After hiring Dave Dombrowski to be the President of Baseball Operations earlier in the month, the Phillies made another move on Tuesday. Philadelphia announced former MLB player, Sam Fuld, hiring him as the team’s General Manager. Fuld, 39, was an eight-year MLB veteran and already has familiarity with the organization.
General Manager Sam Fuld: Playing Career
Soon to be General Manager Sam Fuld, first broke into the bigs back in 2007 with the Chicago Cubs, where he would mostly be used as a pinch-runner. Fuld played eight MLB seasons and was known for speed and above-average defense in center field. His best season came in 2011 when he stole 20 bases and hit three home runs across 105 games as the team’s fourth outfielder. However, Fuld could never seem to stay healthy as he battled injuries throughout his career. He retired at the end of the 2017 season, having played his last game in 2015. In his career, Fuld recorded 12 home runs and 67 stolen bases.
General Manager Sam Fuld: Connections to Phillies
Immediately after the Phillies hired Gabe Kapler in 2017, now General Manager Sam Fuld was brought in as the organization’s player information coordinator. In simpler terms, Fuld helped use analytics to construct lineups and help the organization.
Red flag! Part of the reason Kapler failed in Philadelphia was that he was obsessed with analytics instead of making logical decisions. It doesn’t make me feel very cozy knowing that Fuld played a part in that mindset.
After the team fired Gabe Kapler in 2019, Sam Fuld became a candidate to be the team’s next manager. However, Fuld eventually withdrew his name from consideration, and the team hired Joe Girardi. Fuld has remained in close contact with the team and even filled in at center field for the Phillies during an exhibition before the start of the 2020 season. The Phillies front office has been a disaster, and seeing the team bring in Fuld should not be a shocker.
General Manager Sam Fuld: Is He the Right Guy?
The last time the Phillies hired a former MLB player with minimal experience, it did not turn out well. Gabe Kapler was a disaster and played a part in September collapses in back-to-back years. However, as the general manager, Sam Fuld has a role that is much different.
Part of the reality here is that it can’t be much worse from a front-office standpoint. Matt Klentak was a horrendous GM who failed to draft prospects or address the team’s most significant issue of not having a bullpen. Having hired Fuld and Dave Dombrowski, the organization moved on from Andy MacPhail as well.
General Manager Sam Fuld: Takeaways
Considering Sam Fuld’s lack of experience, it’s tough to get an accurate gauge on how good he will be in this position. However, the fact that he contributed to Kapler’s obsession with analytics should be a red flag. Not to say those analytics are always wrong, but they should not be getting in the way of making logical decisions. From the team’s standpoint, it’s unlikely that they will spend big money this season. John Middleton, who has consistently failed to spend money appropriately, has noted he lost 2 billion dollars due to COVID-19 and likely won’t bring in any big free agents.
My point is that it can’t get much worse from what Phillies’ fans have gotten from their front office in past years. Fuld has a connection to the organization and will work under Dave Dombrowski to try and help get this squad back to the playoffs. I don’t have high hopes for the team as long as John Middleton is the owner, but hopefully, Fuld can help get them going in the right direction.
Have a baseball lover that you need to get a gift for? Check out our partner at Dugout Mugs! Create a personalized mug made out of the barrel of a bat. Great for any baseball fan, or, let’s be honest, yourself!
Follow me on Twitter @PodolskyDanny
main image credit Embed from Getty Images