Matt Klentak, the Phillies New GM

The luster over the Philadelphia Phillies has faded over the past few years, and I feel that the team hit bottom last season. I lost interest, along with much of the fan base. Is the team doing something about it? Yes, I do believe they are – and as a Philly fan, I hope they are successful.

If you’ve read my blog over time, you know that I love to pull leadership lessons from our sports teams, or sports, in general. Today is no exception. Matt Klentak is relatively young, at 35, a former baseball player from Dartmouth, hired last October.

The Phillies undoubtedly have their challenges again for the 2016 season, but, from what little I’ve read, they are implementing a strategy that I think will be successful, in the long run, and I’m sure that some of that is due to Matt Klentak.

He played ball, at Dartmouth, in the shadow of “Moneybag”, the metrics-driven methodology that many people have seemingly adopted. However, “It was there that Klentak routinely batted at the bottom of the order, his average never eclipsing .273, but remained a mainstay in the lineup because of his defense, his leadership, and his willingness to play the sort of “small ball” that most sabermetricians loathe. And it was there that he learned the necessity of keeping those opposing perspectives in proportion when trying to build a winning team.”

Klentak said. “When you’re surrounded by people you know, people you like, people who encourage you, a coaching staff or manager who inspires you, all those things allow players to be at their very best.”

According to Bob Whalen, Dartmouth’s Head Coach for 26 years, “You can look at all the numbers you want, but at some point, you have to believe in the kids you’re taking.”

Once again, you can relate Sports to the real world of business. While being “metrics driven” is a good thing, in general, it is not everything. To paraphrase the above quote, you can look at all the numbers you want, but at some point, you have to believe in the people you have on your team.

Good luck to Matt and the Phillies!


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