The Phillies introduced longtime MLB executive Andy MacPhail on Monday as the club's new president to succeed Pat Gillick.
by PATRICK GORDON | Managing Editor
June 29 2015, 3:15 PM EST.
PHILADELPHIA - Andy MacPhail made it clear Monday he's looking to do three things over the next three months.
"I'll be reading, watching and listening so I can figure out what we as an organization need to do next," he said
The Phillies introduced the longtime baseball executive on Monday as the club's new team president. He will officially assume the role when Pat Gillick retires at the end of the season.
"Andy will begin working immediately and be a special assistant to Gillick, so he can hit the ground running when he assumes control," said principle team owner John Middleton.
MacPhail's resume and sustained success across different organizations made him a target.
"To us, an ideal candidate was someone who had won multiple World Series titles and worked well in different situations - that's Andy," Middleton said.
"He brings an uncommon blend of old school experience and new age thinking. Old school because he has been building winning teams for over three decades. In 1986, Andy was the youngest GM in the history of of Major League Baseball when he served in that role for the Twins. The following year he became the youngest GM to win a World Series. When the Orioles hired him eight years ago he became the first president of baseball operation in Major League Baseball history. During his tenure in Baltimore he greatly expanded the use of statistical analysis in player evaluation. That's the new age thinking. These qualities, combined with his positive leadership style, make him the ideal candidate to lead the Phillies organization."
MacPhail has been out of baseball since 2011, so he stressed Monday that he wants to spend the next three months to not only evaluate the organization, but also to explore how the game has changed.
"It doesn't seem like a lot of time, but baseball evolves quickly and I need to know what's different since I last was involved," MacPhail said. "I'll rely on those around me to help, but ultimately I need to spend the next few months getting myself up to speed."
Ruben Amaro Jr. will remain in his role as general manager for the foreseeable future, allowing MacPhail time to assess. The same goes for interim manager Pete Mackanin.
"Everything will be evaluated as I'm going to take advantage of the next three months as much as I can," MacPhail said. "There's no secret list of people for certain positions. I'll see how things go and we'll go from there."
As for roster moves as they relate to the upcoming trade deadline, MacPhail will defer to Amaro and Gillick.
"I'll share my opinions and voice my concerns, but I think Pat and Ruben know what's best right now," MacPhail said. "I'm really confident we're going to get back [to contention], it's just doing the work. Everyone has a shot, you see what Pittsburgh and Kansas City did, it's just a question of how effective we can be to make it happen sooner rather than later. What doesn't work is if you have a change of philosophy every two years."
One theme that kept coming up during the press conference was sabermetrics.
"I'm not some numbers genius, but that's why you bring people in that are - so they can tell you what these newer statistics mean," MacPhail said. "It's valuable and it's the future."
Middleton mentioned the club is in the final stages of developing its own sabermetric database that will be ready come September.
"This additional analysis is important," Middleton said. "It's a behind the scenes thing that not many people see, but it certainly is important and a big part of where we're trying to go."
"I'm not coming in with any preconceived notions of what needs to be done," MacPhail said. "I'm going to require some time to formalize some thoughts on a franchise like this. Every team is different andyou need to understand the best way for your organization to succeed."
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