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SPORTS
December 27, 2012 | BY RYAN LAWRENCE, Daily News Staff Writer rlawrence@phillynews.com
FOR THE first time in 10 years, the Phillies of 2012 failed to finish a season with a winning record. In the days following the season finale, manager Charlie Manuel was placed squarely into the crosshairs of outsiders seeking a fall guy. Manuel, whose contract expires after the 2013 season, watched his bosses promote Triple A manager and rumored major league manager heir apparent Ryne Sandberg to the Phillies' coaching staff. In a news conference days after the season ended with a series of coaching changes, Manuel answered all of the questions correctly, and with confidence, too. He isn't worried about his job security.
SPORTS
August 12, 2013 | By Bob Brookover, Inquirer Staff Writer
Plenty of business needs to be resolved in these final seven weeks of the Phillies' season. Some of it is being conducted right now down in Clearwater, Fla., a fitting location, considering the 2013 season has been relegated to a second spring training of sorts. Two players - Ryan Howard and Roy Halladay - making more money than two entire teams - Miami and Houston - are trying to get healthy. The recovery of Howard's surgically repaired left knee is considered as important as any plate appearance the Phillies will have in the big leagues between now and the Sept.
SPORTS
November 2, 2012 | BY RYAN LAWRENCE, Daily News Staff Writer
ALTHOUGH TEAMS are allowed to sign free agents from other teams beginning 6 days after the World Series - which means midnight on Friday this year - baseball's hot-stove season generally doesn't get any hotter than in early December at the Winter Meetings. But Ruben Amaro Jr. worked quicker than most last year. He had a future Hall of Famer and a four-time All-Star closer outfitted for red pinstripes a week and a half before sitting down for his Thanksgiving dinner. So Amaro should have a new centerfielder signed before most people wake up Saturday morning, right?
SPORTS
July 11, 2014 | BY RYAN LAWRENCE, Daily News Staff Writer rlawrence@phillynews.com
MILWAUKEE - The trade deadline is 20 days away and Jonathan Papelbon is eager to move on from the Phillies to a team in contention. Asked on Wednesday night if he was ready to move on if a contender came calling, Papelbon gave an affirmative, "Yeah," and added an almost incredulous laugh, too, for effect. Papelbon also said it was "mind-boggling" to him that anyone would want to stay on a last-place team, that it was a "no-brainer" to move on if given the chance. How exactly did his boss react to that?
SPORTS
December 12, 2013 | BY RYAN LAWRENCE, Daily News Staff Writer rlawrence@phillynews.com
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - Roy Halladay's decline, declaring for free agency and then sudden retirement on Monday was a stark reminder of a glaring hole that still remains on the Phillies' roster. The rotation still needs a replacement for Halladay, and starting pitching depth in general. So when rumors of the Phillies listening to trade offers for Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee swirled through the hallways and conference rooms at Walt Disney World's Swan and Dolphin Resort yesterday morning, it was pretty difficult to take them seriously.
SPORTS
August 22, 1996 | by Paul Hagen, Daily News Sports Writer
As Ruben Amaro's mother keeps reminding him, it's always taken him longer than most of the other kids. "My teeth came in late. I didn't reach puberty until I was 14," he said, smiling as he leaned against the bat rack before the Phillies' game last night at Dodger Stadium. And maybe that's it. Maybe that's why Amaro, who seemed less likely than, say, Julio Peguero to resurface in a Phillies uniform after he was traded to the Cleveland Indians after the 1993 season, has not only made it back but carved out a niche for himself.
SPORTS
June 26, 1993 | by Paul Hagen, Daily News Sports Writer
When Ruben Amaro was called up from Triple A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on June 17, word was he would get some starts against lefthanded pitching while Wes Chamberlain was on the disabled list. For more than a week, it didn't work out that way. Jim Eisenreich was swinging a hot bat. Manager Jim Fregosi kept him in the lineup. Last night, though, Fregosi decided Eisenreich needed a rest. Amaro, hitless in three at-bats as a pinch-hitter since his arrival, got the start he had been waiting for. And he didn't whiff it. He had the first four-hit game of his major league career, including a two- run homer in the eighth that lifted the Phillies to an 8-6 win over the Pirates at Three Rivers Stadium.
SPORTS
November 17, 2011 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
MILWAUKEE - The caveat was necessary for a man who has dealt away aces and top prospects, players thought untouchable - a label that, truthfully, does not exist in baseball and certainly not in Ruben Amaro Jr.'s mind. "I can't say we'd never, ever trade anybody," Amaro said. In an empty ballroom at the Pfister Hotel, the Phillies general manager flashed a trademark smirk as his meetings with the rest of baseball's deal-makers neared completion. Amaro still has about $60 million to spend this winter, and that is his priority.
SPORTS
July 17, 2013 | By Matt Gelb and Marc Narducci, Inquirer Staff Writers
NEW YORK - Bill Giles watches from the periphery now; he attends the All-Star Game every summer to represent the National League as its honorary president. He is the chairman of the Phillies, although his role is reduced with age. And yet Giles is the soul of the Phillies, the man who organized the current ownership group that bought the team for $32.5 million in 1981. He sees a team in limbo. "I used to be very involved in making decisions and working with the general manager, and this is the most difficult last two weeks in July I have ever seen," Giles, 78, said.
SPORTS
August 11, 2012 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
When Ruben Amaro Jr. recently engaged a few of his rival general managers in discussions, the topic of third base arose, and they all reached one conclusion: It is a difficult position to fill. "Somebody's going to play there," Amaro said. "We'll have to try to figure it out. " The Phillies, theoretically, have three lineup holes to fill for 2013. Amaro has effectively guaranteed Domonic Brown one of the outfield jobs, leaving two others, plus third base. The rest of the infield is locked up, assuming the team exercises catcher Carlos Ruiz's $5 million option.
