Dave Montgomery, one of the most admired sports figures in Philadelphia over the past generation, is not running the Phillies right now, and there is no indication when he will be back in charge. The team president took a leave of absence last week to focus on his battle with cancer.
That stunning news has turned an already perplexing season into a complete muddle as fans try to sort out what will happen now to a team in desperate need of sweeping changes. If Montgomery is not there to oversee the transition, who will be? Will GM Ruben Amaro keep his job because no one is in a position to remove him?
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Pat Gillick has been handed Montgomery’s duties, at least on paper, but does a man who left the game six years ago really want, at 77, the responsibility to remake a ballclub that has been in serious decline since he left after the 2008 championship? Does he even have the power to make the necessary changes?
The guess here is that Gillick – who has been a consultant for the team since leaving as GM – is merely the figurehead for an organization with no current leadership at the top. If Amaro were to be removed, the decision would still require Montgomery’s approval – if he were able to give it – and maybe the other owners, as well.
This is one of those rare times when the well being of a beloved figure is going to take precedence over the immediate future of a sports franchise. Above all, everyone wants Montgomery to win his fight and to resume his presidency. Until then, unfortunately, all other crises will have to wait.
- Despite exceeding all expectations in the preseason, Michael Sam was cut last week by St. Louis, and we’re supposed to believe his release had nothing to do with his homosexuality? Please. There was a reason why no NFL player had come out before this. Michael Sam just proved why.
- Mike Adams started what could be an encouraging trend last week when he admitted he has been “stealing money” ($13 million) as an oft-injured relief pitcher on the Phillies the last two seasons. OK, now let’s hear from other players who have been robbing us even worse. Any volunteers?
- Sixers GM Sam Hinkie pulled off another amazing trade last week, acquiring center Hasheem Thabeet from Oklahoma City for exactly what the player was worth – nothing. Of course, Hinkie then immediately released Thabeet. Just one question: Why are we waiting so long to hold a parade for Sam Hinkie?
- OK, I give up. What was Eagles coach Chip Kelly trying to accomplish by bringing in Carey Spear – otherwise known as “Murderleg” – to challenge for the kicking job? Did Kelly feel his team needed someone with a really cool nickname?
- Eagles offensive tackle Lane Johnson will spend his four-week suspension for using a banned substance working out in Dallas. If living for a month in Dallas doesn’t teach him a lesson, nothing will.