Finally, something straight from the horse’s mouth.
After days of rumors, whispers, and denials, soon-to-be Hall of Fame executive Pat Gillick has confirmed that he would consider taking a position above the GM with the Chicago Cubs.
“If I did anything else, it would have to be something in a presidency role that would interest me,” Gillick told the Sun-Times from Cooperstown, N.Y.
“If something came up where it would be above the [general manager] position, I would think about it,” he went on.
This comports with most of the rumors about an alleged dalliance between Gillick and Chicago Cubs owner and chairman Tom Ricketts (which, naturally, Gillick has denied). Those rumors had the Cubs considering Gillick in a role other than as a future GM.
Gillick says, though, that he’s unlikely to take an advisory or consultant job – as opposed to a presidency – with another club, because he’s happy in his current position with the Phillies.
“As far as an advisory or consultant job, I’ve got a great deal in Philadelphia,” Gillick said. “There would be no reason for me to go any other place in an advisory or consultant role. We’re in first place. I like it here. The people are great to me.”
Note, however, that the advisory/consultant role that has been suggested for Gillick is more of a temporary job, where Gillick would help the Cubs transition from the current front office to the next. I don’t quite see that kind of a special role being excluded by Gillick’s statement. In theory, he could go right back to the Phillies thereafter.
As for a more permanent, president/director type position, the Cubs could do a lot worse than Gillick. Although he’s getting on in years – he’ll soon be 74 – few have had more success.
And, for those who’ve grown weary of Crane Kenney’s non-baseball presidency with the Cubs, this quote will be music to your ears:
“I’m not interested in the business side or marketing or television. That’s not my expertise,” Gillick said. “Where I can help and support is on the other side. On the baseball side.”
Something to keep in mind: Ricketts and Gillick could have been in contact through an intermediary – which would make everything that’s been reported, as well as everything they’ve said, true.