Wednesday, interim team president Pat Gillick approached Phillies fans, greeted them softly, and told them to have a seat while he again broke down the Phillies' near future.
Gillick had previously mentioned offhand that the Phillies may or may not or definitely won't be in good shape again until around 2017-18. Somebody cornered him at the Phillies winter banquet in Reading and prodded at him again about the rebuild.
"Yeah, maybe further out," Gillick said on Tuesday night before the Phillies' winter banquet at the Reading Crowne Plaza Hotel. "Maybe '18. You need about two or three years."
He actually didn't even mention "2017" that time.
But Gillick added to the usual rhetoric a reminder to everyone that his job title had "interim" at the front of it, and he wouldn't hesitate to absolutely leave forever, and will be doing so within the next year. Gillick stressed the need for someone young to replace him, requesting, "Let some younger people get an opportunity.".
At 77 years old, hanging around with the Phillies may not feel like an terrific use of his time. Though that's an emotion people get at a range of ages these days.
The Phillies are ready to lean into their coming years, embracing the "Together We Build" mantra shrieked by people high on glue in the Sports Complex parking lot. Four years ago, stations had news crews chasing Cliff Lee through the airport to get his thoughts on coming back to Philadelphia. Starting now, the team's web site is explaining how exciting it would be if Cliff Lee were healthy, because that way, they can trade him.