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SPORTS
November 13, 2014 | By Bob Brookover, Inquirer Columnist
PHOENIX - Maikel Franco is off to a great start with his winter league team in the Dominican Republic, but general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. made it clear that he will need to do a lot more than that to earn a spot on the Phillies' opening-day roster. "It's important for us for him to play well," Amaro said Wednesday at the general managers meetings. "It's important for him to play the kind of baseball we need him to play to give himself a chance to be on our club next year. He's no slam dunk to make our club.
SPORTS
November 12, 2014 | By Bob Brookover, Inquirer Columnist
PHOENIX - The offseason is still in its infancy, but it's not too soon to draw one conclusion: Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. has one of the most difficult jobs in baseball sitting in front of him. It might even be mission impossible. Start with the mess that is Ryan Howard. The Phillies owe their soon-to-be 35-year-old first baseman at least $60 million over the next two seasons and it's no secret they'd love to move him elsewhere to open up first base for one of their younger players.
SPORTS
November 11, 2014 | BY RYAN LAWRENCE, Daily News Staff Writer rlawrence@phillynews.com
PHOENIX - Ruben Amaro Jr.'s flight into Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport touched down early Sunday evening. Before noon yesterday, he had already had a private meeting with the agent for Cuban free-agent outfielder Yasmany Tomas. "Still talking," Jay Alou, Tomas' agent, said afterward. "Still talking. " Tomas, perhaps the biggest bat on the free-agent market, has been linked to the Phillies for obvious reasons. The Cuban defector is a home-run-hitting corner outfielder; with poor production from their current outfield, and almost no help coming any time soon from the farm system, the Phillies are in desperate need for a young, power-hitting outfielder.
SPORTS
November 6, 2014 | BY RYAN LAWRENCE, Daily News Staff Writer rlawrence@phillynews.com
A.J. BURNETT'S decision to turn down a guaranteed $12.75 million from the Phillies - and what could have been as much as $14.5 million if he had reached incentives - was apparently due to the pitcher's preference to play for a playoff-hopeful team in 2015. Through his agent, Burnett, who turns 38 in January, said he plans to pitch next season. Burnett flirted with retirement last winter; this offseason, he wants to land on a contending team. It's worth wondering, then, if other veterans on the current Phillies roster would also rather be elsewhere come Opening Day. On the first day of free agency, general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. was open to all possibilities as he begins the challenging process of remaking his roster.
SPORTS
November 1, 2014 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
While two teams that did not win 90 regular-season games in 2014 played to the conclusion of the World Series, the Phillies huddled at their facility in Clearwater, Fla. General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. unveiled The Phillies Way, a handbook distributed to all baseball personnel - coaches, scouts, athletic trainers included - during the team's organizational meetings this week. The Phillies are not the first team to draft such a manual. Amaro planned it, well before the franchise shifted to a rebuilding phase, and decided this was the ideal time to affirm the team's direction.
SPORTS
September 30, 2014 | By Bob Brookover, Inquirer Columnist
It was a beautiful day for baseball, unless, of course, it was that brand of baseball the Phillies have tortured their fans with the last two seasons. Not even clear skies and comfortable temperatures could erase the stench that has saturated Citizens Bank Park for far too long. There was no formal state-of-the-team address by general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. or acting team president Pat Gillick before or after the season's final game. None was needed. We've known for months that this was another lost season for the team with the third-highest payroll in baseball, and we've been assured for quite some time that the general manager will remain in charge of personnel operations going forward.
SPORTS
September 25, 2014
MIAMI - Jonathan Papelbon returned to active duty yesterday, with his seven-game suspension coming to an end. Nine days earlier, Papelbon got into an altercation with umpire Joe West at Citizens Bank Park after the volatile closer made an obscene gesture (or equipment adjustment, according to the pitcher) in the direction of fans following a blown save. Both Amaro and manager Ryne Sandberg confirmed that Papelbon remains the team's closer. Even in Philadelphia this weekend, if the situation calls for a save, and despite what could be an ugly South Philadelphia return for Papelbon.
SPORTS
September 25, 2014 | BY RYAN LAWRENCE, Daily News Staff Writer rlawrence@phillynews.com
MIAMI - On Monday, Ruben Amaro Jr. was in the Dominican Republic with a contingent of Phillies baseball operations people to get a firsthand look at slugging outfielder Yasmany Tomas, a Cuban defector. Last week, Amaro was in Japan on another scouting mission. Such is the life of a beleaguered general manager who was given a vote of confidence on his job status repeatedly this season, but is still on the hot seat from Philadelphia sports fans after failing to field a winner for three straight seasons despite having one of the top three payrolls in baseball.
SPORTS
September 24, 2014 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
MIAMI - There will be no "Mission Accomplished" banners hanging from Citizens Bank Park if the Phillies surpass last season's win total with more than two victories in their final six games. Outsiders will see that feat as further proof that a culture of mediocrity has enveloped the franchise. But some team officials, no doubt, will maintain that competitiveness is close. That, after all, is how the Phillies thought after last season's 73 wins. They doubled down on a strategy of augmenting an older core with even older players through free agency.
SPORTS
September 12, 2014 | BY RYAN LAWRENCE, Daily News Staff Writer rlawrence@phillynews.com
CLIFF LEE made a quick trip to Philadelphia this week for the first of two checkups with doctors this month. Following Tuesday's exam with Phillies team doctor Michael Ciccotti, general mnager Ruben Amaro Jr. said Lee's ailing left elbow has improved. Lee will be checked out again at the end of the season. He is expected to begin throwing in early November, according to Amaro. "We'll see where it goes from there," Amaro said yesterday afternoon at Citizens Bank Park. Lee wasn't available for comment.
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