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John Middleton could learn from Jeffrey Lurie

Eliot Shorr-Parks
October 03, 2019 - 8:27 am
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Phillies fans are waiting for an answer on what the team will do with general manager Matt Klentak and manager Gabe Kapler, and with each day they wait, the speculation and frustration grows. 

It is something Eagles’ fans have never had to go through. 

Lurie has not always made the right decisions during his 25-year reign as owner of the Eagles, but he has always been an owner that gives off the public appearance that he knows what he wants to do and has a plan. 

In 2012, when it was clear that the team both would and should move on from Andy Reid after 12 seasons, Lurie fired the head coach less than 24 hours after the final game of the season. Needless to say, that was a far more difficult and emotional decision than the Phillies face with Kapler. 

In 2014, when Lurie decided to go all in on Chip Kelly, he announced a complete front office makeover just a few days after the season ended, removing Howie Roseman — arguably the employee he is closest to in the building — in the process. 

In 2015, when Lurie realized he made a mistake by giving Kelly power, he fired him before the season even ended, sending a clear message to the fans that the team would be moving on from the controversial head coach. 

Time and time again, Lurie has made clear, strong decisions when the franchise has needed it. There hasn’t been any mixed messages, any waiting, any wondering — Lurie made his decision and the franchise moved forward. 

A blueprint for ownership that Phillies owner Jon Middleton could learn from. 

The Phillies season has been over for four days now, and still, there has been no announcement on what the team will be doing with Kapler or Klentak. Only one of two things are possible. Either Middleton knows what he is going to do and isn’t telling. Or, he still hasn’t decided. Either possibility is a sign of how far Middleton has to come as an owner. 

If Middleton does know what he wants to do and isn’t telling, all he is accomplishing is making fans think he doesn’t have a clear plan. If both come back, they will come back with the public perception than they are on the hot seat and barely kept their job, whether that is the case or not. 

If Middleton hasn’t decided on the fate of Kapler and Klentak, you have to wonder what the hold up is. He has had two years to decide if Kapler is the man for the job. He has had three years to decide on Klentak. If he isn’t sure by now, that says more about his ability to run a franchise than it does the job Klentak or Kapler has done. 

What Middleton does remains to be seen. We might be waiting a while to find out. 

Whatever happens, however, two things are clear.

One, Middleton wants to win -- his heart is in the right place. That was made clear with all of the money he spent last offseason. 

Two? It takes more than a checkbook to run a franchise the right way, something he could learn from looking across the street at the NovaCare Complex. 

You can reach Eliot Shorr-Parks on Twitter at @EliotShorrParks or email him at esp@94wip.com!

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