John Middleton's 23 minute interview on 94WIP

Angelo Cataldi and the Morning Team
March 05, 2019 - 9:05 am

John Middleton's "stupid money" comment was all part of the plan. 

Back in November, the Phillies managing partner told USA Today's Bob Nightengale that the Phillies might "even be a little bit stupid about" spending money.

On Tuesday, less than a week after inking Bryce Harper to a 13-year, $330 million contract, Middleton joined Angelo Cataldi and the 94WIP Morning Show to discuss the signing, the successful offseason, and the aforementioned "stupid money" comment. 

"It was an intentional comment, it wasn't just something that slipped out," Middleton said. "As I thought about the offseason and what we had to do, I wanted to send a clear, concise message to our fans, to our team, to our organization that I expected us to get a lot better." 

Phillies GM Matt Klentak talked about how the comment affected the team both positively and negatively on Monday's 94WIP Morning Show

"It certainly raised the bar and the pressure for the organization to deliver," Klentak said. "On the positive side, we didn't have any trouble landing meetings with agents. They were happy to pick up my phone call."

Middleton said raising the bar was "exactly what it was intended to do." 

"Sometimes leaders have to eliminate the easy way out," Middleton explained. "They have to say to their people, to their organization, you guys—I'm gonna push you beyond what our traditional comfort zone is and part of doing that, is to cut off our escape route."

Middleton also says the team did not have a preference going into the offseason between Manny Machado and Bryce Harper, but he was aware of the fans' preference of Harper thanks to social media, specifically a Todd Zolecki Twitter poll

As for that effin' trophy

"I think we've taken a significant step towards getting that bleepin' trophy back," Middleton said. 

Listen to the full interview below.