Phillies: 10 Things to Be Thankful for This Thanksgiving

Bryce Harper, Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Bryce Harper, Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
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4: John Middleton

CLEARWATER, FL – MARCH 2: John Middleton, Philadelphia Phillies managing parter, shakes hands with Bryce Harper as general manager Matt Klentak looks on during the press conference introducing Harper as a member of the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday March 2, 2019 at Spectrum Field in Clearwater, Florida. (Photo by Mike Carlson/MLB via Getty Images) /

As bad of Phillies Managing Partner John Middleton‘s “spending stupid money” comment may have been last offseason, in retrospect, it has significant, underlying meaning.

Middleton cares.

Having not clinched a postseason berth since 2011, Middleton was, and remains dedicated to do whatever it takes to field a contending team.

“Mantras are a lot of fun,” Middleton told NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Jim Salisbury earlier this month. “But we just want to acquire players that will make us meaningfully better. All of our efforts this offseason will be geared toward that.”

Over the past two years, the Phillies have spent more than a half-billion dollars on free agents. That simply would not have been possible without a dedicated and committed owner willing to spend, as is Middleton.

And, the spending may not be over, with looming free agents such as Gerrit Cole, Stephen Strasburg and Anthony Rendon, among others, still being possibilities to don red pinstripes. The luxury tax still remains a factor, but Middleton and fellow Phillies brass are willing to exceed it if they feel the team is ready to compete for the World Series championship.