A year ago, front office moves seemed almost pointless. It was just more crap to pile on top of the crap that was already happening and was about to happen. But now, there's an actual future in sight, and the Phillies are doing more than just rearranging deck chairs on the USS Front Office. Today they announced five changes to their front office for the upcoming baseball season, which is thankfully getting closer by the day.
Pat Gillick has relinquished his role as Phillies Baseball Overlord (AKA team president), but will thankfully remain with the team. He's returned to his role as senior advisor to the president and GM. Don't ever leave us, Pat.
Benny Looper, who served as the assistant GM of player personnel under previous GM/re-made man Ruben Amaro Jr, has been shuffled to senior advisor, international operations. Looper's old job had him overseeing the entire player development and scouting department, and now, if his new job title can be trusted, he'll focus solely on the Phillies' international baseball activities.
Looper's AGM seat wasn't empty for long. Another Andy MacPhail/Orioles guy has made his way to the Phillies in Ned Rice. Rice spent 11 years with the Orioles, and the last three of them were as director of major league administration. He focused on roster management, contracts, negotiations, arbitration, and rules compliance. Rice is also 33, meaning he started with the Orioles when he was 22, and he's currently just one year older than me. I could linger on how depressing that is, clearly not the director of anything as I sit here writing this, but I think I'll just move on.
Scott Freedman is apparently still doing things with the Phillies, and if he was banished to a basement office near the boiler, he's certainly moving up now. He's been promoted from manager of baseball analytics to director of baseball operations. The is the first time any of us has heard from him since the LANDMARK, EXCLUSIVE TWO-PART INTERVIEW he did with us almost two years ago. He's been like a ghost since then, but a productive ghost since MacPhail and Matt Klentak like him enough to promote him to a significant position within the organization.
And last, but certainly not least, Lewis Pollis has been promoted to analyst of baseball research and development, a full-time position. He spent last season as an intern in the Phillies organization. But that wasn't the only internship -- or baseball job -- this 23-year-old has had. He's interned for the Reds and the Indians. He won the 2014 Greg Spira Baseball Research Award, given by the Society for American Baseball Research, for his excellent senior honors thesis entitled "If You Build It: Rethinking the Market for Major League Baseball Front Office Personnel." And he's also done some writing for fellow SB Nation site Beyond the Box Score.
Two prior internships, work at BP, a SABR award, and it took a full year internship to make him full time? Jeez. https://t.co/oAnaYbcvet— Frank Firke (@ClownHypothesis) January 11, 2016
Congrats, Lewis! You made it! And good luck!