Matt Klentak is doing with the Phillies what Sam Hinkie never could finish with the 76ers
Phrases such as “Trust the Process” have suffocated the city of Philadelphia, as all four sports franchises (Phillies, Eagles, Flyers, 76ers) face the difficult task of rebuilding at the exact same time.
While I was a fan of Sam Hinkie during his tenure with the 76ers, and believe the “process” will ultimately lead to a parade down Broad Street led by Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, there were obvious flaws to the process.
Not having veteran players, being negligent in handling the media, creating prickly relationships with players and their agents, and creating a losing culture are the byproduct of Hinkie’s masterplan.
Matt Klentak on the other hand has taken “the process” to an entirely different level. Instead of going down past the basement of the building, Klentak has started at the ground floor, and built the team up.
While being frugal and not flashing ridiculous contracts at free agents, Klentak has stayed on the right side of the fans and players. Hinkie quickly lost that relationship, despite having the same mindset as Klentak.
Both Klentak and Hinkie took advantage of their enormous cap space, but Klentak has done it in a way that benefits the team in more ways than one. Instead of helping another team clear cap space and immediately releasing the player while pocketing a worthless draft pick, Klentak has brought in veterans to help the team grow.
Howie Kendrick, Pat Neshek, Clay Buchholz, Andres Blanco, and Jeremy Hellickson are great examples of “the process” being executed correctly.
Growth and talent is being seen on both the Phillies and 76ers, but many fans look to be more patient and hopeful with the way Klentak has run the organization in such a small window of time.
Across the street, Hinkie’s work is not done despite being pushed out the door by the Colangelo family. Embiid and Simmons may very well take the 76ers to the promise land, and be the next San Antonio Spurs. But with the Phillies, the evolution of a team, not a process, is clear and evident.
While it may not be 2017, ’18, or even ’19, the Phillies will be contenders once again. Fans just have to trust the process.