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
The Red Sox are off and running in the first inning of Game 1 of the World Series against the Dodgers. Andrew Benintendi and J.D. Martinez each hit RBI singles off of Clayton Kershaw to give the Red Sox an early 2-0 lead.
Benintendi’s hit to right field ended with a replay review. Rather than throw to the cutoff man, right fielder Yasiel Puig fired home to try nabbing Mookie Betts, but his throw was poor. Catcher Austin Barnes caught the ball a few feet in front of and to the right of home plate, then whipped the ball to second base in an attempt to get Benintendi. Benintendi clearly beat the throw, but shortstop Manny Machado kept the tag applied. After Benintendi was ruled safe, the Dodgers challenged, arguing that Benintendi’s hand may have come off the second base bag for a microsecond while Machado’s glove was on him. The ruling on the field was upheld and the Red Sox continued to rally.
Replay review over base-keeping is not in the spirit of the rule and shouldn’t be permitted. Hopefully Major League Baseball considers changing the rule in the offseason. Besides the oftentimes uncontrollable minute infractions, these kinds of replay reviews slow the game down more than other types of reviews because they tend not to be as obvious as other situations.
Baseball has become so technical and rigid that it seems foolish to leave gray area in this regard. A runner is either off the base or he isn’t. However, the gradual result of enforcing these “runner’s hand came off the base for a fraction of a second” situations is runners running less aggressively and sliding less often so there’s no potential of them losing control of their body around the base. Base running, particularly the aggressive, sliding variety, is quietly one of the most fun aspects of the game. Policing the game to this degree, then, serves to make the game less fun and exciting.
Where does one draw the line then? To quote Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart, describing obscenity in Jacobellis v. Ohio, “I know it when I see it.” This is one area where I am comfortable giving the umpires freedom to enforce the rule at their discretion and making these situations impermissible for replay review.