On Thursday Phillies Co-Owner John Middleton, 61, who holds a 48 percent stake in the franchise, was formally approved by team owners as the Phillies’ “control person,” who is accountable to MLB for the operation of the team and for its compliance with the rules of baseball.
“I’m thrilled with the opportunity,” Middleton told MLB.com at the owners’ meetings. “It’s a privilege and an honor to be asked to be a control person and to have the confidence of my partners, the Bucks, and Major League Baseball and the other owners. I’m looking forward to it. Our fans want us to bring back a championship. We’re committed to that. We begin working even harder today than we did yesterday. It’s our goal to win a championship.”
The rest of the ownership group, Pete, Jim and Sandy Buck, David Montgomery and Pat Gillick own the remaining 52 percent. Middleton has been a limited partner since 1994, and he has served as chairman of the Phillies’ advisory board since ’98.
They Work For Us:
On Thursday MLB and Commissioner Rob Manfred named the Phillies as the 2016 recipient of the Allan H. Selig Award for Philanthropic Excellence, formerly known as the Commissioner’s Award for Philanthropic Excellence, which was created in 2010 to recognize the charitable and philanthropic efforts of MLB clubs..
The Phillies are being recognized for their organization-wide commitment to supporting the fight against ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) through the Phillies Phestival, an annual autograph and auction party which this year raised more than $700,000 to provide much-needed patient care and services for ALS patients in the Philadelphia area and more than $17 million since 1984, when the ALS Association Greater Philadelphia Chapter became the team’s primary charity. As part of their recognition, the Phillies will receive a $10,000 grant from MLB Charities to continue their philanthropic efforts.
“To receive this prestigious award is indeed an honor, and one that we dedicate to the patients and families who live with or have succumbed to this awful disease,” said Phillies chairman David Montgomery. “The Phillies family is committed to putting an end to ALS. I would like to thank our players, Phillies wives, coaching and front-office staff, day-of-game employees, ownership, sponsors — and especially our fans — who have joined us, and continue to join us, in the fight to end Lou Gehrig’s Disease.”
“The ALS Association, Greater Philadelphia Chapter, is proud and honored that the Philadelphia Phillies are the recipient of the 2016 Allan H. Selig Award for Philanthropic Excellence,” said Ellyn Phillips, president of the ALS Association Greater Philadelphia Chapter. “The Chapter has greatly benefited from the Phillies dedication, compassion, generosity and year-round efforts in the fight against ALS.”
Phillies 40 Man Roster:
The rest of the week’s news all had to do with the Phillies desire to protect as many players as possible from the rule 5 draft, opening up room on the 40 man roster to do so. They needed to finalize this by Friday at 8 PM. MLB requires teams to add players who signed at age 18 or younger to 40-man rosters within five professional seasons, or those who signed at 19 or older within four seasons, or they will become eligible for other organizations to draft. Clubs pay $50,000 to select a player in the Major League phase of the Rule 5 Draft, slated for Dec. 8. If that player doesn’t stay on the 25-man roster for the full season, he must be offered back to his former team for $25,000.
To start the ball rolling on Tuesday the Phillies announced that they released pitcher Matt Harrison. It was unclear at the outset whether they will be on the hook for all of the remaining $15.2 million of his contract ($13.2 million in 2017 with a $2 million buyout to be paid in 2018) or as heard later in the week that they had reached an undisclosed settlement with the insurance company that held the policy on Harrison’s contract, which means the Phillies will have some salary relief.