Andy MacPhail to take over for Pat Gillick as Phils president after season

ByJerry Crasnick ESPN logo
Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Longtime MLB executive Andy MacPhail will take over for Pat Gillick as thePhiladelphia Phillies' president after this season, the team announced Monday.

MacPhail, 62, will serve as a special assistant to Gillick for the rest of this season until he takes over the president's role. Gillick, 77, helped choose MacPhail as his successor.

"He's an information-gatherer and that's very important because any information is critical to making the right decisions," Gillick said of MacPhail.

Gillick stepped down as general manager after the 2008 season and served as an adviser before replacing David Montgomery as president in August 2014.

"Andy brings an uncommon blend of old-school experience and new-age thinking," said John Middleton, one of the Phillies' owners. "Old school because he has been building winning teams for over three decades. ... During his tenure in Baltimore, he greatly expanded the use of statistical analysis in player evaluations. That's the new-age thinking."

MacPhail's arrival comes at a particularly challenging time for the organization. The Phillies have the worst record in baseball at 27-51 after a 7-4 loss to the visitingMilwaukee Brewers, and manager Ryne Sandberg submitted his resignation Friday and was replaced by interim manager Pete Mackanin.

"This organization has a terrific reputation doing things first class," MacPhail said. "I'm confident we're going to be able to get back. It's just a question of when and how efficient we can be to make it happen sooner rather than later."

MacPhail was general manager of the Minnesota Twins when they won World Series championships in 1987 and 1991. He served as president and CEO of the Chicago Cubs from 1994 through 2006 before taking over as theBaltimore Orioles' president of baseball operations from 2007 through 2011.

MacPhail acquired Adam Jones, Chris Davis and several other key pieces in trades to help bring about a resurgence in Baltimore that led to playoff appearances by the Orioles in 2012 and 2014. He has not worked in a baseball front office since 2011.

The Phillies' in-season shake-up is reminiscent of events in Arizona last season, when Tony La Russa joined the Diamondbacks as chief baseball officer in May and general manager Kevin Towers' role with the organization was dramatically altered. Towers stayed with the organization in a reduced capacity for four months before the Diamondbacks fired him in September.

A source confirmed that general manager Ruben Amaro will remain with the Phillies' organization while MacPhail assesses the state of the franchise moving forward. Amaro has become a major lightning rod in Philadelphia for several ineffectual trades and signings during his tenure with the club.

Last month, Amaro created a stir when he criticized Phillies fans who have questioned the team's conservative development approach with minor league prospects.

"They don't understand the game," Amaro told "They don't understand the process. There's a process. And then they bitch and complain because we don't have a plan. There's a plan in place and we're sticking to the plan. We can't do what's best for the fan. We have to do what's best for the organization so the fan can reap the benefit of it later on. That's the truth."

Amaro subsequently issued an apology, saying his comments weren't meant to disparage Phillies fans and conceding that, "I probably used my words incorrectly or poorly."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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