The Phillies aren't spending much time worrying about anything other than winning the World Series right now, but they'll have a big job to fill once they turn their attention past the immediate future.
Assistant general manager Chuck LaMar, who spent the last three years overseeing the farm system, turned in his resignation on Tuesday. The move came as something of a surprise to both the public and Ruben Amaro. The Phillies general manager couldn't add much insight into LaMar's decision to abandon ship.
"We had a meeting this morning and after having some discussions, it seemed like for Chuck the best situation for him was to go ahead and resign," Amaro said. "I guess the feeling was this gave him the opportunity to have other pursuits either inside or outside the game. But that's a question you're going to have to ask Chuck."
LaMar hasn't made any comment about his decision. Bob Brookover of the Inquirer spoke with LaMar last week about the state of the minor league system and writes that there was no indication of unhappiness.
LaMar was previously the head man in Tampa, so it is possible he wants to return to being the man in charge. There is a GM job open with the Cubs, but LaMar has neither the kind of splashy name nor the resume of a young up-and-comer that has been bandied about for that opening. There's also the fact that while LaMar assembled many of the pieces of the team that lost to the Phils in the 2008 World Series, he wasn't able to get the team on the right side of .500 before being replaced.
Whoever replaces LaMar will need to help accomplish a difficult, sometimes divergent, pair of responsibilities. They will need to keep the system stocked with players that the Phils can use to pull off the kinds of trades that have brought Cliff Lee, Roy Halladay and Hunter Pence to the team in the last three years while also making sure there are enough talented players to fill spots left open as current members of the team move to other teams or see their skills erode as they age.
The only sign of anything amiss this season was LaMar's belief that Domonic Brown needed a bit of tough love from the organization. There were also some issues related to the development of some players lower in the system, although Generally speaking, though, the team has gotten more than expected from minor league additions like Antonio Bastardo and Michael Stutes while also building up the prospect base enough to wind up with Pence.
The Phillies were doing well on that front before LaMar came to the team so this isn't anything worth worrying about too much. Any change to the way the team conducts business bears watching, though, and it will be interesting to see who takes over the job LaMar left behind.