— Gary Potosky (@InqPotosky) August 28, 2014
The Phillies made a surprising announcement Thursday afternoon when they revealed general partner and president David Montgomery is taking an immediate medical leave of absence while he recovers from jaw cancer surgery.
Pat Gillick has assumed Montgomery’s responsibilities.
The team added in its statement: “The club looks forward to David returning to his roles as General Partner, President and Chief Executive Officer when he is fully recovered.”
The events happen at an awkward time: GM Ruben Amaro Jr. has been under heavy criticism from fans this season for fielding a roster that seemed incapable of returning to the playoffs. Gillick was his predecessor — the one who won a World Series — and is now, again, Amaro’s boss, if only temporarily.
Gillick, who turned 77 last week, joined the organization following the 2005 season when he was hired to replace Ed Wade as general manager. During Gillick’s 3-year tenure as GM, the Phillies won the 2008 World Series and the first two of five straight National League East titles.
Gillick, who also won two World Series rings as the GM of the Toronto Blue Jays in 1992 and 1993, was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2011.
Gillick stepped down as Phillies GM following the 2008 World Series, when his contract expired. One of his top lieutenants, Ruben Amaro Jr., was named as his replacement.