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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
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
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
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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SPORTS
July 27, 2014 | By Marc Narducci, Inquirer Staff Writer
Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. strongly refuted reports Friday that suggested the team may buy out the contract of slumping first baseman Ryan Howard now or at the end of the season. After this year, the Phillies will owe Howard $60 million, which includes $25 million for both 2015 and 2016. There is a club option in 2017 with a $10 million buyout. "All I can tell you is that's not in our best interest," Amaro said before Friday's game at Citizens Bank Park against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
SPORTS
July 27, 2014 | BY RYAN LAWRENCE, Daily News Staff Writer rlawrence@phillynews.com
AND ON the third day, Ryan Howard rested. Again. After Howard was held out of the Phillies lineup in each of the two previous games against the San Francisco Giants, manager Ryne Sandberg kept the former MVP in the dugout again last night against lefthander Wade Miley and the Arizona Diamondbacks. Howard appeared to be a little more than unhappy on Thursday afternoon. But yesterday, he was a bit more upbeat as he walked out of the clubhouse before batting practice. The length of his stay out of the lineup is unknown, as Sandberg continues to say he writes out his lineup "on a day-to-day" basis.
SPORTS
July 22, 2014 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
ATLANTA - The prize of the pitching market this July, David Price, plays for a team enjoying its best run of the season. There are no guarantees that Tampa Bay will deal Price, and that steers all focus toward Cliff Lee. He will pitch Monday for the first time in two months. More than a dozen scouts are expected at Citizens Bank Park to evaluate how Lee has handled a strained left elbow. Lee will start two games before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. His performances will dictate whether that is enough to entice a contender to offer a suitable package.
SPORTS
July 12, 2014 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
MILWAUKEE - Ruben Amaro Jr. grabbed a pack of jalapeƱo sunflower seeds Thursday afternoon and found a spot on the wooden dugout bench. There were three weeks until the July 31 trade deadline and this was a moment for more reality. Jonathan Papelbon, the Phillies' closer, made it clear Wednesday night he would welcome a trade to a contender - his partial no-trade clause will not be an impediment - and questioned why players would want to remain on a losing team. "I think that's a no-brainer," Papelbon said.
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
July 9, 2014 | By RYAN LAWRENCE, Daily News Staff Writer rlawrence@phillynews.com
MILWAUKEE - At some point in the next week, Grady Sizemore could get a chance to win regular at-bats in the Phillies outfield. At some point this month, Darin Ruf could do the same. Carlos Ruiz could return from the disabled list, too, and even Freddy Galvis and third-base prospect Maikel Franco could receive consideration in the major league lineup, too. Those were the words general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. spoke yesterday afternoon in Milwaukee, a day removed from watching his underachieving, last-place team get swept in Pittsburgh over the holiday weekend.
SPORTS
July 9, 2014 | BY RYAN LAWRENCE, Daily News Staff Writer rlawrence@phillynews.com
MILWAUKEE - Cliff Lee will resume his minor league rehab assignment with Class A Clearwater tomorrow in Tampa. Lee's first rehab start Sunday afternoon was limited to 24 pitches in two innings after a rainstorm in southern Florida suspended the game. The Phillies had hoped to get Lee up to 70 pitches in the game. "Stuff was good," Amaro said. "Delivery was good. He was 89 to 91, so not all that far off from where he usually is. " Barring a setback, Lee is likely to make two starts in the next week before rejoining the Phillies when the team returns from the All-Star break.
SPORTS
July 9, 2014 | By Bob Brookover, Inquirer Columnist
Ruben Amaro Jr. became the dean of Philadelphia general managers when Paul Holmgren switched positions with the Flyers in May. Long before that, however, the Phillies' chief personnel man had become the most unpopular GM in the city, tagged with copious unflattering nicknames, including Ruin Tomorrow Jr. He was handed the keys to a Rolls-Royce in 2008 and given enough cash to pimp his already luxurious ride. Had he won another World Series title, you wonder if his existence during the team's current free fall would be more palatable.
SPORTS
July 3, 2014 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
MIAMI - It is bad business to wave a proverbial white flag 30 days before the trade deadline, and that is why Ruben Amaro Jr. preached patience Tuesday. There is no need for the Phillies general manager to sacrifice leverage with other teams by proclaiming his roster for sale. And it is important to maintain an illusion of competitiveness for the paying customers. "My mind is open to everything," Amaro said Tuesday. "We'll listen to everything. We'll try to assess the most advantageous move we can make, and we'll go from there.
SPORTS
June 19, 2014 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
Less than two weeks after surgery to remove cancer from his right jawbone, David Montgomery attended the Phillies' predraft planning meeting in late May. The team's president has missed few days of work since then and polls his baseball people on a regular basis, even as he recovers from the significant procedure. The next month could hold big changes for the team with a payroll of more than $180 million that is on pace to win just 73 games. Montgomery believes the current executives in place, including general manager Ruben Amaro Jr., are capable of overseeing those decisions.
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