Pat Gillick built the Phillies into a winner in the mid-2000s, left, came back to try to fix the mess Ruben Amaro created and then stepped aside at the end of last season to make way for Andy MacPhail. Here’s hoping he didn’t pack up all of his office knickknacks, because he’s coming back.
The Phillies announced yesterday that Gillick is coming back as a senior advisor. In addition — and likely more significantly for the long term — former Baltimore Orioles director of major league administration Ned Rice was named an assistant general manager, former baseball analytics manager Scott Freedman — who for years worked as a labor liaison for Major League Baseball — was promoted to director of baseball operations and former analytics intern Lewis Pollis’ was made a full-time analyst.
It wasn’t long ago that the Phillies were the butt of jokes about their old-school front office approach. Filling analytics roles with smart people, hiring folks from strong organizations and making sure their Hall of Fame father figure stays in the fold despite all of the new blood coming — along with the many smart, under-the-radar moves they’ve made in the course of their rebuild — puts that old mindset about the Phillies to lie.