Matt Klentak reportedly believed Joe Girardi was best choice to be manager

Despite questions about the organizational power structure, it appears that all Phillies brass was in agreement on one thing at the conclusion of their managerial search – Joe Girardi, announced as the team’s new manager Thursday, was the best choice.

According to The Philadelphia Inquirer‘s Matt Breen, general manager Matt Klentak told baseball operations employees that Joe Girardi was his first choice to replace Gabe Kapler as Phillies manager.

In an Oct. 11 press conference addressing Kapler firing, Klentak stressed that the process of evaluating Kapler was collaborative, but as Phillies Nation Editorial Director Tim Kelly pointed out, it appeared “Middleton asserted himself as the dominant figure in the brass of the organization.” The press conference raised questions on how much sway Klentak really had in the decision-making process on Kapler and whether there’s cohesion between ownership and the front office.

Matt Klentak is going into his fifth offseason as GM of the Phillies. (Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire)

The former is expected to be addressed when Girardi is introduced at Citizens Bank Park on Monday afternoon, but we learned a little about the later earlier today. MLB Network’s Jon Heyman also reported that Girardi, “really hit it off,” with both Phillies managing parter John Middleton and Klentak.

Klentak voiced his support for Kapler on Oct. 11, even as Phillies brass addressed why he was ultimately dismissed.

“I think he’s really good at what he does: really talented, hard-worker good communicator [and] all of the things we stand for. I am very thankful to [Kapler] for what he provided this franchise for the last two years.”

If Klentak had it his way, Kapler may still be managing the Phillies, but it appears as though both the front office and ownership group are on the same page when it comes Girardi’s hiring.


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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. PhillyTheKid

    October 25, 2019 at 2:33 pm

    Sorry, but Klentak has not shown much baseball knowledge and has admitted he’s not analytics-savvy, so what does he really do? I don’t believe, for one second, that he thinks – or thought – Girardi is/was the best choice for Mgr. when, in my opinion, of the 3 options of which we were made aware (by the Phillies & the media), it was no contest.

    The media, particularly our own Phillies writers, also had no clue, BUT had to write something every other day, so they decided it would be ok to torture us by putting Showalter at the top of the list, early on, because of his connection to the Baltimore tandem of Klentak/MacPhail; it should have been the other way around, in my opinion, i.e., Showalter should’ve been at the BOTTOM of the list because of that connection!!

    As for on-field decisions coming from the front office, I don’t get it. I’m NOBODY, but I know the game. If I’m the Mgr., NOBODY in the front office is writing my lineups – ALL they get to do is provide me their numbers, numbers that I then incorporate into my own numbers (after all, analytics is just a fancy word for STATS and I’ve been playing and managing with them all my life!).

    The front office was not changing Kapler’s lineups every day; if they were, then he’s MUCH more of a kiss-a$$ than I thought because THAT would be absolutely RIDICULOUS!

    Thank G-D John Middleton got involved with the Harper sweepstakes AND that he probably never considered Showalter or Baker once Girardi’s name was mentioned; HE JUST WENT OUT AND GOT HIM!

    Go Phils!

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