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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
April 4, 2015 | By Bob Ford, Inquirer Columnist
It's rarely the harbinger of a great baseball season when a general manager has to begin things by apologizing at the outset for insulting one of the best players in franchise history. That, however, is how the glorious 2015 season began for Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. He privately told Ryan Howard he was sorry for saying the Phils would be better off without the big first baseman on the roster. The apology was sincere insofar as Amaro did truly wish he hadn't said that out loud, but the meat of the issue - that the GM would prefer Howard were somewhere else - is not as easy to deny.
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
October 28, 2015 | By Jake Kaplan, Inquirer Staff Writer
The same morning the Phillies introduced Matt Klentak as their new general manager, the man he replaced officially landed his next job. The Boston Red Sox confirmed Monday that Ruben Amaro Jr. is their new first-base coach. The career move is a unique one for Amaro, who had been a prominent member of the Phillies front office since 1999, the year after his final season as a player. He has never coached at any level of professional baseball. In addition to his duties as first-base coach, Amaro, 50, will be Boston's outfielder instructor and help instruct baserunning.
SPORTS
September 17, 2015 | By Jake Kaplan, Inquirer Staff Writer
David Montgomery was among those in attendance at the news conference Thursday when incoming Phillies president Andy MacPhail and part-owner John Middleton addressed the dismissal of general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. For the Phillies' former longtime president and current chairman, the news came attached with "all of the emotions you can imagine. " Montgomery, 69, has known Amaro since the former player was a teenager and worked closely with him for 17 years, the first 10 when Amaro was an assistant GM and the last seven after Montgomery appointed him GM. "On a personal note, I want to see him do well.
NEWS
September 16, 2015
THE EUPHORIA over the firing of general manager Ruben Amaro seems to suggest that he is the lone culprit for the Phillies downfall. Not so fast! While no one will ever mistake Ruben Amaro for Branch Rickey, and he certainly deserves some of the blame, he might be taking too much heat for the Phillies downfall. It was management that forced him to sign Utley, Howard and Rollins to long-term deals. By the way, no one complained at the time because these players were all performing well.
NEWS
September 12, 2015 | By Jake Kaplan, Inquirer Staff Writer
On the June afternoon when the Phillies introduced him as their next president, Andy MacPhail looked at the standings and saw a 27-50 record, the worst in baseball. In his first week at Citizens Bank Park, he watched his new team lose four straight games to the lowly Milwaukee Brewers. At that point, he said Thursday, he did not think the decision he made this week would be as difficult as it turned out to be. But ultimately, after two-plus months of observations and analysis, MacPhail felt the Phillies needed a "fresh perspective" in the baseball operations department, and his vision for the team's rebuilding process did not include Ruben Amaro Jr. Amaro, the Phillies' much-maligned general manager, was ousted from his position after nearly seven years on Thursday with the team's announcement that his contract, set to expire at season's end, would not be renewed.
SPORTS
September 12, 2015 | By Mike Sielski, Inquirer Columnist
John Middleton wanted Ruben Amaro Jr. out. Start there. It is the most obvious takeaway from the news conference that the Phillies called Thursday afternoon to announce Amaro's firing as their general manager. The ever-louder voice of the team's ownership group, Middleton paid lip service to Amaro's successes - the three consecutive NL East titles at the beginning of Amaro's tenure, the 2009 World Series appearance, the creation of the 2011 Four Aces pitching rotation - but he could hardly hide how the failures and unforced errors ate at him. Seated next to new team president Andy MacPhail, Middleton began his remarks Thursday with an acknowledgment of and appeal to Phillies fans, and it was easy to trace a line from those words to the last four years: the Phillies' fall in the standings, the plummeting home attendance, those incendiary and foolish comments Amaro made to Comcast SportsNet in May about how many fans "don't understand the game.
SPORTS
September 11, 2015 | David Murphy, Daily News Sports Columnist
IN ORDER TO have an honest conversation about Ruben Amaro Jr., you must accept three things: 1) The Phillies never had to become this bad. 2) Amaro might not be entirely to blame for them becoming this bad. 3) The fact that he might not be entirely to blame is why he had to go. Any Phillies fan who listened to Andy MacPhail and John Middleton talk about their vision for the future yesterday had to be encouraged. Because this was always about vision. Not trades or signings or roster moves, but the sum of those moves.
SPORTS
September 11, 2015 | BY RYAN LAWRENCE, Daily News Staff Writer rlawrence@phillynews.com
ONLY SEVEN YEARS ago, the Phillies were the toast of the town, the team that created a nightly, Delaware Valley-sized buzz from the club's epicenter at Citizens Bank Park, the organization that paraded down Broad Street and ended a quarter-century-long professional championship drought in this sports-crazed city. Ruben Amaro Jr., a lifelong Phillie, received the keys to that darling of a possible National League dynasty three days after the Halloween parade. Then 43, the Philadelphia native was living a charmed life.
SPORTS
September 9, 2015 | By David Murphy, Daily News Columnist
IN THE TWO months since the Phillies hired the man who was expected to fire their general manager, five major league organizations have actually gone ahead and done the thing the old-fashioned way. You know, by saying goodbye to the old guy and starting a search for the new one. As of yesterday, Ruben Amaro Jr. was still plugging along, suddenly the eighth longest-tenured GM in the game, trailing only Walt Jocketty (Reds), John Mozeliak (Cardinals), Neal Huntington (Pirates), Dayton Moore (Royals)
SPORTS
August 3, 2015 | By Mike Sielski, Inquirer Columnist
Ruben Amaro Jr. was supposed to be explaining why he and the Phillies had traded Cole Hamels and what they had received in return, but for a few seconds Friday afternoon, he did something rather remarkable, shrinking the Citizens Bank Park news conference room into a confessional. Amaro sounded like a man who had found religion when it came to what he and the Phillies had done wrong in their recent history. For Hamels and reliever Jake Diekman, Amaro, team president Pat Gillick, and president-in-waiting Andy MacPhail coaxed five prospects from the Texas Rangers.
SPORTS
July 16, 2015 | By Jake Kaplan, Inquirer Staff Writer
CINCINNATI - A day after Jonathan Papelbon said "it's time to you-know-what or get off the pot," regarding the Phillies' efforts to trade him, general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said he understands the closer's stance. "The man wants to go and play for a contender. That's why he signed with us," Amaro told WIP-FM (94.1) Tuesday morning. "That was what we sold him [on] when we were having the discussion to bring him here to Philadelphia. At the time . . . I felt like we were one of the best clubs in baseball and tried to add the best closer available and we did. "And sadly, we haven't lived up to our part of the bargain.
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