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.
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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