Blog Entry

Gillick is not what he seems.

Posted on: December 7, 2010 5:15 pm
Sure he built winners but I think a lot of people overlook the fact that when he leaves a team they collapse because the team got old and Gillick had gutted the farm system to build the major league club by trading prospects and giving up draft picks for signing free agents.  This happened with the Blue Jays, it happened with the Mariners, and it will certainly happen to the Phillies as their veterans age and I think you saw the first signs of that last year.  Think about the Jays first, who was drafted or acquired to replace Joe Carter or Roberto Alomar, David Cone or Jack Morris?  Then look at the Mariners, who was there to replace Edgar Martinez, Alex Rodriguez, Dan Wilson, Joey Cora, John Olerud, Jay Buhner, and Jamie Moyer?  Now look at the Phillies, who is going to replace Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Roy Halladay, and you could already see the affect of losing Brett Myers to some extent last year.  You could say the Phillies are exactly like the Mariners were when they were winning but they are aging now and they don't have any youth sitting on that bench learning and they have traded away the farm to acquire players like Halladay and Oswalt and now have lost Werth which will hurt them more than anybody realizes at the moment.  Utley is hurt all the time now and Ryan Howard appears to be losing some bat speed and is prone to slumps and high strikeout streaks.  I think Gillick was great at taking teams with deep farms systems and decent major league clubs and using that to his advantage.  You'd have to ask those fan bases if the winning for 4 years was worth the future.  I'm sure in the Blue Jays and Phillies cases it is but in the Mariners case they did not win a world series and are now in such a deep hole the end isn't in site so I'd say it wasn't worth it for them.  I personally think Pete Gillick is highly overrated.
Category: MLB

Since: Jan 20, 2008
Posted on: December 9, 2010 12:50 pm

Gillick is not what he seems.

My question is this, how are you supposed to rebuiild a franchise that has a gutted farm system.  It can take 6-8 years to fully stock a farm back up and no GM is ever going to get that much time.  The only way to try to mask that problem is to sign high priced free agents that are generally about to fall off a cliff, Richie Sexson, Jeff Cirillo, Rich Aurillia, Jose Vidro anyone?

Since: Mar 9, 2007
Posted on: December 8, 2010 1:18 pm

Gillick is not what he seems.

I think you make some good points here about Gillick's teams & his tendencies to sacrifice the future for winning today, however this is also the realistic nature of sports today. Managers & GMs who are brought into the fold don't have the luxury of banking on future dividends, they either have to produce results or they are going to be looking for a new job.

Also I think fans realistically would be willing to sacrifice the future when their team is in a position to win today. When you have a core group of players that is capable of winning, any GM should go out there and try and improve upon it, even at the sacrifice of the farm system. That being said you are correct about needing to eventually bring in talent to replace aging veterans, however this usually takes a few rebuilding years to acquire, something the future GMs of clubs like Toronto & Seattle failed at. That isn't Gillick's fault, but he could've left them in a better position to do so. 

Since: Aug 25, 2009
Posted on: December 8, 2010 9:36 am

Gillick is not what he seems.

I'm from Toronto - in answer to your question whether winning for four years (in the Blue Jays case, it was NINE years, 1985 to 1993), yes, it was definitely worth it. Your argument that he depleted the farm to make those winners has merit, but I would rather that than endless years of mediocrity. Gillick is a baseball genius - his inclusion in the Hall is merited.

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