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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
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 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
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
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 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 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 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.
SPORTS
December 8, 2014 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
Baseball's winter meetings start Monday at a San Diego waterfront hotel, and no man has a more unenviable position than Ruben Amaro Jr. His 29 counterparts know the Phillies general manager is desperate to make a trade, to change his zombified roster. Teams looking for upgrades have prioritized non-Phillies players with better contract terms, more talent, or both. Their sound strategy is to lowball the Phillies. And Amaro, who is under pressure to execute a transaction that jump-starts an arduous rebuilding process, has zero leverage.
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.
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