Below is the abridged version of the Open Letter to Phillies President David Montgomery because, well because you all like short, good pieces. If ya want to read the full letter, it’s available HERE. You’ll still get the gist.
Dear Mr. Montgomery,
As a Philadelphia sports fan and as a Phillies season ticket-holder, thank you for 2008 and ending the Championship drought in Philadelphia. Thank you for the six-year run of fun and exciting baseball. Those were some of the most enjoyable sports-watching years in my lifetime. Thank you for creating one of the better ballparks in MLB.
The Phillies finished 3rd in 2012, 4th in 2013 and most likely 5th this year. The organization has become a laughing stock with national media members and analysts.
We all know that you and the Phillies are extremely loyal, perhaps to a fault. Ed Wade comes to mind. Ed Wade was a decent GM, but unable to win a World Series. He fielded competitive teams, but couldn’t get over the proverbial hump. We, as fans, recognized this inability a couple years prior to him finally being replaced. Perhaps bringing in Pat Gillick a year or two earlier, while the core players were younger, may have brought another championship to the city.
I understand your loyalty to Ruben Amaro, Jr. You’ve known him since he was a child. He was a bat boy during some good Phillies years in the 1980’s. He has to be like family to you. That’s the only way to justify making him Assistant General Manager the year that his below-average MLB career ended. He did not spend any time learning the art of scouting or contract negotiations as Pat Burrell is currently doing in San Francisco or as Ron Hextall did with the Flyers/Kings. He didn’t have to prove any capacity for front-office work.
The track records of Ruben and Marti Wolever (Amateur Scouting) speaks for themselves. I imagine they are both good guys so there must be places for them within the organization, just not involved in front office decisions and scouting. I realize that remaining a top tier team is difficult, but I’ve had to watch the Braves, Cardinals, Red Sox, A’s, Giants and others do just that.
Perhaps it is time to be loyal to the fans. We’ve earned that loyalty. Taxpayers and fans paid $229M towards that beautiful ballpark. We sold the ballpark out for 257 consecutive games. The Phillies fanbase is consistently ranked in the top five by national publications. The Phillies have consistently been one of the top five revenue earning franchises in MLB. The TV ratings, which were the highest in the league in 2011, have been high enough to help you secure one of the most lucrative television deals in the league. Again, we’ve earned some loyalty.
The fans have helped to increase the value of the Philadelphia Phillies and net wealth of you and the other owners. The time has come to show loyalty to the fans and winning instead of your friends in the front office and on the field.
Someone with a different approach and perspective is needed to right this ship, if only to invoke hope. After all, things worked out pretty well the last time the Phillies went outside the organization and hired a General Manager named Pat Gillick.
I wish you all the positive vibes possible in your private life and in world of the Phillies!
The full letter is available HERE.
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