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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
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.
SPORTS
December 20, 2012 | BY RYAN LAWRENCE, Daily News Staff Writer rlawrence@phillynews.com
THE BULK of the work is finished, with a third baseman (Michael Young), a centerfielder (Ben Revere), a setup man (Mike Adams) and a fifth starter (John Lannan) all outfitted in Phillies red before Christmas. But Ruben Amaro Jr. isn't finished with his offseason shopping, even if he did allow the possibility of going to spring training in 2 months with the current roster. "It's very possible that we have the answers internally," Amaro said of what would appear to be a glaring need for a reliable, productive, veteran bat for the outfield.
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NEWS
January 30, 2015 | By Jake Kaplan, Inquirer Staff Writer
Longtime Phillies president and CEO David Montgomery has new duties as he returns from a five-month medical leave of absence. Montgomery now will serve in the position of team chairman while Pat Gillick continues as president, the team said Wednesday. The front-office shake-up could pave the way for another new team president in the next year or two. Gillick, the architect of the 2008 world championship team, said Wednesday night in a telephone interview that he doesn't see himself in the position two or three years from now but "definitely" at least through this baseball season.
SPORTS
January 24, 2015 | By Jake Kaplan, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The first question to emerge from a group of reporters and cameramen huddled around Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. on Tuesday night at the Reading Crowne Plaza came from a local news outlet. Which players, the reporter asked, might Reading baseball fans see at FirstEnergy Stadium come April? Given the Phillies' stated rebuilding efforts, increased attention will be paid this season to the organization's prospects and their progress throughout the summer. And while some of it may depend on spring training performances, it's not too early to project at which levels in the farm system the Phillies' top minor-leaguers will begin the 2015 season.
SPORTS
January 22, 2015 | By Jake Kaplan, Inquirer Staff Writer
READING - Cliff Lee has been throwing off a mound without issue and is on track to pitch come spring training, Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said Tuesday. Lee, working his way back from the left elbow injury that ended his season in August, has thrown off a mound three or four times already and is "in his normal progression to get ready for the season," Amaro said. The Phillies will send a staffer to Arkansas to watch the 36-year-old lefthander throw in the coming days.
SPORTS
January 19, 2015 | BY RYAN LAWRENCE, Daily News Staff Writer rlawrence@phillynews.com
EVERYONE on the planet - well, everyone on the planet who even casually follows major league baseball - is aware that the Phillies would like to trade Ryan Howard in an effort to expedite their rebuilding project. Both Maikel Franco and Darin Ruf could step in and play first base in his place in 2015. Howard's skills have declined since shattering his left Achilles' tendon four Octobers ago, but he is still owed a minimum of $60 million for the next two seasons. He might be the most difficult player in baseball to trade.
SPORTS
December 15, 2014 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
SAN DIEGO - Near the end of last season, Jimmy Rollins was asked how far he thought the Phillies were from returning to greatness. "I have no idea," Rollins said. "It could be next year. " A reporter wondered why Rollins considered that possible. "That's what's so great about being a ballplayer," Rollins responded. "We get to write that story. Always have. You put it on paper. You make it official. But we get to write it. " Rollins, last week, wrote his next chapter by surrendering the no-trade rights that, for 17 months prior, were an impediment to any deal.
SPORTS
December 12, 2014 | BY RYAN LAWRENCE, Daily News Staff Writer rlawrence@phillynews.com
SAN DIEGO - Six days ago, Ruben Amaro Jr. answered his cellphone a few hours before boarding a flight bound for baseball's winter meetings and sounded as confident as ever. More than 2 months into the offseason, the embattled general manager had not made a significant move to begin the rebuilding process. But he was surely more hopeful than the fans who have been calling for his job with each passing day. "A lot of our players out there are being depicted as not as able commodities, but we've got some guys that still are," Amaro said Saturday.
SPORTS
December 11, 2014 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
SAN DIEGO - Two more starting pitchers found new homes during the day Tuesday, but Jon Lester's indecision until signing a late-night agreement with the Chicago Cubs stalled much of the action at baseball's winter meetings. The Phillies, of course, have a vested interest in where the lefthander signs; a possible consolation prize for a jilted team is Cole Hamels. So Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. continued conversations on other manners. He met with Baltimore officials to discuss a potential Marlon Byrd trade, according to a Foxsports.com report.
SPORTS
December 10, 2014 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
SAN DIEGO - Images of Cole Hamels in red pinstripes flashed Monday afternoon on a TV behind Ruben Amaro Jr. in the Phillies' sixth-floor hotel suite that doubles as team headquarters this week. Network analysts dealt Hamels to Boston during a "Create-a-Trade" segment. Amaro turned around. The embattled general manager chuckled. "We did it," he said. "It's done. " Welcome to baseball's annual winter meetings, a convention that doubles as fantasy wonderland for some. But for Amaro, it is a sensitive time.
SPORTS
December 10, 2014 | BY RYAN LAWRENCE, Daily News Staff Writer rlawrence@phillynews.com
SAN DIEGO - Yesterday, the first day of baseball's winter meetings at the Manchester Grand Hyatt, the Phillies did not make a trade or free-agent transaction. More than 2 months in, the organization's rebuild has been a slow, deliberate one. And it's easy to list the reasons. Some players are very valuable, and it's right to wait for the best offer to come (Cole Hamels). Some will be easier to move when interest increases after other players are traded or free agents are signed (Marlon Byrd)
SPORTS
December 9, 2014 | BY RYAN LAWRENCE, Daily News Staff Writer rlawrence@phillynews.com
SAN DIEGO - Baseball's regular season - and thus, the final chapter on the 2014 Phillies - came to an end 71 days ago. Two months of inactivity has followed for a franchise in near-desperate need of activity, in the form of change. The product on the field has gone bad and is more than stale, too. But general manager Ruben Amaro Jr.'s own call for change in September, and his admission in October that the club would be rebuilding, was followed by a November when the front office made nary a move.
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