/all developments as this project progresses.”

One guy — a broadcaster no less — saying he’s part of a group is not exactly a major needle-mover, of course. But it does contrast with past Portland initiatives that have been well-publicized grassroots affairs. While those may have been more broad-based and while their public nature may have provided some refreshing transparency, the simple fact of professional sports ownership in the 21st century is that well-monied groups who play things close to the vest are more likely to make waves. We’re in an age when technocratic hedge fund-type guys make things happen in this arena, not in an age when flamboyant public personalities do.

None of which is to say that baseball in Portland is a lock or that expansion anywhere is a short term proposition. It’s just to note that, yeah, there is a bit more going on, it seems, than just pointing at a map and saying “yeah, a team would make sense here.”