Ruben Amaro actually played baseball once.. He wasn’t too good at that either.
As Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro continues his regression towards worst general manager in the major leagues, what more can we expect from him? The good news is that while he dangles Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee in front of potential trading partners, he is smart enough to demand that any team doing business with him must also take the complete salary that each of those players is signed to. It’s also understandable that he would like to sell and trade Dominic Brown while his trade value is high, but it seems like Brown’s best years are still ahead of him.
Amaro should be commended for trading backup catcher Eric Kratz and taking a chance on inexpensive relief pitcher Brad Lincoln. The problem is that his other moves seem mind boggling when you are potentially trying to trade three of your most productive players. It makes no sense to sign aging veterans like Marlon Byrd, Carlos Ruiz and Chase Utley, regardless of how fond we are of Utley and Chooch because of their previous accomplishments.
Does Amaro want to win now by signing Byrd, Ruiz and Utley or is he trying to rebuild by putting Hamels, Lee, and Brown on the trading block? Most of the Philadelphia fan base should be confused by his actions. Pat Gillick had the reigns when the Phillies were at the peak of their performance and at a more youthful stage of their careers. But since then Amaro has done nothing to capitalize on the success of the 2008 championship.
Instead, since 2008 they have gone from winning the championship, to losing in the World Series in 2009, to then losing the National League Championship in 2010. The following year they lost in the first round of the playoffs. In 2012 they became the very definition of an average team, losing a game for every game they won. Last year they became a losing team and now Amaro expects to make these perplexing moves and contend for a title?
The final straw might have been the early dismissal of one of the most beloved managers in franchise history. Charlie Manuel, for all he has done, deserved to finish the season last year. He clearly wanted to finish the year and was not happy when he found out he had been fired.
It can be debated that two of the most disheartening days in the recent coaching history of Philadelphia sports might be the death of the late and great defensive genius Jim Johnson and the early termination of Charlie Manuel’s contract. Charlie brought a championship to this city after such a long drought. He deserved to finish the year regardless of whatever circumstances were involved with present coach Ryne Sandberg.
If only the Phillies could beg Pat Gillick to come back and create some sort of structure and sensibility out of what has turned into this circus show that is now currently the Phillies’ front office. Only time will tell how much further this organization continues it’s downward spiral. That appears to be the only direction the Philles are headed under Ruben Amaro’s guidance. If he were dismissed in the near future it could be in the team’s best interest. A new and capable general manager might have a fighting chance at restoring order to a once proud major league team.