According to a report, Phillies President and CEO David Montgomery was pushed out of his role as team president in August and did not relinquish temporary control of the team as originally reported. According to reporter Howard Eskin, Montgomery was allegedly with the team every day during his recovery.
In a related story, limited partner John S. Middleton has reportedly been purchasing more and more shares of the team and has now amassed 48% ownership of the team. According to the report cited above, a limited partner cannot own a majority share of the team without unanimous consent of the other owners. The report speculates that with the passing of a handful of ownership partners, the voting math now becomes easier for Middleton to become a majority owner.
The report suggests that Montgomery has had the final say on all personnel decisions, including the decision to retain the club’s aging stars. The report suggests that Middleton may clean house upon assuming majority ownership, with a source close to the reporter indicating that it is almost a certainty that Ryan Howard will not be back next season, with the Phils eating the remainder of his contract, Chase Utley moving to first, and Cody Asche to left field. Finally, the reporter indicates that Pat Gillick and Ruben Amaro will listen to possible deals on Cole Hamels.
Analysis: Wow. Based on this report, the onus of the Phillies lack of success rests squarely on the shoulders of David Montgomery and perhaps a bit of slack should be given to Amaro, as it is implied that Amaro’s hands were tied for a lot of these decisions. While news items from this reporter should be taken with a grain of salt, this reporter has been right on bigger bombshells. He’s also missed on slam dunks. This should be an interesting offseason to say the least.