Per CBS Philly, the Philadelphia Phillies today promoted former SVP for Administration and Operations, Michael Stiles, to the new position of Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer.
This was a clear move by the Phillies to separate their business and baseball functions at the top, and likely sets the stage for the eventual hiring of a longterm President to replace Pat Gillick, one whose primary role will be on the baseball end.
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As for Stiles, his business education, background, and reputation in the community are impeccable. Another of the Phillies “Penn” grad connections, he also earned his law degree at Villanova. His legal background, working as a trial judge, a supervisor in the Philly DA’s offices, and as a U.S. Attorney is impressive.
“It is a privilege to work with the exceptionally fine people in this organization” ~ Michael Stiles
“Mike is highly respected by the Philadelphia business community, Phillies staff and those in baseball who have come to know him since joining the Phillies 14 years ago,” said Phillies President Pat Gillick, per CBS Philly.
The only three individuals now ranking higher in the Phillies management structure than Stiles are Gillick, and the club’s Chairman and Chairman Emeritus, David Montgomery and Bill Giles.
Gillick has said in the past that he is likely not long for his current responsibilities. As soon as next off-season, and certainly whenever he either finally steps aside, or by some change in team ownership control is possibly forced aside, there will be an opportunity to bring in a top young baseball mind for the long-term, as the Cubs did with Theo Epstein.
As we’ve said here before at TBOH, there is not likely to be much improvement coming in the short term under Gillick and Amaro. Their track record over the last half-dozen years leaves much to be desired, to say the least. If this move with Stiles hastens change at the top of the baseball operations side, all the better.